Regulation B3: Exceptional Circumstances

(formerly Regulation 13: Exceptional Circumstances)

1. If you do not attend an examination or do not complete an in-course assessment because of an exceptional circumstance, the Board of Examiners can take these circumstances, and their effect on your performance into consideration. However, the Board of Examiners will only do this if the School Exceptional Circumstances Panel recommends that they should do so.

2. You must submit an Exceptional Circumstances Claim to your School Exceptional Circumstances Panel via the KLE online if you want your circumstances, and their effect on your performance, to be taken into consideration. You must do this by the deadline that is set by your School. You must also provide independent evidence of your circumstances where it is required. The Panel will decide if your Exceptional Circumstances Claim is valid.

3. If your programme of study has professional accreditation you must report your exceptional circumstances in the way your School and the professional body require you to do so. The procedures and requirements are stated in your programme documentation. Professional accreditation requirements will supersede the requirements outlined in this regulation.

4. If your circumstances are very sensitive and you do not want to disclose the details in full to your School, you should provide a letter from an independent source, such as a doctor, counsellor, or member of Student Services. This letter must confirm the severity of your circumstances and describe how your studies have been affected. You must submit the letter to the School Exceptional Circumstances Panel. 

5. If exceptional circumstances occur during an examination, you should report this to an invigilator immediately. The Senior Invigilator will produce a report of the incident which will be sent to the School. If the incident affects a large group of students (e.g. a fire alarm sounds), you do not need to submit an Exceptional Circumstances Claim but may wish to do so.  However, if the circumstances affect just you (e.g. if you are ill), you must submit an Exceptional Circumstances claim to highlight the impact of the incident on your performance.

6. Each School must have a School Exceptional Circumstances Panel. This Panel will review and make recommendations on all Exceptional Circumstances Claims before the Board of Examiners meets. If a decision must be made on a claim between meetings of the Panel, the Chair has the authority to act, or require panel members to act, on behalf of the Panel. These decisions will be reported to the next meeting of the Panel as ‘Chair’s Action’. School Exceptional Circumstances Panels can disregard exceptional circumstances claims if the required evidence is not supplied by the specified deadline.

7. Recommendations made by School Exceptional Circumstances Panels will be fair, equitable and transparent, and can be scrutinised by Senate or its sub-Committee.

8. If you are unable to submit coursework assessment by the due date because of exceptional circumstances, you should submit an Exceptional Circumstance Claim to apply for an extension. Wherever possible, you should also submit the latest draft you have completed for that assessment, by the original deadline, in case your extension request is rejected. You must submit your claim to your School(s) before the current deadline for submission so that the School Exceptional Circumstances Panel can consider an extension at the appropriate time.

9. If the School Exceptional Circumstances Panel agrees that your claim is justified they will recommend one of the following courses of action to the Discipline Board of Examiners:

a) If the Panel agree that you failed the module as a result of your exceptional circumstances, you may be given a further assessment opportunity. If your claim relates to your second attempt at an assessment, the further assessment opportunity

will also be capped at the pass mark. If you passed the module overall, you will not be given a further assessment attempt even if you have valid exceptional circumstances (see also 9e below). Further attempts granted as a result of extenuating circumstances will normally be taken at the same time as students taking re-assessment for the module(s);

b) You may be given an appropriate extension of the deadline for submission for coursework;

c) For coursework that forms only part of the total module assessment,

i. a small element of an assessment (a maximum 33% of the overall module assessment) can be disregarded, with the final mark(s) recalculated from the remaining elements of the module assessments; or

ii. When one component (a maximum 33%) of the module is missing, the final mark(s) can be recalculated from the remaining module component(s).

d) For another action, which has been approved by the Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee, to be implemented;

e) If your circumstances were not previously taken into consideration by granting you an extension or a further assessment attempt, the Board of Examiners can take such exceptional circumstances into account if your proposed award is on the borderline between two classifications. In such cases, it is at the Board’s discretion to raise your award to the higher classification.

10. Marks cannot be adjusted because of exceptional circumstances. Marks determined by the Board of Examiners have to reflect your actual performance, irrespective of reported exceptional circumstances.

11. We will keep a written record of all decisions, recommendations and marks relevant to your exceptional circumstances. This information will be available to the Board of Examiners when they determine your degree classification or make other decisions that are relevant to you.