Support with your academic assessments and deadlines

As a student, you will need to adhere to your assessment deadlines, but if something unexpected happens then we are here to support you.

It’s important that you know your deadlines and plan your work in advance in order to make sure that you meet them. We’ll support you to do this by publishing your deadlines early in the semester and helping you to plan your studies through your academic mentor, our Student Services team, and the study support offered via our Keele Institute for Innovation and Teaching Excellence (KIITE).

We understand though that, sometimes, circumstances beyond your control might affect your ability to submit work by the original deadline, so the University has support in place to assist you in such circumstances. These are called “exceptional circumstances” - often shortened to "ECs" - and the process has been improved for the 2021/22 academic year.

What has changed?

We have made changes to the support available to our students around assessment deadlines and exceptional circumstances in order to make the process simpler and fairer, and to help students manage their time better with a more flexible and responsive approach.

As such, from September 2021, students can now access:

Automatic five-day extensions to written deadlines if needed

Because we know that sometimes the unexpected happens (and it's always near a deadline) we’ll give you the opportunity to take an automatic five-day extension (including bank holidays) if something happens which means that your plans to meet your deadline don’t work out.

This short extension is available for most written assignments, but won’t apply to exams or in-class tests.

To get this extension, you just need to apply for it via the eVision system. If you do miss a deadline without applying for the extension then our normal marking penalties will apply.

Work will need to be submitted by 1pm on the extended submission date.

Ability to apply for another assessment opportunity later in the year

Sometimes something more significant happens – say for example you need to spend some time in hospital during a deadline period, or you miss a scheduled exam because of a bereavement in your immediate family – and in such cases we have a process called Exceptional Circumstances where you can submit a claim together with some evidence of what has happened, and we can then make arrangements to support you.

Please bear in mind that this might mean that you spread your deadlines over a longer period of time, or that you have to wait until the next semester to take your assessments, which can have an impact on how long it takes to complete your degree – but it’s there as an option to support you if something serious happens.

Our Student Services team will work with you to find the best solution for your needs. To tell us about a more serious circumstance, you should complete the form on eVision with as much detail as you can. We’ll then look at your circumstances and let you know your options for support, and whether we’re able to provide you with a further and more formal extension.

Improvements to assessment support and ECs for 2021/22

Frequently asked questions

Yes, most written assessments have the ability for you to have a short extension to the deadline (by 5 working days, including bank holidays) when you submit a request. You submit your request here.

You cannot claim for a further extension, however you can submit a new claim for another assessment opportunity. You will need evidence to support this request. You should submit a request here, with medical evidence if you can and select "another assessment opportunity".

No. If you ask for a short extension, then these will normally be approved. Longer extensions or repeat assessment requests will be considered and decided upon on the basis of the claim and evidence supplied. Student Services will advise you of your outcome as soon as possible, but you should continue to prepare for your assessment as though your claim has not been approved, until you are advised otherwise.

Yes, but we may be in contact with you if you do this regularly. Claims should only be made where you have unforeseen, exceptional circumstances, if you submit a lot of claims, we’ll be concerned and will want to be in touch to see if you need other support measures, rather than delaying your deadlines.

All claims are seen and processed by our Student Experience and Support Officers only. They are trained officers in supporting students. If your application is approved, your School will be notified of that, to organise an appropriate new deadline/reassessment date, but they will not know the details of your case.

You can contact either Student Services, your academic mentor or ASK in the Students' Union, who can help to advise you whether to submit a claim or not. It is important to note that submitting a claim will not mean you do not have to do an assessment, but will only delay when it is needed to be done by. Although sometimes this feels like it might be helpful, you should also remember that assessments are well-spaced out throughout the year and if you delay a number, you may be putting yourself under greater pressure later in the year.

No, in most cases if you do this your request will be rejected. There may be some exceptional cases where we would allow this, but generally you should only ask for one extension maximum, for an assessment deadline. If you do submit multiple extension requests on a piece of work, we will likely contact you to discuss your circumstances further to ensure that you are aware of your options and that the right support is in place for your circumstances.

You are informed of assessment dates by your School during the academic year. If you submit a request with the wrong date and the claim is agreed, the agreement will apply to the correct assessment date and not to the date that you have entered. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are aware of your assessment dates and any extensions to those that are granted.

No, if you have declared your disability and have reasonable adjustments in place, you should not need to submit a claim in order to access these adjustments that have been put in place for you.

If however, there are unforeseen circumstances unconnected to your reasonable adjustments, or there is an unexpected change in your condition or disability, then you should submit a claim for consideration.

Yes. All taught students can use this process. Research students should however discuss their circumstances with their supervisor, as there are different arrangements in place for postgraduate research students.

If you have circumstances that affect your performance in an examination setting, then you should notify the invigilator (quietly so as not to disturb others). They will provide a report of the situation to the Student Services team and the report will determine if you are to have another assessment attempt.

Yes, you can still submit an exceptional circumstances request to be considered by the Student Experience and Support team. The outcome will then be passed to the appropriate staff within the School to consider the academic options available to you. We would advise you to contact your academic mentor if you would like to discuss your academic work and any implications of an EC claim.

Yes, you can still submit an exceptional circumstances request to be considered by the Student Experience and Support team. The outcome will then be passed to the appropriate staff within the School to consider the academic options available to you. We would advise you to contact your academic mentor if you would like to discuss your academic work and any implications of an EC claim.

Yes, you can still submit an exceptional circumstances request to be considered by the Student Experience and Support team. The outcome will then be passed to the appropriate staff within the School to consider the academic options available to you. We would advise you to contact your academic mentor if you would like to discuss your academic work and any implications of an EC claim.

After taking a lateral flow test, if positive, you must follow the instructions on the test and report the result to the NHS, who will automatically send you an email confirming your positive result. You can use this email as evidence for your EC claim. 

If a student fails an assessment component within a module but passes the module overall, the student will not be allowed a further assessment attempt, even if they have valid exceptional circumstances. However, if accepted by the relevant panel, such circumstances will be held on file and may be taken into consideration by the final examination board if their classification is on the borderline to a higher classification. 

This means if you have been granted another assessment opportunity, but choose to sit the exam/submit your coursework anyway, you will not be eligible for another assessment opportunity unless you fail the module overall. 

When you are granted a 5 working day extension (including bank holidays), you will be given a new submission date. If you then submit after this date, you will be capped as per the university regulation D1:13, as follows: 

If students are late submitting assessed work at the first attempt (or for reassessment at the first attempt), but the work is received within seven calendar days after the submission deadline without valid exceptional circumstances, the maximum that can be awarded is the module pass mark (typically 40% for an undergraduate programme and 50% for a postgraduate programme) or qualifying mark if higher.

Generally, if you are pregnant you shouldn't need ECs unless you experience ill-health or complications associated with the pregnancy. It may be that you need another assessment opportunity if exams fall close to your due date or extra measures during exams such as allowing for rest breaks. Speak with your Student Experience and Support Officer who will be able to discuss relevant support with you.