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".
What is available?
There are options to the support available to our students around assessment deadlines and exceptional circumstances in order to make the process simple and fair, and to help students manage their time better with a more flexible and responsive approach.
Automatic extension of seven calendar days 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 extension of seven calendar days (including bank holidays) if something happens which means that your plans to meet your deadline don’t work out, for up to 3 pieces of work per semester.
This short extension is available for most written assignments, but won’t apply to exams or in-class tests.
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.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, most written assessments have the ability for you to have a short extension to the deadline (by seven calendar days, including bank holidays) when you submit a request. You can apply for up to three of these per semester and you will not have to submit any evidence. You submit your request here.
Please note, 7-day extensions do not apply to exams, class tests, open book assessments or presentations.
You cannot claim for a further extension, however you can submit a new claim for 'another assessment opportunity' either before or within seven calendar days of the original deadline. You will need evidence to support this request.
This will mean that you will complete a new piece of work that will be released at the next available assessment opportunity.
If you are not able to attach evidence at the time of submission, this must be submitted within 14 calendar days, directly to your Student Experience and Support Officer (SESO) via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For example, the final date to submit evidence for a claim made on 8 October would be 22 October.
It is your responsibility to remember to submit your evidence on time; you will not be sent reminders for this.
If you do not submit your claim and evidence by the timescales outlined, the claim will be rejected.
No. If you ask for the seven-calendar day extension, these will normally be approved, however you are only permitted to request three extensions per semester.
‘Another assessment opportunity’ requests will be considered and decided on the basis of the claim and evidence supplied. Claims will only be approved for valid reasons as outlined in the EC code of practice, available to view at the link above.
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.
You can submit up to three seven calendar day extensions per semester. The semester dates run from 1 August to 31 January (Semester 1) and 1 February to 31 July (Semester 2).
Claims for 'another assessment opportunity' should only be submitted where you have unforeseen, exceptional circumstances that are preventing you from completing the work for your assessment.
If you submit exceptional circumstance claims for many assessments at the same time, your SESO will be in touch with you to offer other support measures, to help avoid moving all your deadlines which would result in an increased workload later in the academic year.
Claims for another assessment opportunity should be submitted either before or within seven calendar days of the original assessment deadline.
Requests for a 7-day extension should be submitted prior to the deadline, and will not be approved after the deadline.
All claims are seen and processed by our Student Experience and Support Officers only, who are trained to support students.
If your application is approved, your School will be notified of the decision in order to organise an appropriate new deadline/reassessment date, but they will not know the details of your case.
You can contact either your SESO, your academic mentor or ASK in the Students' Union, who can help advise you whether to submit a claim or not.
It’s important to note that submitting a claim will not mean you don’t have to do the assessment; it will only delay the deadline. Remember that assessments are well-spaced out throughout the year and if you delay too many, you may be putting yourself under greater pressure later in the year.
If you feel that your circumstances are having a long-term impact on your abilities to study, speak with your SESO who will be able to advise on the various support options available to you. This may include a referral to Disability Support and Inclusion who can advise on longer-term support and reasonable adjustments. If your circumstances are preventing you from attending and engaging with your studies, then you may need to consider taking a leave of absence from your studies until you are feeling well enough to study.
It's important to note that the EC process is designed to support students who face significant and unforeseen circumstances that have a short-term impact on your studies. ECs can not be approved for the same situation on an ongoing basis, as this would no longer meet the definition of unforeseen.
If you have declared your disability and have reasonable adjustments in place and you need an extension due to the impact of your disability, you should not need to submit a claim in order to access these adjustments that have been put in place for you. You should instead contact the Disability Liaison Officer (DLO) for your School to notify them.
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.
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 then provide a report of the situation to the Student Services team, which will determine if you are eligible for another assessment attempt.
You will also need to submit an EC and reference the invigilator’s report as evidence.
You are informed of assessment dates by your School during the academic year, and these should be available for your in your module handbook or other course materials.
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.
When you are granted an extension of seven calendar days, you will be given a new submission deadline automatically on the EC system.
If you then submit after this new deadline:
- If you are submitting as a first attempt and are late within 7 days, your mark will be capped at the module pass mark, as per University Regulation D1 13.1
- If you are submitting as a first attempt but are more than 7 days late, you will receive a mark of 0, as per University Regulation D1 13.2
- If you are submitting as second attempt, any late submission will receive a mark of 0, as per University Regulation D1 13.3
No, in most cases if you request this your claim 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. Your SESO will be able to advise you further on this.
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.
The EC process applies to all taught students including at postgraduate level. Some postgraduate courses may have assessment periods outside of the main university assessment periods which may impact on when 'another assessment opportunity' takes place. If you are unsure of when your next assessment opportunity is, you should clarify this with your module leader.
The EC process does not apply to postgraduate research students, who should instead discuss their circumstances with their supervisor, as there are different arrangements in place for postgraduate research students.
Yes, you can still submit an EC request to be considered by your SESO. The outcome will then be passed to the appropriate staff within your 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.
If you are awarded another first attempt at an assessment component due to an agreed EC, you have the right to take this as a further first attempt, even if you have passed the overall module.
If you pass both the component and overall module and have an EC in place, you can still resit this to attempt to achieve a higher mark. In most cases, the re-assessment will be a different question to the original assessment.
Please note that you do not have to take the reassessment. If you don’t wish to take the reassessment offered, please contact your school office by email to inform them.
You need to obtain at least 90 credits at Level 4 or 105 credits in Level 5 to progress to the next level of study - please see Regulation D2 regarding progression.
Even if the reason for not passing the required number of credits is due to valid ECs, you cannot progress until you have reached these thresholds.
In most cases, this means that you will need to sit and pass any outstanding assessment attempts during the next academic year before you can progress to the next level of study.
If your EC claim is rejected, the reason for the rejection will always be provided.
Refer to the EC code of practice for guidance on the appropriate evidence and reasons generally accepted. Speak to your SESO for additional support.
If your claim has been successful, your academic school will be in contact with you to confirm you have been awarded a further assessment opportunity and the date for this. If you do not hear from your academic school, it is your responsibility to contact them to confirm your new deadline or assessment date.
If you are having financial difficulties which are affecting your ability to study, please contact the Student Financial Support Team for advice in the first instance.
Submitting ECs during the August reassessment period will in most cases impact your progression into the next year of study, as there are no further assessment opportunities available in the current academic year for you to be able to complete your assessments and achieve the credits needed for progression.
Even with approved ECs, you need to obtain at least 90 credits at Level 4 or 105 credits in Level 5 to progress to the next level of study - please see Regulation D2 regarding progression.
- If you have not already repeated a year of study and are unable to complete your August reassessments, for most courses you will be offered a repeat year of study.
- If you have already repeated a year of study, you may be granted an additional exceptional repeat period to undertake your reassessments, however this will depend on your individual circumstances and the maximum period of registration for your programme as outlined in Regulation C1.