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Mitigating circumstances

If you feel that your individual circumstances could affect your results you should talk to your Programme Support Officer (PSO) or Programme Leader (PL) to see if you may be able to request a coursework extension or have your exam(s) postponed.

Also, you may have completed your coursework or sat your exam before the full effects of your circumstances are known or you may not have been able to advise your PSO or PL of your circumstances prior to the coursework deadline(s) or exam date(s). Again do speak to your PSO or PL as you may be able to request Assessment Board consideration.

For full information you can download 6J Mitigating Circumstances inc Extensions: Policy and Procedure which includes the associated form for you to complete. This will explain the process and what your options are. For further support and advice you can contact SUBU Advice or AskBU.

More information

What are mitigating circumstances?

A mitigating circumstance (or mit circs) is an incident that you could not have foreseen and over which you have no control and which BU believes might adversely affect your academic performance in one or more elements of assessment. For example: the death of a relative, sickness and illness (physical and mental), and accidents. It may also include a late diagnosis of an Additional Learning Need where there was not enough time to put the support in place before the assessment.

However there are some scenarios which are not normally considered to be a mitigating circumstance. For full information you can download 6J Mitigating Circumstances inc Extensions: Policy and Procedure which includes the associated form for you to complete.

How do I let my Faculty know about my mitigating circumstances?

Depending upon whether you are letting your faculty know about your mitigating circumstances before or after the coursework deadline(s) or exam date(s) will determine what you need to do.

The completed Mitigating Circumstances form will either be considered within the faculty for extension(s) or exam postponement(s) (before the deadline) or later by the Assessment Board  after the deadline if you did not let anybody know about your circumstances at the correct time. You may even be required to request consideration by both if, for example, a circumstance has the potential to affect your work longer term. For full information you can download 6J Mitigating Circumstances inc Extensions: Policy and Procedure which includes the associated form for you to complete. If you are unsure always check with your Programme Support Officer or Programme Leader.​

All requests for mitigating circumstances should be accompanied by appropriate, supporting evidence e.g. a GP note. For example a self-certificate form for illnesses lasting up to 5 days or a GP note for longer illnesses. Please make sure you read the relevant documentation carefully before submitting anything for consideration. Any deadlines relating to the submission of your mitigating circumstances will be advised by your faculty. Again, if you are unsure, do check within your faculty.

What happens once I have submitted my mitigating circumstances?

If you have requested a coursework extension(s) or an exam postponement(s) then this will be considered by your Programme Leader (or their nominee). You will normally be advised if this has been authorised within 5 working days of submitting the form. For coursework you will be given a new deadline. Postponed exams are normally sat within the next exam period.

If you have requested Assessment Board consideration, they will consider your circumstances and determine if your performance has been affected. If so, they may offer you the opportunity to resit your exam or resubmit your work ‘uncapped’ but this will be subject to your overall assessment profile. They may even award you the original ‘uncapped’ mark.

But you must be clear, the Assessment Board will not increase a mark just because circumstances exist and your work will not be marked sympathetically because of your circumstances; you will still need to pass all the units for your course.