6.15 Allowances for exceptional circumstances

6.15.1 Allowances for exceptional circumstances

The University recognises that, on occasions, students can be affected by serious personal difficulties which can affect their ability to engage with their studies, and their performance in assessments. The exceptional circumstances process aims to ensure that students are not unfairly disadvantaged in these circumstances, and to enable every student to be assessed on equal terms.

The University defines exceptional circumstances as:

Personal circumstances that are out of the control of the student and which the student could not reasonably have prevented or accommodated. They must, additionally, have had a significant and demonstratively negative effect on the student’s ability to study, or undertake an assessment; and the timing of the circumstances must be relevant to the claimed impact.

Students who wish to make an application for the consideration of exceptional circumstances - which must meet all elements of the definition above - should follow the published exceptional circumstances process which is managed by the Student Investigation & Resolution Team (SIRT). Advice may be sought from SIRT, or from Student Support Co-ordinators located within each Faculty. 

Students on Oxford Brookes programmes which are delivered by partner organisations should refer to their programme handbook for details of the process they should follow when submitting a claim, and for sources of advice.

The University expects students to take responsibility for their own learning, and will assume that a student is fit and well enough to take or submit an assessment unless they make a claim for exceptional circumstances, and provide evidence to substantiate the claim, within the timeframes stated in the process which applies to them.

6.15.2 Mitigation for examination errors and disturbances

There is also a system in place for considering mitigation for errors on examination papers, or disturbances during examination sittings, for which individual applications are not necessary. A student must have attended the affected examination in order to be eligible for any mitigation; and allowances will be made in accordance with the following classification:

  • Minor - no mitigation applied
  • Moderate - mitigation, for example, adjustment to marking, applied following the examination
  • Severe - mitigation action applied, such as the offer of an uncapped resit of the affected examination, marked as a first sitting.

Details of these definitions are available from the Examinations Team.