Timescales and deadlines

If you need to submit an exceptional circumstances application, it is very important that you follow the timescales set out in the procedure.

On-time applications

Often it is better to make an exceptional circumstances application as soon as you become aware of the problem, this means you are more likely to know the outcome before the assessment deadline. 

However, progressing through your assessments on time is generally better than postponing assessments.

If you apply very early, e.g. more than 4 weeks in advance of the assessment, the panel may suggest that you apply again closer to the date of the assessment and provide the most current evidence. This may give you the chance to accommodate the circumstances by the deadline and consider whether you really need to apply for exceptional circumstances.

In the vast majority of cases, we would expect you to submit the application before the assessment is due to be submitted / taken. However, the deadline for making an on-time application for exceptional circumstances is 48 hours after the deadline for the assessment.

Any application made after the above deadlines will be considered late.

Late applications

The timescales in the Exceptional Circumstances Procedure are considered to be fair and will normally give students sufficient opportunity to tell the University about any exceptional circumstances that have been affecting them.

If you submit your exceptional circumstances application more than 48 hours after the assessment was due it will be considered late. 

  • You will need to explain why your application is late. When the Exceptional Circumstances Panel considers a late application, the first question they will consider is whether there was a compelling reason (supported by evidence) why you did not submit an on-time application. 
  • If the Panel does not accept that the reason given for lateness is compelling or appropriate evidence is not supplied, your application will not be successful. 

A note about late applications

It is worth noting that there are relatively few situations in which an Exceptional Circumstances Panel will accept that a student could not have made an on-time application. Saying that your application is late because you are awaiting evidence is not a valid reason for the late submission. This is because you can submit your application on time and then provide evidence later.

Late exceptional circumstances applications that are submitted without supporting evidence and a valid explanation for their lateness, are unlikely to be considered.

Final deadline for submitting an application

For practical reasons, there is also a final deadline for submitting a late application. This is the Monday immediately before the week in which the University holds its subject examination committees. This is usually approximately 3 weeks before results are released to students. The reason this deadline is final is because any recommendation of an appropriate allowance must be made in time for the subject exam committee to agree the recommendation. 

Final deadlines to submit an exceptional circumstances application

  • Postgraduate (PG) September dissertations and Semester 3 resits - 13 November 2023
  • Undergraduate (UG) and PG Semester 1 modules - 8 January 2024
  • PG January Dissertations and September Dissertation resits - 26 February 2024
  • UG and PG Semester 1 resits and Semester 2 taught modules - 27 May 2024
  • UG and PG Semester 2 resits - 8 July 2024
  • UG Semester 3 taught modules - 19 August 2024

*All of these dates are subject to change if any further amendments to assessment schedules are required.

Panel response time

The Exceptional Circumstances Panel meet daily to assess your applications and we aim to process your application within 5 working days of your full application submission.

During peak application periods

During peak periods,we receive an influx of applications. Whilst the team then add extra daily panels to assess your applications, unfortunately there may be a delay and we cannot guarantee to provide you with an outcome within the usual 5 working days.

The panel process applications in chronological order and therefore it is important that where possible you submit a complete application (including full details of your circumstance and supporting evidence).

Your application will also be delayed if you submit a Type C application but are unable to submit any evidence at the time. The panel will then request that you provide supporting evidence (within 10 working days), however this will delay the outcome of your application as the panel cannot assess your circumstances without this supporting evidence. Your application will then be assessed in chronological order from the time you submit the evidence and not the time you submit the original application.

If you've missed the late application deadline

Very occasionally, students that have been affected by exceptional circumstances could not have made an application at the appropriate time. If you find yourself in this position and it is after the release of the module results, you must raise it using the Academic Appeals Process.

It is worth noting that an academic appeal, made on the basis that a student was experiencing exceptional circumstances that they had not declared to the University within the appropriate timeframes, is unlikely to be successful unless there was a compelling reason why the student could not have reported the circumstances at the time.

Deadlines when the University is closed

Most assessment submissions are completed online and computers are available at the University. Therefore if extra time is given, it is expected the student will submit their work on or before the revised submission date, even if it is not considered a ‘working day’ for the University.

Only if there is a need for an assessment to be physically handed in should this date be amended and this should be agreed with the module leader in advance.

Final deadline for submitting a deadline assessment, e.g. coursework

For practical reasons, there is also a final deadline for submitting a deadline assessment because your markers need time to mark the work by the University deadlines. 

Final deadlines to submit deadline assessments

  • Postgraduate (PG) September dissertations and Semester 3 resits - Friday 10 November 2023
  • Undergraduate (UG) and PG Semester 1 modules - Friday 5 January 2024
  • PG January Dissertations and September Dissertation resits - Friday 23 February 2024
  • UG and PG Semester 1 resits and Semester 2 taught modules - Friday 24 May 2024
  • UG and PG Semester 2 resits - Friday 5 July 2023
  • UG Semester 3 taught modules - Friday 16 August 2023

*All of these dates are subject to change if any further amendments to assessment schedules are required.

Supporting evidence

All exceptional circumstances applications must be supported with suitable, relevant evidence to be assessed. We would normally expect you to submit supporting evidence of your exceptional circumstances within 10 working days of your application. We recognise that, very occasionally, this might prove difficult. If you think you are going to miss the 10-day window to provide evidence, please let the Student Investigation and Resolution Team know. They will be unable to process your application without evidence so it is important that you submit your evidence as soon as possible so that you know whether the application has been approved.

More information about what evidence you should submit to support your exceptional circumstances application can be found under the section Evidence.

Do not delay submitting your exceptional circumstance application because you don’t have the required evidence yet.

If relevant, supporting evidence is not provided within 10 working days of the exceptional circumstances application being made, and the Student Investigation and Resolution Team have not agreed to a short extension, the application is unlikely to be considered.