Once you have submitted your exceptional circumstances application and your supporting evidence, the Student Investigation and Resolution Team will arrange for it to be considered by an Exceptional Circumstances Panel.

The Panel is responsible for reaching a decision on whether to accept your application. If the Panel accepts your application, they will take into account any request you have made and decide what recommended allowance should be made and make a recommendation accordingly. After the Exceptional Circumstances Panel has made a decision, the Student Investigation and Resolution Team will contact you to let you know what decision was made.

Possible outcomes

It is important to understand that the Panel will not increase your assessment marks on the basis of an exceptional circumstances application. The only possible outcomes that they can recommend are:

Extensions - time of day

Students should assume that any extended deadline means a hand in time that is equivalent to the original deadline. For example, if your original deadline is 1.00pm on the 1 April and you receive a 2 week extension, your new deadline is 1.00pm on the 15 April. 

Possible outcomes for re-sit assignments

If you were awarded an uncapped opportunity to take an assignment at a later date (resit) for a Semester 1 assignment but you are experiencing exceptional circumstances which are preventing you from sitting or completing your resits during the resit period, please submit a Type C application as normal alongside supporting evidence. 

If your resit assignment is a deadline assignment, you may be granted a deadline extension. 

If your resit is an event assessment (e.g an exam, in-class test, quiz, presentation), then you will not be eligible for an extension or a further resit, as students cannot re-sit an event assessment more than once. In this case, the responsible EC panel will recommend disregards be awarded instead of a further re-sit opportunity.

Please note that if you retake a module, you may have to pay. You can find more information here: Resits and Retakes


We understand that sometimes students experience bereavement or traumatic events which can impact their studies. If your Exceptional Circumstances application relates to one of these, the panel is likely to offer you an initial extension of 3 weeks as standard; this is to allow you some time to begin to process the events and in case you can submit your work in this period and do not want to delay your assignments significantly. However, the panel understands that this initial allowance may not be long enough and that you may need additional time or another opportunity to take the assessment at a later date. 

If you are given an initial 3-week extension in relation to a traumatic event and feel the initial allowance is not sufficient, please email exceptionalcircumstances@brookes.ac.uk to say that you need an alternative allowance.

Recommendation of support

In addition to the possible outcomes listed above, the Exceptional Circumstances Panel may suggest that you engage with appropriate support. This may take a number of forms such as seeking advice from your GP or the Counselling Team. 

If you decide not to engage with support following a recommendation and then make a further application for consideration of exceptional circumstances for the same issues, the University may reject your claim on the basis that the issues were not unexpected and therefore do not meet the definition of exceptional circumstances.

What can I do if my exceptional circumstances application is rejected?

If the Exceptional Circumstances Panel decides to not accept your application, the outcome email will explain the why. For example:

  • The circumstances did not meet the University's definition of exceptional.
  • The circumstances were not considered to be out of the control of the student.
  • The circumstances were considered to have been such that the student could have reasonably prevented or accommodated.
  • The circumstances were not considered to have had a significant or demonstratively negative effect on the student’s ability to study or undertake an assessment.
  • The application did not explain the impact the circumstances had had on the student.
  • There was no evidence to support the application.
  • There was insufficient evidence to support the application.
  • The timing of the circumstance did not correspond with the timing of the assessment.
  • The application and/or the evidence was submitted late without good reason.

You can request a review of this decision by submitting the review request form. 

Completion of procedures

If your request for a review is turned down on the basis that it does not meet either of the allowable grounds, or a review upholds the original decision, or if it is late (without a valid reason and supporting evidence), you will be issued with a 'Completion of Procedures' letter. 

If you remain dissatisfied with the decision you may be able to refer your case to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) for an independent review. If you decide to do this you must do so within one year of the date of the Completion of Procedures letter. Details of how to refer your case to the OIA will be included in the Completion of Procedures letter. This should be done no later than one year of you being issued with a ‘Completion of Procedures’ letter confirming the University’s final decision. The information on how to refer your case to the OIA will be included in the ‘Completion of Procedures’ letter.