Guidance on timescales

  • 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

    You should make an exceptional circumstances application as soon as you become aware of the problem. In the vast majority of cases, we would expect you to submit the application before the assessment is due to be submitted or sat. However, the deadline for making an on-time application for exceptional circumstances is 48 hours after the assessment was due to be submitted or sat.

    Any application made more than 48 hours after the deadline or examination/event assessment 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 classed as a late application. 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 claim. 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 a valid explanation for their lateness, and supporting evidence, of why they weren't submitted within 48 hours of the assessment, are unlikely to be considered.


    For practical reasons, there is also a final deadline for submitting a late claim. 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. Ask you Student Support Co-ordinator or Academic Adviser if you’re unsure of the deadline date.

    Late exceptional circumstances applications cannot be made after this deadline. 

    If you've missed the late application deadline

    Very occasionally, it becomes apparent, after marks are released, that a student had been affected by exceptional circumstances that they had not reported at the appropriate time. If you find yourself in this position, 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.

    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.