Outcomes - what do they mean?

  • 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:

    For Type B (self-certification) applications

    The student will normally be able to take the assessment later, with access to the full range of marks. However, this might not be possible depending on the module and course requirements. The decision will take into account any achievement in other components. The module leader or examination committee will make the final decision.

    For Type C (full exceptional circumstances) applications

    All full exceptional circumstances applications will be assessed and either accepted or declined. If they are accepted, the following outcomes are possible:

    • Extra time to prepare for a deadline assessment or to carry out placement requirements.
      The amount of extra time will normally be determined by the amount of time a student has been affected by the exceptional circumstances. Extra time will be in addition to any automatic extension a student has via their Inclusive Support Plan.
    • An opportunity to take the assessment at a later date, with access to the full range of marks.
      This might not be possible depending on the module and course requirements. The decision will take into account any achievement in other components.
    • Disregard of a module, with the opportunity to take it again at a later date.
      This might not be possible depending on the module and course requirements. The decision will take into account any achievement in other components.

    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.

    What if my request for consideration of exceptional circumstances is turned down?

    We hope that, by explaining why your submission has not been accepted when we notify you of the outcome, you will see why a Panel has reached that conclusion. Panels are made up of staff who understand the requirements of the policy and are trained to apply its rules in a fair and consistent manner. However, if you believe that you have grounds for requesting a review of the decision you can request a review of the decision.

    The grounds on which you can request a review are:

    • There is evidence to suggest that the request was not considered in accordance to the Exceptional Circumstances Procedure
    • There is evidence to suggest that there was an administrative error or some other irregularity in the consideration of the application.

    In order to request a review you must inform the Student Investigation and Resolution Team within 10 working days of receiving the original decision, stating which of the grounds you are requesting the review under. Late requests will not be considered.

    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 (or the 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.