The Exceptional Circumstances Procedure is intended to support students who are experiencing genuinely exceptional circumstances. Depending on your situation, there are other policies that might be more appropriate. It’s important that you find the most appropriate policy as your exceptional circumstances application will not be successful if your situation does not meet the definition of an exceptional circumstance.
Other policies that might be more appropriate
The University’s Reasonable Adjustments Framework provides guidance on Reasonable Adjustments that can be made if you have a long-term illness or disability. You will need to register with the Inclusive Support Service who will assess your needs and, where appropriate, develop an Inclusive Support Plan (ISP) which will be put in place to support you.
If you are experiencing difficulties that are likely to continue to affect your ability to study for a significant amount of time, you may want to consider taking a period of approved temporary withdrawal from your studies. If you think this might be appropriate in your circumstances, we strongly advise you to speak to your Student Support Co-ordinator, Academic Adviser or Brookes Union Advice Service so that you fully understand all of the implications of making this decision. Please be aware that you can only take temporary withdrawal prior to the end of Week 7 in any semester.
If you are experiencing difficulties that make it hard for you to study full time, you may wish to consider becoming a part-time student. If you think this might be appropriate for you, we strongly advise you to speak to your Student Support Co-ordinator, Academic Adviser, Module Leader or Brookes Union Adviser so that you fully understand all of the implications of making this decision.
The University recognises that obligatory fasting is an important event in many religious observances; however, religious fasting alone does not constitute legitimate exceptional circumstances for assessments. Acceptable exceptional circumstances occur if the act of fasting significantly affects a student’s health and/or a student has a medical condition which may impair their academic performance or prevent them from completing an assessment during fasting. In such cases, the student will need to provide documentary evidence to support their claim for exceptional circumstances.
We do have a religious observance registration and process for students to request exam scheduling needs. They can make requests to avoid exams on Sabbath (e.g. for Jewish observance) and to accommodate religious practices such as prayer breaks or morning only exams when fasting.
Students are also able to apply for a change of exam date on religious grounds in the event that the timetable couldn't accommodate them e.g. the whole exam session coincides with Ramadan and the observance practice of the student is such that they can't take exams at all. There is a similar form linked at the bottom of the page for changes to coursework assessments with the same reasons allowed.