It’s important that you complete your assessments, including exams, on time and there is a wide range of support available to help you to do so.

However, if you experience unexpected short-term personal difficulties, you may be able to request a coursework extension or a further chance to take an exam or time-constrained assessment.


Any delay in completing your assessment or reassessment might impact when you receive confirmation of your results for the module/level.


It could also affect your ability to complete your studies, or start your next year of study, on time.

In a minority of cases, it might result in a delay in the release of your student finance for your next year of study.

We understand that your ability to meet your deadlines can be sometimes impacted by exceptional events which are short-term in nature (i.e. lasting 1-2 weeks) and beyond your control.

In such situations, students on all taught courses (including those studying at a partner institution) are able to use the exceptional circumstances process (previously know as the extenuating circumstances process) to:

  • request a 7-14 day extension to coursework, or defer your exam date if you have not yet submitted/attempted the assessment/reassessment; or 
  • ask to take an exam again, if you feel your difficulties affected your performance on your first attempt. 

However, please note you can't use exceptional circumstances to:

  • request more than the scheduled amount of time to complete your exam; or
  • ask for your assessment to be deferred to the next academic year, unless:
    • you're eligible to Trail and Progress (and your course allows this option) or
    • you're studying a Trimester-based course and the assessment is for a Trimester 3 module.

If you are on a research course, you should check your Blackboard or contact for information on extension processes.

1. Check you're eligible for exceptional circumstances 

The University will only approve an exceptional circumstances request if it's in response to a situation which is unexpected, beyond your control and short-term in nature (i.e. lasting 1-2 weeks).

See below reasons that are not eligible/ eligible for evidence-based extensions and impaired performance requests.

  • Computer/IT difficulties or equipment failure, including
    • loss of data
    • uploading an incorrect file to Turnitin
    • computer breakdown or the inability to access the internet, unless the issue relates to difficulties accessing/using specialist software/equipment required for reasonable adjustment of a student disability
  • Academic workload pressures including multiple deadlines within a short period of time
  • Mis-reading the assessment deadline or examination timetable, doing the wrong coursework assessment, taking the wrong examination or not understanding the subject/question
  • Stress resulting from involvement in academic misconduct, professional suitability or fitness to practice cases
  • General financial difficulties, or difficulties in accessing resources or computing accounts due to outstanding University debt, unless the problem is not of your own making
  • Self-diagnosis of medical conditions
  • Circumstances where the only evidence is supplied by a relative, or where there is a conflict of interest
  • Term-time holidays or weddings
  • Pregnancy of a friend/relative other than your partner/wife
  • Normal work/life/study pressures including childcare issues
  • Minor ailments, e.g. cough, cold, headache or hangover
  • Unexceptional transportation difficulties including delayed public transport or a car breakdown
  • Oversleeping
  • Illness or loss of pets
  • Issues between friends
  • Electing to support a friend at court

2. Choose the right type of exceptional circumstances request 

There are three types of exceptional circumstances request. Each has a different purpose and criteria, and it's important you choose the right one for your situation. If you're not sure which request to make, seek advice from either your Personal Academic Tutor (PAT), Course Director or a Student Support Adviser.

Unfortunately, late requests can't be considered for any of the three.



Evidence-based extension

Impaired performance

What’s it for?

To request a 7 calendar day extension to a coursework deadline or defer your exam to the next assessment point for your course.

To request a 7 or 14 calendar day extension to a coursework deadline or to defer an exam to the next assessment point for your course.

To ask to re-take an exam or other type of time-constrained assessment (e.g. live performance or practical session) if you feel your difficulties affected your performance on your first attempt.

What are the terms and conditions?

Only two self-certification requests will be approved per academic year. If you are studying Combined Honours, this limit applies to your whole course of study, not per subject.

You can't use a self-certification request to further extend a deadline that has already been extended via a self-certification or evidence-based request or as a result of a Temporary Learning Agreement or Learning Support Plan.

For coursework, the maximum extension through the exceptional circumstances process is 14 calendar days from your original deadline. Therefore, you won’t be eligible for an evidence-based extension if you've already been granted an extension due to a Temporary Learning Agreement or Learning Support Plan.

If you’ve already had a 7 day extension through self-certification, an evidence-based request will only gain you another 7 days (14 days in total from your original deadline). If you still need more time, and you don't already have a Temporary Learning Agreement, you should contact your PAT to discuss if you are eligible for one.

If your impaired performance request is approved, your original attempt will be dis-counted and you'll reattempt your exam at the next assessment point for your course.

When you receive confirmation that your request has been successful, you'll also find out when you'll re-take the exam, which is normally in the next  assessment period for your Academic Calendar. (See here for the University's academic year dates.)

Do you need evidence?


Yes - this must be submitted with your request form.

Yes - this must be submitted with the request form.

When can you make this request?

Up to 14 calendar days before your deadline, but no later; or before the scheduled start time for exams (including take-home exams).

Up to 14 calendar days before your deadline; and no later than 7 days afterwards.

On the day of the exam, and for up to 7 calendar days afterwards.

How long until you get a decision?

Your request will be considered by your Course team, so you should normally receive a decision within 3 working days.

Your request will be considered by your Course team, so you should normally receive a decision within 3 working days.

Your request will be considered by your Faculty Panel, so you should normally receive a decision within 21 working days.

Please note: when we say 'calendar days', this includes Saturdays and Sundays but excludes Bank Holidays. By 'working days', we mean Monday-Friday but excluding Bank Holiday and periods of University closure. 

3. Complete and submit the relevant exceptional circumstances form

Exceptional circumstances requests are made via an online form. Click here for further instructions and to complete the form that's right for your particular situation.

Need further advice or support?

If you need further advice on making an exceptional circumstances request, or if you need a different type of support because you have a longer-term problem, speak to your Personal Academic Tutor, Course Administrator/Support Officer or Student Wellbeing Adviser.

If you study a research degree course you should check your Blackboard for information on extension processes or contact

Year-round support for your studies

The University only approves exceptional circumstances requests in cases that are genuinely beyond the student's control. This is because it’s important for you to complete your assessments on time, and there's a wide range of support available to you throughout the year to help you do so.

  • At the beginning of the academic year, you’ll find out about your assessments via your course/module handbook. This includes a schedule of assessment activities and submission dates to help you plan. Additionally, you can find an overview of the assessment periods for each Academic Calendar here.
  • Your Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) is here to support you with your studies in general, while your module leads can answer questions specific to individual modules.
  • You can connect with a student peer mentor who'll give you the benefit of their first-hand experience.
  • There is a wealth of resources available to you via the Learning skills hub. Key assessment-related modules including time management, managing anxiety around academic tasks and writing skills.
  • You'll find lots of digital and print resources in the library - from e-books, online journals and video streaming platforms to research materials, digital newspapers, print books and more.
  • If you experience a medium-term or long-term personal difficulty (not related to disability), a Temporary Learning Agreement (TLA) might help you to manage your learning so you can successfully complete the current academic year. Your PAT can support you with this.
  • If you have a recognised disability and/or long-term or serious medical or psychological condition that you have not yet disclosed to the University, you might be eligible for a Learning Support Plan (LSP). Contact the Student Wellbeing Service for more information.


In this section