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Extenuating Circumstances

Extenuating Circumstances

During your time at Cardiff University you will have a range of assessments (exams and coursework).  Whilst preparing for or undertaking your assessment, you may experience personal circumstances that impact on your studies.  If this is the case then you must report these as extenuating circumstances to your School office as soon as possible and before the deadline published by your School:


  • Extenuating circumstances are circumstances which:
    • have prevented you from performing at your usual level in an assessment or examination; and
    • are severe and exceptional; and
    • are unforeseen or unavoidable; and
    • are close in time to the affected assessment or examination.
  • Send your Extenuating Circumstances form and supporting documents to your School Office by the date indicated in your School Handbook (further information available from your School Office or Learning Central).
  • If you have queries about the process or the information that the University requires, speak to your School Office or your Personal Tutor as soon as possible.
  • Seek independent advice about your extenuating circumstances: this can be obtained from the Advice and Representation Centre (ARC), 3rd floor of the Students’ Union, Park Place, Cardiff or 02920 781410.
  • For further information and before completing your form, please read:
    • the information on this page, including the leaflet;
    • the guidance at the front of the form;
    • the relevant information provided to you by your School.
  • If the deadline published by your School has already passed or if you are unable to or prevented from presenting your extenuating circumstances within the deadline, then you can submit your Extenuating Circumstances as an appeal under the Academic Appeals Procedure, but you will need good reason as to why you did not inform the Examining Board of the correct procedure in time.
  • After you have completed the relevant procedure and if you are not satisfied with the process and/or the final decision on your appeal then you can complain to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.

Requesting Extensions

  • If you are not able to meet a set deadline for an individual assessment because of your extenuating circumstances, you can apply to have an extension.
  • You can only apply for an extension before the deadline has passed.
  • You will need to make an application directly to your School.  You should complete the Extenuating Circumstances Form and provide appropriate evidence of your circumstances.  You must indicate the modules/assessments affected and how long an extension you are requesting.
  • Until you have been granted an extension you should continue working to the original assessment deadline.

Reporting Extenuating Circumstances

  • You must submit your extenuating circumstances and evidence (e.g. a Medical note) to your School Office before your School’s deadline.
  • The University appreciates that students who submit extenuating circumstances often disclose sensitive and confidential information.  The University deals with all extenuating circumstances confidentially ensuring that only staff directly involved in the consideration or support of students are made aware of your circumstances.
  • Your circumstances will be considered by an Extenuating Circumstances Group, who will decide whether:
    • the information you have submitted is sufficient and/or the effect of your circumstances at the time of your assessment was significant.  The group will then inform the Examining Board of your extenuating circumstances and that these should be taken into account in the result of your assessments; or
    • the information you have submitted is not sufficient and/or the circumstances are not considered to have had a significant impact on your assessment.  The group will notify the Examining Board that you reported circumstances, but that these should not be taken into consideration.
  • If you are eligible, you may be able to resit your assessment as if for the first time (so that your mark for the resit will not be capped) or depending on how much the affected assessment contributes to your module it may decide that you progress your studies without retaking the assessment.  The Examining Board will not, however, change marks.
  • You may also be eligible for an extension to your assessment deadline if you apply before the assessment deadline.  Speak to your Personal Tutor or School office about the procedure.
  • If you have personal circumstances that are affecting your studies over a long period of time then you may wish to take an Interruption of Study.