Mitigating Circumstances and Recurring Circumstances

Last updated:Tue, 06 Sep 2022 10:27:11 BST
Type of publication: Form, Guidance


Schools will normally consider making appropriate allowance for unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances which affect a class attendance and performance when they are aware of them, for example, industrial action or the pandemic. However, if you run into problems that you think have negatively affected you, always contact a member of staff within your School (for example: your Adviser of Studies, Programme Director) as soon as you can, by email, it is important that you let us know so that we can provide you with support at the time when you need it. Circumstances differ, some situations are temporary, whereas other circumstances are ongoing.

Recurring Circumstances

It is important that you seek support and guidance for ongoing circumstances as soon as possible; these are called recurring circumstances. Examples of recurring circumstances include, but are not limited to:

  • Gender-based violence
  • Being a carer (in this instance, this is not the same as looking after children)
  • Being estranged from family/carers/support networks
  • Continuing legal proceedings
  • Terminal illness
  • Long-term disabilities, physical illness or mental health difficulties (where a medical diagnosis cannot be evidenced this is based on the definition of disability under the Equality Act)

If you are impacted by ongoing issues, please contact Student Support Team or Disability Services if these issues are disability-related. The Student Support Team/Disability Services can work with you and your School to create a support plan that will provide you with ongoing support throughout your studies.

How are potential recurring circumstances brought to the Student Support Team’s attention?

Referral from the school, with student’s permission; or student self refers

What happens when the Student Support Team is made aware of potential recurring circumstances?

The student will be invited to meet with the Student Support Team or Disability Services to discuss the process, what evidence will be required and a follow-up appointment is scheduled.

At the follow-up appointment with the Student Support Team or Disability Services, a draft support plan can be created. This draft support plan can be discussed with an identified school contact, if needbe. Thereafter, a list of recommendations/support plan is finalised.

The final support plan is stored with the Student Support Team/Disability Services and the recommendations are shared with the school including the date when the plan will be reviewed. For disabled students, these recommendations will be added to their adjustments.

A review is conducted at least once every academic year on an agreed date, or on request. The information is stored to a secure area in the student record system.

Mitigating circumstances

Mitigating circumstances (MC) are different, they describe situations that temporarily prevent you taking an assessment or significantly impact your performance in an assessment or examination. These are circumstances beyond your control and can include serious or incapacitating injury, bereavement affecting a close family member or severe weather affecting travel. You should report mitigating circumstances as soon as possible by submitting a Mitigating Circumstance Application form, along with supporting documentation to verify the mitigating circumstances, to the correct School Mitigating Circumstance contact confidential email Addresses within the required deadline MC Deadline Dates.

What happens when a student needs to submit mitigating circumstances to their school?

Mitigating Circumstances (MC) application form and related evidence is submitted to the School Office before the school/programme deadline date

  • The MC form and evidence is reviewed by the School MC Committee. Students do not attend the committee.
  • School MC Committee reviews the evidence, the effect of the event, the timing of the event, and performance
  • MCs are considered under four categories: Severe, Significant, Mild, No Case
  • Severe, Significant or Mild cases means action will be based on overall academic performance and severity of the case. No case means no further consideration and no action is taken.
  • School MC Committee makes a recommendation to the Exam Board, e.g. no change, additional opportunity, first attempt, condonement or compensation, mark adjustment.
  • The exam board considers the recommendation and makes a decision based on overall performance in assessments Students are informed by the School Office of outcome and action to be taken and support available.

Mitigating Circumstances or Recurring/Enduring Circumstances?

Are there circumstances that are adversely impacting on your studies?

If yes

Are these circumstances ongoing and beyond your control?

If yes

Contact the Student Support Team to discuss Recurring/Enduring Circumstances

If no

Are the circumstances temporarily preventing you undertaking an assessment or significantly impairing your performance in an assessment?

If yes

Submit an application for Mitigating Circumstances

If no

Normal life throws up difficulties, problems and minor issues. You are expected to take appropriate steps to minimise the impact of these on your studies. Seek guidance from your Adviser of Studies or Student Services.

School contacts

See School contact and email lists.

Downloads and links

Mitigating Circumstances Application form

Mitigating circumstances Recurring circumstances Guidance Notes May 2022

Mitigating Circumstances FAQs

Mitigating and Recurring Circumstances