Mitigating circumstances

Mitigating circumstances policy

The University understands that prospective students can experience significant interruptions to their studies, due to circumstances outside of their control. These circumstances may include illness or bereavement, resulting from existing medical conditions and disabilities, or be as a result of difficult home situations.

  • For chronic (long-term) medical conditions or disabilities (including learning difficulties), the University would normally expect that reasonable adjustments would have already been put in place to support you throughout your studies.
  • For short to medium term health or personal issues, the University would expect that these types of extenuating or mitigating circumstances are reported via the special consideration processes, offered by the various Examination Board(s) or Awarding Bodies.

If you have not already been made aware of the above processes, you should talk to your school or college advisors as soon as possible, as there are often associated deadlines.

Before submitting a request to the University, a student, or their nominated contact, should note the following important information.

The University is happy to consider individual requests for exceptional mitigating circumstances, providing the request is made by the applicant or with their full knowledge / consent. Requests from third parties (including the UCAS-nominated contact) will not be considered without the explicit consent of the applicant.

By exceptional, the University is mainly referring to circumstances that have had an on-going impact for several months, including but not limited to:

  • the serious illness or death of a parent, sibling or partner
  • extended hospitalisation following unexpected illness
  • serious domestic disturbance
  • victim of crime.

The University reserves the right to make a judgement about whether these circumstances should have been dealt with by prior mitigating processes, and whether it believes it has impacted an applicant’s education as described. In some cases, and regardless of the seriousness of the circumstances, the University may not be able to make an offer or confirm a place.

The University is unable to consider requests, including but not limited to:

  • teaching, learning or assessment irregularities (including, but not limited to, teacher absence, use of supply teachers, curriculum teaching errors, interruptions to timed assessments, transport issues travelling to assessments, and IT issues relating to work)
  • existing medical conditions or disabilities
  • common personal or family circumstances (including, but not limited to, the bereavement of grand-parents, parental separation or divorce, relationship break-ups).

All requests must be made via the submission of a 'Mitigating Circumstances Notification Form'. All sections of the form must be completed and appropriate evidence must be provided.

Examples of evidence

  • Requests relating to significant unexpected illness – a medical note or letter from the students doctor/consultant, which must clearly state the dates the illness impacted the students education or assessments.
  • Requests relating to extreme personal circumstances – a letter from a third party such as a doctor, teacher or other professional (police, social worker etc).

For students in full time education, the section relating to your School referee must be completed before the form is submitted.

By submitting a request, applicants are consenting to their information being shared with members of the Mitigating Circumstances Panel. Furthermore, where circumstances are likely to be on-going in nature (and have not been declared as a disability previously) shared with the University’s Student Support Services, please be assured that all information is kept securely and will in no way reflect negatively on a student’s application.

The University's Mitigating Circumstances Panel is made up of the Head of Recruitment, Admissions Manager, Dean or Deputy Dean of School, and representation from Student Support Services, when necessary.

The University's complaint and appeals procedure for applicants can be found in our Admissions Policy along with the full details of our policy on Mitigating Circumstances (section 13).

Please complete the Mitigating Circumstances Notification Form and return it to or contact our Admissions Team by email to request a copy