Notification of extenuating circumstances

A Notification of Extenuating Circumstances (NEC) form allows you to inform the University that your academic performance has been affected by circumstances beyond your control.

It enables you to seek guidance and support from your Academic School and, as appropriate, from Student Support Services.

Although you may submit an NEC at any time of year, please note that the timing of this notification is important. You must refer to the relevant regulations for more information on the timing of NECs (please see the regulations below).

If your NEC is upheld, then you may be granted an extension or you may be offered the chance to attempt the assessment (e.g. exam) at the next assessment point.

NEC regulations for 2017/18

The NEC regulations refer to the NTU Quality Handbook Section 17A Notification of Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Process.

Please note that the regulations have been revised for the 2017/18 academic year. They were previously known as the Notification of Exceptional Circumstances Procedures. From 2017/18 onwards they will be known as the Notification of Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Process. We will no longer use the term 'exceptional' but we will continue to use the acronym 'NEC'.

If you have any queries about which set of regulations apply to your work, first contact your School Office. Staff in Schools may contact the Policy and Regulations Team in the Academic Registry.

Button - Submit an NEC or Appeal

Notification of Extenuating Circumstances Process FAQs

What is an NEC?

A Notification of Extenuating Circumstances (NEC) allows you to inform the University about circumstances beyond your control which have affected or may affect your academic performance.

It enables you to seek guidance and support from your Academic School and, as appropriate, from Student Support Services.

Although you may submit an NEC at any time of year, please note that the timing of this notification is important. You must refer to the relevant regulations for more information on the timing of NECs:
Section 17A: Notification of Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Process 2017/18 PDF icon

If your NEC is upheld, then you may be granted an extension or you may be offered the chance to attempt the assessment (e.g. exam) at the next assessment point.

What are Extenuating Circumstances?

They are circumstances which are beyond your control. Examples include illness, bereavement, accidents, being the victim of a crime, procedural irregularities, or similar.

Extenuating Circumstances are not problems arising from circumstances within your reasonable control. Examples include IT issues, holidays, travel to exams, and so on.

Am I eligible to submit an NEC?

The NEC process can be used by students on all courses of the University except Research Degree students for whom separate and specific procedures apply (please see the Doctoral school regulations).

Remember, if you submit coursework, sit an exam or attend an assessment event, then you are accepting that your performance will be judged on its merits alongside that of your peers. Where you decide to attend an assessment event you cannot submit an NEC after that event.

How do I submit an NEC?

You can submit an NEC through the online Academic Appeals Portal. For guidance on using the portal, please download the NEC Portal FAQs.

Although you may submit an NEC at any time of year, please note that the timing of this notification is important. You must refer to the relevant regulations for more information on the timing of NECs:

Section 17A: Notification of Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Process 2017/18 PDF icon

Please make sure you indicate which module(s) are affected, and what outcome you are seeking.

The submission of your NEC form is not evidence in itself. You need to be able to substantiate your case with independent documentary evidence (i.e. something which is not your assertion alone). The evidence should normally be original (i.e. a doctor's note) and not a copy. If you have difficulty with this, then you should contact your School Administrator immediately.

What is appropriate evidence for my NEC?

Examples of appropriate NEC evidence include:

  • Medical evidence in the form of a medical certificate, hospital appointment card or similar
  • Police Crime Incident Report
  • Death certificate
  • Independent, professional third party evidence.

In some cases, if you have been receiving regular support from Student Support Services, staff may be able to provide you with a supporting statement to accompany your NEC. However, they will not be able to provide one if you are on a waiting list or if you have not engaged with their support at all.

I don’t feel well enough to sit an exam. What do I do?

If you do not feel well enough to perform to the best of your academic ability, then you need to decide whether or not to sit the exam. If you are, or have been suffering from a self-limiting illness up to seven calendar days prior to the exam, individual presentation or other assessment under timed or other assessment conditions, you can submit a self-certification form.

The self-certification form should be submitted as an attachment with an NEC through the online Academic Appeals Portal:

Button - Submit an NEC or Appeal

If your NEC is upheld, you will be given the opportunity to complete the assessment at the next assessment opportunity. Students are advised to consider how they will manage an additional assessment and associated workload during the next assessment opportunity

I have a disability. Do I need to submit an NEC?

Some students may need more time to complete coursework for reasons related to their disability, Mental Health Difficulty or Specific Learning Difference (SpLD). Where a disability or dyslexia officer has identified this need it will be recommended on a Statement of Access, Access Plan or Action Plan.

If you have a Statement of Access with this recommendation in place then you do not need to submit an NEC to request an extension to coursework deadlines. However, Student Support Services recommend that you contact the appropriate member of your course team to agree the length of the extension. Please contact your School Administrator for further information on the most appropriate person to contact in your School.

If you are requesting an extension for reasons not related to your disability or SpLD, then you will need to submit an NEC with appropriate supporting evidence.

If you do not have an agreed Statement of Access and you need more time to complete your assessment due to extenuating circumstances, then you will need to submit an NEC.

If you feel that you would benefit from a referral to Student Support Services, then you may refer yourself. They provide a wide range of services to all students, including Health and Wellbeing support.

I need some advice about my NEC. Who can I contact?

For clarification on the NEC procedure, first contact your School. The appropriate person to advise you might be your Course Leader, Personal Tutor, or School Administrator.

For independent advice you can contact the Nottingham Trent Students' Union Student Advice Service.

For additional support you can contact the University's Student Support Services. A wide range of services, including Health and Wellbeing support, is available to all students.

I submitted an NEC. What happens next?

Depending on the complexity of your circumstances, an NEC Contact (NECC) or NEC Panel (NECP) will review your application and evidence. If your NEC is upheld, you may be offered an extension of five or ten working days, or the opportunity to attempt the assessment at the next available opportunity. Please note that your School will determine the length of the extension and/or the date of the next available assessment opportunity.

You will be informed by email via the portal of the outcome of your submission, usually within five working days. You can log in to the portal at any time to see the progress of your submission. You will be notified of the Boards of Examiners' decision, normally within 10 working days of the Board of Examiners' Meeting.

If you have any queries, contact your School Administrator.