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Extenuating Circumstances 


What are Extenuating Circumstances?

Extenuating Circumstances (ECs) are, according to the University's Regulations, circumstances that make it 'temporarily impossible' for a student to:

• meet a deadline for the submission of assessment

• attend an examination, in-semester test, performance or other assessment-related event

• complete an examination, in-semester test, performance or other assessment related event

• perform as well in an assessment as might have been reasonably expected

• attend and/or submit documents for a postgraduate research student progress review or confirmation review meeting

• meet a deadline for the submission of information for processes and/or panel hearings held under the various sections of the Student regulations

So your ECs could be a physical illness or a mental health problem. They could be a bereavement or a complex personal issue.

Some issues are not considered extenuating circumstances unless combined with one of the above e.g. financial issues are not ECs on their own but if you are suffering high levels of stress and anxiety for any reason and can get evidence from a doctor or a counsellor to confirm this then this would be likely to be considered as valid ECs.

Computer issues are not usually accepted for ECs unless there is a fault with a University system or service.  

Important: ECs should be applied for BEFORE the deadline. If you have missed a deadline or exam, you have 5 working days to apply.

If you have to leave an exam due to extenuating circumstances, you need to complete the 'unfit to continue' form in the exam and then have 5 working days to apply for extenuating circumstances.​


What do I need to do first?

Read the University's regulations for Extenuating Circumstances. In here you will find a list of what is considered to be extenuating circumstances and what evidence the University will accept.

These can be found on the web-site of the Office of Student Complaints, Appeals and Regulations (OSCAR) - https://www.surrey.ac.uk/currentstudents/study/complaints_appeals/


What Next?

Write your statement – make sure you clearly explain what your circumstances are and how they have impacted your ability to study.

Gather your evidence. The burden of proof is on you as the student applying so it is vital that you have evidence to support your case. e.g. doctor's letter, death certificate, counsellor's letter, police report. You will need this in electronic format e.g. a photo or a scanned copy as you will need to upload this with your EC application

Submit the online form. This can be accessed via student self-service. A video explaining the form can be found on the OSCAR website.​


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I need further advice:​

You can make an appointment with one of our Academic Advice team. Appointments are for a maximum of 30 minutes, Monday - Friday 10-4pm.

Please email ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk with the following information:

Name​, Course, Year of study, Details of your case, including what your circumstances are, What you need advice on, Submission deadline or date of exam

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