If you take part in an assessment, whether handing in a coursework, sitting an exam or taking another kind of assessment you are declaring yourself to be well enough to do so: in other words you are “Fit to Sit”.
However, occasionally things can go wrong with your health or personal life that can impact on your studies. The University calls these “Extenuating Circumstances” and has a process to support you.
If you are experiencing such difficulties, you should speak to a member of staff at the University for support, advice and guidance. The most appropriate person is usually your Programme Leader (PL) or Personal Development Tutor (PDT). In addition your School has an Extenuating Circumstances Officer (ECO) who will deal with administrative arrangements.
If you think you can still complete your assignments with a little more time
If your problem can be resolved by getting a little more time to complete coursework for one or more of your modules you should apply for an extension to the hand-in date. Extensions can be granted by the module leader up to a maximum of ten working days. You are advised to speak to a member of staff, ideally your PL or PDT for guidance. To apply for an extension you should complete form RE1. Your module leader might ask for evidence of the problems you are having.
If you can’t do your assessments at all or become ill during an exam
If your circumstances are more serious or coincide with the exam period and you are not able or ready to attempt the assessment at all, you can apply to defer the assessment. This normally means doing the assessment or sitting the exam at the resit diet in the summer.
Important Note: The decision to defer assessment could affect whether you can carry on to the next year of your studies so you should always seek advice from your PL, PDT and/or our free, independent and confidential advice service, ENSA Advice, before applying for a deferral. Call 0131 229 8791 for a free appointment with an ENSA Adviser.
Applications for deferral should be submitted on form DA1 to your Extenuating Circumstances Officer and must be supported by appropriate evidence. You should normally apply for deferral before the hand-in or exam date but if you can’t do this because of your circumstances you can submit your DA1 up to five working days after the assessment date.
If you realise later that you should have applied for deferral but didn’t
Exceptionally the university will let you apply for extenuating circumstances to be taken into account after the assessment date. This process is called Retrospective Extenuating Circumstances and permits the Board of Examiners to take your circumstances into account when deciding on your award or progression. Applications for Retrospective Extenuating Circumstances should be submitted on form EC1 to your Extenuating Circumstances Officer and must be supported by appropriate evidence as to why deferral was not possible for you.
Submitting your forms
Details on where to submit your extensions, deferral or Retrospective Extenuating Circumstances claim can be found on the forms and more information about the Extenuating Circumstances process and guidance on suitable types of supporting evidence can be got from your School ECO and in the Extenuating Circumstances Regulations.
If you would like any advice about your options, give ENSA Advice a call on 0131 229 8791 to make an appointment.