Academic Manual


Self-Certification Policy 2021-22

Published for 2021-22

Part 1: Regulations for Students
Part 2: Additional Regulations for EC Panels

Part 1: Regulations for Students

1. For the 2021-22 academic session, you can self-certify for Extenuating Circumstances on a limited number of occasions, within the following defined criteria. 

2. Approval is not necessarily automatic. The claim decision and the type of mitigation are at the discretion of the Extenuating Circumstances Panel.

Number of Self-Certifications

3. You can self-certify for up to two separate periods of up to two weeks (14 calendar days) within the 2021-22 academic session.

4. If your programme includes teaching after Term 3 (e.g. Taught Postgraduate Masters students) you can also self-certify on a third separate occasion. The third occasion can only be used after the end of Term 3, 2022.

5. Self-certification periods must be two weeks apart.

Grounds for Extenuating Circumstances

6. You are expected to only submit self-certified claims that meet the criteria set out in UCL’s Grounds for Extenuating Circumstances or which fall under the following pandemic-related circumstances:

  • a. Ongoing parenting/ home-schooling
  • b. Ongoing caring responsibilities
  • c. Ongoing employment as a critical worker, such as UCL students who work for the NHS

Standard Self-Cert Mitigations

7. The following table indicates the type of mitigation that is normally available via self-certification for different methods of assessment:

Assessment TypeStandard Self-Cert Mitigation
Controlled Condition ExamDeferral without Tuition to the next normal occasion (typically the Late Summer Assessment Period)
Take-home paper (including 24-
hour assessments)

Extension of 2 hours per 24-hour period:

Assessment DurationExtension Length
24 hoursExtension of 2 hours
48 hoursExtension of 4 hours
72 hoursExtension of 6 hours
7 daysExtension of 14 hours
Quizzes & In-class testsDeferral without Tuition to the next normal occasion (timing determined by the department)
Practical examDeferral without Tuition (timing determined by the department)
Dissertation/ research projectExtension of up to two weeks
Coursework and other assessmentsExtension of up to one week

8. If the standard mitigation is not suitable for your particular circumstances, the Extenuating Circumstances Panel may use its discretion to consider another form of mitigation (see Part 2 below)

Deadline for submitting self-certified claims

9. You can only self-certify before the assessment takes place. Any claims submitted after the assessment has started must be accompanied by evidence:

  • a) For Controlled Condition Exams, Take-Home Papers, Quizzes & In-class tests, and Practical Exams: You must submit your claim before the start of the first affected assessment.
  • b) For coursework and dissertations/ research projects: You must submit your claim before the published deadline of the first affected assessment.


Please read the following carefully before making a claim:

1. A self-certification period can cover more than one assessment and more than one type of assessment (exam, coursework etc.). You must specify the assessments that you are self-certifying for on your EC Form.

2. You can self-certify only once for each assessment (you cannot self-certify for successive extensions on the same piece of work, for example).

3. Self-certified claims cannot be accepted more than two weeks before the first affected assessment.

4. Self-certification cannot be used to defer an assessment which you have already taken, to suspend coursework late submission penalties, or for any claim submitted under the Late EC policy.

5. Under the self-certification policy, you should aim to defer no more than 30 credits to the Late Summer, and must not defer more than 60 credits to the Late Summer. You should think carefully about deferring assessments - there is a possibility of having further Extenuating Circumstances or failing the assessment, and this could prevent progression to next year, delay graduation, affect job offers or impact a place on a Masters or PhD programme.

6. Falsification is an offence. Students who submit fraudulent claims may be subject to UCL’s Student Academic Misconduct Procedures.

Assessment feedback

7. If you submit after the published deadline as a result of an extension or deferral, the four-week UCL Assessment Feedback Turnaround policy will apply from the day that you submit your work, and not from the original deadline.

If you do not meet the Self-Certification Criteria

8. If your claim does not fall within the above criteria, you must submit appropriate supporting evidence.

9. If you are having difficulties obtaining evidence, help is available from the Students’ Union Advice Service and from UCL Student Support and Wellbeing - go to askUCL and log an enquiry.

Part 2: Additional Regulations for EC Panels

Extenuating Circumstances Panels should note the following before processing claims: 1. Self-certification periods should normally be two weeks apart but EC Panels can use their discretion to accept self-certified claims within a shorter interval, e.g. if a student has to self-isolate.

2. The ‘Standard Self-Cert Mitigations’ are designed to promote consistency across UCL and to manage student expectations about the help available to them. Other forms of mitigation are still available at the discretion of the EC Panel, but it is recommended that these would need accompanying evidence in the majority of circumstances.

3. EC Panels can accept alternative forms of evidence or suspend the evidence requirement if there is a compelling reason for making an exception.

4. Where the standard self-cert mitigation is an extension, it may not be possible to make a decision before the assessment deadline/ start time. In these cases, the EC Panel can use its discretion to offer the student a self-certified Deferral without Tuition to the next normal occasion, usually in the Late Summer Assessment Period.

5. Panels should note that a deferral is not normally an appropriate self-cert mitigation for Masters Dissertations/ Research Projects.