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7 UCL’s Student Support Framework

UCL’s Student Support Framework - published for 2023-24

UCL is committed to providing the support you need in order to make the most out of your studies. The Student Support Framework draws together our main academic support processes under one banner to help you understand the options open to you. 

The Framework includes the following components:

Part 1: How to Use this Framework helps you find your way around the different support options open to you. It includes:

  • Where to find help and advice    
  • Information about when to use this framework (for example if you are an affiliate, study abroad or placement student)
  • Advice on confidentiality and how UCL will look after your data
  • Information on providing supporting evidence
  • Links to other support options that are available to you.
Support process:Use this if:What this covers:
Short-term Illness and other Extenuating CircumstancesYou have a short-term illness, bereavement or other unexpected emergency.
‘Extenuating Circumstances’ (often know as ‘ECs’) are events which are sudden, unexpected, significantly disruptive and beyond your control and which may affect your performance at summative assessment, such as a serious illness or the death of a close relative. You can submit an Extenuating Circumstances claim to access ‘mitigation’ such as an extension or deferring an assessment to a later date.  
Reasonable Adjustments for Disabilities and Long-term Conditions
You have a disability or long-term physical or mental health condition.    
UCL can provide longer-term ‘Reasonable Adjustments’ to support your learning and assessment. This includes setting up a ‘SoRA’ (Summary of Reasonable Adjustments) with UCL’s Student Support and Wellbeing team.
Academic AdjustmentsYou need long-term or ongoing support with one or more of the following:
  • You or your partner is pregnant or planning maternity, paternity or adoption leave
  • You are a parent or carer
  • You observe religious beliefs or cultural customs
  • You are affected by any form of harassment or discrimination 
  • You are affected by traumatic world events such as war or terrorism 
  • You are a critical 
Academic Adjustments include long-term reasonable adjustments arranged by your Department if you need additional support with learning, teaching and assessment.    
Exam AdjustmentsYou need additional support to sit an online or face-to-face exam.    
Exam Adjustments are specifically for Controlled Condition Exams and Take-Home Papers, and include adjustments such as extra time, rest breaks, a more comfortable chair and specialist equipment. These are available to students with a longer-term disability or health condition, and to students who need shorter-term support e.g. if you are pregnant, or have a broken arm.
Interruption of StudyYou are thinking of taking time out from your studiesInterruption of Study is for students who wish to take a break from their studies and return at a later date. You can take time out from your studies for a wide range of reasons - you might want to take up an internship or placement, take time out to travel, be planning to have children, or be facing personal challenges which are making it hard to study.
Support to Study
You are having persistent or ongoing difficulties and UCL’s other support processes are not providing the right level of help.
Support to Study aims to help you if you are having significant, persistent, longer-term difficulties and UCL’s normal mechanisms (e.g. Reasonable Adjustments, Extenuating Circumstances, Interruption of Study) are not providing enough support. We will work with you to put together a Support Plan to help you get the most out of your studies.

The Student Support Framework is just one of the ways in which UCL helps you to get the most out of your time with us:

The Student Support FrameworkYour Personal TutorYour Department 
The Student Support Framework explains how you can apply for formal support with your studies such as extensions, reasonable adjustments, or taking time out from your studies.
One of your first priorities should be to meet your Personal Tutor. They will help you to get the most out of your studies, and provide support and encouragement during your time with us.
Help is also available from members of staff in your UCL department including academic staff and departmental administrators. You can find their contact details on Moodle or in your Student Handbook.

UCL Student Support and Well-beingFAQs and Enquiries Students’ Union UCL Advice Service
UCL’s team of expert wellbeing, disability and mental health staff provide a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space in which you can discuss any issues that may be affecting your ability to study.
askUCL is our self-help centre and student enquiry system. It includes a wide range of Frequently Asked Questions. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can log an enquiry.
The Students’ Union UCL provides a free, confidential and independent advice service with a trained and experienced team.