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Extenuating Circumstances and Reasonable Adjustments

Reasonable Adjustments

UCL will make Reasonable Adjustments to learning, teaching and assessment to ensure that students with a disability are not put at a disadvantage. UCL also provides Reasonable Adjustments for students who might not consider themselves to have a ‘disability’ but who nevertheless would benefit from additional support due to an ongoing medical or mental health condition. It is the responsibility of the student to request Reasonable Adjustments, and students are encouraged to make a request as early as possible.

Special Examination Arrangements

Special Examination Arrangements (SEAs) are adjustments to central or departmental written examinations which can be made as a Reasonable Adjustment for students with a disability or longer-term condition or as a form of mitigation for students with shorter-term medical Extenuating Circumstances. This may include, but is not limited to extra time, a separate room, rest breaks and specialist equipment. Students must make an application to use the special examination facilities.

Illness and other Extenuating Circumstances

We recognise that some students can experience serious difficulties and personal problems which affect their ability to complete an assessment such as a sudden, serious illness or the death of a close relative. Students need to make sure that they notify UCL of any circumstances which are unexpected, significantly disruptive and beyond their control, and which might have a significant impact on their performance at assessment. UCL can then put in place alternative arrangements, such as an extension or a deferral of assessment to a later date. The Extenuating Circumstances Panel will determine the nature and timing of the deferral, which may be offered with or without tuition/ attendance.

Longer-term conditions

The Extenuating Circumstances regulations are designed to cover unexpected emergencies; they are not always the best way to help students who might have a longer-term medical or mental health condition or a disability. Although there may be times when it is necessary for such students to use the EC regulations, students should make sure they are aware of, and take advantage of, all the other support mechanisms provided by UCL such as:

Under the Extenuating Circumstances (EC) regulations, EC claims for all modules must be made through the BASc department, even if we’re not the teaching department for the module(s) for which you’re requesting mitigation. Other UCL departments cannot offer any mitigation for BASc students if it has not been approved by the BASc departmental EC panel first.

If you need to submit a claim for extenuating circumstances, the BASc departmental EC form can be found on the BASc Departmental Tutor Moodle page

Before submitting your form, it is important you check that your grounds meet the criteria and that you can provide medical evidence from your health practitioner (e.g. GP, hospital doctor / counsellor) as they must provide a letter which covers you for the date of the illness and provides a satisfactory explanation.

It is no longer sufficient to provide evidence from a health practitioner which says "Student X told me that they were ill....". Instead there must be a medical diagnosis from a health practitioner, e.g. "Student X has been diagnosed with flu". If no diagnosis is included on / with the Extenuating Circumstances claim form, then it's unlikely that any consideration will be given to your circumstances / deadline extension request.

A heavy workload and / or conflicting deadlines are not valid reasons for requesting mitigation and no mitigation will be granted for either of these reasons.

When submitting your form, you can choose from one of the following mitigation options:

  • Extension of up to one week – your request will be considered by the Chair of the BASc EC panel. If your request is rejected and you subsequently submit after the deadline, you will incur late submission penalties.
  • Extension of more than one week – your request will be considered by two members of the BASc EC panel. Extension requests for more than 8 weeks will also need to be ratified by the Faculty EC panel. If your request is rejected and you subsequently submit after the deadline, you will incur late submission penalties.
  • Deferral of assessment to the next occasion – this usually takes place in the summer after the assessment was due to be submitted and is also referred to as ‘Late Summer Assessment’. Your request will be considered by two members of the BASc EC panel.

It’s important to note that if your request for late assessment is approved, it will have repercussions as module marks will be received after the main BASc Exam Board has taken place.

For finalists, this will mean that your degree cannot be awarded in July and so you cannot attend your graduation ceremony, as your degree classification will not be approved in time. Instead, your award date will be 1 October 2019.

For continuing students, this may affect your progression to the following year. In that case, you would not be able to re-enrol or complete online module registration in August until the late assessment marks had been received in mid-September and the Chair of the BASc Exam Board had confirmed that you had sufficient modules to progress to the next year of study.

  • Condoned late submission – if your EC claim is submitted after the assessment deadline, you can request condoned late submission. This request would be considered by two members of the BASc EC panel. If your back-dated request is rejected, you will incur late submission penalties.
  • Other – for example, submission of an essay instead of a final exam. This request would only be approved in exceptional cases and would require approval from two members of the BASc EC panel, the Faculty EC panel and the External Examiner for the affected module.

All EC forms and evidence should be submitted to basc-office@ucl.ac.uk within seven days of the submission date / exam date. If you cannot submit evidence immediately, please submit the form within seven days so that a provisional decision can be made. Failure to submit evidence or providing insufficient evidence by a given deadline will result in the provisional mitigation being revoked and appropriate penalties applied.

The BASc EC panel aims to make decisions on all EC claims within five working days. Once a decision has been made, you and the teaching department will be notified via email.

If your claim is rejected and you wish to appeal the decision made by the BASc EC panel, you have 14 days from receipt of the email to request a reconsideration of your claim. All appeals will be referred to the Faculty EC Panel whose decision is final.

Support to Study Policy and Fitness to Study Procedure

Students with physical or mental health concerns are encouraged to make contact with the available support services as early as possible so that UCL can put in place reasonable adjustments to support them throughout their studies. However there may be occasions when a student’s physical or mental health, wellbeing or behaviour is having a detrimental effect on their ability to meet the requirements of their programme, or is impacting on the wellbeing, rights, safety and security of other students and staff. In such cases UCL may need to take action under the Fitness to Study Procedure.

The latest date for submission of the Extenuating Circumstances claim form will be 17.00 on Friday 14 June 2019. Extenuating circumstances submitted after this date will not be considered by the extenuating circumstances panel.