IOE Student Helpdesk


Extenuating Circumstances


What are Extenuating Circumstances?

Extenuating Circumstances are defined as circumstances which are sudden, unexpected, significantly disruptive and beyond the student's control and which may affect their performance at assessment, such as a serious illness or the death of a close relative. Further guidance about the types of circumstances which are generally considered to be extenuating can be found in Annex 4.1.1: Grounds for Extenuating Circumstances.

The details of you EC application remain confidential and will only be seen by the Faculty Extenuating Circumstances Panel. It is a good idea, however, to keep your programme team and personal tutor informed about your extenuating circumstances, so that they can provide you with support and guidance.

Longer-term conditions

Ongoing medical or mental health conditions are not usually considered to fall within the definition of ECs because UCL supports the student through Reasonable Adjustments (see Section 5). However there may be times when a student with a disability or ongoing medical or mental health condition needs to use the Extenuating Circumstances procedures if they feel they need a one-off coursework extension, a Deferral of assessment or some other form of shorter-term help. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • a) An acute episode or crisis
  • b) A serious worsening of their condition
  • c) A mental health problem which may fluctuate unpredictably
  • d) An acute flare-up of a mental health or medical condition due to increased exam stress
  • e) A new condition
  • f) Circumstances where there may be insufficient time to put Reasonable Adjustments in place
  • g) A severe long-term illness which can only be addressed by an extension, Deferral or other form of one-off mitigation

You may find the following information useful when considering if an Extenuating Circumstance Application is right for you:

How do I apply for Extenuating Circumstances?

Step 1: Check.

Check whether your circumstances are covered by these procedures - we may be able to support you better through Reasonable Adjustments or an Interruption of Study.

EC Application Deadlines

Please remember to submit your EC form as soon as possible and no more than one week after the Extenuating Circumstance has taken place.
Late applications may only be considered in exceptional circumstances where the student was physically or psychologically unable to submit the EC form within this timeframe. The student will need to provide evidence to show why they could not meet the deadline.

NOTE: please also note that if your grades have already been confirmed by the exam board, your application can no longer be considered by the faculty. UCL Academic Services will make a decision on your application which may result in a delay in you finding out the outcome. Whenever possible, please apply for an EC before your grades are confirming


All EC requests must be supported by written evidence from an appropriate, independent verifiable authority such as:

  • a) A registered medical practitioner (i.e. listed in the GMC’s List of Registered Medical Practitioners or an equivalent overseas body)
  • b) UCL Student Psychological and Counselling Services (SPCS)
  • c) A solicitor
  • d) An undertaker or coroner
  • e) A registrar of births, marriages and deaths
  • f) A police or fire officer
  • g) A court or tribunal officer

Evidence must cover the full period for which the student is requesting mitigation.
Evidence must be provided in English or accompanied by a translation formally notarised by a solicitor.

If you are unable to obtain the necessary evidence within the deadlines stated you should still submit your EC Form on time and indicate that your evidence is to follow. However, a decision cannot be made until evidence is received. It is still important that you submit your EC application to ensure that you are raising your concern within the stated deadline.

Where a student with a disability or long-term condition needs regular extensions to coursework deadlines this should be explicitly stated in the Summary of Reasonable Adjustments (SORA). Such students do not need to submit a separate EC Form for each assessment. If extensions are not explicitly included in a student’s SORA the student will need to complete an EC Form according to these procedures.

Step 2: Complete and Submit.

Extensions up to one week


This process should be used for EC applications for up to 1 week from your assessment deadline.


Complete an Extenuating Circumstances Form and obtain supporting evidence from a doctor or other appropriate authority.

To help expedite the process, please make sure that you include the following within your form:

  • Your name and student number
  • The form of mitigation you are seeking
  • Dates affected by the extenuating circumstances (from and to)
  • Module name(s) and code(s)
  • The original set assessment deadline(s)
  • Supporting evidence (must be in English)

For guidance on the type of evidence required by UCL, please click here.

Complete EC form (downloads as a word document)


Submit your form and evidence(s) to your Programme Administration Team and either your Programme Leader and/or your nominated academic staff within your department. If you are unsure who to send your form to, please contact your Programme Administration Team. You can find their details in the Programme Contacts section


Your request will be considered by your Programme Leader who will respond to your request as soon as possible. 

Extension over one week and other types of mitigation


Please follow the process below for any of these requests:

        - Coursework extensions of more than 7 days
        - Late requests that are beyond 7 days after the circumstances taking place
        - Requests of up to one week where you would prefer the panel to consider the case for reasons of confidentiality, other personal reasons
        - Condoned late submission of coursework
        - Alternative methods of assessment
        - Deferral of assessment to the next occasion
        - Exclusion from module/progression/ classification requirements

For guidance on the type of evidence required by UCL, please click here.


After you have read all of the guidance, please choose to submit your form either electronically or by downloading a word document and submitting your EC application form by email. Both ways are acceptable. Your evidence needs to be sent to ioe-ec@ucl.ac.uk in both cases.

Complete Extenuating Circumstances Application Form using an online form


If you have not submitted your evidence yet, please do so as soon as possible as we will not be able to consider your form unless we have your evidence. Plese remember to send us the evidence by email to ioe-ec@ucl.ac.uk. Please note that we cannot process your form until we have received your evidence. For guidance on what evidence is appropriate, visit our Academic Manual.


Your EC application will be considered at our weekly IOE Faculty Extenuating Circumstances Panel, or by Chair's Action if your deadline is identified as imminent.
Please note that if we receive your EC request by Tuesday 12 pm of every week, your EC application will be considered at Thursday panel in the same week.
EC requests received after Tuesday 12 pm will be considered at the next week's panel.

The EC team will contact you with the outcome as soon as possible after the weekly panel meeting. Unless your request is very complex, you will hear from us within 7 days of the panel meeting.

For further information on Extenuating Circumstances, please visit the UCL Academic Manual