UCL News


You shaped UCL: changes to the Extenuating Circumstances policy

10 November 2016

Important changes have been made to the UCL Extenuating Circumstances policy as a result of an online consultation with students.

You shaped UCL This policy outlines the steps a student should take if they believe a sudden and disruptive change in their circumstances may seriously affect their performance when they are assessed.

Each year the regulations around assessment are reviewed to make sure they are fair to all students. Staff leading the annual review invited Student Academic Representatives (StARs) to share their views on the existing policy in an online consultation, as well as holding a review meeting to discuss the proposed changes to the policy in more detail. 

The most important aspects for students were ensuring the policy was fair, that it was clear and that detailed examples were provided to illustrate what was considered an extenuating circumstance. The students also told us that they were particularly concerned that sensitive issues were treated confidentially.

Changes to the policy

As a direct result of this feedback, a number of changes have been made including:

  • Improved guidance on types of extenuating circumstances, including long-term/ chronic conditions
  • Improved extenuating circumstances form
  • New confidential route for submitting sensitive extenuating circumstances
  • New appeals process added if you are unhappy with a decision
  • Alternative methods of assessment can now be offered to help with extenuating circumstances
  • Completion requirements can now be suspended to help with extenuating circumstances
  • Raising borderline students on the basis of extenuating circumstances has been removed as a form of mitigation
  • Students who need to take exam resits as a result of extenuating circumstances will be able to take the resits in the late summer, rather than waiting a full year
  • UCL Institute of Education and UCL School of Pharmacy students are now covered by the UCL regulations.

You can see full details of the policy, along with other changes to regulations for this year in the online Academic Manual.

We regularly collaborate with you to seek your feedback and ideas. From participating in surveys to becoming a student reviewer or consultant, there are lots of ways we can work together to make improvements.  

Find out more about getting involved and help shape the future of education at UCL.

Sally Mackenzie, Head of Student Engagement, Office of the Vice-Provost (Education and Student Affairs)