UCL Philosophy


Extenuating Circumstances

UCL's Extenuating Circumstances Policy is intended to ensure that students are not unfairly disadvantaged by unexpected circumstances beyond their control.


UCL's Extenuating Circumstances Policy is outlined in the UCL Academic Manual (ch.4, sect.6).

As a student, you are responsible for making known any circumstances which may affect your performance at assessment in good time for them to be considered by the appropriate body. If not, you will be considered as declaring yourself fit to sit the assessment concerned.

NB: The Extenuating Circumstances Policy applies only to short-term, unexpected circumstances. Long-term, chronic conditions and disabilities are covered by UCL's Support to Study Policy and Fitness to Study Procedure. If you have a disability or medical condition that you feel might impact on your ability to perform in exams, then you can apply for special examination arrangements; please visit Student Support and Wellbeing for more information.

General guidance on applying for Extenuating Circumstances

Extenuating circumstances regulations define how UCL can support students who experience sudden, unexpected difficulties which affect their performance at assessment. You can use this document to check whether your circumstances are covered by the extenuating circumstances procedures. Grounds for extenuating circumstances can include bereavement, short- or long-term medical conditions, and caring responsibilities, amongst other things. Depending on the nature of your situation, you may find the following information useful when considering if an Extenuating Circumstance Application is right for you:

If you have any questions about the extenuating circumstances policy, please email the department via philosophy@ucl.ac.uk. Please note:

  • You must notify your home department, no matter which department teaches the module(s) concerned.
  • All Extenuating Circumstances forms for Philosophy Department students should be submitted via the online EC Form
  • You might need to include appropriate supporting evidence.
  • The same form is used to apply for all forms of mitigation for short-term unexpected circumstances, including short extensions to coursework deadlines of up to one week, special assessment arrangements such as extra time in examinations, or other forms of mitigation, including longer extensions, or deferral of an examination to a later date.

Self-Certification Policy

The full self-certification policy for 2021-22 is provided here. For the 2021-22 academic session you may self-certify for extenuating circumstances on a limited number of occasions, within the following defined criteria. Please note that approval is not necessarily automatic, and the decision and mitigation are at the discretion of the extenuating circumstances panel.

Undergraduate students may self-certify for up to two separate periods of up to two weeks (14 calendar days) within the 2021-22 academic session. Postgraduate taught students with teaching after Term 3 may also self-certify on a third separate occasion, though this occasion can only be used after the end of Term 3, 2022.

Self-certification periods must be two weeks apart. 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 specific pandemic-related circumstances outlined in the policy.

If you are using one of your two periods of self-certification, you need to apply no longer than 14 days before the submission date of the affected assessment. If you are not using self-certification, you should submit your form and evidence within 7 days of the circumstance taking place.

The Departmental Office will process the application and evidence, confidentially, to the appropriate person. Data will be kept secure.

Students with a Summary of Reasonable Adjustments (SORA)

If you have a SORA which includes regular extensions to coursework deadlines, please email us at philosophy@ucl.ac.uk when you wish to use one of these extensions. You do not need to complete an EC form if this applies to you. Please note that if your SORA does not include regular extensions to coursework deadlines, you should complete an EC form.

Applying for Extenuating Circumstances

Applications for extenuating circumstances are submitted online via the online EC Portal. Please complete the following steps to submit your request for extenuation.

Step 1. Read the Extenuating Circumstances procedures

The regulations include important information about eligibility and how to make a claim. See UCL Academic Manual (ch.6, sect.4).

Step 2. Check whether the circumstances are covered

The possible grounds for claiming extenuating circumstances are listed here. We may be able to support students better through reasonable adjustments, examination adjustments, or an interruption of study.

Step 3. Complete and Submit an EC Form

Complete the application via the online EC Portal.

  • Tick the box allowing us to share their request with members of staff who are directly responsible for making a decision (don’t worry, we will keep data secure).
  • Tell us about every assessment that has been affected (we will not assume the claimed circumstances apply to any assessments that are not listed on the form).
  • Submit the form within 1 week of the Extenuating Circumstance taking place, to the EC Portal. We may not be able to help if a claim is late.

The Departmental Office will process the application and evidence, confidentially, to the appropriate person.

Step 4. Get supporting evidence

  • Supporting evidence needs to be from a registered doctor, or other verifiable source.
  • Ask your doctor (or evidence provider) to read the guidance notes on the form carefully.
  • We need to understand how the circumstance has affected your ability to do the assessment.
  • If you need time to gather evidence, submit the EC form on time and submit your evidence as soon as possible afterwards.