What are Exceptional Circumstances? 

Exceptional circumstances are situations beyond your control that affect your performance or ability to work on assessments.  


For further guidance on submitting an Exceptional Circumstances (also known as EC) request you should contact Hallam Help or book an appointment with a Student Support Adviser. 


There is no definitive list of what constitutes an exceptional circumstance, but we generally mean significant and unanticipated health issues or personal circumstances. Specific examples of situations that are considered to be exceptional circumstances, and those that are not, can be found within the Extensions and Exceptional Circumstances Policy 


 Examples of Exceptional Circumstances include, but are not limited to the following: 


  • Significant short-term illness or injury or a chronic long-term condition which has recently worsened. 

  • Death or serious illness of a person with whom you have a close relationship. 

  • A long-term relationship breakdown 



The difference between and Extension and Extenuating Circumstances Request 


An extension provides an additional 5 working days to submit an assessment beyond the original submission deadline. See [link to extensions KBA for further details. 

Exceptional circumstances 

Exceptional circumstances provide another chance to submit or attend an assessment in a later assessment period. See below for further details. 



How to submit Exceptional Circumstances 


You should complete the online request via My Student Record


  • Follow the instructions on screen to submit your statement and evidence documents. Please pay particular attention to the guidance on seeking Student Support Adviser comments 


  • All the requests must be submitted within 5 working days of the assessment deadline or exam. 


  • Requests submitted late (outside of the 5 working days) will not normally be excepted unless you can provide a satisfactory explanation why the request was not submitted on time You will need independent evidence that you were physically or mentally unfit when a request should have been made.  


  • The later you submit your request the more likely it is to be declined.


What information we need


When you request consideration for ECs, you will need to provide evidence which supports your request.  Requests without evidence will not normally be approved.   


All evidence should be: 


  • In English 

  • Contain your name 

  • Confirm the circumstances that have affected you 

  • Confirm the dates when you were affected 

  • Be from an independent and authoritative third party 



What happens next? 


The Exceptional Circumstances Panel (ECP) will consider your request and decide whether to accept or decline it. The decision will be emailed to both your student email address and your personal email address (if you have provided it to the university). 


If your request is accepted, the next steps will depend on whether you have passed the module referenced in your request. 


  • If you have not passed the module, you will be given another attempt at the assessment task affected by exceptional circumstances. This will be for an uncapped mark if the task affected was the initial attempt (known as a deferral).  


  • If you have passed the module, you are not normally permitted another attempt. However, if you are a final year Undergraduate or a Postgraduate student and believe retaking the assessment you have passed would enable you to improve your degree classification, please contact your Student Support Adviser for advice. 


  • If your request is declined, the reason for this will be stated in the response email. You can appeal this decision and have 10 working days from the date of the response email to do so. 


Students with Learning Contracts, Elite Athletes, Student Carers and Pregnant Students 

If you fall into one of the above categories, you will need to discuss your request with a Student Support Adviser prior to your assessment deadline. It may not be necessary for you to request exceptional circumstances. 



Further guidance 


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