Providing evidence for Individual Mitigating Circumstances
How to provide evidence, and what to provide, when you are making a claim for Individual Mitigating Circumstances (IMCs)
Reporting Individual Mitigating Circumstances (IMCs)
The University describes IMCs as 'conditions which temporarily prevent a student from undertaking assessment or significantly impair the student’s performance in assessment: as such, the measure of their severity is not about impact on the student, but impact on the assessment'.
You can find examples of circumstances that are normally considered IMCs in the document What are IMCs?. It also explains the circumstances that are unlikely to be considered IMCs.
If you believe an examination or other assessment has been affected by an IMC, or that an IMC has prevented you from undertaking an examination or other assessment, you can report your situation to the University using the IMC form.
You will need to provide evidence with your IMC claim.
Your evidence should clearly support the claim you are making by describing the impact of the circumstances you experienced on the assessment that has been affected.
Evidence to support your IMC claim normally meets these criteria:
It is clearly dated from around the time of your assessment deadline or examination
It confirms what you have outlined in your IMC report form
It is provided in English, or is accompanied by a verified English translation
It is provided in its original, formal format, where possible (i.e.: on letterhead)
Overall, your evidence should describe:
What: The circumstances that have affected your assessment
How: The impact the circumstances have had on your assessment
When: The period of time in which the circumstances occurred
It is important that you include all the evidence and information that you want to be considered by the IMC Panel.
Submitting late evidence
Your IMC claim for an assessment must be submitted within three working days of the affected assessment deadline or examination date.
If you are having difficulty getting your evidence within the three working days, there is space on the IMC report form where you can describe the evidence you will be able to provide once it is available to you.
Health conditions and evidence
You should follow the same criteria about evidence if you are describing a health condition that you feel has had an impact on your assessment. The University will not normally accept IMC claims for illnesses that occurred in the past and for which there is no evidence that supports your report. Overall, your evidence should:
Be clearly dated from, and relevant to, the time period affected. For example, a report from a doctor would usually need to show that you were affected at the date of your assessment in order to confirm what you experienced.
Support your description of how your assessment performance or ability to undertake assessment was affected.
Be formal and official. For example, personal statements from family and friends about your condition or illness may add detail to your report, but should be accompanied by more formal evidence from a medical professional.
The University’s Medical Centre can provide you with confirmation of your consultation with them that you can submit as part of your IMC claim. Other medical practices may offer a similar service. Some medical practices may charge you fees for certification or correspondence and you will be responsible for paying any charges like these.
Student Services can also provide confirmation about your consultations with them if you would like to provide that as evidence in support of your IMC claim.
If your circumstances relate to another person’s situation at the time of your assessment (for example, a family member who might have been ill), you should make sure you have their permission to share evidence relating to them with the University.
Always follow any medical advice you’ve already been given by your doctor. NHS 111 can help if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do. They can:
Tell you how to get the right healthcare in your area, including whether you need to see a GP or seek urgent care
Give you advice on self-care
Give you advice on whether to see a doctor, or organise a call back from a nurse, doctor, or other trained health professional
Short-term minor illnesses, such as headaches or a minor cold, are likely to be considered normal life events and not as valid IMCs. Medical centres may find it difficult to confirm any impact on an assessment if you no longer have symptoms. The University will not normally accept IMC claims for illnesses that occurred in the past and for which there is no evidence that supports your report. You may still submit a claim for an IMC if you wish to, but you should bear this in mind when you are thinking about the evidence you will provide.
If an illness prevents you from attending an examination you should notify your Director of Studies. You will need to submit an IMC claim, together with medical evidence.
If you are ill during an examination and need to leave early, you should inform the invigilator. You will need to submit an IMC claim, together with medical evidence.
Long-term conditions or disability
The impact on assessment of long-term health conditions or disabilities will normally be addressed through assessment arrangements (generally organised through the Disability Service) or deadline extensions already in place.
If you have experienced a flare-up of a long-term condition or disability, you will need to provide evidence showing:
The impact of the flare-up on the specific assessment(s) for which you are claiming IMCs; and
If relevant, why assessment arrangements or deadline extensions already in place were not sufficient for the specific assessment; and
If relevant, why you could not arrange for assessment arrangements or deadline extensions to be in place for the specific assessment(s).
Bereavement and evidence
If your circumstances relate to the sudden death of someone close to you, evidence will normally be a death certificate, an order of service, or formal correspondence from a medical or other relevant professional.
You can indicate in your IMC report form if your evidence is not yet available and will be supplied later.
The effects of bereavement that continues to have an impact on your study and assessment will normally be considered a long-term circumstance. Advice and support is available from the Student Services’ Wellbeing Service.
Difficulty or discomfort with providing evidence
We know it can be difficult to provide evidence quickly in tragic or traumatic circumstances. We also understand that you might find it uncomfortable to disclose some matters of a particularly personal nature. Any submission you make will be considered carefully and respectfully, but if you are concerned about providing evidence or about disclosing a sensitive personal situation you may wish to speak confidentially with the Advice & Support Centre of the Students’ Union or to the Student Services’ Wellbeing Service.
Evidence requiring translation
Any evidence you provide to the University must be in English.
If your evidence is not in English, you should provide an appropriate translation alongside the original document. This should be a certified translation or a verifiable translation by a professional translator. You should provide the translator’s contact details. An informal translation by yourself, or by friends or family, will not normally be accepted.
Translators may charge you fees for their services. You will be responsible for paying any charges.
Handling your information
Your IMC report form and evidence will be handled in accordance with the University’s Data Protection statement for student registration.
The full detail of your IMC claim will be considered by the IMC Panel. If your IMCs are accepted, your circumstances will be taken into account by the Board of Examiners for Programmes. If you would like only the broad detail of your circumstances to be made known to the Board of Examiners for Programmes, please speak to your Director of Studies about the best way to summarise.
Advice and support
You should speak to your Director of Studies or Personal Tutor as soon as possible if you are concerned about your ongoing academic performance.
We encourage you to let us know in advance of your assessments if you think any circumstances might affect them, so that other arrangements can be made, if appropriate, and so that you can get advice.
If you have questions about the process for claiming IMCs, you should talk to your Director of Studies in the first instance, or if you’re studying on our Online MSc courses, contact your Student Support Co-ordinator. Your department, Faculty or School may also provide guidance about this.
The Students’ Union Advice & Support Centre. can provide independent guidance and confidential support to you, and can assist you when you are preparing an IMC report form.
Student Services’ Wellbeing Service offers counselling and other student support.
Student Services’ Disability Service offers support to students with a disability.