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Reasons and evidence for requesting a coursework extension or IMC

A guide to help you understand what would normally be considered acceptable reasons and evidence for an IMC or coursework extension

Further information on IMCs can be found on the following pages:

Reasons normally accepted

Whatever your mitigating circumstances are for submitting a coursework extension request or submitting an IMC claim, your reason should fall into at least one of these categories:

  • something unexpected and significant has happened or is happening to you
  • something unexpected and significant has happened or is happening to someone else in your life which is impacting on you
  • a significant event outside of your control

Reasons not normally accepted

Coursework extensions and IMC claims will not normally be considered valid if the request relates to the following circumstances:

“Normal life" events

These are circumstances you could be reasonably expected to manage alongside your assessment, perhaps with routine support. Examples include minor illness or normal levels of anxiety about assessment, sometimes known as “exam stress”.

Circumstances which are foreseeable and/or preventable

For example, booking a holiday, or not taking steps to ensure your location has a reliable internet connection with which to write and submit your assessment.

Having a busy assessment schedule, not taking steps to manage your time or prioritise your workload

For example, not being aware of your submission dates, having assessments close together or submitting the wrong documentation.

Examples of reasons

Please use this list to consider what reason you will give to explain your circumstances when making your request for a coursework extension or an IMC claim.

If your circumstances aren’t listed, you can use ‘Other Valid Reason’ (please see below for examples, which includes the impact of war). You can also contact your Director of Studies, Student Experience Officer (School of Management) or Personal Tutor for advice.

Something happening to you

Examples of ‘Physical ill health’ as a reason

  • Significant physical accident, injury or illness
  • Unexpected worsening of a physical long-term health condition/disability
  • Unexpected or unforeseen events that were not accommodated by an existing DAP (Disability Access Plan) for a physical health condition or disability

Examples of ‘Mental health’ as a reason

  • Significant mental injury or illness
  • Unexpected worsening of a long-term mental health condition/disability
  • Unexpected or unforeseen events that were not accommodated by an existing Disability Access Plan (DAP) for a mental health condition or disability

Examples of ‘Disruption in personal life’ as a reason

  • Unexpected personal accommodation crisis
  • Unexpected personal financial crisis
  • Major, and unexpected crisis related to an immigration issue, such as an unexpected outcome to a visa or asylum application with urgent implications
  • Major unplanned changes in work commitments

Examples of ‘Technical issues’ as a reason

For online exams an IMC claim would normally be accepted for technical problems that:

  • significantly reduce the time available to you to complete the assessment
  • significantly impact your performance
  • prevent submission by the end of late exam submission time (if a remote exam)

Examples may include an unforeseen and prolonged absence of a stable internet connection or issues with software.

Incident of bullying, harassment, assault or crime

Being the person harmed in an incident of bullying, harassment, assault or crime.

Placement-related employment events that cannot be rescheduled, e.g. an assessment day for a potential placement employer. This relates only to placements forming part of a University course of study.

Examples of ‘Other valid reason’

  • The impact of a natural disaster: severe weather that prevents submission, civil disruption or major hazard (including a major breakdown in the transport system).
  • The impact of war: any consequences of an ongoing conflict (such as the war in Ukraine) that have a significant impact on your ability to undertake assessments and do not fall under one of the other general categories.
  • For an IMC claim applying to a remote online exam, impact from the exam being scheduled outside of reasonable study hours because you unavoidably need to access it remotely from a country with a significant time difference with the UK (only applicable for fixed-start exams).

Something happening to someone else in your life but impacting on you

A bereavement

The recent death of someone important to you (family or friend).

Examples of ‘Disruption in personal life’ as a reason

  • Serious accident, injury or illness (physical or mental) involving family or friends
  • Disruption in your personal life caused by something happening to a friend/family member(s), for example a home environment that suddenly became disruptive at the time of your remote exam(s)

Examples of ‘Caring responsibilities’ as a reason

  • Unplanned or unexpected circumstances during pregnancy (self or partner) e.g. premature birth, or for a parent with a baby
  • Unexpected (additional or new) caring responsibilities caused by something happening to a friend/family member(s), for example supporting a parent through serious illness

What you can submit as evidence

IMC claims require evidence. Evidence provides confirmation of what happened, when. It also helps to provide clarity about your circumstances and how they affected your assessment performance.

Requests for a coursework extension will normally require evidence to support it. Please confirm with the relevant department if this is the case for your specific request.

The exact nature of what your evidence will be depends on your circumstances. These are some examples of what is normally acceptable.

Correspondence or documents from University support services or staff

You may have already told a member of University staff about your circumstances, and so you can provide evidence of that engagement as evidence of the circumstances you are reporting.

Examples of such evidence would include appointment confirmations, email exchanges (including summary e-mails of advice provided by counselling or wellbeing services) and other types of correspondence from any of the following; a Personal Tutor, a Student Experience Officer, or a Director of Studies, Disability Services, Student Support (which includes counselling and wellbeing teams), the Students’ Union, Security, IT Help Desk, the Library, or the Student Immigration Services. This also includes anything you submit to the Report & Support Tool.

You should not need to ask for a specific statement as evidence. Services and staff may not be able to respond in time for your submission if you do make this kind of request, so you should use evidence you already have.

Disability Access Plans (DAPs)

If you have a Disability Access Plan, it may include guidance that coursework extensions are a reasonable adjustment for you should you request them. If extensions are included in your DAP you can simply reference your DAP (or upload a copy) or as evidence where it is required.

For IMC claims, if you experience unexpected or unforeseen events that are not already accommodated in your DAP, please explain how these have impacted your assessment performance.

Statement, correspondence, or documents from external, third party professionals or support services

Examples include a letter, email or statement from services such as the Police, Victim Support, Social Services, NHS services, charity support agencies, external counselling or mental health advice services, etc.

Copies of official documentation

Examples include a death certificate, medical certificate, screenshot of relevant NHS notifications.

Copies of correspondence with/from family/friends at the time the circumstances occurred

Examples include screenshots of text messages or a conversation via a messaging app (with dates). However, a post-event statement from a family member or friend will not normally be acceptable on its own.

Where possible you should seek permission from anyone else involved in your correspondence before sharing it, especially if the conversation is personal in nature.

Submitting your evidence

We recognise that some evidence can be difficult to obtain. Therefore:

  • Your evidence does not have to be an official document or certificate, especially if the circumstances are health related and you do not need to provide multiple pieces of evidence if they all confirm the same thing
  • Your evidence may come later than your submission of an IMC claim form. If you need longer to provide evidence, you should explain this on on your claim form. Your claim form must be submitted by the deadline.
  • You do not need to provide original copies of your evidence. With electronic evidence you can provide a screenshot if you need to. With physical documents you can submit a scanned copy or a digital photograph of the original. If you are not comfortable with electronic submission of your evidence, you should speak with your Director of Studies or Student Experience Officer (School of Management) for advice.
  • If you are concerned about providing evidence or about disclosing a sensitive, personal situation you may wish to speak confidentially with SU Advice & Support or Student Support.
  • If your evidence was not originally produced in English, then an official translation must be provided.

How to apply for a coursework extension

Our general guidance on coursework extensions includes information on how to apply.

How to submit an IMC claim

Please read our overview of IMCs and follow the guidance to submitting an Individual Mitigating Circumstances (IMC) claim.

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