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University of Bath

Reporting individual mitigating circumstances to the University

What to do if a condition or circumstance temporarily prevents you from undertaking assessment or significantly impairs your performance in an assessment

Individual Mitigating Circumstances (IMCs)

The guidance on this page has been updated for the supplementary assessment period in 2020.

The University describes Individual Mitigating Circumstances (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'.

The IMC procedures described on this page and in the documents linked to it apply to all students registered for a Bath qualification.

COVID-19 and no-detriment measures

The University has taken a broad range of actions as part of its no-detriment measures for taught student outcomes, all of which are intended to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 disruption on your assessment, and your academic outcomes. The measures mean we will treat all your 2019/20 semester 2 assessments and supplementary assessments with this flexibility, as though they already have IMCs. These apply automatically without requiring action from you, meaning you don’t have to apply for COVID-19 disruption-related IMCs to capture things like moving to online teaching, illness, technical challenges, caring responsibilities, bereavement, or leaving campus.

We are keeping IMCs in use during this period, however, in case you want to tell us that a specific assessment was significantly affected. This could be for COVID-19 or non-COVID 19 related reasons (for example, bereavement, illness, caring responsibilities). Whilst this is not needed to allow you to benefit from the no-detriment measures—that is automatic—it will allow you to flag any specific concerns which the University might be able to help you with. We want to ensure you have the right level of support to do the best you can at your assessments and to be aware of the different options available to you. It may be that applying for an IMC will help us to support you in some way. If so, you can use the standard process below to submit an IMC.

In summary, you do not currently have to submit an IMC in order to have IMC-related decision-making applied to your academic outcomes. No-detriment measures apply without your needing to take any additional action.

Guidance available online

If you want to tell us that a specific assessment has been significantly affected you should first read the guide What Are IMCs to consider whether or not your circumstances would normally be considered as valid IMCs. You may also find the COVID-19 no-detriment documents Undertaking your assessments and the Student Guide to Assessment helpful.

The IMCs Summary for Students will give you more information about the procedure for submitting an IMC report.

You can find full guidance on the University’s principles and procedures for dealing with IMCs and assessment in the document Individual Mitigating Circumstances & Assessment, along with other IMC guidance, at the IMC Reference Documents Index.

If you’re studying through our postgraduate online provision you should refer to the assessment regulations for postgraduate online courses, and associated IMCs and Assessment documentation.

Making an IMC claim

If you've read the paragraph COVID-19 and no-detriment measures above and you wish to report circumstances that you believe have affected your assessment you'll need to complete and submit an IMC report form. Your IMC report form must be submitted within three working days of the affected assessment deadline or examination date.

Submit the IMC report form, along with any supporting evidence you are able to include, to your Director of Studies or according to the procedures for your department, Faculty or School. Please note that while you are welcome to provide it with your submission, evidence is not required for semester 2 or supplementary period 2020 assessments due to COVID-19 disruption.

If you’re studying on one of our Online MSc courses please refer to the New Framework for Assessment: Postgraduate Online Courses IMCs and Assessment documentation where you can find a copy of the form that you should submit.

Your IMC report will first be considered by an IMC Panel in your Department, Faculty or School. You will be notified through SAMIS when a decision has been made and may also hear from your Department, Faculty, or School. If the Panel decides there should be an accepted IMC for your assessment, this will be taken into account by the Board of Examiners for Programmes/Courses.

Timescales

Your IMC report form must be submitted within three working days of the affected assessment deadline or exam date.

If you are intending to include evidence but you have difficulty aquiring it 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. Please note that while you are welcome to provide it with your submission, evidence is not required for semester 2 or supplementary period 2020 assessments due to COVID-19 disruption.

If you are aware before your assessment deadline that illness, injury, or other circumstances are likely to disrupt or affect your assessment attempt, you should speak to your Director of Studies (or Student Support Co-ordinator) as soon as possible. It may be that assessment arrangements or deadline extensions could reduce or prevent any impact from your circumstances. You could still make an IMC claim no more than three working days after the assessment if you felt that your circumstances affected it.

If you miss the deadline to submit an IMC report form within expected timescales because your circumstances prevented you from doing so, you should seek advice as soon as possible.

Providing evidence

If you're submitting an IMC claim for assessments undertaken in semester 2 and the supplementary assessment period 2020, we have waived the requirement for formal evidence (for example, a note from a doctor), due to the circumstances and the pressures on the NHS and other health services. You should just make sure to tell us what happened and how it affected your assessment.

If, however, you intend to include evidence but you are having difficulty getting it 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.

Short-term illness

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

Long-term conditions or disability

If you have an ongoing condition or illness, you should seek advice from the Disability Service. You may also have access to a student support team or a Student Support Coordinator, and you can consult the SU Advice & Support centre who can signpost you to additional support.

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 coursework deadline extensions already in place.

They are only likely to be considered as valid IMCs in the following circumstances:

  • They are first identified at the time of the affected assessment(s); or

  • They become unexpectedly and markedly worse at the time of your assessments ("flare-ups").

You should indicate on your IMC form what support or arrangements, if any, were in place for the affected assessments.

Difficulty or discomfort with disclosing your circumstances

We 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 disclosing a sensitive personal situation you may wish to speak confidentially with the SU Advice & Support Centre or to the Student Services’ Wellbeing Service.

Please remember that an IMC claim must be made within three working days of the affected assessment deadline.

Handling your information

Your IMC report form and any evidence you do provide 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 SU Advice & Support Centre can provide independent guidance and confidential support to you and can assist you when you are preparing an IMC report form. They will work with you to understand and help you detail your circumstances on the form and can review any drafts of the form before you submit it. They can also help identify further support available to you and provide ongoing support where needed.

Student Services’ Wellbeing Service offers counselling and other student support.

Student Services’ Disability Service offers support to students with a disability.