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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 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.

Available guidance

If you believe your circumstances have affected an assessment you should first read the guide What Are IMCs to consider whether or not they would normally be considered as valid IMCs.

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.

There is also guidance about how to provide supporting evidence for your IMC.

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

You must complete and submit an IMC form if you want to report circumstances that you believe have affected your assessment. Your IMC claim for an assessment must be submitted within three working days of the affected assessment deadline or examination date.

You should make your IMC report using an IMC report form. Submit the form, along with your supporting evidence to your Director of Studies or according to the procedures for your department, Faculty or School.

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 claim for an assessment must be submitted within three working days of the affected assessment deadline or exam 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.

If you are aware before your examination or 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 claim within expected timescales because your circumstances prevented you from doing so, you should seek advice as soon as possible.

Providing evidence

You will need to provide evidence if you want to make an IMC claim for an affected assessment. You should read the guide Providing evidence for Individual Mitigating Circumstances for more information.

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

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

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.

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 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.

Please remember that you must make your IMC claim within three working days.

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.

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.