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)

Individual Mitigating Circumstances (IMCs) are the conditions which temporarily prevent you from undertaking assessment or significantly impair your performance in assessment: as such, the measure of their severity is not about impact on you, but impact on your assessment. The IMC procedures described on this website and in the documents linked to it apply to all students registered for a Bath qualification, including those based away from the University.

IMCs are different from ongoing or long-term conditions, such as long-term illness or disability, for which you should seek support from the Disability Service.

It is in your interests, wherever possible, to supply as much evidence to support your case as you can. If you are suffering from an illness you should provide a doctor's note outlining the nature of the illness. Other circumstances should also be supported by relevant evidence. It is your responsibility to ensure that this evidence is supplied together with the IMC report form. You should also be as clear as possible about the timescales within which your assessments were affected. Your IMCs will only be taken into account for assessments specified on the form.

Key Points to Remember

  • Do not delay, for example by waiting until you receive your results. There are strict timeframes within which to make your case and you are strongly advised to make yourself familiar with these. The University is not obliged under the provisions of its Regulations to consider your request if it is made outside these timescales.

  • IMC requests must be submitted no more than three working days after the affected assessment.

  • If you know something is coming up that might affect your assessment, such as an operation, you should notify your Director of Studies in accordance with the guidance provided by your Department or School at the earliest possible opportunity.

  • The University appreciates that it can sometimes be difficult, for personal or cultural reasons, to bring your circumstances to the attention of others, but failure to submit a claim within three working days of the affected assessment is very likely to result in rejection of your request.

  • Do not wait and see what your result is before submitting an IMC claim: by then it will almost certainly be too late for your claim to be considered.

  • Provide as much detail and evidence as possible.

  • Ensure that your contact details on SAMIS are up to date.

IMCs and supporting medical evidence

If you claim an IMC on the grounds of a medical condition, you will need to provide written evidence from an appropriately qualified person to confirm that you have the condition you claim.

Doctors at the University Medical Centre, for example, may be able to provide the written evidence required.

If you are registered elsewhere, please go to your own Doctor/GP for medical evidence if the Medical Centre is unable to see you as a temporary resident.

Individual Mitigating Circumstances: answers to some questions

Q: What is an 'Individual Mitigating Circumstance' (IMC)?

A: The University defines 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.' Some examples of what is and what isn't an IMC are given in 'What are IMCs?'. If you aren't sure about whether you have an IMC, seek advice from your Director of Studies.

Q: Why do we have an IMC procedure?

A: Mostly in order to make things as clear as possible and in particular to highlight the need to seek support for on-going or longer-term conditions or circumstances which are not likely to be acceptable as IMCs in relation to assessment. The procedures are designed to help to ensure that the same principles and procedures are applied across the University, and are the result of wide consultation within the University, including the Students' Union Advice & Support Centre.

Q: I'm ill. What should I do?

A: If your illness is likely to affect any of your assessments, follow the IMC procedures and submit either the IMC form or request a coursework extension as appropriate.

Q: I've got an ongoing condition or illness which affects my ability to study and/or to undertake certain kinds of assessment. Is this an IMC? What should I do?

A: You need to seek advice from the Disability Service if you are based in the University Campus in Bath, or the student support team if you are studying at one of the associated colleges. On-going or longer-term conditions or circumstances are not IMCs, and may be handled by disability support and/or special assessment arrangements: they are likely to give rise to valid IMC claims only if they first come to light or are diagnosed, or become unexpectedly and markedly worse, at assessment time.

Q: Who do the IMC procedures apply to?

A: ALL students registered for a University of Bath qualification, including those studying at another institution such as one of the associated colleges, and students taking programmes by distance-learning.

Q: I've got an operation coming up and I think it will affect my studies/assessments. When do I submit my claim for IMCs?

A: Consult your Director of Studies (Personal Tutor or Programme Leader if you are studying at one of the associated colleges) as soon as you have details of the timing and a reasonable idea of the period of time that it is likely to affect. It may be that other arrangements should be made instead of submitting an IMC claim.

Q: What should I do if I have missed an examination due to an IMC?

A: Complete the IMC Report Form and send it to your Director of Studies/Programme Leader not more than three days after the examination.

Q: What should I do if I feel that I have underperformed in an examination due to an IMC?

A: Complete the IMC Report Form and send it to your Director of Studies/Programme Leader not more than three days after the examination.

Q: What should I do if the IMC has affected more than one assessment?

A: You may need to complete more than one request. Each IMC Report Form you submit will only be valid for assessments which took place within the three working days preceding the submission of the form, and you need to list all the assessments affected within that period on the form.

Q: What do I do if I need an extension to a deadline for submitting coursework due to an IMC?

A: Look at QA16 Assessment, marking and feedback and its associated Request for an Extension Form. Submit the form to your Director of Studies/Programme Leader as soon as you aware of the problem.

Q: My IMC is embarrassing or personal and I'd like to keep it confidential. What should I do?

A: The form allows you to limit who will see the information you provide. You do need to bear in mind, however, that in order for a judgement to be made about the effect of the circumstance on your assessment, the contents of the form will be seen by the Director of Studies and other members of the IMC Panel.

Q: I'm worried about the effect on me of having some exams close together. Could I claim this as an IMC?

A: The University is very careful how it timetables examinations in order to avoid students having to take more than three exams within a two-day period. This level of density of exams is judged to be acceptable and is, therefore, not claimable as an IMC. However, if you have a medical condition that means this frequency of exams would cause you significant difficulties, you should seek advice from your Director of Studies/Programme Leader or from the Disability Service. If you submit an IMC claim you will need to include appropriate medical evidence.

Q: Where do I submit the IMC form?

A: To your Director of Studies/Programme Leader in your academic Department or School. Do not submit it to the Academic Registry.

Q: When should I submit the IMC form?

A: As early as possible, and not more than three working days after the assessment that is affected. If you're too ill to do this, try and get a friend to do it for you. If you aren't able to meet the three-day deadline you will be required to explain the reasons for this.

Q: Do I have to submit an IMC form for every assessment that is affected?

A: Not necessarily, but remember that each IMC form you submit will only be valid for assessments that took place within the three days preceding the submission, and that you need to list all the assessments affected within that period on the form.

Q: What happens to the IMC form and who considers the request?

A: Your request will be considered by the IMC Panel in your Department or School, which will decide whether your IMC claim is valid and significant. If it is accepted, the IMC will be taken into account by the Board of Examiners for your programme of study. Either way, you will be notified.

Q: When will I be told whether the IMC has been accepted?

A: Once it has been considered by the IMC Panel in your Department or School.

Q: How does the University publicise the IMC procedures?

A: All Student Handbooks provide guidance and links to this website. Additionally, before each assessment period, the IMC webpages are publicised on the homepages of the University website.

Q: I've looked at the documents on this website and read the guidance, and still have some unanswered questions. Who do I ask?

A: Please consult your Director of Studies/Programme Leader.

Q: Will travel problems, such as those caused by weather or industrial action, be acceptable as an IMC?

A: Students are expected to make reasonable and appropriately-timed travel arrangements in order to be present for assessments. If you have made such arrangements, but weather or other circumstances beyond your control disrupt them and make it impossible for you to be present, then this may be acceptable as an IMC. Your claim would need to include an explanation of your need to travel as well as evidence of the effect of the disruption.

Other sources of information/related links