What are Individual Mitigating Circumstances (IMCs)?
Individual Mitigating Circumstances (IMCs) are conditions which temporarily prevent you from undertaking assessment or significantly impair your performance in that assessment.
IMCs may be related to your own circumstances (such as ill health, a serious accommodation crisis or prolonged technical problems) or circumstances involving others that have a significant impact on your ability to undertake assessments (such as the illness of a close family member or friend). They are normally unexpected and unavoidable circumstances.
You can make an IMC claim for COVID-19 related disruption. An IMC claim may also cover more than one assessment, for example if you are affected by illness across several days of an exam period affecting more than one exam.
The University publishes important information to help you understand this process:
Individual Mitigating Circumstances includes useful information about options if you are struggling with your assessment and sources of support.
The acceptable reasons and evidence for requesting a coursework extension or IMC, and the reasons not normally considered acceptable.
The IMC report form that you will use to make a claim.
Information regarding how an accepted IMC claim is considered and may affect your academic outcomes.
The formal Individual Mitigating Circumstances and Assessment regulations that apply to IMCs and Boards of Examiners decision-making.
Summary of the process
You should familiarise yourself with the IMC guidance. It will be helpful to you if you decide you need to submit a claim.
You are also strongly encouraged to seek advice from your Director of Studies, Student Experience Officer (School of Management), personal tutor, the Disability Service, the Wellbeing Service and/or The SU Advice & Support Centre.
If you want to submit an IMC claim:
- Download and complete an IMC report form.
- If you wish, you can approach The SU Advice & Support Centre for independent advice before you submit your form.
- Submit the form by the deadline for submitting your IMC claim, and as instructed by your department.
- Submit your evidence, following the guidance on accepted evidence. You should try to provide your evidence with the form, but you may be able to provide it later.
- Your claim will be considered by an IMC panel.
- The decision of the IMC Panel will be communicated to you via your unit results on SAMIS.
- If your IMC is accepted, the Board of Examiners for Programmes will decide what action may be appropriate based on what is possible within the University's regulations.
How to submit your claim
You should report an IMC claim using the IMC report form.
You will submit your form according to the instructions from your Faculty or the School. This information can be found in your programme handbook, or from your Director of Studies, Student Experience Officer (School of Management), Personal Tutor or faculty/department administration team.
Completing the IMC report form
The form has four sections:
Information about you and your affected assessments – you should list the assessment item(s) i.e. exam, in-class test etc that were affected.
Your reason for submitting a claim
This section is for you to explain the nature of your circumstances rather than the detail. It asks you to be specific about what has prevented you from undertaking your assessment or what has significantly impaired your assessment performance.
This section also allows the University to (anonymously) understand the general reasons why students are submitting IMC claims in order to help us improve our support where appropriate. Please make sure to read and follow the guide on what is, and is not normally considered an accepted reason for an IMC claim.
Evidence provides confirmation of what happened, and when. It helps to provide clarity to the panel about your circumstances and how they affected your assessment performance.
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. Please make sure to read and follow the guide on what is, and is not normally acceptable as evidence.
In this section, you'll be able to go into detail about your circumstances and the impact they had on your assessment (this might include not being able to submit your work). Word lengths are included as a guide to how much detail you need to go into. The information you share will help the panel to understand your circumstances and the impact.
When considering your IMC claim, it will be the severity of the impact on your assessment that is relevant, rather than the severity of the impact on you as an individual. Of particular note will be: when the circumstances occurred; if they were unexpected, unplanned and/or outside of your control; and how they impacted on your assessment performance (as opposed to your ability to study).
Deadline for submitting your IMC claim
Your IMC claim form must be submitted:
- no later than three working days after an individual assessment/exam is due to be completed; or,
- for multiple assessments/exams, no later than three working days after the end of the relevant formal assessment period.
You should submit your IMC claim as soon as you can after your affected assessment/exam rather than waiting until the last moment.
Your form must be submitted by the deadline. However, we understand your evidence may only be available after you submit your form. If you need longer to provide evidence you should explain this when you submit your form.
How your claim will be considered
IMC claims are considered by an IMC Panel in your Faculty/School to determine if it should be accepted.
Any submission you make will be considered carefully and respectfully. If you are concerned about providing evidence or about disclosing a sensitive, personal situation you may wish to speak confidentially with The SU Advice & Support Centre or Student Support.
How you will find out the outcome of your claim
You will find out the outcome of your claim when your unit results are released on SAMIS at the end of each assessment period (including the supplementary assessment period, and in November when many PGT awards are made).
Your results will be marked with an ‘M’ on SAMIS and on your final Record of Assessment to confirm that the University has accepted that your result is not what you believe you were capable of had it not been affected. Your transcript will not show these ‘M’ flags.
If your IMC is not accepted, you will be given a reason. You may also hear from your Director of Studies or department admin team.