Understanding mitigating circumstances for 2020 undergraduate applicants
If you are applying or hold an offer for an undergraduate course, find out about our approach to mitigating circumstances in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.
About mitigating circumstances for undergraduate applicants
We understand that sometimes students can underperform during their studies due to mitigating circumstances and want to make sure that your academic performance is considered with the full context in which you have been studying. Information about your circumstances can also be useful to help us understand how best to support you during your studies.
Any information and additional documents we receive relating to mitigating circumstances will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Submitting information about mitigating circumstances does not guarantee that we will make you an offer and we will not make a lower offer based on the information you provide. It does not guarantee that we will confirm your place at the University if you do not meet the conditions of your offer.
What we consider as a mitigating circumstance
We do not have set criteria for circumstances that we typically consider as mitigating, however typical examples include:
- serious, acute or chronic illness
- serious illness of a close family member or partner
- significant caring responsibilities, care leavers or living independently (estranged students)
- significant adverse personal circumstances
- significant disruption to the provision of education at school or college (but see our separate section on school closures due to Coronavirus below)
- any other factor that has had a serious and significant impact on your academic performance
School closures and educational disruption during the Coronavirus outbreak
Given the global nature of the Coronavirus outbreak, we are aware that all our offer holders will have experienced significant disruption to both their studies and home life. We will consider the widespread disruption and school closures automatically as part of our approach to your final qualifications, particularly where final exams and assessments have also been cancelled. While we understand that this is a very unsettling time, please do not get in touch to inform us of any general disruption.
Other mitigating circumstances during the Coronavirus outbreak
Due to the cancellation of final exams for A levels, Scottish Highers, BTECs and the International Baccalaureate Diploma, if you are studying these qualifications then circumstances arising after 20th March 2020 are unlikely to affect your final grades. We are only able to take into account circumstances which have directly affected your performance when making admissions decisions. If you are studying other qualifications which are still being awarded based on exams (or other school assessments) and you have experienced any form of mitigating circumstances then please let us know.
We nevertheless know you may have experienced specific circumstances during the outbreak, such as bereavement or a change in your mental health. Even where this may not have impacted your final grades we would still welcome any information you wish to provide to pass on to our Student Services Team should you join us. In these circumstances, we would like to encourage you to complete the ‘Applicant Statement’ and ‘Declaration Section’ of the mitigating circumstances form. This will allow us to ensure that this information is shared with student services and you are provided with the best possible support should you enrol at Bath.
Circumstances from before the Coronavirus outbreak
Many of you will now be receiving overall grades for your qualifications this summer through teacher assessments, rather than through final exams or graded coursework. We are aware that in these cases, extenuating circumstances and reasonable adjustments may not be submitted to exam boards but instead be taken into consideration by your school or college when their assessments are made.
We want to know about these circumstances and if you have not already submitted a form please do so. If your grades are going to be awarded through teacher assessments, we will also need a member of staff at your school or college to complete the relevant Form for Teachers.
Letting us know about other mitigating circumstances
This year you will need to follow a slightly different process to help us capture the necessary information:
- please follow our guidance to complete our Mitigating Circumstances Form for Applicants
- if your final grades may be affected by your circumstances please also ask a member of staff at your school or college to follow our guidance to complete our Mitigating Circumstances Form for Teachers and ensure that the form is returned to us directly by someone at your school or college
Please make sure that both of these forms are returned to us by 31 July 2020. Forms returned after this date may not be considered within the admissions process this year.
All queries and documentation relating to mitigating circumstances should be returned to our dedicated e-mail address: email@example.com.
How this information will be considered
If you are an applicant, we will consider your mitigating circumstances when we are deciding whether or not we can make you an offer.
If you are an offer-holder and select Bath as your firm or insurance choice, we will consider your mitigating circumstances if you do not meet the conditions of your offer. We have a dedicated Admissions Progression Team to make sure that any information provided is considered carefully when we are deciding whether or not we can confirm your place. Both the information from yourself and from your school or college will be reviewed as part of this process.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I’ve already submitted a Mitigating Circumstances Form?
If you have already submitted a mitigating circumstances form to us this cycle, then you do not need to submit our new Mitigating Circumstances Form for Applicants, unless there is any new information that you would like us to be aware of since you completed the form. However, you will still need to make sure that your teacher completes and returns a copy of our Mitigating Circumstances Form for Teachers by 31 July.
What if my teachers aren’t aware of my circumstances?
If you are willing to share your circumstances with your school or college, please contact them directly to make them aware of your circumstances and ask them to complete and return their form to us.
If you do not feel able to share your circumstances will your school or college, please complete the Mitigating Circumstances Form for Applicants and make it clear that your teachers are unaware of your circumstances.
Your personal data
Information about how any personal data you provide will be processed can be found in the mitigating circumstances section of our undergraduate applicant privacy notice.
The Mitigating Circumstances form for Applicants includes an ‘Applicant Declaration’ section. This section allows the opportunity for the information you have provided to be shared with Student Services if you enrol at Bath, who will hold this information confidentially on file in order to provide you with the best possible support, should you ever need it.
Coming to university can be a big adjustment for all students and we want to help support your transition to the University as much as possible. The University has a number of specialist Support Services to aid students, and enable them to fulfil their potential. We strongly encourage students to pro-actively engage with support services, should help be required.
Please note that in exceptional circumstances if the information you provide suggests you may be at serious risk to yourself or others this may be shared without your consent with the relevant faculty/department or Student Services, should you join the University of Bath.