Assessment Deadlines and Exceptional Circumstances Policy

1. Expectations

1.1  You are responsible for managing your learning, revision and assessment activities throughout the whole duration of each semester, including the assessment period(s). It is important that you plan this activity carefully and that you do not leave too much assessed work or revision for examinations until the last moment.

1.2  York St John University recognises that illnesses and difficult or distressing personal circumstances occur as part of everyone’s life. However, such circumstances are a normal part of life and can normally be absorbed.  You are expected to meet the deadlines for all assessments, and you should plan your work so that you are not affected by unexpected last minute problems.

1.3  If your circumstances are so serious that you cannot engage with your assessment, you should consider suspending your studies. If you remain on the programme, you are considered to have made the decision that you were in a position to engage with the programme.

1.4  In exceptional circumstances, if you cannot meet the deadline for an assessment, the University may agree a deferral of the deadline. 'Deadlines' include the date for submitting written assessments and the dates for examinations, practical demonstrations, presentations, performances and other forms of assessment.

1.5  For this to apply, you must show that:

(a)  You could not have reasonably avoided the situation or otherwise acted to limit the impact (such as requesting to suspend your studies).

(b)  The events concerned are genuinely exceptional. Such events might include loss of a close family member, or a sudden and severe debilitating illness at the time of an examination or submission of assessed work. Circumstances such as the normal pressures of academic stress, paid employment, relationship issues, computer difficulties, transport difficulties, and financial difficulties are unlikely to be accepted.

(c)  The events must have had an impact on your ability to study or complete an examination, presentation or submit an assessment.

(d)  The timing of the exceptional circumstances must be related to the timing of the impact for which you are claiming.

2. Types of Claims

There are two types of claims, with two different procedures to follow:

2.1  Reasonable Adjustment: If you have a long-term health condition, disability, a specific learning difficulty, mental health diagnosis, which may have an impact on your ability to meet deadlines, you should follow the Reasonable Adjustment Process.

2.2  Exceptional Circumstances: If you have short-term unforeseen circumstances, you will follow the Exceptional Circumstances Process outlined below.

3. Reasonable Adjustment Process

For chronic and long-term health conditions, disability, specific learning difficulties, mental health diagnosis

3.1  You will need to meet a member of the Disability Advice Team so that discussions can take place about the appropriate support the University can provide. Usually, a Learning Support Plan is produced to support you in planning your learning and assessment.   For more about student support, see our web pages.  Guidance for staff is also available: Reasonable adjustments (staff) (PDF, 481.8KB) 

3.2  Where you have a Learning Support Plan in relation to a particular condition, you should seek advice from the Disability Advice Team if the condition causes additional issues.

3.3  The Reasonable Adjustment Process is in place so both you and the University are clear about what can be done to help you manage your learning and assessment. However, exceptional circumstances can still occur which could not have been predicted through the Reasonable Adjustment Process.  In these exceptional circumstances, you should follow the Exceptional Circumstances process below.

4. Exceptional Circumstances Process

For applying for an extension to the published deadline, or previously agreed Learning Support Plan deadline, because of an unexpected acute crisis event

4.1  You can apply for an extension by filling out the Exceptional Circumstances Claim Form (DOC 55kB) and submitting it to the School Administration Unit

4.2  It is your responsibility to fully and correctly complete the claim form. The form must be completed by you, and cannot be completed by someone else on your behalf.

5. Evidence to Support an Application for Exceptional Circumstances

5.1  You must provide evidence of the impact that the unforeseen event has had on your ability to study, submit your assessment, or complete the examination. This must show:

(a) that the unforeseen event occurred;

(b) evidence of the impact this has had on you;

(c) that the circumstances will affect, or were affecting, you at the time of the assessment;

(d) and, the duration for which you were affected.

5.2  In matters relating to health, evidence provided by a GP or other health professional should be evidence created/gathered at the time of the problem and should be provided by the health professional that diagnosed and/or treated you.

5.3  Evidence that simply states that you have been unwell is not acceptable. The evidence must say how the illness has affected your ability to complete your work, and the time period affected.

5.4  Even if your circumstances are sensitive, you must submit evidence. Disclosure to a member of staff is not accepted as an alternative to evidence.

5.5 Supporting evidence must be provided in English. Where the original document is in another language, you must provide both the original document and a translation into English. This need not be a professional translation – you may provide your own translation. You can expect the University to check the accuracy of your translation.

5.6  The University will only share the evidence with those people who need to make the decision.

5.7  Your request must be supported by appropriate evidence.  Guidance on appropriate evidence can be found under Frequently Asked Questions - Exceptional Circumstances (PDF, 74.2 kB).

5.8  If your request is subsequently turned down, it is important to be aware that the maximum mark you can be awarded is the pass mark, if you submit your assessment work within five working days of the original deadline.  This applies to first attempts only.  Late submissions for re-sits are not accepted.

6. Timelines 

6.1  Extensions are normally granted for 1-3 weeks. In very compelling cases, this time limit may be extended, but this may prevent you from being able to progress to the next year of your programme and/or complete your programme within the set time limits.

6.2  Applications relating to examinations should normally be submitted up to five working days after the examination.

6.3  Applications relating to assessments should normally be submitted, with evidence, before the published deadline. In cases where the evidence is not available, the application form must be received before the deadline, indicating the date the evidence will be submitted.

6.4  Under some circumstances a late application for exceptional circumstances can be submitted. For a late application to be considered the following criteria should be met:

(a) You must not have been given a provisional mark for your assessment.

(b) You must provide an explicit statements on the claim form explaining what prevented you submitting an application before the claim deadline. Your exceptional circumstances will only be considered if you had good reason for not submitting an application before the claim deadline, for example, you were unable to claim due to hospital admission.

(c) You must claim as soon as you are able to (normally late exceptional circumstances claims are only considered if received within three weeks following the claim deadline).

(d) Where satisfactory grounds for a late claim are not established then the application will be rejected without consideration of your exceptional circumstances.

6.5  If your application is declined you have the opportunity to appeal after the publication of the final mark you beliieve to have been affected. An appeal will only be accepted if you can show that you had a good reason for not raising your exceptional circumstances at the time of the assessment, or else that you did raise your exceptional circumstances earlier but the University did not follow this exceptional circumstances procedure correctly. Details regarding grounds for appeal and the procedures to follow can be found in the Appeals Policy.

7. Additional Guidance

7.1  For additional guidance refer to our Frequently Asked Questions - Exceptional Circumstances (PDF, 74.2 kB)

7.2  Information on jury service is available on the following webpage: Support with Jury Service

7.3  For any queries regarding this policy please contact the Registry at: 

8. Claim Form

Exceptional Circumstances Claim Form (DOC 55kB) 

Please complete the above claim form and email it to the School Administration Unit.

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