Abertay University Mitigating Circumstances

Abertay University Mitigating Circumstances

Mitigating Circumstances Policy, Procedures and Guidance


In determining the following procedures, the University has sought to ensure that students with valid claims of mitigating circumstances will be treated fairly and consistently across all Schools, whilst also protecting the standard of the University’s awards by deterring frivolous or false claims. This policy applies to all students and all programmes/awards in the University.


Mitigating circumstances are defined as factors out with the student’s control which disrupt his/her studies or affect his/her performance in assessment. These factors include short-term illness as well as serious and acute problems or events which are beyond a student’s ability to foresee and which prevent completion of assessments or attendance at examinations. Mitigating circumstances will not normally include pressure of work; proximity or number of examinations or assessments; poor time management; scheduling of holidays or time abroad; or the misreading of examination timetables.  The University Elite Athletes programme sets out a learning contract for students registered with the programme, which should be read in conjunction with these procedures.

By handing in a piece of coursework or completing an examination, a student is normally declaring fitness to undertake a valid attempt at the assessment. Exceptionally (under very rare circumstances) however, where a student has completed an assessment, but believes their performance has been affected by serious mitigating circumstances, the student should notify the Assessment Board in writing, with supporting evidence, within 10 calendar days of the assessment date.  The evidence may take the form of a statement from an adviser or counsellor in Student Services, or from the Students’ Association Advice and Welfare Co-ordinator.

Students may request a coursework extension of up to 7 days due to short-term illness via the online self-certification process.  Extension requests due to other short-term problems must be submitted on an extension form, along with supporting evidence.  Students may also seek to defer an assessment to the next opportunity. The deferral of an assessment is taken to mean that the student will take the assessment at the next opportunity, which for an examination will normally be the resit examination week.  For other scheduled assessments e.g. class tests, practicals or presentations it may be possible for a suitable alternative time to be arranged directly with the module leader.