Exceptional Circumstances

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Exceptional Circumstances



The Exceptional Circumstances is a form used to provide the university with details of why your performance was affected in your assessment or exam. Did your exam or assessment take place more than 5 working days ago? If the answer is yes, then you must provide an explanation as to why you did not submit your Exceptional Circumstances form within 5 working days of the assessment or exam. If the answer is no, you must complete all the boxes with details of the assessment that have been impacted by your personal circumstances. These details can be found on E-vision if you're unsure. Once you have done that, you must provide details of your circumstances in the lead up to the assessment submission date.


While studying at ARU you may find that an unexpected major event has affected your performance in an assessment or exam. This may include a sudden illness, bereavement or the illness of a close family member. This event may also have prevented you from submitting work. The university has a formal process to inform them of these events - Exceptional Circumstances.

If you are facing a problem that will impact on your work we recommend informing the university early. If your deadline has not yet passed you may be able to request an extension.

You can find more information from the Academic Registry,the form you will need to complete and information on how to submit your form here    


What grounds can I make a claim for?

Tick on a blue background.

(see below for information on supporting evidence)


Cross on a Blue Background



A serious personal illness which is not a permanent condition



Family, work, financial or other general problems that could have been anticipated


The death, or serious illness, of a close family member, a friend or person for whom you have responsibility of care



Ignorance of the Academic Regulations or ignorance/misunderstanding of submission deadlines or examination dates


Sudden or unforeseen circumstances beyond your reasonable control.



Computer, disc, printer or any other technical failure for which you are responsible


How to submit a claim for Exceptional Circumstances and Late Exceptional Circumstances

You will need to complete the Exceptional Circumstances claim form and return it by email. The deadline for on time forms is five working days after the submission date for the assessment and / or the date on which an exam has been set. If your claim is on time we recommend that you speak to one of the University’s Student Advisers before submitting it. They will ensure you are following the correct process and understand the implications on your progression. They can also check your evidence to ensure it is relevant to submit with your Exceptional Circumstances form. Your evidence should be relevant and timely, such as a letter from a professional e.g doctor, solicitor or therapist, or in the case of a death of a close family member a death certificate or a funeral order of service. 


How to submit a claim for Late Exceptional Circumstances

If your claim is submitted more than 5 working days after your assessment/ exam deadline you can submit your form late, however you will need to provide an acceptable explanation (with supporting evidence) for why the claim was not submitted within the 5 working days’ time limit. Please speak to a Students’ Union Adviser before submitting a Late Exceptional Circumstances claim so they can check you are following the correct process, understand the implications on your progression and check your evidence of lateness and the reason for applying.

You can find more information from the Academic Registry on Exceptional Circumstances and Late Exceptional Circumstances, the form to fill in and how to submit your form here





Your exceptional circumstances claim will require evidence wherever possible. If you are submitting a late claim you will need to provide evidence to support your reason for submitting late. If you are waiting for evidence (e.g. awaiting a doctor's letter), we recommend that you submit your claim as soon as possible, and state clearly on your form state that evidence will follow. Evidence may include one or more of the following:

  • A letter from a medical professional.
  • A letter of support from ARU's Disability and Dyslexia Service. Please note to use this option students must already be registered with the service and have provided medical evidence of their condition and agreed to a summary of reasonable adjustments document.
  • A self certification letter, there are limits on the number of occurrences you may use self certification over the duration of a course.  (Please read academic regulation 6.128 for full details)
  • In the case of a bereavement- a death certificate
  • On occasion and with permission- evidence from a third party


What happens after I submit my Exceptional Circumstances or Late Exceptional Circumstances form?

Once you submit your Exceptional Circumstances form and your evidence to the academic registry your claim is then heard at an Exceptional Circumstances Panel, these happen every month. The panel is made up of University staff such as Director of Studies, Academic Registrar and a manager from Student Services. The panel will discuss your claim and look at the supporting evidence to decide if the claim is justified or not. The panel is closed and confidential.

If your reasons for submitting a claim are of a sensitive nature, and you do not want your personal information and situation being shared in a panel setting, you can request that it is seen only by the Academic Registrar. The University’s Student Advisers or Student Union Advisers can help you make this decision and request on your behalf if needed.


How will I know the results of my Exceptional Circumstances or Late Exceptional Circumstances claim?

The outcome of your claim will appear on your eVision, please keep an eye out after you have submitted your forms and evidence.  The element(s) of the module that you have submitted a claim about will show the relevant outcomes next to the module information as your claim is processed e.g:

  • Submitted (awaiting outcome)

  • Accepted

  • Deferred (e.g: awaiting further evidence or information)

  • Rejected, No evidence received to support claim

  • Rejected, Evidence was not time relevant

If you are not sure about the outcome or don’t understand the reasons for your claim being rejected please get in touch with your University Student Adviser or Students Union Adviser.


What are the outcomes of a successful Exceptional Circumstances or Late Exceptional Circumstances claim?

  • Any mark achieved for the relevant element(s) is annulled

  • You are required to take either the initial attempt (or the re-assessment attempt) in the mitigated element(s) at a time determined by the University. In certain circumstances you may be required to re-attend the module in order to be assessed in the mitigated element;

  • The module result will not be capped unless it is a further attempt at the re-assessment attempt following a previous failure.


Things to remember before submitting an Exceptional Circumstances or Late Exceptional Circumstances claim

  • You are strongly encouraged to seek advice first before submitting an Exceptional Circumstances or Late Exceptional Circumstances claim.

  • Once submitted you are not able to withdraw an Exceptional Circumstances claim.

  • You need to be able to provide evidence of what’s happened and to explain the impact on your assessments or exams.

  • If submitting late you need to be able to provide a reason and evidence of why you are submitting late, as well as the reason and evidence for Exceptional Circumstances.

  • Your progression to the next level of your studies may be seriously impacted by the results of your Exceptional Circumstances or Late Exceptional Circumstances Claim.