Extenuating circumstances, complaints and appeals

How we can help when things go wrong.

If you experience problems with your studies, it is important that you let us know as soon as possible. Some suggested contact points may be found in your programme handbook.

Depending on the nature of the problem, it may be possible to get extra help or advice, but it is likely to be more difficult the longer you wait. It may not always be possible to resolve a problem informally, and in this case, City has procedures which allow for a more formal review.

There are also many ways in which students can express their views on an on-going basis, for example, through surveys, module evaluation and student representation. See the Student Voice section of the Quality Manual for more information.

If you know which formal procedure you need to access, you should go directly to the Academic Services web pages for detailed procedures, forms and guidance.

Otherwise, the links below take you to guidance that will help support you in a range of situations, and link you to the more formal City processes.

Extenuating circumstances

The extenuating circumstances procedures recognise that sometimes students will experience circumstances outside their control which impact on their performance in one or more assessments. These pages answer some of the frequently asked questions about extenuating circumstances. Please read these before deciding whether or not to submit an application.

The Extenuating Circumstances procedure is for unforeseen circumstances outside your control. Make sure that you access all the help and support available to you in your School/ Validated Institution or through the Student Centre for other circumstances impacting on your study and assessment.

What are Extenuating Circumstances?

City defines Extenuating Circumstances (EC) as circumstances which are unforeseen and outside your control and which can be shown to have had a direct and substantial impact on your academic results. This may include an impact on capacity to study prior to an assessment, on ability to complete an assessment, and/or on performance during an assessment.

Examples of the types of extenuating circumstances that might be accepted include ill-health, bereavement, or other personal issues which were unexpected, out of your control and may have affected preparation for an assessment or performance during the assessment itself. Circumstances such as the availability of books, conflicting assessment deadlines, transport difficulties, routine work commitments or circumstances that could have foreseen and/or prevented will not normally be accepted.

If you are in doubt remember these two questions:

  • Could I have foreseen what happened?
  • Was I in control of what happened?

If you answer no to both and you believe that your performance was significantly affected as a result of what happened then it is worthwhile submitting a claim.

Who can use the procedures for extenuating circumstances?

The Extenuating Circumstances procedures apply to all taught students on programmes awarded by City*.

This procedure does not apply to:

  • Research Students: please contact your Supervisor in the first instance and refer to the student appeals procedure.
  • Study Abroad Students: please contact your School Office in the first instance for details of how to submit extenuating circumstances.

How do I submit my claim?

If you believe that you have been subject to extenuating circumstances you must make a claim no more than 7 calendar days* after the affected assessment. Visit the Academic Services extenuating circumstances page for the procedure and more information how to complete the Extenuating Circumstances (EC) form (accessible through e:Vision).

*21 calendar days for LPC/BPTC students.

Who will consider my claim?

Your extenuating circumstances claim will be looked at by a panel approved by your School Board of Studies (or Validated Institution Course Board). The Panel will be made up of three people; it will be chaired by an experienced, senior academic and may include one senior member of professional services staff.

The Panel will look at whether your form is complete, whether you meet the criteria, and if your evidence supporting your case is strong enough.

If your application for Extenuating Circumstances is accepted the Panel will make a recommendation to the Assessment Board. You will be notified of the recommendations the Extenuating Circumstances Panel make and of the decision of the Assessment Board when it meets.

What is the most likely result of submitting an Extenuating Circumstances claim?

The most usual outcome, if your application is accepted, is that you will be offered an additional opportunity to take the assessment/s.

I have missed the deadline for submitting an Extenuating Circumstances form. What do I do?

If you miss the deadline for reasons which were unforeseen and outside your control then you may be able to submit an Appeal asking that your late Extenuating Circumstances form be approved for submission to the Extenuating Circumstances Panel. Saying that you did not know about the deadline, or indicating that you didn't think your performance would be affected at the time of the assessment will not be accepted as grounds for an appeal.

Visit the Academic Services procedures pages or look at the relevant section of your Handbook for information about submitting an appeal for consideration of late extenuating circumstances.

Student appeals

Occasionally things might go wrong or you will experience circumstances outside your control which impact on your academic assessment, award or progression. City has a number of support mechanisms in place to ensure these are dealt with as quickly as possible and you should make use of these at the earliest possible opportunity (see the Student Centre website for more information). The appeals process is intended for the very rare cases where no resolution or remedy was possible at an earlier stage (i.e. prior to the Assessment Board approving the results of taught students or a decision being made regarding the registration status or examination results of research students).

You can get a quick overview of the appeals procedure by referring to the appeals flow charts for taught programmes and research programmes.

If you decide that you want to submit an appeal you will find the forms and accompanying guidance on the Academic Services Student Appeals page. It is recommended that you look through the supporting guidance below before you start to prepare your appeal:

Before you appeal

Before considering an appeal make sure that you have sought advice and guidance about your concerns. It may be that there are quick steps that can be taken to resolve your problem or that the appeals process is not the best way forward. For example, if you are worried that there is an error in the calculation of your marks you can request a marks check and, if there is an error, this can be remedied without the need for an appeal. Check in your Programme or Course Handbook who the sources of advice and guidance are in your School/ Validated Institution. Your Programme Director, Personal Tutor and Programme Administrator will be able to advise you and the Union Advice Service is an excellent source of independent guidance and support about problems in general, as well as about appeals. City's Student Centre offers a range of help and support services to all students.

Case Studies and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The case studies and appeals FAQs have been prepared to assist you in understanding the appeals process and avoiding commonly made mistakes which can delay the process or mean that your submission is not accepted.

Student complaints

We want you to have a good experience here. If you encounter problems, we encourage all parties to try to resolve these as soon as they arise. We are committed to learning from complaints, and to identifying enhancements to the overall student experience wherever possible.

In most cases, we expect and aim to resolve problems at an early opportunity and in the simplest way. Our process includes an early resolution stage, a local-level resolution stage and an institution Level Review stage. You may find it helpful to refer to the Student Complaints flowchart for an overview of the process.

Please note that there is a separate process for handling Student Appeals relating to assessment, progression or award.

A set of Frequently Asked Questions have been prepared to assist students considering making a complaint. If you would like to proceed with your complaint then please visit the Student & Academic Services Student Complaints page for the procedures and form.