You may have been asked to provide the university with supporting evidence. This page explains what that evidence may be and how it could be presented. The evidence might be required because you are submitting an Exceptional Circumstances claim, or because you are submitting an appeal against a decision that the University has made, for example, on your conduct.
When you’re completing assessments for your course, you have to provide evidence that is of a good quality, and usually needs to have been written by an expert on the subject. We expect the same when you need to provide us with evidence to support a process.
Supporting evidence needs to be of a certain standard, and we only accept certain types or forms of evidence. This is because we need to make sure that the information comes from a source which is not directly connected to you. The information also needs to be relevant to the circumstances we are looking at and written by someone who is a specialist in the area, such as a relevant medical professional. We need evidence to be in the right format so we can be sure that it has been sent to us from the author without being changed. The evidence should be dated, and it should also show or include the dates it relates to.
Your evidence should show us what has happened, when it happened, and how it affected you. Some circumstances can affect people very differently, so you should try to make sure that you provide evidence that shows how the situation or circumstances have impacted on you. It can also be helpful if you concisely explain to us how the evidence relates to the case or situation.
We know that sometimes it can be more difficult to provide direct evidence of a situation. Try to think about what other evidence you can provide that will show the impact on you. For example, if you were a victim of crime and you are struggling to get a statement from the police, but you met with a member of the Wellbeing team not long after the incident. The Wellbeing team member may be able to provide you with a supporting statement about your condition or state of mind at that time.
The University cannot obtain evidence on your behalf. As an adult student, it is your responsibility to gather and provide supporting evidence.
If you have any questions about the evidence that you could provide, or need support with these processes, you can speak to your academic mentor, a member of one of our Student Support teams, or the Students' Union Advice Team.
Standard of Evidence
- All evidence must relate to the time period in question, as well as provide clear evidence of what you’re trying to tell us
- Evidence relating to illness must be provided by a medical professional or relevant professional
- Any letters or statements should be on headed paper. You can send us a scan or photograph of a letter if you have been sent a physical copy of it. The scan or photograph must show all pages and sides of a letter, with nothing obscured
- We can’t normally accept documents sent to us from a person’s personal email address, or if you have forwarded an email or statement to us. If a statement or document is being sent by email, it must be sent to us directly from the author’s work or professional email address. This helps us to verify that the person is who they say they are
- Asking the person to write their statement on a Supporting Statement Form can help them to think about all of the information they might want to provide
Some examples of acceptable evidence
- Doctor's letter or certificate which confirms your illness and clearly identifies that the time period for which you were unwell is the same as the time period we are looking at
- Hospital admission and discharge letter, to confirm your time spent in hospital
- A Death certificate, an Order of Service, a letter from the funeral director, or an online notice of death (from the funeral director or from the local newspaper/online)
- Supporting statements written by a member of University or Students’ Union staff. For example, your Academic Mentor, a member of your course staff, a member of one of our Student Support teams, or someone from the Students’ Union Core Staff Team
- A police report or other letter from a police officer not connected to your studies. A crime reference number on its own is not enough, as it does not tell us anything about the case
- A supporting statement from your employer, for example if your circumstances relate to an unexpected increase in workload or unexpected employment circumstances
- If you are a student who is currently serving in the Armed Forces, a supporting statement from your Commanding Officer, HR representative or the Army Welfare Service
- A news report, for example to confirm unforeseen transport difficulties
Some examples of evidence which is not acceptable
- Self-certification of your own circumstances
- Evidence which is provided by someone who is not independent from you
- Evidence of a medical condition for which a Doctor did not see or diagnose you at the time
- Hospital or Doctor’s appointment letter which doesn’t tell us anything about the reason for the appointment or the severity of your condition
- Medical condition supported by retrospective evidence- For example, a letter from a doctor confirming what you told them about your state of health several weeks beforehand, if the doctor did not see or diagnose you when you were ill
- A letter from a parent, partner, family member or fellow student verifying circumstances where there is no other independent supporting evidence
- Extracts of numerous emails merged into single documents
- Evidence in a language other than English. This must be accompanied by a certified translation. The translation must be undertaken by a member of the Association of Translation Companies. It is your responsibility to have your evidence independently translated and to bear any costs incurred
- Crime reference number without a police report
- Screenshots from mobile devices showing restricted information
- Images of injuries- We can’t verify who is in the photograph, when or where it was taken. Images don’t tell us anything about the severity of an injury or condition, or how it may have impacted on you
- Illegible evidence i.e., faded wording, cropped, missing information, undated, poorly scanned evidence
- The University will not accept Doctor's letters provided by on-line GP services such as Push Doctor