Advice and Guidance
We recognise that there may be times when you are unable to meet the submission deadline for your work due to circumstances beyond your control e.g. personal illness or personal difficulties. If you find yourself in such a position you can make a claim for exceptional circumstances.
If you are studying either on campus, by distance learning or at one of our UK partnership organisations you can access the exceptional circumstances form via the My Modules and Assessment tab in your e:VisionStaffs Portal.
If you have any questions or experience difficulty in completing the Exceptional Circumstances form please seek advice from your subject tutor, the Student Hub at Stoke or the Information Points at Stafford or Shrewsbury, the Students' Union Advice Centre or your Student Guidance Advisors who are there to provide specialist information, as well as confidential, impartial advice. In addition you can refer to the Exceptional Circumstances Helpsheet which has been produced by Student Guidance Advisors to answer some of your initial questions.
The Students' Union Advice Centre and Student Guidance Advisors have also constructed an Exceptional Circumstances Jargon Buster (PDF, file size: 149.85KB) to help you when considering submitting a claim.
Please refer to the Exceptional Circumstances Procedure.
Examples of Acceptable Claims for Exceptional CircumstancesThe following are commonly accepted grounds for exceptional circumstances:
Serious ill health
Personal accident or injury of a significant nature
Bereavement due to the loss of a close family member - a parent, grandparent, guardian, sibling, son, daughter or a close personal friend. Claims relating to extended family members will not normally be accepted.
Victim of crime
Significant exacerbation of an on-going condition *
Unforeseen transport difficulties which could not have been avoided
Unforeseen work commitments, not applicable to full-time students
Unexpected pregnancy complications
Jury Service, only if your attendance is compulsory and cannot be deferred
Adverse weather conditions (PDF, file size: 121.53KB) - Please click on the link for further information
*Please note you will need to provide evidence from your GP or the Accessability Team to confirm that you experienced an exacerbation of your disability or ongoing condition, leading up to, or at the time of your assessment.
Examples of Non-Acceptable Claims for Exceptional Circumstances
The following is a non-exhaustive list of commonly rejected claims for Exceptional Circumstances
Minor illness i.e. cold
Family events i.e. weddings and holidays
Routine medical appointments
a)Not allowing sufficient time to travel to University to undertake assessments or submit coursework
b)Not allowing sufficient time to access IT facilities in order to print assessments
c)Not allowing sufficient time to complete and submit multiple assessments with similar deadlines
Poor practice i.e. failure to back up work
Personal computer or printer problems (please see 'important to note' below)
Change of employment, where this was within your control
Misreading of assessment due dates
Sitting the wrong examination
Normal exam stress or anxiety experienced during revision or during the assessment period
Religious festival, this is not unforeseen and any matters should be discussed with either your Personal or Course Tutor in advance
Conditions covered in your Learning Support Agreement, for which you are receiving reasonable and appropriate adjustments
Medical condition supported only by retrospective evidence (such as a Doctor's note stating that you were seen after the illness)
Late enrolment on a course or module, where this was within your control
Complaints against staff or in relation or module/course delivery. These are considered through the University's Complaints Policy and Procedure
Important to note:
If you are uncertain whether your claim might be legitimate, please discuss this with your Personal Tutor, a member of staff from within the Student Guidance Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Students' Union Advice Centre (email@example.com) or 01782294629
The University appreciate that IT issues are different for Distance Learners who cannot usually use IT equipment owned by the University. Therefore, claims from students or Distance Learning courses which are based on IT or computer problems, will be considered by the Exceptional Circumstances decision maker case by case.
Standard of Acceptable EvidenceExamples of acceptable evidence - the list is not exhaustive
Doctor's letter or certificate which confirms your illness and clearly identifies that the time period for which you were unwell corresponds to the assessment period in which you are claiming
Hospital admission and discharge letter, to confirm your time spent in hospital
Death certificate / Order of Service / Funeral Director's Letter
Any supporting statements issued by a Personal Tutor, Course Tutor or Module Tutor must be provided on a Supporting Statement Form (PDF, file size: 120.88KB) , on headed paper as a PDF and not a Word document or come directly from the author's e-mail address.
Police report, a crime reference number on its own will not be sufficient
A supporting statement from your employer if your circumstances relate to an unexpected increase in workload or unexpected employment circumstances i.e. deployment. A supporting statement issued by your employer must be provided on a Supporting Statement Form (PDF, file size: 120.88KB) , on headed paper as a PDF and not a Word document or come directly from the author's e-mail address.
News report to confirm unforeseen transport difficulties
Evidence which is Not Acceptable
Examples of evidence which is not acceptable
Self-certification of your own circumstances
Evidence which is not supplied by an independent party
Evidence of a medical condition for which a Doctor did not see or diagnose in person, please see paragraph below for further information relating to on-line medical diagnosis
Hospital or Doctor appointment letter / card
Medical condition supported by retrospective evidence
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
Crime reference number without a supplementary Police report
Screenshots from mobile devices showing restricted information
Illegible evidence i.e. faded wording, cropped, missing information, undated, poorly scanned evidence
Online-Line Medical Diagnosis
The University will not accept Doctor's letters provided by on-line GP services such as Push Doctor
Important to note:
All evidence must be contemporaneous to the assessment period in which you are claiming
Evidence to corroborate illness must be provided by a medical practitioner
Supporting statements should be provided on a Supporting Statement Form (PDF, file size: 120.88KB) , on headed paper as a PDF and not a Word document or come directly from the author's e-mail address.
Evidence in support of your claim must be legible and dated, poorly scanned, cropped (missing information), faded evidence will not be accepted
Evidence must be accompanied by a certified translation if written in a language other than English. The translation must be undertaken by a member of the Association of Translation Companies www.atc.org.uk It is your responsibility to have your evidence independently translated and to bear any costs incurred
If you don't submit your evidence when you complete your exceptional circumstances form, then you must e-mail your evidence to Ext.Circs@staffs.ac.uk, or submit it to the Student Hub at Stoke or to the Information Point located at Stafford or Shrewsbury, within the required timeframe. Your evidence will be uploaded to your exceptional circumstances claim on your behalf
If you submit no evidence then your claim will be rejected
If you submit some but not all of your evidence within the required timeframe, then your claim will be considered on the evidence provided
The Exceptional Circumstances Administrator cannot obtain evidence on your behalf