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Supporting you During Assessment Time

What to do if you're affected by challenging personal circumstances.

If your studies or assessments are affected by unforeseen circumstances - there are options available to support you.

From time-to-time things don't always go as planned, but it can be difficult to know what to do when your ability to attend teaching, sit examinations or submit assessments is affected by challenging personal circumstances which are outside of your control.  

If possible, it is always best to fore-warn your school about any potential problems that may affect your studies by speaking to your Programme Leader or Programme Team. The following options are available to students:

  • coursework extension is permission to hand in an assessment after the published deadline without either incurring a penalty or waiting to re-take an alternative assessment as a referral or deferral. Students must follow the process identitied within their programme information to apply for a coursework extension and, if accepted, an extension could be granted of up to 7 calendar days. It is not always possible for extensions to be granted, and therefore it is always best to speak directly with your Programme Team.
  • Exceptional Circumstances can be applied for if circumstances outside of your control have impacted your ability to perform in assessments and submissions by the given deadline. An Exceptional Circumstances request, if approved, delays a submission until the next assessment period and is likely to require you to submit a different piece of work from the one you are working on. Exceptional Circumstances submissions are made via your Student Record and full guidance is provided about the process on Ask Herts.
  • "Fit to Sit" exemption request is whereby a student was affected by challenging personal, medical, or health circumstances at the time of an assessment but was not able to submit Exceptional Circumstances or to apply for a coursework extension - or if they sat or submitted an assessment, but afterwards received confirmation from a medical practitioner that they were not well enough to do so. A fit to sit exemption request is submitted via the Student Portal and arrangements would need to be made for a medical practitioner to complete the Exemption from Fit-to-Sit form, for submission to  
  • An academic appeal is the submission of a request for a review of an academic decision due to concerns over potential bias, procedural irregularities or errors occurring within an assessment process. It is only appropriate to submit an academic appeal if a student's case fulfils specific grounds and is supported by evidence. Academic appeals can only be submitted once academic results have been officially released. We strongly suggest that students approach our team for impartial advice and support if they're considering submitting an academic appeal.

Being that we are a separate organisation to the University (Herts SU is a registered charity), we are the only place you can receive truly independent and impartial advice and information about the university's academic procedures and regulations. 

Our team is available 10:00-16:00, Monday to Friday, all year round (except bank holidays and University/SU closed days); complete our online advice request form or e-mail to either receive information via e-mail or to book a consultation either face-to-face, online or by telephone.


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