Mitigating Circumstances


During your studies you may be affected by sudden or unforeseen circumstances. You should always contact your course directors and the Masters admin team ( for advice and support. If the circumstances occur at the time of, or immediately preceding your assessments you may be able to make a claim for mitigating circumstances. If successful this claim enables the Board of Examiners when reviewing your marks at the end of the year to have greater discretion with regards to offering repeat attempts (either capped or uncapped), a repeat year, or with your progression or final classification. Please note, the Board are not permitted to amend the marks that you were awarded, only to take your claim into account making decisions.

All claims must be supported by independent evidence and submitted within 10 working days after the assessment deadline. Any claim made after this deadline is likely to be rejected unless there is a good reason (such as you were still unwell) until the point of submitting the claim. 

Through the procedure you may also be able to request an extension deadline to some forms of assessment. Wherever possible it is expected that this is used as it will enable to you complete your studies within the same College year (rather than over the summer holiday or in the next year).

Where to apply

You can apply for Mitigating Circumstances on Zinc. Zinc is a bespoke system created and customed for use in the Department of Chemistry for MRes programmes. 

All claims are considered and processed solely by the welfare and pastoral teams within the Department of Chemistry. 

Ongoing and long-term conditions

Support for ongoing or long-term conditions, or for registered disabilities would not normally fall under the remit of mitigating circumstances and students should be supported through their studies with Additional Examination Arrangements. More details can be found on Adjustments and Support.

Frequently asked questions

What evidence do I need?

The evidence that is needed to support a claim will differ depending on your circumstances but it must:

  1. Relate to the time of the assessment.
  2. Be independent.
  3.  Explain the impact on your studies.
  4. Demonstrate the severity of the circumstances on you.

Remember that the panel not medical experts and will not have the knowledge to interpret medical reports and technical language.

Can a claim be raised for me by someone else?

No, not normally. As you are an adult, under UK law the College cannot discuss your case with anyone else including your parents, partner etc. unless we have your specific written permission to do so. 

What happens once I have submitted the claim?

The claim will be reviewed by the department mitigation panel. These will be the only ones to review the claim in full. They will make a recommendation based on their consideration of your case to the Board of Examiners. The Board will only receive the decision (accept etc.), they do not receive the details of your claim.

How long will a claim take to be considered?

Panels meet regularly so you should not have to wait too long for a decision, but each department has its own panel, set up to meet the requirements of the programmes it runs, rather than a College wide timetable. The department administrator will be able to give you an indicative timescale.

What happens if my claim is successful?

If successful, the Board of Examiners will consider this alongside your academic profile. You should note that any decisions, regardless of an accepted claim for mitigation must take into account the College and any programme specific requirements/ regulations and therefore may not appear to directly correspond to any requests you have made.

What happens if my claim is not successful?

If your claim is not successful as the panel did not consider that your evidence was sufficient to support the claim, you will be given 5 working days to resubmit with additional evidence.

If your claim is not accepted following resubmission, or if it was rejected for other reasons (not meeting the definition or late without an acceptable compelling reason) you may consider requesting an Academic Appeal. The purpose of the appeals process is to ensure that the mitigation panel have correctly followed the procedure, or that the decision was reasonable in all the circumstances. Please see the Academic Appeals procedure for more information.