Extenuating Circumstances Guide 2020/21.
What are Extenuating Circumstances?
Extenuating circumstances are usually personal or health problems. Health problems include your emotional wellbeing and mental health, as well as your physical health. Extenuating circumstances do not include computer problems, misreading your exam timetable, employment commitments, planned holidays or events, or local transport delays.
Fit to sit policy
Queen Mary operates a fit to sit policy, which covers all assessments including coursework and exams. If you sit an exam or submit a piece of coursework you are deemed to be fit to do so. In such instances a request for extenuating circumstances will not normally be considered. If you do not feel you are well enough to attend an invigilated exam then you should not attend and should submit a claim for extenuating circumstances instead. You will need to attend a medical consultation within three days of the date of your exam that you missed. Similarly, if you get sick during an exam and have to leave you will need to attend a medical consultation within three days.
NEW – Making a claim is now online
You will need to select the component of the course (e.g. 20% Coursework) that you wish to EC and then in the ‘additional info’ row on the right hand side you need to specify what HW/Quiz/Test you are applying for (Page 7 of the EC guide). It is your responsibility to complete the form correctly and there is a detailed guide attached.
Your form must be accompanied by relevant supporting evidence (for example medical certification, death certificate, police report and crime number, or other written evidence from a person in authority) Please note that although accompanying documentation can be submitted after the form claims without any evidence cannot be considered. It is in your best interest to provide evidence and supporting documentation that is as comprehensive as possible.
NEW – You can now self-certify for EC claims
As an alternative to providing evidence relating to a claim, each student is entitled to submit up to three self-certified claims per academic year (NB – each individual claim can relate to multiple assessments/modules), which involves providing details of the extenuating circumstances without the provision of additional evidence..
This means completing and submitting the Queen Mary self-certification form in place of independent evidence. Please note that self-certification does not mean automatic approval of a claim – we will consider it in the normal way and will need to be satisfied of the validity of the claim, and satisfied that it justifies the outcome.
Making Claims and EC deadlines
It is your own responsibility to submit any claims for extenuating circumstances, not that of your tutor/advisor/SSO. Please ensure that if you have what you believe is a valid case, you complete the submission process in accordance with the school guidelines and deadlines (below).
- Semester one assessments/coursework – Monday 14th December 2020
- Semester one examinations – Friday 22nd January 2021
- Semester two assessments/coursework – Monday 19th April 2021
- Semester two examinations – Friday 4th June 2021
It is not possible to make a retrospective claim for extenuating circumstances, specifically once you know your results. Therefore, claims submitted after the deadline will not be considered by the examination board. Please refer to the full guidance notes on extenuating circumstances from the Advice and Counselling service or online at https://www.welfare.qmul.ac.uk/guides-and-forms/student-advice-guides
Missing mid-terms or end of term tests
If a student misses a mid-term or end of term test and believes they have extenuating circumstances they should submit a claim form with evidence. If this is accepted the test will be rescheduled for a future date, please note that every effort will be made to reschedule tests (this could be in the following semester for end of term tests) and discounting will only happen as a last resort.
How does discounting work?
You can only discount 20% of a module through an EC, for example, if you miss a 30% mid-term then this cannot be discounted through an EC. If you missed a piece of work over 20% it would have to either be rescheduled in semester (where possible), completed at a later date (the next academic year) or remain unmarked.
If you have a component of coursework discounted this means that the coursework element mark comes solely from the other pieces of work that are submitted. The value of these remaining components is boosted to make up for the missing end-of-term mark, but the coursework total remains at the predetermined level.
For example, if you EC every piece of coursework assessment (20%) for a module this will not mean that the exam is now 100% instead of 80%. Discounting is there to help you if you have encountered difficulties during a specific time, it is not designed so that the entire portion of coursework should be discounted.
Please speak with the Student Support Officer for further guidance or support.
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ENGAGEMENT AND ATTENDANCEFor the timely and effective administration of support, the School uses a number of engagement markers and checkpoints, such as attendance, assessment submission and participation. This is to ensure that students are well supported and given every opportunity to progress with their studies and to achieve to their fullest potential whilst here.
The underpinning principles are that the School, once it has admitted a student to a programme of study, has a duty of care to that student, whilst in turn the student has a responsibility to engage with the available support. Furthermore, evidence shows that there is a strong correlation between attendance and performance in exams/assessments.
A student identified as approaching or falling below the minimum requirements of engagement set by the School will be contacted alerting them to this, outlining support mechanisms to deal with the issues that may be contributing to this.
The school expects attendance levels at each module of 70% for all undergraduates, over a rolling period of 2-3 weeks. Attendance falling below this level will result in an email drawing attention to this, indicating what support we could offer with work or other problems. Excused absences would be excluded from the above requirements. Requests for these should be made via the online report form. For absences longer than five days, you must provide a medical certificate from an authorised medical professional. This medical evidence should be submitted to the Student Support Officer.
Assessments will be monitored and students that fail to achieve above 40% for two or more assessments in a particular module, or fail a mid-term examination, will be contacted. Students with extenuating circumstances will be excluded from this, providing they have filled out the required documentation which then has to be accepted.
Students whose attendance falls below acceptable levels on consecutive rolling periods will be invited to meet with the Student Support Officer (Harvey Abraham-Green) to discuss their attendance and circumstances surrounding their absences. The Student Support Officer will attempt to help you reengage with your studies and signpost support resources on campus.
If a student is identified as in need of support in order to re-engage with their studies, they will also be invited to a meeting with their Personal Tutor/Advisor to discuss issues that might be affecting their studies, and for the provision of encouragement/advice.
Students whose attendance continues to be below acceptable levels over multiple and consecutive checkpoints will be invited to meet with the Senior Tutor.
Those who have been identified for continual nonattendance and do not engage with the school or support resources could face deregistration from the programme.
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