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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

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I’m a Postgraduate Research Student

The Extenuating Circumstances Policy & Procedure only applies to students undertaking taught modules or programmes of study (including the taught elements of the MRes and EdD).  If you're on a postgraduate research programme and are experiencing difficulties, please get in touch with the RETI Training and Research Programmes Officer for your faculty:

What extenuating circumstances can I submit a claim for?

It’s impossible to provide a complete list of all circumstances but information on the situations or events that are generally considered to be extenuating is on the ‘What are extenuating circumstances?’ page.

What are not considered as extenuating circumstances?

It’s impossible to provide a complete list but information on the situations or events which could usually have been avoided or where you could have made arrangements to deal with the problem are on the ‘What are extenuating circumstances?’ page.

What should I do if my circumstances are ongoing?

An existing long-term condition which may affect your studies and assessments is not usually considered an extenuating circumstance unless the condition was made worse by something that happened during or leading up to the assessment.

There are some circumstances where you can use your Greenwich Inclusion Plan (GIP) as evidence to support a claim. Full information is on the ‘I have a Greenwich Inclusion Plan (GIP) – can I make an EC claim?’ page.

If you’ve been newly diagnosed with a long-term condition which you haven’t  been unable to tell us about before, you should submit your extenuating circumstance claim with evidence of your diagnosis and contact the Student Wellbeing team for further advice about managing and supporting your condition.

Do I need to include evidence with my extenuating circumstances claim?

You’ll need to provide as much evidence and information as possible as we use it to decide the outcome of your claim. All the information you need is on the ‘Do I have ECs and what evidence do I need?’ page.

Can I submit evidence after I have submitted my claim?

Yes, but make sure you don't miss the deadline to submit your claim because you are waiting for evidence. All the information about evidence deadlines is on the ‘When should I submit my EC claim?’ page.

What are the possible outcomes of an extenuating circumstances claim?

The outcome of your claim will be either ‘accepted’ or ‘rejected’, although you may be asked for other information and evidence before a final decision is reached. All the information on what happens and what you need to do after you have your outcome is on the ‘I’ve submitted a claim – what happens now?’ page.

My tutor knows about my extenuating circumstances.  Do I still need to make a claim?

Yes. We can only consider claims that have been submitted via the online system.  This is so that we get the information at the right time and to ensure the process stays confidential.

If you are unable to submit your claim yourself due to a physical illness or mental health condition, a member of staff (personal tutor, module leader, welfare support) can submit the claim on your behalf. However, it’s your responsibility to contact the member of staff and ask them to do this for you – we may need to see evidence that you have asked the member of staff to do this for you.

If I don't want to submit an extenuating circumstances claim, are there any other options available?

If you don't think that extenuating circumstances are right for your situation, you may want to explore interrupting (taking a break from) your studies for the rest of the academic year. More information on this can be found in the Interruption, Withdrawal & Transfer Policy.

If you are struggling with your studies or have an issue which is affecting your studies, you can visit the university's Wellbeing Hub or visit the Student’s Union advice team.

What happens if I submit a false claim?

Whilst it’s very rare, we are occasionally provided with false claims or false evidence. If we suspect this has happened, we may refer the case for consideration under the Student Disciplinary Procedure as an attempt to gain an unfair advantage.

Who can help me complete my extenuating circumstances claim?

If you are struggling with what to put in your claim, the Student’s Union advice team will be able to help.

If you are unable to submit your claim yourself due to a physical illness or mental health condition, a member of staff (personal tutor, module leader, welfare support) can submit the claim on your behalf. However, it’s your responsibility to contact the member of staff and ask them to do this for you – we may need to see evidence that you have asked the member of staff to do this for you.

What if I don't agree with the outcome of my extenuating circumstances claim?

If you don’t agree with the outcome of your claim, you may be able to request a review of the outcome using the Academic Appeals Procedure. Guidance on whether you are eligible to submit an appeal and the relevant forms can also be found via the link.

I have an assessment misconduct decision against me - can I submit an EC claim?

A successful claim can’t be used to justify or excuse a decision of proven assessment misconduct. If you disagree with the outcome of an assessment misconduct case, you can find out how to appeal that decision in the Assessment Misconduct Procedure.

Can a successful claim for ECs improve my mark?

No. An approved claim for extenuating circumstances won’t alter the mark given to that work.

How many times can I make an EC claim?

There’s currently no limit on the number of claims you can make, but it’s important for you to understand that if you have too much work outstanding at the end of the year, you may not be able to progress to your next level of study.

If you find you are submitting EC claims multiple times throughout the year you might want to consider other options or get extra help:

  • Interruption (taking a break from your studies for the rest of the academic year) may be an option if you are having longer term difficulties - more information on this can be found in the Interruption, Withdrawal & Transfer Policy.
  • If you’ve been newly diagnosed with a long-term condition which you haven’t  been unable to tell us about before, contact the Student Wellbeing team for further advice about managing and supporting your condition.

If you are struggling with your studies or have an issue which is affecting your studies, you can visit the university's Wellbeing Hub or visit the Student’s Union advice team.

What if I'm too embarrassed to disclose my circumstances?

We understand that in some cultures it is not usual to disclose the details of some of these kinds of circumstances outside of immediate family. We are fully supportive of students in difficult circumstances and want to assist you where possible. If you feel uncomfortable talking to a tutor or other member of faculty staff in the first instance, you might prefer to approach the Students’ Union or Wellbeing Services for initial informal confidential advice.

Without wanting to invade your privacy, you do need to formally advise us by making an extenuating circumstances claim so that we can consider your circumstances, despite the discomfort you might feel. If you don’t disclose your circumstances at a time when you could have done so, we might not be able to take them into account at a later date.

Exceptional cases - circumstances which currently do not require evidence

The situation in Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories

We understand how difficult the current situation is for you and your family and want to support you as much as possible.

We realise that you may not be able to properly focus on your studies or assessments at this time and might feel that you need some extra time to submit or undertake your assessment, or that your performance has been affected.

The Extenuating Circumstances Procedure is here to support you where the impact of the situation in Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories affects your performance in or ability to undertake an assessment.

Where you have been directly affected, we will not be asking for any evidence to support your claim – you just need to explain your circumstances. The ECs system requires you to upload evidence to complete your claim, so please just attach a pdf screenshot of this web page as your evidence.

If you need help making an Extenuating Circumstances claim, you can contact the GSU Advice Service for support.

The situation in Sudan

As students with a Sudanese nationality, we understand how difficult the current situation is for you and your family and want to support you as much as possible.

We realise that you may not be able to properly focus on your studies or assessments at this time and might feel that you need some extra time to submit or undertake your assessment, or that your performance has been affected.

The Extenuating Circumstances Procedure is here to support you where the impact of the situation in Sudan affects your performance in or ability to undertake an assessment.

Where you have been directly affected, we will not be asking for any evidence to support your claim – you just need to explain your circumstances. The ECs system requires you to upload evidence to complete your claim, so please just attach a pdf screenshot of this web page as your evidence.

If you need help making an Extenuating Circumstances claim, you can contact the GSU Advice Service for support.

The situation in Ukraine

We know we have students from Ukraine and others who have family or friends there who will be directly affected by the conflict, together with students from surrounding areas who may be affected in different ways.

We realise that you may not be able to properly focus on your studies or assessments at this time and might feel that you need some extra time to submit or undertake your assessment, or that your performance has been affected.

The Extenuating Circumstances Procedure is here to support you where the impact of the conflict affects your performance in or ability to undertake an assessment.

Where you have been directly affected by the conflict, we will not be asking for any evidence to support your claim – you just need to explain your circumstances. The ECs system requires you to upload evidence to complete your claim, so please just attach a pdf screenshot of this web page as your evidence.

If you have not been directly affected by the conflict but are experiencing anxiety or other concerns as a result, you will need to explain clearly how you have been affected and we may ask you demonstrate the impact by providing supporting evidence.

If you need help making an Extenuating Circumstances claim, you can contact the GSU Advice Service for support.

This link https://www.gre.ac.uk/articles/public-relations/ukraine provides details of other dedicated support available, so please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

The situation in Sri Lanka

As students with a Sri Lankan nationality, we understand how difficult the current situation is for you and your family and want to support you as much as possible.

We realise that you may not be able to properly focus on your studies or assessments at this time and might feel that you need some extra time to submit or undertake your assessment, or that your performance has been affected.

The Extenuating Circumstances Procedure is here to support you where the impact of the situation in Sri Lanka affects your performance in or ability to undertake an assessment.

Where you have been directly affected, we will not be asking for any evidence to support your claim – you just need to explain your circumstances. The ECs system requires you to upload evidence to complete your claim, so please just attach a pdf screenshot of this web page as your evidence.

If you need help making an Extenuating Circumstances claim, you can contact the GSU Advice Service for support.

The situation in Bangladesh

We know we have students from Bangladesh and we understand how difficult the current situation is for you and your family and want to support you as much as possible.

We realise that you may not be able to properly focus on your studies or assessments at this time and might feel that you need some extra time to submit or undertake your assessment, or that your performance has been affected.

The Extenuating Circumstances Procedure is here to support you where the impact of the situation in Bangladesh affects your performance in or ability to undertake an assessment.

Where you have been directly affected, we will not be asking for any evidence to support your claim – you just need to explain your circumstances. The ECs system requires you to upload evidence to complete your claim, so please just attach a pdf screenshot of this web page as your evidence.

If you need help making an Extenuating Circumstances claim, you can contact the GSU Advice Service for support.

The situation in Pakistan

We know we have students from Pakistan and we understand how difficult the current situation is for you and your family and want to support you as much as possible.

We realise that you may not be able to properly focus on your studies or assessments at this time and might feel that you need some extra time to submit or undertake your assessment, or that your performance has been affected.

The Extenuating Circumstances Procedure is here to support you where the impact of the situation in Pakistan affects your performance in or ability to undertake an assessment.

Where you have been directly affected, we will not be asking for any evidence to support your claim – you just need to explain your circumstances. The ECs system requires you to upload evidence to complete your claim, so please just attach a pdf screenshot of this web page as your evidence.

If you need help making an Extenuating Circumstances claim, you can contact the GSU Advice Service for support.

The situation in Turkey and Syria

We know we have students from Turkey and Syria, and we understand how difficult the current situation is for you and your family and want to support you as much as possible.

We realise that you may not be able to properly focus on your studies or assessments at this time and might feel that you need some extra time to submit or undertake your assessment, or that your performance has been affected.

The Extenuating Circumstances Procedure is here to support you where the impact of the situation in Turkey and Syria affects your performance in or ability to undertake an assessment.

Where you have been directly affected, we will not be asking for any evidence to support your claim – you just need to explain your circumstances. The ECs system requires you to upload evidence to complete your claim, so please just attach a pdf screenshot of this web page as your evidence.

If you need help making an Extenuating Circumstances claim, you can contact the GSU Advice Service for support.