Extenuating Circumstances

Extenuating circumstances (ECs) are circumstances that affect your ability to meet assessment or affect your performance in an assessment. ECs are unforeseeable, unpreventable and beyond your control.

The MDXSU Advice service can help you by explaining the process of applying for ECs, advise you how to put together a statement and fill out the ECs form online, and provide feedback on your statement and supporting evidence. 


What Constitutes an Extenuating Circumstance?


  • Unforeseen accident or serious illness of a close relative
  • Bereavement
  • Serious levels of prolonged stress or anxiety
  • Serious personal disruption (such as a fire or burglary)
  • Religious observance 

The following situations would not normally be regarded as ECs:

  • - Alleged medical conditions without supporting evidence
  • - Temporary self-induced conditions (such as a hangover)
  • - Minor ailments and other conditions (such as a sore throat, cold, cough, long-term conditions for which arrangements could be made)
  • - Pregnancy and associated responsibilities
  • - Study related issues (such as computer difficulties, losing work not backed up, deadline congestion)

You will need to provide evidence with your ECs claim to verify that the circumstances have happened.


How to Apply For Extenuating Circumstances

1.  Fill out the extenuating circumstances form. Please use Mozilla Firefox to complete the form, and avoid use of a tablet or phone. Do not copy and paste information into the EC form. You can choose to apply for a short extension (up to 15 days), deferral or informing the Assessment Board of your extenuating circumstances - more information below.

2.  Write your statement. This should include the following:

- "Dear Sir or Madam/To Whom It May Concern/ Dear…,"
- Introduce yourself, explain the purpose of this statement and why you are applying for extenuating circumstances.
- Explain the sudden, unexpected, significantly disruptive and beyond your control issues you were experiencing which affected you performance in the assessment.
State what outcome you are looking for (e.g. deferral, extension…)
- "Respectfully/Yours sincerely,"

3.  Attach evidence to support your case. The evidence must be current and not produced retrospectively. Normally, the evidence should be some kind of a formal documentation, letter or certificate, written in English. Visit UniHub for examples of evidence.

If you would like us to review your statement or evidence before submitting your application for extenuating circumstances, please email studentadvice@mdx.ac.uk or call 020 8411 6450.


What can I apply for as a result of extenuating circumstances?

- Short extension: this will give you an extension of up to 15 days
- Deferral: this means that you are requesting an opportunity to sit the exam at the next assessment opportunity
- ECs noted only: although you intend to sit your exam or submit your assessments, you would like to inform the Assessment Board in case there is a borderline decision to be made.
- Short Extension and ECs noted

How to I request a deferral?

To request a deferral, you should submit your application as soon as possible and by the deadline for completion of the assessment component.
If you would like to inform the Assessment Board of your ECs, you should submit your application as soon as possible and by the deadline of your last piece of assessment for the academic year.
If your ECs occur on the day of the assessment, you have up to 5 working days after the deadline to submit your application. If you are unable to gather the evidence in those 5 days, you should submit your application explaining what evidence you are waiting for and why and when it will be available. You will then be given a new deadline by which you have to provide your evidence.

What happens after I've submitted by ECs application?

Normally, you should receive your decision within 10 working days. If your application for ECs is referred to a Panel, you will be informed of the decision within 5 days of the Panel meeting. You will be notified by UniHelp via your Middlesex University email account. If you were granted ECs, there will be an ‘I’ (I=incomplete) recorded in the grade column, followed by the applicable deferral code:

- DA – deferred all
- DC – deferred coursework
- DE – deferred exam
- DD - deferred other