Extenuating Circumstances - Minor Illness
University regulations allow students to draw to the attention of the Board of Examiners any significant personal circumstances which they believe have affected their performance in one or more assessments, or have caused them to miss a coursework deadline or be absent from an examination. Such submissions must be made in writing to the Chair of the Principal Board of Examiners accompanied by independent evidence.
In recent years it has become increasingly common practice for students to report minor illness to the Board, and provide a medical certificate. This has meant - particularly for the University's own Medical Centre during the examination periods - a very high demand on doctors' time which should be spent on those with more serious conditions.
Additionally, the doctors often find that, for minor illnesses, there is little or no substantial evidence on which they can base an objective medical certificate. In these circumstances they can do no more than confirm that the student attended the surgery and reported symptoms to them.
Equally, Board of Examiners can do little about such minor illnesses. Boards are required by the University to make their decisions on students' academic grades, and their progression and awards, with respect to actual achievements irrespective of the personal circumstances affecting individual students at the time the assessments were undertaken. Boards cannot determine what grades would have been achieved by candidates had their circumstances been different.
It is only in the case of more serious extenuating circumstances that a Board will use its powers of discretion and, for example, offer a candidate the opportunity to take an assessment again.