Personal Circumstances Procedure

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The Personal Circumstances procedures have been developed to ensure that all students are treated fairly, and are not disadvantaged by circumstances beyond their control. 


Personal circumstances are defined as circumstances beyond a student’s control which may adversely affect their ability to study or their performance in assessment.

If you feel that your academic performance has been affected by personal circumstances, you must inform the University as soon as you are aware of these circumstances, by recording them on Pegasus under ‘Personal Circumstances’ and submitting a Personal Circumstances Form to Student Business with supporting evidence.

You must notify Student Business within five working days of the latest affected exam/assessment or deadline.  If an entire semester or exam diet has been affected, you need to submit the form at least one working day before the relevant meeting of the Pre-Board or Personal Circumstances Board. (You can find out when this is via your department). 


In order to be considered, personal circumstances must have significantly affected your academic performance, attendance (including exams) or ability to meet a submission deadline. Board and appeal committees will have regard the following factors when considering circumstances:

  • The evidence presented to support the claim;
  • The possible effect of the circumstances on the studies in question; and
  • Your overall performance on the programme and specific performance in assessments affected by the circumstances

Based on the information that you submit, the Boards will make recommendations to the appropriate Board of Examiners as to whether any academic dispensation should be granted. The Board of Examiners will then take into account the recommendations of the Pre-Board or Personal Circumstances Board, normally by discounting all or part of an assessment, not by raising a mark. 


For advice and support in submitting Personal Circumstances or lodging an Appeal, you are advised to discuss the issue with one or more of the following:

All of the above are able to advise you on the process/procedure and the Advice Hub can advise on the best way to formulate an appeal and/or the supporting evidence which might help the student’s case. Any such decisions will be confidential and so cannot prejudice the appeal. Students who wish advice on the process may also consult Education Enhancement or the relevant Faculty Office.

Useful Documents

The Personal Circumstances and Academic Appeals Procedure can be downloaded from:

Academic Policies & Procedures


Updated as of 17 March 2014


All students