Request for Additional Consideration Policy

1. Purpose/Abstract

This document describes the University’s policy governing student Requests for Additional Consideration.

2. Scope

2.1 The policy applies to:

• Registered Undergraduate students
• Registered Postgraduate Taught students
• Registered Postgraduate Research students
• All students at partner institutions
• Summative assessments

2.2 This policy does not apply to:

• End-point assessments for apprentice students
• Formative assessments
• Placements
• Students on Dual Career programmes, unless not covered by their sports specific support plan, for example, injury, or unexpected attendance and a home nation international sporting event
• Students with an existing disability or ongoing medical condition. Normally, students should report these to the Student Wellbeing Service at application stage, on enrolment, or as soon as possible thereafter, so that it can be properly recorded and appropriate arrangements to support the student put in place to ensure that the student is not disadvantaged, such as a support plan. Students with support plans can utilise the Request for Additional Consideration policy in the event of new or unforeseen personal circumstances (as per the below).

3. When should the Request for Additional Consideration be used?

3.1 Request for additional consideration policy is for serious, unforeseeable personal circumstances, beyond a student’s control which have seriously affected their ability to complete an assessment.

3.2 Request for additional consideration may apply in the following circumstances:

3.3 For Level 1 (Extension) requests:

• In the case of short-term period of illness or condition
• When unexpected caring responsibilities are required
• If students are affected by a bereavement
• When a traumatic incident is experienced because of a protected characteristic

3.4 For Level 2 and 3 (Deferral or Mitigating actions) requests:

• Where serious, unforeseeable personal circumstances prevent a student from taking or completing a module properly
• Where a student is unable to attend a formal examination due serious, unforeseeable personal circumstances
• Where serious, unforeseeable personal circumstances can be shown to have affected a student’s performance in assessment

3.5 Examples likely to be accepted for Level 2&3 requests may include:

• Serious short-term illness or injury
• Worsening of an ongoing illness or disability, including mental health conditions
• Symptoms of an infectious disease that could be harmful if passed on to others
• Death or significant illness of a close family member or friend
• Unexpected caring responsibilities for a family member or dependent
• Significant personal or family crises leading to acute stress
• Witnessing or experiencing a traumatic incident
• A crime which has had a substantial impact on the student
• Accommodation crisis such as eviction or the home becoming uninhabitable
• An emergency or crisis that prevents the student from attending an exam or accessing an online assessment
• A technical problem that prevents the student from accessing online teaching or assessment
• Safeguarding concerns

3.6 Examples unlikely to be accepted may include:

• Holidays, house moves or other events that were planned or could reasonably have been expected
• Minor illness such as common colds or hay fever, unless the symptoms are particularly severe
• Assessments that are scheduled close together
• Misreading the exam timetable
• Poor time management
• Minor transport disruption
• Computer or printer failure where the student should have backed-up their work
• Normal exam stress
• Minor life events, unless the circumstances have had a disproportionate impact
• Work pressure, unless the circumstances have had a disproportionate impact

3.7 The Request for Additional Consideration policy must not be used to manage ongoing illness or circumstances. For ongoing illness or circumstances, students should consider seeking a support plan or consider taking an authorised break in study.

3.8 For disabilities in the early stages of diagnosis and support/management, the Request for Additional Circumstances procedure can be used initially until wider support mechanisms are in place.

3.9 Requests for additional consideration on the same basis as previous successful claims are not likely to be accepted.

4. Responsibilities

4.1 It is the responsibility of staff and students to acquaint themselves this with policy.

4.2 It is a student’s responsibility to recognise circumstances that will affect their performance in assessments and apply for a Request for Additional Consideration within stipulated timescales.

4.3 It is a student’s responsibility to apply for the appropriate additional consideration mechanism. Students can find support to make this decision via Personal Academic Tutors, Programme Leaders, Personal College Advisors, Online Learning Advisors or Research Supervision Team for PGR students. 

5. Additional Consideration Mechanisms

5.1 7-day Extension via Self-Certification

5.1.1 Students can submit a 7-day extension request for circumstances which are unexpected and where it is not possible to obtain independent third-party evidence. Example reasons for a 7-day self-certification request are given in section 3.3 above.

5.1.2 Self-certification requests can be made on coursework submissions and for programme milestones for PGR students (see current PGR regulations) only, it cannot be used for exams, or practical assessments (including group work).

5.1.3 Students can submit a self-certification request once per academic year.
Academic years are relevant to their start point (e.g. September to August / January to December / March to February)

5.1.4 Self-certification cannot be made on an In Module Retrieval attempt.
Students will be expected to submit the self-certification request via the additional consideration portal. Failure to submit the request will mean that the extension is not granted.

5.1.5 A self-certification claim cannot be submitted as part of an Academic Appeal.

5.1.6 If serious circumstances beyond a student’s control affect their ability to complete an assessment, they should consider submitting a claim for level 2 or 3 support. 

5.2 14-day Extension with Evidence

5.2.1 Students can submit a 14-day extension request for circumstances which are unexpected. Example reasons for a 14-day extension request are given in section 3.3 above.

5.2.2 14-day extension requests can be made on coursework submissions and for programme milestones for PGR students (see current PGR regulations) only, it cannot be used for exams, or practical assessments (including group work). Extensions cannot be used on an In Module Retrieval attempt.

5.2.3 Students will be expected to submit the extension request via the additional consideration portal. Failure to submit the request will mean that the extension is not granted.

5.2.3 If serious circumstances beyond a student’s control affect their ability to complete an assessment, they should consider submitting a claim for level 2 or 3 support.

5.3 Level 2 – Deferral

5.3.1 A deferral or deferred assessment allows a student to postpone an assessment to the next available assessment point. A deferred assessment will normally require a fresh piece of work (does not apply to PGR Independent study). A deferred assessment should normally be taken in the same academic year to ensure students are able to progress or graduate on time (does not apply to PGR).

5.3.2 Deferrals should be used when illness or unexpected significant circumstances last longer than 14 days. Examples of circumstances for a deferral request are given in section 3.4 above.

5.3.3 Students can apply for a deferral on summative coursework, programme milestones (PGR only), exams, and practical assessments (including group work).

5.3.4 Independent third-party evidence will normally be required to support the application for a deferred assessment. Guidance on the types of evidence that can be found here.

5.3.4 The University cannot obtain evidence on behalf of a student. All evidence should be submitted in English, or in the original language with translation provided.

5.3.4 The University reserves the right to check validity of evidence if concerns arise in relation to the authenticity of evidence submitted. Action may be taken through the University’s Student Disciplinary, or Professional Conduct and Professional Suitability procedures if the evidence is found to be fraudulent.

5.4 Level 3 – Mitigating Actions

5.4.1 Mitigating actions support students overall academic record when significant personal circumstances have had an overall negative impact on studies and their ability to reach their full academic potential.

5.4.2 Request for Mitigating Actions must be fully supported by independent third-party evidence to explain and demonstrate the impact of the reported circumstances on the student’s study.

5.4.3 Discounting: can be requested for level 5, 6 and 7 modules, up to a value of 40 credits and for modules which contribute to the final degree classification. Discounting affects the whole module, rather than individual components.

5.4.5 Students who request discounting, are still required to achieve a pass mark in the affected modules to ensure that the credit requirement of the overall award is met, however if approved, discounting would exclude the affected modules from contributing to the final award calculation. Discounting is not applicable to PGR students in independent study phase.

5.4.6 Retake of a stage of study without penalty: For level 3,4,5,6,7 study, retaking a stage without penalty permits a student to restudy a complete stage of study (e.g., all of level 4) without grade penalty, only where maximum registration is not exceeded.

5.4.7 An approved application does not signify that the retake year will be offered without the normal fee implication. Students will need to consider the financial impact, considering fees and student finance if applicable.

5.4.8 If approved, modules carrying a sanction due to a proven academic misconduct cannot be retaken without a cap and the sanction issued under the academic misconduct procedure will remain.

5.4.9 Extended ABS/Registration Period: Registration periods can be extended by the programme assessment boards or via CRC (please refer to PGR regulations) by one year. Exceptionally, on one occasion only, students can apply for one further year’s registration. The maximum extension period cannot exceed 2 years (1 by the assessment board, 1 by the Additional Consideration panel/UIRC, for PGR students) and in all cases, currency of learning should be assured to protect the University’s award integrity.

5.4.10 The registration period for those students registered for an award of a Professional Body may vary according to the regulations of that Professional Body.

5.4.11 Authorised Break of Study extension: Authorised Breaks in Study can be extended by the programme assessment boards or via CRC (please refer to PGR regulations) by one year. Exceptionally, on one occasion only, students can apply for one further year’s Authorised Break in Study. The maximum extension period cannot exceed 2 years (1 by the assessment board, 1 by the Additional Consideration panel/UIRC, for PGR students) and in all cases, the overall registration on the award should not exceed the maximum stated with in the Academic Regulations.

5.4.12 Removal of penalty: can be used to remove or reinstate the original grade for an assessment in case where a penalty has been applied. For example: Non-Submission, Cap at Pass Mark (referral or retake). Penalties for Academic Misconduct cannot be removed (this should only be via the Academic Misconduct Appeal process only). 

6. Time Scales  

Level 1 – Extensions

1-week extension

Applications must be received prior to assessment submission deadline.

If not received before the assessment submission deadline, the university expects that at the time of assessment the student is fit to submit

2-week extension

Applications must be received prior to assessment submission deadline.

If not received before the assessment submission deadline, the university expects that at the time of assessment the student is fit to submit.

Level 2 – Deferred Assessment

Deferred assessment

For coursework and practicals (including group work) assessments applications must be received prior to assessment submission deadline.

If not received before the assessment submission deadline, the university expects that at the time of assessment the student is fit to submit

For examinations, applications must be received no later than 7 days post the formal examination. Unless there is good reason why the evidence to support the claim was not yet available.

Level 3 – Mitigation

In all cases, applications must be received prior to the final Award being ratified.

Discounting

Applications must be received no later than 2 weeks prior to the end of teaching in the final semester, relevant to the student’s stage.

Removal of penalty

Applications must be received no later than 2 weeks prior to the end of teaching in the final semester, relevant to the student’s stage.

Retake of whole year without penalty

Applications must be received no later than 2 weeks prior to the end of teaching in the final semester, relevant to the student’s stage.

Extended ABS/Reg Period

Applications must be received no later than 2 weeks prior to the end of teaching in the final semester, relevant to the student’s stage, or for PGR students prior to the next relevant CRC.

6.2 In all cases it is the student’s responsibility to submit the form by the specified deadline.

6.3 Retrospective claims, made outside of the timescales detailed above, will not normally be accepted unless there is substantial mitigating evidence to demonstrate why the claim could not reasonably be made in line with the expectations above.

7. Procedure for application

7.1 All claims for Request for Additional Consideration must be submitted on the appropriate online form, which must be completed in full by the student and accompanied by the required evidence.

7.2 All claims must:

Claims will be received through the College Student Centre’s or Online Hub.

7.3 Claims for level 2 and level 3 requests cannot normally be submitted without supporting evidence. Guidance on the types of evidence can be found in ‘Student Guidance’ below.

7.4 Claims for level 1 extensions will assessed and considered by the College Student Centre. Unless more than one claim per semester is made. In which case this may need to be escalated to the Additional Consideration panel.

7.5 Where clear evidence is provided, covering the assessment period for level 2 claims, these will be assessed and considered by the College Student Centre.
Where the evidence is not clear, or where multiple claims are made, these claims will be escalated to the Additional Consideration panel.

7.6 All level 3 claims will be escalated to the Additional Consideration panel.

8. Additional Consideration Panel

8.1 Additional Consideration panels meet on a fortnightly basis.

8.2 The panel should normally be chaired by the Dean/Director of the College/Department, or nominee.

8.3 It is the responsibility of the Additional Consideration panel to ensure that any claim is upheld appropriately, and the evidence is sufficient and relevant. Students will be informed of the outcome of their application within five working days of the panel.

8.4 It is expected that Heads of Department will also normally attend the panel, as will the College Registrar or nominee. In the case that a PGR application is reviewed by the panel a member of the relevant CRC should be in attendance. There will be at least one member of the panel who is from outside the college/department to ensure consistency of approach and decision making between panels.

8.5 A separate panel will consider students studying on the Joint Honours Scheme (JHS). The JHS panel will be chaired by the Joint Honours Scheme Lead, or nominee.

8.6 The frequency of panel meetings should ensure that no students are kept waiting for a decision for an unreasonable period of time. The panel will be required to provide a judgement on each claim within 5 working days of its meeting. It will be the responsibility of the Chair of the panel to ensure that the student is notified of the decision.

8.7 In clear-cut cases where an urgent response is required, the application can be approved by Chair’s action and noted at the next formal panel meeting.

9. Outcomes of Claims

9.1 Claims for additional consideration can have the following outcomes:

• Upheld
• Rejected
• Returned to student for further information or evidence

9.2 Upheld Claims

9.2.1 For Level 1 extensions, if the claim us upheld the extension will be granted from the original assessment deadline.

9.2.2 For Level 2 deferrals, a deferred assessment will be arranged for the next available assessment point. Exceptions to the need to submit a fresh assessment exist in the following circumstances:

9.3 For Level 3 – Mitigating Actions, the relevant Assessment Board or College Research Committee will be notified.

9.4 Rejected Claims

9.4.1 Where a student’s claim is rejected, information on the reason why will be provided to the student, to support the student’s understanding of the outcome.

9.4.2 Student’s whose claims have been rejected will be given 10 days in which to produce further information/evidence to support their claim.

9.4.3 Request for Further Information

9.4.4 Where the claim is not clearly stated, or the evidence provided is not sufficient, 10 days, further to this the claim will be closed.

10. Assessed Extended Deadlines

Assessed Extended Deadlines (AEDs) can be used on a deferred assessment.
As the AED will have already been used prior to level 1 applications (as part of the original deadline date) it is not expected that the additional time granted by an AED is added onto the extension period.

11. Right of Appeal

11.1 Students can appeal against the outcome of Request for Additional Consideration decision. The panel requesting ‘further evidence’ to support an application does not constitute an outcome.

11.2 Such appeals must be submitted via the Academic Appeals procedure within ten working days of the outcome of the decision being communicated to the student.

11.3 Appeals against a Request for Additional Consideration decision may only be made on the following grounds:

I. Evidence of a material and demonstrable procedural irregularity in the process

II. Evidence that the decision maker did not consider all the information available to it at the time of its consideration of the claim

III. Additional evidence available which could not have been reasonably provided at the time of decision being made, or within 10 days prior to the panel in line with section 9.4 (above). Students who base their appeal on this ground will be expected to show why the evidence could not have been provided earlier

11.4 Appeals will not be considered on the following grounds:

IV. Dissatisfaction with the reasonable academic judgment of the decision maker in its consideration of the request

12. Collaborative Partners

Collaborative partners are required to act within the requirements of the policy.

13. Privacy Statement

13.1 All claims and evidence will be treated confidentially and the personal information we ask you to provide is to enable us to consider your claim for additional circumstances. All personal data collected in this way will be processed in accordance with the current data protection legislation and will normally only be used for this purpose. The information you provide will be confidential and will normally only be shared with university staff who are directly involved with the Request for Additional Consideration processed.

13.2 Pease note, there are circumstances where our commitment to confidentially is overridden by the following other considerations:

• When disclosure is required by law
• Where there are safeguarding concerns
• When the health and safety of student or others is at risk
• Where the reported circumstances compromise the University’s responsibilities to outside agencies, including profession placements or partner institutions

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