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Extenuating Circumstances

We can guide you on what is/isn't considered an EC, how/when to apply, evidence, self-certification, what to write and what the outcome letter means.

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What are Extenuating Circumstances?

These regulations are applicable for all units that begin from September 2022 onward.

Extenuating Circumstances (ECs) are defined as circumstances which are unexpected, significantly disruptive and beyond your control, and which may have affected your ability to meet an assessment deadline or the level of your performance at assessment.

Students have an obligation to make any special circumstances known by completing an Extenuating Circumstances Application and submitting a claim through your Student Portal (This is found under the 'My Assessments’ tab). If you are having technical difficulties logging into your Student Portal, then you can download an EC form on the UAL Extenuating Circumstances webpage and email it to your colleges EC team. Supporting evidence, such as medical certificates, should accompany the completed form.

Handing in your work

If you are intending to apply for Extenuating Circumstances, you should submit your work as close to the agreed deadline as possible. If you feel you would benefit from additional time to complete work, then an approved EC can permit a late submission of up to 7 calendar days to be accepted and marked without penalty.

Deadline for making a claim

Your claim and evidence should be submitted as soon as possible. They will only accept applications at least 10 working days before the Exam Board meet for your course. The later an EC is submitted, the less time there is for it to be processed and approved. It is generally far easier to gather appropriate evidence at the time of the circumstances than it is later, so you should try to submit your application within 2 weeks of the circumstances happening.

A breakdown of what evidence you can use to support your EC claim  

Unexpected circumstances can occur which are out of your control and can affect you in your day-to-day life. We understand that sometimes University can be a stressful and isolating place when unforeseen circumstances happen.  
At UAL you can apply for extenuating circumstances, which are also known as ECs, to support you on your course if you are going through a tough time. Here at the Arts Students’ Union, we know that applying for ECs can sometimes be confusing and it can be difficult to know what evidence to provide when submitting a claim. To help you out, here is a breakdown of what evidence you can use to support your extenuating circumstances claim. You can find an in-depth guide about applying for ECs on the UAL website.

It is good to remember that for this academic year, if you cannot provide supporting evidence with your EC claim, then you can apply for ECs without evidence for up to a maximum of 60 credits per academic stage of your course. If you do have any questions about applying for extenuating circumstances then you can contact the Student Advisers at Arts Students’ Union for more support.


Where evidence is not available, a student can submit an EC application without evidence for units totalling a maximum of 60 credits per academic level or stage (e.g: Year 2 of a BA course is one level). This is referred to as ‘Self-Certification.’ Self-Certification is intended to support UAL’s students at points of crisis, where something unforeseeable and unavoidable has occurred but there is no opportunity to obtain supporting documentation in advance of an EC submission deadline. A full explanation of the circumstances must be included as part of the application process, to confirm the application is acceptable. Fraudulent claims will be investigated under the Student Disciplinary Code.

What happens next

The first stage is to establish whether the Extenuating Circumstances claim meets the University criteria. This is carried out by an Extenuating Circumstances Panel. After your application has been reviewed, you will receive an e-mail with the outcome (whether it has been approved or rejected). That update will be sent to your UAL e-mail account within 24 calendar days of submitting your claim.

Possible outcomes

Where an Extenuating Circumstances panel has approved a student’s EC claim, the Exam Board may choose from the following options:

To offer the student another opportunity to submit the work as if for the first time.

To offer the student the choice of either: Condoned late submission of work and awarding an uncapped unit Letter Grade OR another opportunity to submit the work as if for the first time and without penalty.

What can the Arts SU Advice Service do for me during the EC process?

  1. Advise you on the process
  2. Help you structure your claim and the reasons for your EC
  3. Advise on what evidence you may need
  4. Read over your claim and suggest any changes
  5. Guide you through the process if you are unhappy with an outcome

Contact the SU Advice Service

Email us

Usually the fastest way to contact us is to email using our contact form.

We always aim to reply within 5 working days, but often reply much sooner.

We generally answer in chronological order but if your issue is very time sensitive please mark your email 'Urgent' and we will try to get back to you as soon as we can.

Email us

Book an appointment (new clients only)

If you prefer to speak to someone directly, and you have not spoken to us previously about the issue, you can book an appointment with an Advisor.

If you already have an Advisor assigned to you and you would like to speak to them please just email them directly - this will be usually be much faster than using the booking form!

Book an appointment