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Reasonable adjustments

You may be able to get extra help for your teaching, exams and assessments if you have a disability. These are known as reasonable adjustments, aimed at minimising barriers to your studies.

Your eligibility

We will consider reasonable adjustments for students with disabilities, including:

  • long-term health conditions, such as cancer, HIV or diabetes
  • mobility difficulties
  • mental health conditions, such as depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis and eating disorders
  • autism spectrum conditions
  • sensory impairments, such as hearing or visual loss
  • specific learning differences, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia

This is not a complete list; you might have another disability that impacts your studies.

Reasonable adjustments can also be arranged for temporary conditions such as a broken limb or pregnancy.

See how to get reasonable adjustments.

What help you’ll get

You can get reasonable adjustments for teaching and assessments if:

  • your disability meets the definition in the Equality Act 2010, and
  • it’s likely to have an impact on your studies.

Your reasonable adjustments cover your whole course.

If you start a new course at Sussex, you’ll need to contact the Student Support Unit again.

Assessment help

Depending on your condition and the course you’re on, the following reasonable adjustments may be considered.


For exams, you may be able to:

  • do your exam in another room (so you can walk around) or in a smaller group so you can take medication or rest at your desk
  • use a computer, assistive software or ergonomic equipment (such as a keyboard, mouse or adjustable desk or chair) to help you do your exams
  • have a support worker for exams, such as a scribe, reader or BSL interpreter
  • do the exam in a different format, such as large text, braille or coloured paper
  • rest outside the exam room in a designated rest area
  • start the exam up to one hour later, or be supervised within a designated area and start earlier or later that day
  • get extra time in exams to be used for writing or resting at your desk – 25% of the exam duration plus an extra 15 minutes, 50% or 100%, up to a maximum of four hours.


For submissions, if you’re eligible for reasonable adjustments, you can get help with:

  • late penalties
  • take-away papers
  • deadlines.

A penalty waiver means you can submit your assessments late within the accepted late deadline period without receiving a penalty.

You can also be considered for a deadline extension of 24 hours or seven days, depending on your assessment schedule. These are approved by your School.

If you’re eligible, you’ll get an extra four hours for take-away papers. Depending on your situation, we can agree an extra eight hours instead. This is because there’s no late submission period on a take-away paper.

Important: You cannot resubmit work in the late period if you have already made a submission:

  • by the initial deadline
  • in the late period.

If you have dyslexia, you may get stickers to tell markers not to penalise you for certain spelling and grammar errors.

Tip: Any extra time you get is a limit, not a target. Try to stick to your original deadlines and use the extra time only if you really need to.


If you have concerns about presenting your work to a group, you might be able to have a:

  • one-to-one presentation with the person marking your work
  • variation, such as using Skype or handing in your slides.

This depends on approval from your School.

Group assessments

Sometimes you’ll need to be assessed as part of a group.

For presentations, you might get a non-speaking role such as:

  • researching
  • putting together slides
  • writing the group’s script.

For written group submissions, you may be able to work in a different way, such as:

  • liaising with others in the group by email
  • carrying out research on your own, for the group.

Important: There’s no late submission period on a group assessment. Everyone has the same deadline.

Alternative modes of assessment

In complex cases, you may be considered for an alternative mode of assessment if you have issues with a particular type of assessment.

We will consider what alternatives modes of assessment are possible for your module and let you know.

This can take time because we have to consult your School for each module to maintain academic standards and accreditation requirements.

Important: Other reasonable adjustments can be considered. For more details, see our regulations for students with a declared disability.

Teaching help

For lectures, seminars and other classes, you can get reasonable adjustments such as:

  • lecture notes in advance of the session
  • exemption from having to speak in front of people
  • someone to take notes for you.

You can discuss other forms of support with us.

More help

You can get reasonable adjustments when using the Library, to help with book-picking, extended loans, an accessible entrance and more.

You can also discuss funding for non-medical help, such as mental health mentoring and specialist study skills.

In exceptional cases, you can request permission to park on campus.

Disabled Students’ Allowances

Separately from reasonable adjustments, you can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances.

This gives you funding for assistive software, equipment, non-medical help and more.

Exceptional circumstances

You may also be able to make an exceptional circumstances claim if something sudden, temporary and unforeseen happens.

This could be if you already have reasonable adjustments in place and you have:

  • a flare-up of your ongoing condition
  • circumstances unrelated to your ongoing condition that are sudden, temporary and unforeseen.

You can also submit a claim if you have contacted us about reasonable adjustments but they haven’t been put in place yet.

How to get reasonable adjustments

To be considered for reasonable adjustments for teaching and assessments, you need to:

You can email the Student Support Unit: disabilitysupport@sussex.ac.uk.

After you get in touch, we will discuss with you the help you need.

We will email you to confirm the type of help you’ll get.

Some reasonable adjustments need to be approved by a panel. If you believe you have valid grounds, you can appeal a reasonable adjustment panel decision.