See common questions about the process for claiming exceptional circumstances during the 2020/21 academic year.
About exceptional circumstances
Exceptional circumstances (EC) are sudden and unforeseen circumstances that temporarily affect your ability to complete an assessment.
For example, you can submit a claim if you are affected by temporary illness or medical issues, or if you have had a recent bereavement.
I have been affected by Covid-19 – can I submit an EC claim?
We fully recognise the impact of Coronavirus and the disruption and anxiety it has caused.
If you have been affected by sudden and unforeseen circumstances in relation to Coronavirus, you can submit an EC claim.
However, please note that the occurrence of the pandemic more generally and/or having to self-isolate will not be admissible for EC by themselves. However, if either of these occurrences have exacerbated an existing condition or have resulted in someone being unwell then a claim will be considered together with the evidence supplied.
Is there a different process for EC during the academic year?
In general, the EC system – and the process for submitting a claim – will be the same.
However, due to the impact of Covid-19, we recognise that in some cases it will be difficult for you to gather supporting evidence in the usual way.
Instead, you can submit a self-declaration form [DOCX 45KB] as an alternative.
This allows you to complete your EC claim in the event you cannot get supporting evidence in relation to one of the circumstances listed on the form.
My EC claim is not related to Covid-19 – what do I do?
If you are affected by circumstances not related to Covid-19, you can still submit a claim using the same system.
You can also submit a self-declaration form [DOCX 45KB] if you can't get the evidence you need because of something to do with COVID-19, provided this relates to one of the circumstances listed on the self-declaration form.
Within the ‘Full description of Claim’ section, tell us you are uploading the self-declaration form in place of supporting evidence as you cannot access supporting evidence due to the current impact of Covid-19.
I have supporting evidence for my EC claim – what do I do?
If you do have supporting evidence, you can submit your claim in the normal way and upload your supporting evidence within the relevant ‘Evidence’ section. You will not need to also submit a self-declaration form.
In what situations may I use the self-declaration form?
You will be able to submit a self-declaration form [DOCX 45KB] in support of an EC claim, providing there continues to be a sudden and unforeseen impact at the time of the assessment deadline in question. If this is the case, you may submit the form if you have:
- Have been advised (either now or in the past) to self-isolate by NHS 111, your GP (local doctor) or hospital doctor.
- Have/had symptoms of Covid-19
- Have/had symptoms of Covid-19 and tested positive
- Have/had symptoms of Covid-19 or have been in contact with someone who tested positive and are waiting for the results of a Covid-19 test.
- Have/had exacerbated symptoms of an existing condition or you became unwell with something unrelated to Covid-19 and were/are unable to obtain medical evidence
- Have been called back into service either within the NHS or the Military
- Have been caring for someone who is unwell
- Have been caring for children who as a result of COVID-19 have been at home
- Have not had access to IT and/or wifi in order to study remotely.
If I wish to submit the self-declaration form, do I submit an EC claim in the same way as usual?
Yes. The process is otherwise the same and in completing your claim you should upload your self-declaration form [DOCX 45KB] to the ‘Evidence’ section of the form, in the same place you would normally upload supporting evidence.
Do I still need to complete the ‘Full Description of Claim’ section if I am uploading a self-declaration form?
Within this section, state: "Please see the uploaded self-declaration form." You can add further comments here, if you wish.
Can I still use the self-declaration form this academic year?
Yes. If the Covid-19 measures are still in place and mean you are not able to access supporting evidence in the normal way, you may submit a self-declaration form [DOCX 45KB].