Problems affecting your study (Extenuating Circumstances)2022-05-10T08:21:06+00:00

Problems affecting your studies (Extenuating Circumstances)

This page provides guidance on what to do if personal or medical problems are impacting upon your studies. It applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate taught students.

What should I do if I have a problem affecting my studies?

During your studies you may experience medical or personal problems which affect your ability to undertake your module assessments (examinations and coursework).

If this is the case, you must contact your Personal and Academic Tutor as soon as possible and explain the problem. You can do this during the Tutor’s feedback and consultation hour (details here), or by making an appointment to see the Tutor via email. If you are unable to contact your Tutor you should email

Your Tutor may advise you to complete the standard University Extenuating Circumstances Form. 

How do I complete the Extenuating Circumstances form?

Before you complete the Form you must read the Extenuating Circumstances Form: Explanatory Notes. You should then fill out the whole Form.

In Section 3 you must indicate clearly the action that you are requesting from the Student Welfare Committee. If you are unsure you should discuss this with your Personal and Academic Tutor or email for more guidance.

In Section 4 it is important that you include as much information as possible about the problems which have led to you completing the Form.

You should complete and submit an Extenuating Circumstances Form.  In order to respond to the current situation in the UK in relation to the impact of COVID-19, the University of Sheffield has updated the Extenuating Circumstances Procedure to allow students to self-certify and report medical and personal circumstances, without the need to provide supporting evidence or the authority of a healthcare professional.  This change comes into immediate effect and will remain in place for the remainder of the 2021-22 academic session.

The completed form must be emailed to Any queries about the form or the process should also be sent to this email address.

You should complete the Form as soon as you can when problems arise. You should not wait until you have received your module results. This is very important as a delay could mean you miss a resit period.

What happens after I submit the Extenuating Circumstances Form?

Your Extenuating Circumstances Form will be considered by the School of Law’s Student Welfare Committee. You will usually receive a decision within ten working days. You will be informed if there is going to be a delay. The Committee will consider the information on your Form and may decide:

  • That no action is taken, for example, because the circumstances are not viewed as extenuating. 
  • That penalties for late submission of coursework are disregarded;
  • That you be awarded a Not Assessed (NA) for affected modules. This means that any marks you have received for those modules are removed from your academic record. NAs will not normally be allowed where you have passed the assessment. 
  • That a missing component is disregarded and that an overall mark/grade is derived from completed work.
  • That an unreliable component is disregarded and that an overall mark is derived from completed work (if to the student’s benefit).
  • Submitting the missing assessment if the programme has been failed.
  • Sitting an alternative assessment if the programme has been failed.
  • That the information simply be noted (this will be done where information is unlikely to have affected student progress or examination performance (for example a brief illness early in a semester) and remain on file.
  • That an extension or extensions be granted in relation to coursework submission dates (see here for detailed information on extensions)

What happens if I am granted an NA or NAs?

If you are awarded NAs for a module or modules in Semester 1 (Autumn) or Semester 2 (Spring) you must attempt the relevant resit assessments in August in order to proceed to the next level of study.

If you are not able to take the re-sit(s) in August you will need to submit a further University Extenuating Circumstances Form. If you receive a second NA for the same module(s) as a result you shall not be permitted to proceed to the following year of study. You would then have to apply to repeat the period of study.