Student Services

Guidance for Letters of Extenuating Circumstances Requests

If something major happens to you that you think seriously affects your performance in an assessment or examination (including non-submission), you can ask the Academic Board to consider this as extenuating circumstances when they decide your results. They will only do this if you make a submission to them - via the Extenuating Circumstances Panel - in writing.

One reason for making an exceptional circumstance application is significant ill health. You will need to support your application with either a medical certificate or a letter explaining the nature of your illness. We may be able to countersign a letter supporting your extenuating circumstances submission but only if you consulted one of our doctors about the illness within the previous two weeks. Letters regarding illnesses prior to this period cannot be verified by a GP at this practice except in exceptional circumstances which would need to be discussed with the doctor concerned.

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The following information may be helpful when preparing your letter of extenuating circumstances. Please include the following basic information in your letter:

  • Your name
  • Date of Birth
  • Bristol Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Department
  • Course
  • Module
  • Year of Course

Other information that should be included in the letter:

  • Please give the date and the name of the person who will receive this letter e.g., your tutor.
  • Please give an opening statement along the lines of "this letter is to give you details of why I am seeking your consideration for a period of ill health". State what has been the matter with you giving dates, symptoms, diagnosis and that you have seen the doctor and where and when.
  • Please indicate how the period of ill health has affected your work.
  • State how you would like your tutor to help you.
  • Maybe thank the tutor and sign the letter.

Please be advised that the doctors will do their very best to get the letter back to you within 48 hours. You may appreciate that this is normally not considered to be urgent and is not NHS work. There is, therefore, a charge associated with this which currently stands at £20.00.

We hope the above guidance is helpful. Please do not hesitate to discuss this with a doctor should you consider that your circumstances do not fit the guidelines above.