AR5: Mitigating circumstances and extensions regulations 2023/24

On this page you will find answers to frequently asked questions about mitigating circumstances and extensions, how to make a claim and who to contact for advice. You can also download a copy of the AR5 regulations.

An archive of AR5 policies from previous years can also be found on this page.

Mitigating circumstances and international Student Visa eligibility

International students on Student Visas should be aware that deferring assessments through the university's mitigating circumstances process may impact their eligibility to apply for the Graduate Visa. Here's what you need to know:

1. Assessment deferral and visa implications:

If you defer an assessment through our university's mitigating circumstances process to a reassessment period beyond the end of your course, you may not receive your retake results and have your award conferred prior to the end of your Student Visa.

2. Impact on Graduate Visa eligibility:

This means that if you're in this situation, you may not be eligible to apply for the Graduate Visa. The university cannot extend a student's visa solely to make them eligible for the Graduate Visa if they are only required to undertake an assessment by retake.

3. Reassessment by repeat and Student Visa Extension:

If mitigating circumstances are granted and a Programme Assessment Board sets reassessment by repeat, you may be eligible to extend your Student Visa. This is subject to specific conditions and assessment outcomes.

Contact the CAS and Visa Compliance Team if you have any doubts or questions about how these circumstances may affect you and your visa status.

I am experiencing difficult circumstances. I am not sure I will be able to engage with my studies and/or assessment as well as I wish. What should I do?

We understand that everyone experiences difficult circumstance sometimes, but we do expect you to take ownership of your learning and to be responsible for managing your own time along with the demands of everyday life so that you can complete the requirements of your chosen course.

If you are experiencing difficulties, we recommend that you get some advice from your personal tutor or another member of your course team and the Union of Kingston Students. You should also familiarise yourself with the information on this page and read through our main regulation document which contains important information and is available from the bottom of this page.

If your circumstances are ongoing then it may be in your interest to consider whether an interruption of studies or a withdrawal from your course is the best course of action so that you can come back at a later date, once your situation has improved.

If you make the decision to apply for Mitigating Circumstances you will need to be sure that your circumstances meet our definition. We consider Mitigating Circumstances to be specific circumstances that have impacted you in the lead up to, or during an assessment event or submission. They must be:

  • Sudden, serious and/or unpredictable or unforeseeable in nature, and
  • Relevant to you, the individual student making the claim, and
  • Likely to seriously impair your performance, and
  • Taking place at the same time as an assessment event or before an assignment deadline.

We do not consider ongoing conditions mitigating circumstances. However, we do consider significant fluctuations in a long-term condition to be mitigating circumstances (see paragraphs 55 to 60 of the main regulations document provided below for more information on disability, mental health conditions and other ongoing medical conditions).

A summary of the types of circumstances that we do and don't consider to be acceptable reasons for mitigation, along with the types of evidence that would be required to support a claim, is provided at the back of the main regulation document provided below.

Claiming for examinations (online and on-campus) and in-class tests – what do I need to know?

If you are unable to undertake a time-limited online or on-campus exam, you can self-certify (this means that you can submit a claim for mitigating circumstances without providing evidence) from 5 days before the date of the exam and up to 10 days after the date of the exam.

You can also self-certify for an in-class tests as long as this is validated as a major element of assessment and is not one of a portfolio of tasks that together form a major element of assessment. If you are not sure if whether an in-class test is eligible for self-certification, you should ask your module leader**.

You do not need to provide evidence to support a self-certified claim.

To submit your claim, please use the appropriate options in the OSIS system (see How to make a claim section below).

You should be aware that we have a fit to sit policy which means that, if you attend an examination or an in-class test, you will have declared yourself fit to undertake the assessment and that there have been no mitigating circumstances affecting you. Therefore, if you engage with an assessment and submit a claim for mitigating circumstances after completing it, we will normally not consider your claim (see section on Retrospective Mitigating Circumstances paragraphs 65 to 67 of the main regulations document provided below for more information).

If you fall ill during an examination, you must inform the chief invigilator that you are leaving the venue due to illness and apply for mitigating circumstances within 10 working days of the event using the self-certification option. We will use the chief invigilator's report to corroborate your claim.

**In cases where you miss an in-class test which is part of a number of different assessments that together form an element, you should discuss this with your module leader in the first instance.

When can I expect to receive a response to my mitigating circumstances claim?

The University will consider and provide an outcome to your mitigating circumstances claims as soon as possible. It is not possible for us to confirm a fixed date by which you will receive an outcome to your claim as this will depend on a range of factors including whether or not your claim can be approved without proceeding to a panel or whether panel consideration is required. Providing outcomes to claims may also take a little longer during peak assessment periods.

My assessment submission or event is due but I have not yet received an outcome to my mitigating circumstances claim. What shall I do?

If you have submitted a claim but have not received a response to it by the date of your assessment, it is ultimately for you to decide if you are too ill or otherwise impacted by mitigating circumstances to take the assessment. For your claim to be accepted you will need to have submitted an eligible mitigating circumstance claim with the appropriate supporting evidence. A summary of the types of circumstances that we do and don't consider to be acceptable reasons for mitigation, along with the types of evidence that would be required to support a claim is provided at the back of the main regulation document provided below.

You should be aware of the University's Fit to Sit policy which means that if you submit work or attend an examination, you will have declared yourself fit to undertake the assessment and that there have been no mitigating circumstances affecting you.

If you submit a claim for mitigating circumstances and then engage with an assessment, your mitigating circumstances claim will be annulled.

How to make a claim and mitigating circumstances regulations

To submit a claim for mitigating circumstances you should use the online system accessed through OSIS.

Before you do, please read through the relevant regulations, which are referenced below.

Please note the deadline for submitting a claim is up to ten university working days after the official deadline for your assessment submission or ten university working days after the examination date. If you make a claim after this time you will need to provide evidence to explain why you did not engage with the mitigating circumstance process at the correct time.

When you are ready to complete your submission, you can access the online system in OSIS:

  • Log into OSIS using your Kingston University Student ID;
  • Go to the "your Studies" tab;
  • In the list below you will see the title 'Mitigating Circumstances' and here there is a link into the online screens - "click here to start a new claim"
  • You will find further instructions provided on the screens.

Who can you talk to for advice?

It is for you to decide if you are too ill or otherwise impacted by mitigating circumstances to take an assessment. While you can seek advice from members of staff and/or the Union of Kingston Students about whether to submit an assessment or apply for mitigation, they will limit their advice to explaining the procedure that you should follow and the requirement for evidence to be supplied in support of a mitigation claim. Ultimately it is you who must make the final decision on your fitness to undertake an assessment.

We do however encourage you to talk to us about any issues impacting your wellbeing and your ability to engage with your chosen course of study. Please speak to your Personal Tutor, Module or Course Leader or with the Union of Kingston Students' who are very experienced with supporting students with these procedures. If, for whatever reason you find it difficult to engage with these individuals, there are a range of services available from Kingston University to support you during your studies. Please see advice and support for more information the range of support available to you during your time studying with us.

Students with disabilities, mental health or other medical conditions who are considering applying for Mitigating Circumstances should note that support is available to them via the University's Disability and Mental Health Advisors and via the Student Well-being Hub. You should also read the Section on Disabilities, Mental Health conditions and other ongoing medical conditions below).

If you have any questions about the process for submitting your claim, you should contact your Faculty's Student Casework Coordinator (SCC) who will be able to provide advice. Contact email addresses for Faculty SCC teams can be located in the section below.

Contact details for Student Casework Coordinators

The team of Student Casework Coordinators manage the University's mitigating circumstances applications. You may receive communications from them about your claim.