Mitigating Circumstances and other Academic Issues

As a student, you are expected to plan your work so you can meet assessment deadlines at the same time as other obligations you may have both inside and outside the University. However, if you experience serious unforeseen, unpreventable circumstances that significantly disrupt your ability to sit an assessment or submit coursework, you can use the Mitigating Circumstances process. Be careful – if you sit the assessment or hand in your coursework, you are deeming yourself fit to do so. Read more about this in the ‘Fit to Sit Policy’ section below.

Colds, throat infections, minor ailments and other day-to-day conditions will not be considered as grounds for submission of a mitigating circumstances claim, even if supported by documentary evidence from a medical practitioner. There are four absolute conditions for the acceptance of an MC claim, and failure to meet these will mean your claim is rejected.

Your original, independent documentary evidence must prove that the circumstances:

    • Were unforeseen

    • Were out of your control and could not have been prevented

    • Relate directly to the timing of the assessment

    • Meet the relevant specific conditions on documentary evidence
The University of Westminster operates a ‘fit to sit’ policy, which means that if you give a piece of coursework in or sit an exam and/or in-class test etc. you have deemed yourself fit to do so. It is your responsibility to decide if you are fit to take part in assessment or if a mitigating circumstances claim should be submitted. You cannot submit a mitigating circumstances claim for poor performance in assessment(s).  This means that if you have already sat an exam or assessment, or if you have already handed in your coursework on time, you cannot apply for Mitigating Circumstances.

However you can still apply for Mitigating Circumstances if:

          • You handed in your coursework up to 10 working days late

          • You were unable to make ‘reasonable judgement’ on your ability to sit the assessment due to mental illness or other exceptional circumstance

          • You are taken ill during an assessment 

Read more about Mitigating Circumstances here.

The MC form, and more information on the MC process, is here.

You can also read about Mitigating Circumstances in Section 11 of the Academic Regulations. Section 11.16 – 11.36 gives a good overview of the kind of evidence you need to give to support your MC claim.

The UWSU Advice and RRW Team can help you understand the MC process and forms. If you’d like to discuss an MC claim with us, you can contact your campus adviser.

Other Academic Issues

Your online student record is provided by the web interface SRSWeb It can be accessed via the current students webpage. The Research, Representation and Welfare (RRW) team encourages students to get familiar with SRSWeb because you will need it during your time of study to get access to your timetable, your registered modules and your assessment marks. SRSWeb also allows students to make payments towards your tuition fees, view previous transaction and update contact details to allow the university to contact you. The RRW team is aware that students occasionally experience difficulties with the information related to their online student record or accessing it. Should you experience difficulties you can visit an RRW coordinator’s office or by using their contact details to access the support you need. The RRW team can give you the solution to solve the difficulties you may be having with your online student record, if we are not able to, we will contact your Faculty Registry Office on your behalf or we will signpost you to their office.
If you are not satisfied with your experience at the University of Westminster there is a Student Complaints Procedure for you to use, which is confidential and treated with sensitivity. A complaint is defined by the University as an expression of dissatisfaction with the standard of services provided by the University or its agents, or with actions or lack of actions by the University, its agents, staff or students. Any complaint against a named person will be addressed a complaint against the University. Grounds for complaint might include:

        • Dissatisfaction with the standard of academic or service provision (e.g. course design, curriculum content and structure, assessment arrangements and information, resources and facilities, Halls of Residences)
        • Dissatisfaction with the quality of supervision or tuition
        • Issues of inappropriate conduct by students or staff
        • Failure, on the part of the University, to meet stated requirements (e.g. those set out in the prospectus)

Please note a complaint is different to an Academic Appeal.

If you believe you have grounds for a complaint and you are a student enrolled on a University of Westminster course on a University Campus in London, then you can make a complaint using the University’s Student Complaints Procedure, which is accessible here. UWSU’s Advice Service can support you through the Student Complaints Procedure. If you contact an RRW coordinator they can help you to find out if your complaint can be resolved formally or informally – the RRW team understands under some circumstances that the informal route is not always possible. Once you contact an RRW coordinator they can: 

        • Explain the Student Complaint Procedure document
        • Help you put together a statement
        • Contact the relevant Dean of Faculty to monitor the progress of your complaint
        • Contact external agencies to collate evidence to support your case
        • Accompany you to any meetings to give support and representation

It is advised that students contact UWSU Advice Service at their first available opportunity to make sure their complaint is submitted within the permitted time set out by the University and with the correct document and information. N.B. If you have a complaint about the Students’ Union or the services it provides please raise the issue with the Chief Executive of the Students’ Union, Andy Smith.