What is an EC Claim?

An EC claim is a formal request to the University to consider reasons for your (eg):

  • absence from an examination;
  • failure to submit work for assessment by an agreed submission date;
  • or if you feel that you have not been able to perform as well as you could have in a piece of coursework because (for example) you have been ill.

It is a request which, in all cases, must be supported by independent evidence, ie. confirmation from a health professional that you have been ill on the date(s) in question.

Note - If you sit an examination, a claim for an EC is unlikely to be approved.  The University has a fit to sit policy, therefore if you are not well enough to attend an examination then you should not do so.  If you fall ill during an examination, an EC claim would need medical evidence as above.

Should I apply for an EC or an extension?

If you cannot meet a coursework deadline because of a short term or relatively minor circumstance, you should submit a request for an extension within two working days of the submission date.  To request an extension, you need to log onto the Student Hub and make use of the system to submit your request.

If you do not apply within this timeframe (or an extension is not feasible), you may wish to consider applying for an EC. 

A claim for ECs is usually only approved if you have demonstrated that the circumstances are substantial and unexpected.  If you are unwell for a few days around the submission deadline and cannot quite get an essay finished on time, you should be thinking about an extension and not an EC.  If you have been in hospital for a week and need another week or so to recover, then you should be talking to your tutor about applying for an EC.

Do I need to talk to my tutor?

You should always attempt to discuss your situation with your tutor. If an extension is not possible, your tutor will be able to advise you. Your tutor may also recommend that you need additional help and advise you to see various support services such as the Academic Skills Tutor (AST) or the Well-being service offered by Student Services.

What evidence is needed for an EC?

All claims must be accompanied by independent, written, verifiable evidence from an independent professional – usually a health professional – and relate specifically to the assessment date(s) in question. The evidence must relate directly to you, and detail the impact your circumstances have had on your studies.  If, for example, your studies have been disrupted by financial difficulties that have caused you stress, you will need to provide a medical note from your doctor confirming a diagnosis of stress.  A claim that includes copies of bank statements or eviction notes won’t be approved as these documents do not confirm what impact your situation had on you. Similarly, if you have had to spend time away from your studies to look after a sick relative, a sick note for your relative would not allow your EC claim to be approved – but if you have evidence from a health visitor or ward sister to confirm that your support/care was needed for the three weeks starting from 3 January, then this could be accepted as evidence in support of an EC claim for a non-submission or poor performance in an essay due on 17 January.

If you are suffering from an ongoing condition and you’ have had to attend hospital for various appointments, please make sure that the evidence you are submitting states the periods when you were unfit to study.  If you only include letters detailing medical appointments, the panel will only be able to conclude that on those dates for about an hour you were unable to study – that would not be enough for the EC to be approved.  However, if you include a note from your doctor to confirm that between October 2012 and January 2013 you were under their medical care for investigations and that this will have impacted on your ability to study, then your claim may be approved.

Similarly, copies of prescriptions or photocopies of medicine boxes will not be seen as confirmation that you were unable to complete your work to the best of your ability.  These types of evidence only indicate that a certain medicine was prescribed - you would need a sick note to confirm that the nature or impact of your illness was such that you could not have undertaken your work.

You can find a guidance note for healthcare professionals indicating what type of evidence may support your claim at the following link - Guidance for Students and Healthcare Professionals (CAB Appeals)

You may also consider completing the Medical Evidence Form which will help you gather appropriate evidence from your Healthcare Professional if your circumstances are health related - Medical Evidence Form

What happens after I apply for an EC?

Your claim will be considered and a decision will be made to approve or reject your case. The decision will be based solely on the evidence provided.

How do I know if my EC claim has been approved?

You will receive a letter by email detailing the outcome of your claim.

What do I do if my EC claim has been approved?

The outcome will be communicated to your school, and they will report the approval to the relevant Board of Examiners. Following the Board, your formal results will be published which will confirm if your approved ECs have resulted in a deferral*. If you are deferred at that point, you should contact the School as soon as your results are published so that they can advise you on what to do next.

*A deferral is where a student has successfully covered a missed or failed assessment via the EC process. A deferral tells the Board of Examiners that you were unable to submit or pass the assessment in question due to your circumstances and as a result can re-submit your assessment without being capped at the relevant pass mark.

What happens if my EC claim isn’t approved?

If your EC is not approved, whatever mark you achieved for the assessment will apply (including a 0% non-submission if you did not attend the exam or submit the coursework).

Can I appeal if my EC claim isn’t approved?

You can only request a review of the decision not to approve your EC claim if you can provide evidence that there was a material irregularity in how the decision was reached or if you have additional evidence of your circumstances and a good reason for not providing all of your evidence at the time of the claim. You must fill out the Extenuating Circumstances Appeal Form and email it to‌ ExtenuatingCircumstances@hud.ac.uk. Your appeal must be submitted no later than ten working days after the decision to reject your claim has been announced and you must include any evidence that was not submitted with the original claim.

Why might my EC claim have been rejected?

There are a number or reasons why your claim may be rejected, including submitting your claim later than five working days after the assessment date/deadline, and/or failure to provide independent evidence to support your claim.

Your claim will also be rejected if you provide inadmissible evidence, such as:

  • evidence which does not cover the assessment date/deadline;
  • evidence of circumstances relating to a third party (the evidence you present must detail the impact of the circumstances on you);
  • details of medication/medical appointments (these are usually indicators of a managed illness which is under control and therefore not problematic).  

If you have not completed the form in full, the claim may be rejected if it was not clear what you were asking for, for example, you may not have listed the submission dates or you may not have included information on the assessment you have missed.

How do I submit an EC claim?

You can access an EC Claim Form‌ which you should complete and send electronically, together with your evidence, to the relevant school email address provided on the claim form.

Is there a deadline for submitting an EC claim?

You must submit your claim no later than five working days after the assessment date/deadline.

What happens if I have missed the deadline?

Unless you can provide independent evidence that there was a compelling reason for missing the deadline, your claim will not be approved.

Can I submit an EC claim for an exam?

Only if you could not attend the exam and can provide evidence as to why you could not attend.

What if I become ill during an exam?

If you sit the exam, you are declaring yourself fit to do so and should not submit an EC claim. If you leave an exam part way through due to illness, you must inform the invigilator and then promptly seek to obtain medical evidence covering that day with a view to submitting an EC claim to cover your absence from the exam.

I’ve submitted my coursework but I feel my performance was affected – what should I do?

You should submit a claim with evidence within five working days of the deadline.

What information is needed for the EC claim?

In addition to independent evidence, you will need to give precise details of the assessments affected, including course and module details, dates/deadlines and whether you submitted the assessment and/or sat the examination.

Are there other options to an EC?

You may be able to get an extension from your tutor for coursework which means you do not need to complete an EC.  If you have a registered disability you may have a Personal Learning Support Plan (PLSP) from Student Services, and so you may be able to agree with your tutor how you can manage your assessments. If neither of these applies to you, you have no option other than an EC.

What if my circumstances are really bad and aren’t likely to be resolved in the near future?

You should always discuss your circumstances with your tutor first. There are a number of options that can be explored before an EC becomes necessary, such as an extension or referral to the Well-being service offered by Student Services.