Exceptional mitigating circumstances

Exceptional Mitigating Circumstances

Edge Hill University follows guidance from the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA), who have recently updated their recommended approach to the EMC process. Please follow this guidance when submitting an EMC.

Why should I submit an EMC application?

You should submit an EMC application if you are unable to complete an assessment at the scheduled point and this can’t be resolved via your Departmental extension scheme. An approved EMC will not change any overall progression or award decisions. Your assessment will be moved to the next assessment point without penalty.

Please contact the Assessment and Awards team for information on

  • when your next assessment deadline is
  • what impact an EMC would have on your progression or award completion

What circumstances are permissible under the EMC process?

In line with OIA guidance, we will accept EMC applications for the following circumstances:

  • Serious short-term illness or injury
  • Worsening of an ongoing illness or disability, including mental health conditions
  • Symptoms of an infectious disease that could be harmful if passed on to others
  • Death or significant illness of a close family member or friend
  • Unexpected caring responsibilities for a family member or dependant
  • Significant personal or family crises leading to acute stress
  • Witnessing or experiencing a traumatic incident
  • A crime which has had a substantial impact on you
  • Accommodation crisis such as eviction or your home becoming uninhabitable
  • An emergency or crisis that prevents you from attending an exam or accessing an online assessment
  • A technical problem that prevents you from accessing online teaching or assessment
  • Safeguarding concerns

If your circumstances are not listed, please select ‘other’ when completing your EMC form, and provide details in your statement.

What circumstances are not accepted under the EMC process?

Circumstances which are not normally classed as exceptional include:

  • Holidays, house moves, or events that were planned or could reasonably have been expected
  • Minor illness such as common colds or hay fever, unless the symptoms are particularly severe
  • Having assessments scheduled close together
  • Misreading of an assessment submission deadline or examination timetable
  • Poor time management
  • Minor transport disruption
  • Computer or printer failure where you have failed to back-up your work
  • Normal exam stress
  • Minor life events, unless these have had a severe impact on you

Sometimes events happen that appear minor but which impact you more severely than they impact other students.  If you believe that you have been severely impacted by a circumstance listed here, please select ‘other’ on the EMC form and provide details in your statement.

What evidence do I need to provide?

OIA guidance outlines that supporting evidence can be provided by yourself and other sources. This means you need to include the following information on your EMC form.


  • A factual statement detailing the reasons for your EMC claim. The statement should provide context on how your circumstances have impacted your assessment submission
  • Independent supporting evidence from the following list:
    • Doctor’s letter or fit note
    • Statement from a counsellor
    • Hospital appointment letter
    • Crime reference number
    • Eviction notice
    • Bereavement evidence (eg notice of service, obituary, news report, letter from personal tutor, family member or friend)
    • Letter from domestic violence services
    • Letter from Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme
    • Letter from Edge Hill mental health advisor
    • Letter from Edge Hill Disability advisor
    • Letter from personal tutor


We understand that in some cases it may not be possible for you to obtain supporting evidence. For example, if you have had a short illness that had a significant impact on your exams or assessment but did not require medical intervention.  In these cases you should provide the details in your factual statement.

If you are not providing any additional supporting evidence, please tick the ‘no additional evidence’ box on your EMC form. We will consider your application based only on the information in your statement.

Please note: we retain the right to check the validity of all EMC applications submitted, with or without evidence.  You may wish to ensure any evidence from an external party is provided on headed paper and includes the person’s contact details. If your submission is found to be fraudulent you may be referred to student disciplinary procedures.

When is the deadline to submit an EMC application?

You can submit an EMC at any point from the start of the module, but the final deadline is no more than 10 working days after the assessment date. For example, if your assessment date was 1 October 2021, your deadline to submit an EMC would be 15 October 2021.

How do I submit an EMC application?

Please submit your EMC application using the online EMC form.

There are instructions on the form, but as an overview, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Your name, student ID number and details of the assessment the EMC applies to
  • The reasons why you are applying for an EMC (see the list above)
  • A factual statement explaining how your circumstances have impacted on your ability to complete/submit an assessment; or how your circumstances have prevented you from performing to your best ability. Please only provide information relevant to this specific application
  • Any evidence to support your application (see the list of accepted evidence above)

When your online EMC form has been submitted, you will normally receive an email confirming receipt.

Who makes the decision on my application?

Assessment Officers in Academic Registry review all applications.

If your application and supporting evidence relate to the circumstances recommended by the OIA, your application will normally be approved.

If your circumstances do not meet those listed by the OIA or you have no supporting evidence, your application will be referred to an EMC panel for a decision.

We will email you to confirm whether your application has been approved or to let you know that your application is being considered by an EMC panel.

EMC Panels

Who sits on an EMC panel?

The panel includes

  • Senior and Assistant Registrars from the Assessment and Awards team
  • The Faculty Assistant Registrar from each of the three faculties
  • A representative from Student Services

In addition to making decisions on EMC applications, the panel will also decide whether students require additional support. For example, if a student has submitted multiple EMC applications in the same academic year.

How often does an EMC panel meet?

The panel normally meets once a month.

When will I be informed of a panel’s decision?

We will email you with the panel’s decision after the panel meeting has taken place.

What do I do if I’m not happy with the panel’s decision?

You can make an academic appeal. Information on how to do this will be included in the email you receive notifying you of the panel outcome.

I did not submit an EMC at the original point of assessment – what can I do?

Once the end of year/module assessment boards have confirmed all results, academic transcripts are published.  You have 10 working days after publication to submit an EMC application. You will receive details on how to do this with your online transcript.

We consider all EMC applications in the same way, whether they are submitted following the publication of online transcripts or submitted at the original point of assessment.  You will not be disadvantaged by applying for an EMC after the original point of assessment, but you must apply within the timeframe stated.

EMC and Academic Malpractice

If you are being considered under the malpractice regulations for the same assessment that you are intending to submit an EMC application for, it is your responsibility to ensure your tutors for the assessment are aware of your mitigating circumstances.  This will allow your tutors to take your mitigating circumstances into account as part of the malpractice investigation.

If you already have an approved EMC but are subsequently considered under malpractice procedures – please note, the outcome of any malpractice investigation supersedes any local activity around EMC. It is therefore advisable to disclose your circumstances to the investigating tutors who may not be aware of any prior EMC application.

Last updated on Last updated on Was this page helpful? Yes No Thanks for your feedback! Please tell us more: