When should you submit a mitigating circumstance?

  • A late submission or non-submission of an assessment 

  • Non-attendance of examination

  • Poor performance in assessment (caused by individual or external factors)?

Please be aware that you cannot ask for a remark on your work.  

Reasons for submitting a mitigating circumstance


Types of unforeseen circumstances (this list is not exhaustive and there may be other situations that are considered):

  • Injury or illness 

  • Family-related emergency

  • Flare-up of an existing medical condition

  • Short term conditions

Any unforeseen circumstance mentioned in your Mitigating Circumstances claim must have taken place at the time of the assessment/deadline.

Deadline of mitigating circumstance submission


You should submit your claim as soon as possible and no later than 2 weeks from the assessment deadline/date of examination.  

Late submission of assessment


If you submit an assessment up to 7 days date, you will receive a late penalty, which represents a 10% deduction of the overall mark (as long as this was above the pass mark).  

If your Mitigating Circumstances claim is accepted then you will receive the original mark without any deduction. 

If you submit an assessment more than 7 calendar days late, you will receive a late penalty mark which represents the pass threshold i.e. 40% for undergraduate modules or 50% for postgraduate modules. 

If you do not submit work or a Mitigating Circumstances claim


You will be capped at the following assessment opportunity, meaning you will not be awarded any higher than the allocated capped mark threshold i.e. 40% for undergraduate modules or 50% for postgraduate modules. 


Submitting a Mitigating Circumstance claim

  1. The requirement for students to submit evidence to support Mitigating Circumstances claims has been suspended for the 2021-22 academic year. This is outlined in the Mitigating Circumstances Policy and associated guidance for staff and students.  
    The evidence requirement will be reviewed in advance of the 2022-23 academic year. 

  2. The following are examples of acceptable grounds for claims:

  • Bereavement 

  • Shorter-term medical conditions or sudden illness and hospitalisation 

  • Deterioration of existing physical medical conditions or mental ill health conditions or development of such conditions 

  • Pregnancy and maternity-related issues 

  • Caring responsibilities 

  • Being the victim of crime 

  • Major incidents such as fires or natural disasters 

  • Financial impact due to loss of work 

  • Difficulties in completing work because of limited access to required equipment, internet access and/or quiet study space.

  • Taking on extra work in employment to cover staff absences/extra shifts as a key worker.

  1. All mitigating circumstances claims should be submitted using the new online method through MyBirkbeck 


Things to consider before you submit a claim


Have your circumstances: 

  • detrimentally affected your performance/submission/attendance in relation to an assessment or will they do so;

  • been sudden, unforeseen and out of your control (could not have been prevented); 

  • taken place directly in relation to the timing of the assessment(s) affected. 


Please refer to the Mitigating Circumstances policy here when submitting your claim. 

Unhappy with the outcome?


If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your claim then you are entitled to submit an appeal. Please click the following link to see our Appeals FAQ’s page.


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