University of York Students' Union (YUSU)

Mitigating Circumstances

What are mitigating circumstances?

Mitigating Circumstances are situations that affect your ability to attend your programme, study effectively or complete assessments on time and to a good standard. ‘Mit. Circs.’ can include any of a wide range of issues from illness to relationship breakdown. However, day-to-day problems like transport difficulties or a child off school for a day are not normally considered exceptional enough to be considered, and computer/printer issues are specifically ruled out.

If you have a deadline coming up for an assessment or an exam scheduled soon and your ability to study has been affected by personal issues, it is best to take action now. Speak to your supervisor or Department and also seek advice from a professional (e.g. Doctor in cases of illness) so that you will be able to provide evidence relating to your personal circumstances.

There are 3 key points to remember:

  • Mit. Circs. are not things to be either ashamed of or worried about disclosing. Every now and then things happen that affect your life and your programme of study, and this is recognised by the University.
  • Mit. Circs. can only be taken into account if you tell someone at the right time. If at all possible submit a claim form (from the academic support site, or your department office) before assessments are due or have taken place and at the time the situation is occurring.
  • If you do not have the evidence available, you can still submit the form and state clearly on it what evidence will be provided, and when it will be available. If there is a problem in providing the evidence, always let your department know as there is a possibility your claim will be rejected if evidence is not supplied.

What counts as mitigating circumstances?

Further information on what does and does not count as Mit.Circs. can be found here, but if you are not sure it is always best to take advice from YUSU or GSA (for postgraduate students)

How do I make a mitigating circumstances claim?

The same system and form is used to ask for extensions and to inform your department of circumstances that may need to be taken into account in their decisions about your academic progress; in all cases evidence will be required. You can download the Mit. Circs. at and need to return your completed form, along with supporting evidence, to your department.

As with all other University and department procedures, ASC can assist you with your Mit. Circs. claim – contact us at, 01904 324207 / 323720 or call in to ASC at the Student Centre, James College.