Mitigating circumstances (undergraduate programmes only) | Institute of Continuing Education skip to content

Institute of Continuing Education

From time to time you may encounter difficulties that affect your studies. These may be relatively minor and short-term, or they may be more substantial. In these cases, we strongly recommend that you contact your Academic Centre Coordinator to discuss all of the options open to you. When you submit work late, a penalty is only finalised after the mitigating circumstances process and moderation of the course have been completed.

The mitigating circumstances process is intended to help those facing severe difficulties such as:

  • hospitalisation
  • bereavement
  • serious illness of self or dependants
  • unexpectedly heavy work demands over an extended period

It is unlikely that minor ailments, technical problems or time management issues would be eligible for this process.

If you encounter difficulties that substantially affect your achievement (and you can provide direct evidence of this), result in late submission or cause you to miss classes, you should complete a Mitigating Circumstances Form online (www.ice.cam.ac.uk/info/student-forms). If you require the form in a different format please contact the Quality Governance team at qa@ice.cam.ac.uk

Regardless of the nature of your mitigating circumstances claim, you may be asked to provide documentary evidence to support your request, except, for example, in cases of bereavement. You will also be asked to identify the length of time that the circumstances affected your study and to confirm for which assignments you are seeking mitigation and what remedy you are seeking.

The form and all supporting evidence will be treated confidentially within ICE and will be viewed only by those necessary for the process of considering the request and to support you. Supporting documents can be sent by post to the Quality Governance Manager at ICE, if preferred.

You should complete a mitigating circumstances form as soon as you can for each term where your work or performance has been affected adversely by significant events. Please note that the deadline for the submission of this form for each term is below:

  • Michaelmas term 2018:1 February 2019
  • Lent term 2019: 1 May 2019
  • Easter term 2019: 1 August 2019

If you are studying a course which did not start in October please discuss the appropriate dates for submission of mitigating circumstances requests with your Academic Centre Coordinator.

The Mitigating Circumstances Committee meets at the end of each term to consider all requests from that term. The Committee make decisions based on the information given on your form, so please provide as much detail as possible. If you wish to submit further information or evidence before the final submission deadlines above, please contact the Quality Governance Manager at qa@ice.cam.ac.uk

The submission of late mitigating circumstance requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and you will be asked to state the reasons for your late submission. You may also need to provide documentary evidence of the reasons.

The Committee may:

  • cancel some or all late submission penalties
  • recommend that the student is permitted to re-write and resubmit the assignment (with no late submission penalty)
  • recommend that the student is permitted to submit a missed assignment (with no late submission penalty)
  • recommend no action.

The Committee does not alter individual assignment marks.       

If the Committee approved your mitigating circumstances request and allows you to submit new or resubmitted work, you will be advised by your Academic Centre Coordinator of the newsubmission deadline.

Students with mitigating circumstances may be permitted to resubmit more than one unit’s work if this is approved by the Mitigating Circumstances Committee.

Review Stage

Following the Mitigating Circumstances Committee’s decision, if you remain dissatisfied with the outcome, you may request a review by contacting the Quality Governance Manager (qa@ice.cam.ac.uk) within 14 days of receiving the decision. The Quality Governance Manager will allocate an independent ICE Reviewer to consider the case.

The review will not usually consider issues afresh or involve a further investigation. The review procedure allows for a decision to be reviewed on the following grounds:

  1. Procedural irregularities that occurred during the decision-making process, which were material or potentially material to the decision reached; and/or
  2. The decision is unreasonable, in that no reasonable person could have reached the same decision on the available evidence; and/or
  3. The availability of new evidence, which materially impacts the outcome and which, for valid reasons, could not have been submitted at an earlier stage.

The Reviewer will convey the outcome to you in writing within 14 working days of receiving the request, unless stated otherwise.

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