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Alternative Assessments

The university is committed to providing individual reasonable adjustments to academic study and assessment to ensure students with disabilities or on-going health conditions are not disadvantaged when compared to their peers.

Adjustments to assessment for a student with a disability or on-going health condition may take one of two general forms:

  1. A change to the circumstances under which the existing assessment is taken
  2. Providing an alternative form of assessment

Both forms of adjustment may be refered to as an "alternative assessment"

An alternative assessment should assess the same intended learning outcomes as the original assessment. Any adjustments to an assessment must not compromise the integrity of academic competency standards – therefore alternative assessments may not be available for some module assessments
Please note, if you need to request to sit a referred/deferred exam overseas there is a separate application process, found here
If observance to your faith restricts when you are able to sit an exam there is a separate form to complete, found here 

To apply for an alternative assessment, you must have an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) in place which stipulates the need for alternative assessments. Please ensure you have an ILP in place before making your application. 

ILPs can be set up at any stage of your study and can be updated or reviewed by contacting Wellbeing ServicesYou don't need to update your ILP every time you request an alternative assessment, unless something has changed.

Please note alternative assessments and reasonable adjustments on student ILPs are recommendations only – there is no guarantee they can be implemented for every single assessment.  

You are encouraged to contact the University Wellbeing team to discuss your individual circumstances. This includes declaring any barriers to learning so appropriate support can be facilitated.

Details of your disability and the impact on your studies will only be shared with your express consent.

More details about ILPs and how you can get one can be found on our wellbeing website here.

To request an alternative assessment, you should undertake the following actions: 

  • ensure you declare your disability or health condition to the University 

  • Attend an appointment to agree an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) and provide relevant documents as required - Book an appointment | Student Wellbeing | University of Exeter 

  • discuss your requirement for an alternative assessment with the Wellbeing team during your appointmentthen if necessary, 

  • complete an application form for alternative assessment here.
Please submit a new application form for each assessment. 


If you need help to complete this form or have any queries about an on-going alternative assessment request please contact your relevant education support team.

Strict deadlines apply to request an alternative assessment. This is to enable the alternative assessment to be put in place prior to the assessment date/deadline.

The deadlines for requests are: 

  • Coursework/Presentations: 4 weeks or more before assessment date/deadline 
  • Exams & MTEs: Deadlines can be found on the exams website here.

Requests made outside of these deadlines will not be accepted - unless there are exceptional reasons for the late request.

Having an ILP alone does not mean an alternative assessment will be provided,you must ensure you submit a request via the application form as well.

In some cases of late diagnosis and when there is no time for you to arrange an ILP, very exceptional requests may be considered if they have supporting medical evidence. You should contact wellbeing to discuss this further - Book an appointment | Student Wellbeing | University of Exeter 

Once a requested for an alternative assessment is made, by completing the application form, the education support team will liaise with academic colleagues to process the request. They will establish whether the alternative assessment can be set up and what form of assessment it will be.

In most disciplines the academic colleague involved in this discussion will be the module convener or the programme lead. In some disciplines thSenior Personal Tutor or Director of Education and Student Experience may be part of the conversation. You will not be identified to the academic colleagues. They will only be informed of what the barriers are which prevent you completing the original assessment, so they can agree an appropriate form of alternative assessment. 

The education support team will respond to you to let you know if you request for an alternative alternative has been accepted or rejected and what the next steps will be, including how and when you should submit your assessment. 

An alternative assessment should assess the same intended learning outcomes as the original assessmentAny adjustments to an assessment must not compromise the integrity of academic competency standards – therefore alternative assessments may not be available for some module assessments.  

The education support team will outline in detail any requests that cannot be implemented and the reason for this.

If you wish to discuss this further you can speak with the education support team, module convener or Director of Education and Student Experience for a further explanation.

If after these discussions you disagree with the alternative that has been offered or if an alternative can not be offered you are able to make a complaint.

If you need support with your complaint, you can speak with the Student Guild Advice Unit.

If you are having difficulty completing the online form to request an alternative assessment you can get help by speaking to the following:

If you make a mistake when completing the form don't worry, the education support team will contact you to clarify any information which they are unsure of. Alternatively, you can contact the education support team based in your Hub if you need to correct any information.

Hub/Info point locations can be found here: