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Mitigation FAQs




What is Mitigation?

If you feel illness or other adverse personal circumstances may affect your ability to perform academically you may be able to apply for Mitigation. The Mitigation Process is used in circumstances such as health issues, or unexpected personal circumstances that may prevent a student working to their full capability.

Applications are processed for the following types of mitigation:

  • Extension to coursework deadlines
  • Deferral of an assessment to the next available assessment period

Very exceptionally, and in accordance with the University regulations, there may be a handful of cases for which extension or deferral are not appropriate, but these will normally be dealt with on an individual basis.

The mitigation process is used for summative assessments only, however for certain assessments (such as presentations and formatives) you can speak with your module convenor to arrange a different assessment deadline/ scheduled time, rather than going through the Hub Mitigation Team, if you are studying at an Exeter Campus. For those studying at the Penryn Campus, please contact the Penryn Hub for all assessments that you require mitigation - summative or formative.

Please contact your Hub if you require any advice or assistance on this process. Independent advice and support is also available through the Students’ Guild Advice Unit and the Students' Union Advice Unit.

For full University regulations on mitigation please see the Teaching Quality Assurance Manual, Chapter 10.

The details of any application will remain confidential between the colleague dealing with your application and in some cases the Mitigation Committee members and its representatives, unless there is clear risk to you or another. All information regarding your application is handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

  • An extension to a coursework item is a period of extra time which may be granted for you to complete an assessment, enabling you to do so to your best standard.


  • Extensions should only be requested in exceptional circumstances, and not in the case of a minor cold/ailment in which you would not miss a significant amount of work, as this needs to be factored in to your workload planning.


  • Extensions are granted from one week and then in weekly increments up to a maximum of three weeks. Should your extension request exceed 3 weeks then you would normally need to consider applying for a deferral.


  • Extensions are only applicable to assessments such as essays but not to exams – exams can only be deferred.
  • To defer an assessment means to delay taking it until the next scheduled re-assessment point for that particular part of the module, as defined by the discipline.


  • Almost all assessments can be deferred, for example exams, coursework and presentations. It is important not to defer too many items however, otherwise you might have too heavy a workload in your next assessment period. Typically exams are deferred until a single week in August therefore deferring several exams means taking them in a single week period.


  • PGT students - Please note, the referral/deferral reassessment periods might differ, depending on whether the module you are taking is in line with the October programme start dates or the January programme start dates, and which term the module occurs. And this can then in turn have a knock on impact on which Graduation ceremony you are able to attend. Please do check with your hub first, if you are concerned about this.


  • If you are granted deferral of an assignment, please check carefully with your department whether a new question will be issued for the deferred submission.


  • For PGCE students, we don’t normally agree deferrals as this will lead to a delay in you receiving the award of PGCE with QTS which will impact on when you can start work as a newly qualified teacher. Instead, you are encouraged to apply for an extension.


  • If you apply for a deferral, complete the assessment, and your application is successful you will not be able to see the mark that you gained. This will be disregarded.  Your next attempt to complete the assessment will be classed as your first attempt (in the case of deferrals) or will be capped at the pass mark (if you apply to defer a previously-referred assessment).  Please also see point 3.3 below.

In cases where you feel like an extension or a deferral are not appropriate, go to your Hub Info Point to initially discuss your options. This could be in cases such as:

  1. Requesting alternative assessment – this is only permitted when listed as a requirement on a student ILP. Alternative assessments are applied for by completing and submitting the standard mitigation application form.  Please note that the deadline for requesting alternative assessments for exams is the same date as advertised for those students who require specific exam adjustments.  The dates and additional information will be sent out to students termly.
  2. Presentation re-arrangement; Exeter campus students may be able to arrange an alternative time without going through the mitigation process, remember this is at the discretion of the module convenor. Penryn students, please contact your Hub as with other assessments
  3. In class tests – please go to your Info Point to check what mitigation provisions are available.


Please go to your Hub Info Point if you have any further queries.

The majority of Mitigation applications relate to ill health and bereavement. However, students sometimes need to ask for help for all sorts of other reasons. Generally the situation should be something that you could not reasonably have anticipated or prepared for. 


i. Bereavement – death of close relative / significant other

ii. Serious short term illness or accident of a nature which in an employment context would have led to an absence on sick leave (please see section 3 below for guidance on non-accepted medical grounds)

iii. A long term fluctuating health condition/ disability

iv. Significant worsening in any adverse personal/ family/ welfare circumstances

v. Caring responsibilities e.g. where pre-established caring arrangements temporarily break down (please see section 4 below for guidance on non-accepted grounds related to caring). Please also see the information here with regard to support for students with caring responsibilities.

vi. IT issues such as internet outages and computer failure which are reported at the time of the issue. Please note however that you will also need to cover why you were not able to work on another devise or use the internet in another location; if you are a remote study student or not; and, confirm that your work was sufficiently backed up. 

vii. Other exceptional factors for which there is evidence of impact.

viii.  Other exceptional reasons may include interview/assessment/recruitment dates related to your subject career (for deferrals only), students with sport scholarships (evidenced by Charlotte Hale), Degree Apprenticeships or OTC/Armed Forces training that are able not able to be rearranged (evidenced by the commanding officer).

Alleged medical circumstances outside the relevant assessment period or learning period for which extenuating / special circumstances have been applied for. 
Colds, minor illness or ailment, which in a work situation would be unlikely to lead to absence from work. Students should allow time for such circumstances within their planning. 
If there is a reasonable case that circumstances relied on were foreseeable or preventable, i.e. the following will commonly not be accepted: 
  • Holidays 

  • Financial issues 

  • Poor IT practice e.g. no back up of electronic documents 

  • Lack of awareness of submission dates /times and examination date / times 

  • Poor time management 

  • Submission of incorrect document or submission of correct document to the incorrect location 

  • Late disclosure of circumstances on the basis that students were able but unwilling to confide in a staff member about their extenuating / special circumstances. 

  • If the disruption to study caused by illness/ accident does not reasonably disrupt the submission of an assignment on time, mitigation will not be approved (please refer to sections 2 and 3 above for more information on accepted grounds for mitigation). 


You do not need evidence to apply for a 1 week extension within BART - you have 4 opportunities to do so in a 12 month period - please see point 1 on the overview page for more information.  Students with ILPs that recommend that extension requests should be supported will have no limit to the number of 1 week evidence-free extensions (within BART) they can have in a 12-month period.

To apply for the following:

  • An extension of more than one week
  • Where all of your one-week evidence-free extensions have been used
  • For examinations and other non-BART assessments
  • For a deferral

You will need to submit verifiable and/or independent evidence of the circumstances which have affected your ability to undertake the assessment, and this must be dated and relevant to the particular assessment period. Where ill health has been sufficiently serious, you will need to have consulted a medical practitioner or Wellbeing professional and obtained supporting evidence. Students with ILPs that recommend that extension requests should be supported will be able to reference their ILP as evidence in support of their application and will NOT be required to submit any further evidence. However, please note that this applies only in those cases where the ILP specifically states that extensions are supported, and only covers extensions not deferrals.

You can find a list of appropriate evidence examples here. Please note that prescription notes and boxes are not accepted forms of evidence.

When providing evidence, please do not include graphic images that may cause upset or distress to staff processing mitigation applications.

Positive Covid Test

Evidence of a positive PCR test, the result of which must have been registered with the NHS.

If you feel the circumstances affecting your performance are on-going, and are likely to last the whole academic year or longer, you should consider the following options:

  1. Ask your Academic Tutor (or the Senior Personal Tutor for your department) about support under the Health, Wellbeing and Support to Study Procedure (HWSS). For more information about HWSSP please follow this link.
  2. Contact your Info Point or your Hub’s Welfare Advisor. Penryn students can contact the Education Support Manager (Welfare) for their Hub.
  3. Contact Wellbeing Services for support.
  4. Interruption from your studies. If you are considering interruption, we recommend that you seek academic advice from your Academic Tutor/Senior Personal Tutor and financial advice from the Students’ Guild Advice Unit (Exeter) or Student's Union (Penryn).  There is information about Interruption of Studies online here.


Disabilities and long-term health problems should not be addressed via applications for mitigation, unless you are experiencing a relapse or exacerbation of your condition, and you have evidence to support this.

Long term conditions are usually supported through Wellbeing, and may require alternative arrangements outside of the standard mitigation procedures. The exception to this is where an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) is raised by AccessAbility or Wellbeing Services which specifically requests us to consider a student’s applications for extensions. In these cases, generally an extension of one week will be applied. If you feel you need longer than a week you will need to provide additional supporting evidence and not use your ILP.

It is one week from the original due date. You are expected to still be working on your coursework where possible while you are waiting to hear about an extension, and you should hand in your work as soon as it is ready to submit.

2. How do I apply for mitigation?

You need to complete the Mitigation form; you can download a copy here.

You will need to apply for each assessment that has been affected. If you are having trouble accessing the application form, please contact your Hub Info Point. 

For an evidence-free extension within BART, you can apply for a one week extension any time up to 24 hours after the submission deadline. 

For evidence-based mitigation, in accordance with the University regulations, please submit your application form prior to, or within 24 hours of the examination or assessment deadline. Late applications will be considered only in exceptional circumstances and require additional evidence to support why the application could not be made on time. You have up to 10 working days to supply evidence after submitting your mitigation application. Applications cannot be processed until the relevant evidence is provided. 

If you apply for mitigation and complete the assessment, but then wish for your application to be withdrawn, you must contact your hub within 3 working days of the original assessment deadline. If we do not hear from you within 3 working days of the original assessment deadline/exam time we will not be able to withdraw your application. 

We would not usually accept an application for mitigation that is made more than one month in advance of the original deadline. You would need to apply closer to the time that your work is due and give evidence that you have been impacted around the time of your assessment deadline.   

If you have further queries about thisplease contact your Hub. 


Once you have selected a one week evidence-free extension within BART, your submission date will be updated immediately and you will receive a confirmation email with the new submission date. 

For evidence-based mitigation we aim to respond to mitigation applications within five working days. We respond to all requests as quickly as we can. However, at certain times of year (e.g. the end of term) there are a lot of deadlines and therefore a lot of requests for mitigation. As a result, it may take a little longer for you to receive a response. 

If you haven’t heard anything and would like an update, check with your Hub. It is your responsibility to read the emails we send you and to get in touch with us if you have any queries. Please avoid making any subsequent requests for updates and information until five working days have passed. 

  • You will receive an e-mail confirming the outcome of any mitigation application.


  • If your work is to be submitted via BART, your BART page will be updated and will show the letter “E” next to the assignment. Please note that BART can only be updated once the evidence has been received. The Mitigation Team is able to adjust BART retrospectively if necessary to add an extension to e-BART.


  • If you would like to query the status of your application, please contact your Hub.

If you find an extension we have granted is not sufficient, and you wish to have a longer extension, you must submit another mitigation application form. Please be aware, the maximum permitted extension is usually three weeks.  After this you will be asked to defer the assessment instead.

Applications will be processed within 5 working days. During busy periods (for example the end of term and assessment periods), applications can take longer to process.


Students must make a decision on whether to undertake the examination or submit the assignment on time with the knowledge that the mitigation application may or may not be successful. If students feel that their performance will be significantly affected, they should still submit their assignment or sit the examination, unless it is felt that to do so would exacerbate their condition or disrupt the examination for other students.


If a mitigation application is unsuccessful and the student does not sit the examination, they will automatically receive a mark of zero. If the mitigation application is unsuccessful and the student does not submit the coursework on time, they will be capped. Full details can be found in the TQA manual – section 2.11

The University does not offer performance impact mitigation, this means the University will never grant additional marks to a student based on adverse personal circumstances. A mitigation application will likely result in either an extension or deferral.

If you are on a year abroad please contact your host institution in the first instance, and engage with their mitigation procedures. If you feel that the mitigation offered by your host institution isn’t sufficient please contact your Study Abroad co-ordinator for their advice, as soon as possible. When contacting Exeter about mitigation please make sure you tell us the title of the module(s) affected.

3. Mitigation during the August re-assessment period

Students may be granted up to a maximum of three-weeks extension for assessments due during the Refer/Defer period (the August assessment session) in line with the Teaching Quality Assurance Policy. However, please be aware that any extension granted beyond one-week may result in delays to confirmation of progression into the next stage of studies as your work will still need to be marked, moderated and sent to an External Examiner (if applicable) before being considered by the Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees (APAC).

You can apply for deferral of assessments due during the Refer/Defer period. If approved, this would mean completing the assessment in the next available assessment period in the following academic year.  This would also affect your ability to progress into your next year of studies on your degree programme - for further information, please refer to point 3.4 below.. 

If you have already been granted deferral for an assessment, and you wish to apply for further deferral we would likely not approve this if you applied on the same grounds (without a flare up or exacerbation being evidenced). This is because we expect students to make reasonable adjustments to their situation in order to prepare for any August assessment sessions.

Please also be aware that in line with the University regulation TQA: 2.13.1, modules must be completed by the end of the academic year following that in which they were started. Periods of interruption are not included within this timeframe.

Unlike referred work, deferred work will not normally be capped. To defer means to delay taking the assessment, normally until the August session, as if for the first time. A deferred essay would however be capped if the essay were then submitted late. If a referred item is subsequently deferred, then it would be capped in the same way that the original referral was. For more information on this please contact your Hub.

The University does not usually permit trailing of assessments/modules, meaning you won’t be able to progress to the next stage of your degree until you have completed your deferred assessments.

Students that have deferred work into the next academic year will have an enrolment status of ‘Resitting without attendance’ and will usually not be allowed to attend any classes.

Undergraduate finalist students may still be able to attend July graduation ceremonies despite not having completed all of their modules by the time of the June APACs. This is dependent on the number of credits you have successfully completed and whether or not you have met the conditions for an ordinary degree. If you meet these criteria you will be able to walk across the stage and receive an empty envelope. Once you have successfully completed your outstanding credits your Honours degree will be confirmed.


For more information on ordinary degrees please refer to Table 2 at policy-standards/tqa-manual/cqf/academiccredit/#table-two

For further information on awarding principles please visit: standards/tqa-manual/aph/classification/

4. Other queries

There are penalties (including a potential mark of zero) for uploading the incorrect piece of coursework or submitting an incorrect hard copy. Examples of incorrect submission include:

  • Upload of incorrect file
  • Correct file submitted but all or part of it is unreadable/corrupted.


If you are concerned about incorrect submission contact your Hub as a matter of urgency.


Students are reminded to check the correct work has been uploaded, submitted to the correct link, and to aim to submit three hours before the deadline to allow for unforeseen problems.

Markers will endeavour to provide feedback for your work within three weeks, but it is not possible to guarantee this.

In term 3, due to the close proximity between marking and the APACs (exam boards) an extension could delay your progression/awarding decision being confirmed, as a full profile of results is required. In some circumstances this delay could result in your award not being confirmed in time to be included in the next graduation ceremony.

Students can appeal against mitigation decisions, however you must follow the University’s strict rules on appeals. Further information can be found here.

Alongside your personal tutor, your Hub is your first point of contact for any queries relating to your course or personal issues which may be impacting upon your studies.


Our Education Support Advisors (Welfare) are available to talk to you in a confidential and non- judgmental space about any issue you feel you may need support with. They offer practical support, as well as access to self-help materials, and signposting to specialist advice and support services.

To contact an Education Support Advisor (Welfare), click here.


Other useful contacts:




Hub Info Points



Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Programmes

All students

Students’ Guild Advice Unit

Exeter Campuses

Students' Union Advice Unit

Cornwall Campuses

Student Health Centre Exeter

Exeter Campuses

01392 676 606

Wellbeing Services

Exeter Campuses

FX Plus Wellbeing Services

Cornwall Campuses

International Student Support

Non-UK Students


All students

Penryn Surgery

Cornwall Campuses services/health