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Deferred exams

  • Deferred exams - guidance for students

    What is a deferred exam?

    A deferred exam is a concession intended to allow a student who is unable to attend on the date first set, or who is compelled by illness to leave before the completion of an exam, to take an exam at a later date.

    A deferred exam is only granted to a student whose absence or withdrawal from an exam is on acceptable grounds.

    Students should bear in mind that if a deferred exam is granted all coursework and attendance requirements will still have to be met in order to successfully complete the module.

    The deferred exam application process can only be used to defer centrally timetabled exams. Preregistration nursing students, students looking to defer a class test, or students who have alternatives to exams as part of an ARUAA, must instead contact the appropriate faculty direct. 

    If a student decides to take an exam for which he or she has been granted a deferral, he or she must make this known to the invigilator. A student who chooses to take an exam at the main diet and does not pass will be eligible to repeat the exam at the resit diet. In this case the maximum mark that can be awarded for the module is 40.

    The dates of the exam diets can be found here: Exam dates

    How do I apply to defer an exam?

    Students must wait until the final exam timetable has been published before applying to defer an exam.

    The deadline for deferred exam applications is the last day of the semester. Applications to defer an exam within the autumn or spring resit/deferred exam diets, in May and June, must be received within one week of the final exam.

    If a student applies to defer an exam in the main spring exam diet in May, he or she will be expected to attend the June exam diet. If there are further circumstances that mean the student cannot take the exam in June, a further deferred exam application must be submitted. Where a student defers twice and fails the exam in August, no resit opportunity is offered. The student will fail the module.

    To apply for a deferred exam please read the deferred exam guidance notes and then submit an application via the Portal, using the link “Apply for a Deferred Exam’.

    Independent supporting documentation is always required and must be uploaded at the point of submitting the application via the Portal.

    If a student does not have a supporting document at the point of application, he or she must upload a Word document confirming what supporting document will be obtained and when it will be submitted.

    All deferred exam applications are considered by Student Programmes and decisions are communicated in writing to students via their student email account as quickly as possible.

    If an application is unsuccessful, the student may supply further information and ask for a reconsideration of the case by the Education and Experience Committee’s Academic Panel. Alternatively, he or she may contact the appropriate faculty to request a discretionary resit. In this case, the module mark will be capped at 40.

    What are acceptable grounds?

    Unavoidable Detention Elsewhere:

    A student can apply to defer an exam if he or she has been detained elsewhere on the date the exam is scheduled to take place, e.g.:

    • In hospital
    • In court/detention
    • Participating in authorised national or international sporting competition, or authorised national sports training camps
    • By a disability, previously disclosed to the Accessibility and Inclusion service
    • If a student applies to defer an exam on the grounds of unavoidable detention elsewhere, the type of supporting documentation required would be:
    • Hospital – a letter from the hospital confirming the nature of the student’s admission and the dates he/she was hospitalised
    • Court/Detention – a court summons
    • National/International Sporting Competition or Training Camp – a statement from Head of Performance Sport, David Bond
    • Disability – a statement from a university Accessibility and Inclusion Adviser

    Medical Grounds:

    A student can apply to defer an exam if he or she is suffering from physical or mental symptoms that cause him or her to be unexpectedly unable to attend or to complete an exam.

    If a student applies to defer an exam on medical grounds, the type of supporting documentation required would be a medical certificate or a letter from a GP/consultant etc. This should confirm the symptoms, but not necessarily the nature of the illness or injury, and clearly state that the student is unfit/unable to attend the exam on the exact date it is scheduled to take place.

    A student who is unable to complete an exam on the grounds of ill health must advise the invigilator. In these circumstances, the student is only expected to see a doctor if medical assistance is required.

    An application to defer an exam on grounds of incapacity to complete it will not be considered if the student has left the exam venue within the last quarter of the exam period. 

    Compassionate Grounds:

    A student can apply to defer an exam if he or she is suffering bereavement or similar distress during or just before the exam diet to the extent that he or she cannot be expected to attend the exam, e.g.:

    • Death of a close person during or just before the exam diet;
    • Acute or serious illness or injury (including serious mental illness) of a close person during or just before the exam diet

    The definition of a 'close person' is a family member (parent/guardian, spouse/partner, son/daughter, brother/sister, grandparent, grandchild), or someone living at the same address as the student.

    If a student applies to defer an exam on compassionate grounds the type of supporting documentation required would be:

    • Death of a close person – a death certificate/an order of service
    • Acute or serious illness or injury of a close person - a medical document confirming the illness/injury of the close person (if this cannot be obtained a medical document from the student’s own GP confirming the impact of the illness/injury and clearly stating that the student is unfit/unable to sit the exam on the exact date it is scheduled to take place is acceptable)

    If the bereavement or illness/injury of a close person is not during or just before the exam diet but still affects a student’s ability to attend an exam, a medical document from the student’s GP confirming the impact of the bereavement or illness/injury and clearly stating that the student is unfit/unable to sit the exam on the exact date it is scheduled to take place is acceptable.

    If the bereavement or illness/injury does not relate to the university’s definition of a ‘close person’ a statement and supporting document should be provided for consideration by the Education and Experience Committee’s Academic Panel.

    Disability Grounds:

    Where a student, through the University's Accessibility and Inclusion service, has disclosed a disability, a deferred exam may be granted when that student's ability to prepare adequately by the date of the exam has been significantly impeded.

    A student may also apply to defer an exam when a disability prevents attendance at the exam.

    If a student applies to defer an exam on disability grounds the type of supporting documentation required would be a statement from a university Accessibility and Inclusion Adviser. 

    Other Exceptional Grounds:

    Whilst other grounds will not normally be accepted, exceptional individual circumstances will always be considered on their merits by the Education and Experience Committee’s Academic Panel. Supporting documentation must be provided wherever possible.

    What are unacceptable grounds? 

    The following will not be considered acceptable grounds for deferred exam applications:

    • going on holiday
    • returning home early
    • attending weddings or other family occasions (except funerals)
    • misreading the exam timetable or turning up at the wrong time
    • failing to check changes between the provisional and final exam timetables
    • failing to get up in time
    • transport difficulty
    • death or illness of pets

    In any of the above circumstances, students may contact the appropriate faculty to request a discretionary resit. In this case, the module mark will be capped at 40.

    Medical grounds which may have adversely affected a student’s academic work leading up to the examination are ‘extenuating circumstances’ and not acceptable grounds for deferred exam applications.  Please refer to section 6.3.2 of the Quality Handbook: Extenuating Circumstances for the appropriate course of action (assessment including academic misconduct).

  • Deferred exams - guidance notes for departments

    All students seeking to defer an exam should read the deferred exam guidance notes and then submit a deferred exam application via the Portal, using the link “Apply for a Deferred Exam”.

    Independent supporting documentation is always required and must be uploaded at the point of submitting the application.

    If a student does not have a supporting document at the point of application, he or she must upload a Word document confirming what supporting document will be obtained and when it will be submitted.

    The deadline for deferred examination applications is the last day of the semester. Applications to defer an exam within the autumn or spring resit/deferred exam diets, in May and June, must be received within one week of the final exam.

    Decisions are communicated in writing to students via their student email account.

    The following will not be considered acceptable grounds for deferred exam applications:

    • going on holiday
    • returning home early
    • attending weddings or other family occasions (except funerals)
    • misreading the examination timetable or turning up at the wrong time
    • failing to check changes between the provisional and final examination timetables
    • failing to get up in time
    • transport difficulty
    • death or illness of pets

    Where a deferred exam has been approved Student Programmes will upload the grade of DE. Where a student has deferred twice the grade of DD will display on the student’s Academic History. Where a resit exam is deferred the grade of DR will be uploaded.

    Departments can see from the Class List Function on the Portal which students have been granted deferred exams.

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