Deferred Exams

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Deferred Exams - Guidance for Students

1.1 Deferred examinations are a concession intended to allow students, who are unable to attend examinations at the date first set, or who are compelled by illness to leave before the completion of an examination, to take examinations at a later date.

1.2 Deferred examinations are only granted to students whose absence or withdrawal is on acceptable grounds (see section 3).

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

1.4 Students are normally expected to apply for deferral of all examinations or all remaining examinations in the examination diet. However, students may elect to sit their remaining examinations at the main diet if the grounds cited no longer prevent them from taking the remaining examinations.

1.5 If a student decides to take an examination for which they have been granted a deferral, they must make this known to the invigilator at the examination. The invigilator will return a list of all previously deferred candidates who took the examination at the main diet. Students who elect to take an examination at the main diet and do not pass will be eligible to repeat the examination at the resit diet, in which case the maximum mark that can be awarded is 40.

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


2. APPLICATION PROCESSe.g. If a student applies to defer an exam in the main spring exam diet in May, they will be expected to attend the June exam diet. If there are further circumstances which mean the student cannot take the exam in June, a further deferral application must be submitted.  Where a student defers twice, and fails the exam in August, there is no further resit opportunity offered, the student fails the module.

2.1 All students seeking examination deferral (undergraduate and postgraduate) should read the Deferred Exams Guidance Notes and then submit an Application for Deferred Exams via the Student Portal, using the link “Apply for a Deferred Exam” on the portal home page.

Independent supporting evidence is always required and has to be uploaded at the point of submitting the application via the Student Portal.

2.2 Applications on grounds of incapacity to attend must be received by the last day of semester although students are advised to apply as early as possible. Applications on grounds of incapacity to complete an examination must be received as soon as practicable after the examination.

2.3 All applications are considered by Registry and decisions are communicated in writing to students via their student email account as quickly as possible.

2.4 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.

3. ACCEPTABLE GROUNDS

3.1 Attendance grounds

 3.1.1 The student must have been detained elsewhere on the date of the examination, 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 Disability Adviser.

3.1.2 The dates, nature of detention and independent evidence are required.

3.2 Medical grounds

3.2.1 The student must be suffering from physical or mental symptoms that cause him or her to be unexpectedly unable to attend or to complete an examination.

 3.2.2 An application on grounds of incapacity to attend an examination for medical reasons must be supported by a medical certificate. This should give the symptoms, but not necessarily the nature of the illness or injury, and the student should authorise the doctor to disclose this information.

 3.2.3 An application on grounds of incapacity to complete an examination will not be entertained if the student has left within the last quarter of the examination period.

3.2.4 Students unable to complete an exam on the grounds of ill health must advise the invigilator. In such circumstances, students are only expected to see a doctor if medical assistance is required.

3.3 Compassionate grounds

3.3.1 The student must be suffering bereavement or similar distress to the extent that he or she cannot be expected to attend the examination, e.g.:

-   Death of a close person during or just before the examination period;

-   Acute or serious illness or injury (including serious mental illness) of a close person during or just before the examination period.

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

3.4 Grounds of disability

3.4.1 In cases where a student, through the University's Disability Adviser, has disclosed a disability to the University, deferred exams may be granted when that student's ability to prepare adequately by the date of the exam has been significantly impeded. Applications on such grounds will require to be supported by a statement from the University's Disability Adviser.

 3.4.2 When a disability prevents attendance at the examination, a deferred exam will be considered under the provisions of 3.1.1 above.

3.5 Other exceptional grounds

Whilst other grounds will not normally be accepted, exceptional individual circumstances will always be considered on their merits. Supporting documentation should be provided wherever possible.

4. UNACCEPTABLE GROUNDS 

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

-   going on holiday;

-   returning home early;

-   attending weddings or other family occasions (other than funerals);

-   misreading the examination timetable or turning up at the wrong time;

-   failing to check changes between the provisional and final examination timetables;

-   failure to get up in time;

-   transport difficulty;

-   death or illness of pets

 4.1 In any of the above circumstances students may contact the appropriate school to request a discretionary resit.  The module mark will be capped at 40.

 4.2 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 examinations.  Refer to section 6.3.2 of the Quality Handbook:  Extenuating Circumstances for the appropriate course of action (http://www.stir.ac.uk/academicpolicy/handbook/assessmentincludingacademicmisconduct/)

Last updated, March 2017. 

Deferred Exams - Guidance Notes for Departments

All students seeking examination deferral (undergraduate and postgraduate) should read the Deferred Exams Guidance Notes and then submit an Application for Deferred Exams via the Student Portal, using the link “Apply for a Deferred Exam” on the portal home page.

Independent supporting evidence is always required and has to be uploaded at the point of submitting the application via the Student Portal.

The closing date for receipt of deferred examination applications is the last day of the exam period unless there are very exceptional circumstances.

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

going on holiday
returning home early
attending weddings or other family occasions (other than funerals)
misreading the examination timetable or turning up at the wrong time
failing to check changes between the provisional and final examination timetables
failure 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 DF, where a resit is deferred the grade of DR will be uploaded and where a student has deferred twice the grade of DD will display on the student’s Academic History. The decision is communicated to the student via their student email account.

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

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