Mitigating Circumstances

Please read if you think your academic performance has been affected by your difficulties and you intend to apply for mitigating circumstances:-

Grounds for mitigation are unforeseeable or unpreventable circumstances that could have, or did have, a significant adverse effect on your academic performance. Possible mitigating circumstances include:

  • Serious ill health
  • Personal accident or injury
  • Death or serious illness of family members or close friends
  • Major household problems e.g. fire
  • Acute personal or financial or emotional trauma, e.g. acute anxiety or depression, family breakdown,
    breakdown of close personal relationship
  • Major and unplanned changes to employment circumstances or patterns of employment (EXCEPT
    Full Time Students)
  • Impact of natural disaster, civil disruption or other major hazard
  • Absence for jury service or maternity, paternity or adoption leave.

If you think you might be eligible to request a letter of support from the Counselling and Mental Health Service please note:

  • We only normally write letters when we are the best source of evidence. In many cases difficulties can best be evidenced more directly e.g. medical record/letter for illness of yourself or significant other, death certificate, police or insurance report, press or media report, letter or report from your mental health treatment team. However if you are finding obtaining a letter from any of the above sources difficult, then let us know and we will try to be as helpful as possible.
  • Other than in exceptional circumstances we will only provide supporting evidence in relation to current difficulties and events. I.e. we cannot normally write retrospective letters.
  • If you are registered with DASS and have been assessed as being eligible for automatic 1 week extensions you do not need to provide additional evidence from the Counselling Service in support of these extension requests.
  • If you are fully registered with DASS for a mental health condition you do not need to provide additional evidence from the Counselling and Mental Health Service in support of mitigation that arises from your mental health condition. The School can request that DASS provide guidance about your Mitigating Circumstances application. You do not need to approach DASS directly, but include on your application that you are registered with DASS and they can be contacted for further information if needed.
  • Supporting letters provided by us will include dates of contact with the Counselling and Mental Health Service and a brief description of impact on functioning.
  • We do not provide “fit to return”, “fit to travel” or “fit to study” letters. You will need to contact your GP, mental health team or Occupational Health at the university to discuss these.

Tutors and support staff in Schools should not usually encourage students to attend the Counselling and Mental Health Service purely for the purpose of requesting a mitigating circumstances letter. If staff are unsure about the appropriateness of a request for a supporting letter they can call to speak to the duty practitioner.