During their time at University, it is quite common for students to experience something that interferes with their studies. Whether this is a family problem, a financial issue, a health concern or something else entirely, it can be difficult to put things aside and concentrate on University.
The University recognises this, and there are procedures in place such as voluntary suspension and academic appeals to try to redress the balance. However, these procedures can be difficult, off-putting or simply seem like an over-reaction for a short-term issue or a niggling problem you are trying to ignore.
To try to ensure that students let the University know about any problem - however small or transient - the University has now instigated a personal circumstances procedure. As it's quite a lengthy policy we've made a USSA Guide to Personal Circumstances for you.
The personal circumstances procedure relies on students letting the University know about any problems they are facing as soon as possible, so that the University can take appropriate steps to support you.
The only formal time limits on submitting personal circumstances are where the issues have occured or been ongoing over an exam period. In this situation, the University requires students to submit information on what has been happening within 5 working days of the end of the exam diet.
The reason for this deadline is to allow the Exam Boards to know about your circumstances when they are making progress decisions. If they can do this, they can make decisions that would normally require an appeal - for example, to allow an extra attempt at an exam; or a repeat year.
It is very important to realise that the personal circumstances policy is a compulsory step in having your situation taken into account. If you are having problems, and you do not use the personal circumstances procedure without good reason, you will not be allowed to make an academic appeal based on those circumstances.
What do I need to do?
If you are experiencing any issues that are or may affect your ability to study or take exams:
- Complete the personal circumstances form (available for download at the bottom of this page);
- Gather evidence to support your circumstances;
- Submit the form and evidence to Student Business in the McCance Building. They should be submitted within 5 working days of the end of the relevant exam diet (if during exams), or as soon as possible at all other times.
If you are unsure what to write, or what evidence you need, or have any other questions, contact the Advice Hub and we can give you advice and guidance on what to submit.