3.9 Coursework Extensions
This section of the Academic Quality Handbook provides information as of the start of the 2020/21 academic year; while much of it will remain current, some aspects may need to change from what is described here. Further Covid-19 updates and FAQs can be found on the central University web pages at: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/important-info/coronavirus/.
Special arrangements due to Covid-19
For 2020/21 students are not required to submit evidence in support of extension requests and special circumstance forms. Students should still inform the University of circumstances via the Special Circumstances Form and submit requests for coursework extensions on the Coursework Deadline Extension Request Form. Students should submit the appropriate form electronically and are not required to come on to campus
1. Extensions can only be granted where there are clear medical/personal circumstances (supported by independent documentary evidence) that have affected a student’s ability to submit coursework on time.
2. If an extension is granted, it will be for a period of between one and fourteen calendar days, the University’s responsibilities under equality legislation notwithstanding. However, it will not be possible to grant extensions which mean that work will be submitted after the last day of the examination period for the semester in which the work is due. In some cases, this may mean that the maximum extension period available will be less than fourteen calendar days. If this will not be sufficient, students are advised to follow the Special Circumstances procedure.
3. If it is not possible to present supporting evidence with the form, clear reasons must be given, with an indication of when the evidence will be provided. Evidence must, at the very latest, be provided by the last day of the examination period in the given semester. In the absence of supporting evidence that clearly demonstrates why an extension is required, the extension will be rescinded and a mark of zero will be given for the assessment at the subsequent Examination Board.
4. Decisions regarding requests will be communicated to the student by email within 2 working days of receipt of the request.
5. Retrospective requests for extensions will not be considered. In cases where the deadline is missed, students are advised to follow the Special Circumstances procedure (see Section 3.8 of the Academic Quality Handbook).
6. There will be some elements of assessed work for which it may not be possible to grant an extension, for example, a group presentation or an assessed group performance. Students should check with your Department before submitting this form if unsure as to whether an extension may be granted.
Requesting a coursework deadline extension
7. Deadline extensions can only be granted where there are clear medical/personal circumstances (supported by independent documentary evidence) that have affected a student’s ability to submit coursework on time.
8. Acceptable documentary evidence includes, but is not limited to:
(i) a medical/health certificate with relevant date to the assessment;
(i) a medical/health certificate with relevant date to the assessment;
(ii) a death certificate;
(iii) a letter of support/explanation from a support service in the University, or other appropriate external support organisation, for full details of the types of letter that may be provided by the University, please visit: http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/student-support/letters/ ;
(iv) where a student’s ability to submit coursework on time has been affected by circumstances involving a third party, he/she should submit independent documentary evidence that explains the impact that this has had;
(v) A certificate from a pharmacist.
9. Documentary evidence that will not be accepted includes, but is not limited to:
(ii) a statement written by the student;
(iii) a medical/health certificate that is not relevant to the date of the assessment
10. The following are not legitimate reasons for requesting an extension:
(i) problems with computers or printing;
(ii) lack of access to resources;
(iii) illness for which no medical evidence is available;
(iv) more than one deadline on the same day;
(v) inability to answer question or struggling with material;
(vi) crisis games, performance productions, departmental study trips;
(vii) non-academic activities (e.g. voluntary military training).
11. Only the departmental Extensions Officers can grant extensions, and only when the Coursework Deadline Extension Application Form has been filled in and submitted.
12. The Coursework Deadline Extension Request Form can be found here: Coursework Extension Request Form. The request form and supporting evidence should be submitted to the designated departmental office 3 days before the deadline; departmental office details can be found here. Requests received less than 3 working days before the deadline will normally be considered by the Departmental/Faculty Special Circumstances Board, and students are advised to follow the Special Circumstances procedure. The only exception to this requirement will be where it is clear from the evidence provided that the medical/personal circumstances have arisen within this three day period.
(i) The Extensions Officer will consider applications, and students will be informed of the outcome by email within two working days of receipt of the request;
(ii) Retrospective requests for extensions will not be considered. In cases where the deadline is missed, students are advised to follow the Special Circumstances procedure (see above);
(iii) To talk to the Extensions Officer directly, students should request a meeting by email.
Criteria for awarding extenions
13. In deciding on whether or not to grant an extension request, the Extensions Officer will consider the following questions:
Is the documentary evidence provided in support of the extension request sufficient/satisfactory?
14. If the answer to this question is no, then an extension request will not be granted.
15. The Extensions Officer may ask for more evidence to be provided to support the extension request; in all but the most exceptional of cases, this evidence should be submitted before the original coursework deadline.
16. If students are unable to present supporting evidence with the form, clear reasons for being unable to do so must be provided, with an indication to the Department of when the evidence will be provided. Evidence must, at the very latest, be provided by the last day of the examination period in the given semester.
17. It should noted that, if an extension was granted in these circumstances and a student failed to present supporting evidence that clearly demonstrated why an extension was required, the extension would be rescinded and a mark of zero will be given for the assessment at the subsequent Examination Board.
18. If the answer to this question is yes, then an extension will be granted. Students will be expected to submit work at the same time of day as they would have been had they not received an extension. For example, if the original deadline was 3.00pm on Wednesday 3 November and a one week extension was approved, there would be a requirement to submit by an extended deadline of 3.00pm on Wednesday 10 November.
What is the timing/duration/magnitude of the medical/personal circumstances in relation to the deadline for submitting the coursework?
19. The Extensions Officer will consider whether the circumstances described have affected the student’s ability to submit your work on time.
20. Timing: If the circumstances arise shortly before the deadline, and assuming that the circumstances are deemed to be genuine and unavoidable, then a short extension will be considered. However, if a student is ill for one day three weeks before the deadline, then an extension will not be awarded.
21. Duration: In a case of illness for one week, commencing three weeks before the deadline, an extension of a few days will be considered. However, if a student is ill for a longer period, commencing three weeks before the submission deadline, a longer extension will be considered.
22. Magnitude: This is often difficult to assess since the same set of circumstances can affect students in different ways; common sense needs to prevail.
23. The general principle that the Extensions Officer will follow is to match the length of any extension to the time lost working on the actual assignment; this may not necessarily equate to (i.e. it may be less than) the period of time that a student was ill or unavailable to attend the University.
24. Extensions will be granted for a period of between one and fourteen calendar days, the University’s responsibilities under equality legislation notwithstanding. Calendar days, mean that weekends and holiday periods are included, therefore a piece of work may be due in on a Saturday or a Bank Holiday or during one of the University vacation periods. Extensions Officer will take into account the type of work due to be submitted when setting a revised deadline and will consider whether or not it will be practical for students to submit work outside of normal office hours.
25. If the Extensions Officer considers that the circumstances described are so severe as to make it impractical for the completion of the work within the maximum extension period possible, students will be directed to follow the Special Circumstances procedure. This means that students will need to complete the Special Circumstances form and submit this with the original supporting documentary evidence for consideration by the Department/Faculty Special Circumstances Board.
26. Extensions officers will consider whether, given the other study commitments of the student, and the medical/personal circumstances presented, it would have been reasonable to expect the student to complete the assignment by the original submission deadline. If YES, then an extension should not be granted. If NO, then an extension should be granted.