Mitigating Circumstances

Mitigating Circumstances

If you're in a taught programme of study at King's College London, you'll be expected to take part in assessments at times specified by the university. Assessments include handing in assignments and sitting exams. However, King's recognises that there are times when circumstances might stop you from being able to do these assessments to the best of your ability. For this reason, the College has a process called 'mitigating circumstances' procedure.

Mitigating circumstances are defined by the College as: 

"Recognisably dusruptive or unexpected events, beyond the student's control, that might have a significant and adverse impact on their academic performance."

Unexpected” means that you didn't or couldn't have known the circumstances were going to happen.  For example, travel out of the country that was booked in advance would not, in itself, be considered "mitigating circumstances".

Outside of their control” means that you couldn't have made a different choice that would have not resulted in these circumstances.  For example, choosing to have an optional, cosmetic operation during the examination period would not normally be considered 'mitigating circumstances'.

Examples of possible mitigating circumstances include:

  • Bereavement
  • Serious short term illness
  • Deterioration of a long term health condition
  • Mental health condition
  • Being in an accident

The Mitigating Circumstances Procedure  

If you feel you been experiencing Mitigating Circumstances, you will need to submit a request via Student Records

The request can be submitted at any time before the submission deadline but normally no later than 7 calendar days after the submission deadline.  

Usually you should submit one in lieu of sitting/submitting the assessment. If you have already taken/submitted the assessment but want to request you are withdrawn from it, you will need to explain why, and give the reasons for not informing your department before or instead of sitting the assessment. 

You will need to submit evidence along with your request as it is unlikely the College will accept it without. You can submit your evidence either with your form or up to 21 days after your exam or assignment deadline providing you have submitted your MCF on time. 

You should also submit a Mitigating Circumstances request where you experience unexpected difficulty in undertaking or completing your assessments due to COVID-19-related issues. 

You will be asked on the request to provide details on the reason for your request but, where COVID-19 related, no additional evidence is required.  

It can take up to 7 days for your request to be assessed, but departments will prioritise cases and will try and get back to you ASAP. If you submit your form via your KCL email, you do not have to physically sign it.  

How We Can Help

Our friendly caseworkers can talk you through the Mitigating Circumstance procedure, answer any questions you might have about the process, and assist you to complete the request.

We can:

  • Talk you through the procedure and answer any questions you may have
  • Discuss your circumstances to determine if a mitigating circumstances application is likely to be accepted
  • Advise on what to include in your supporting statement and check drafts of this before you submit
  • Advise you on appropriate evidence to support your case



You can request: 

  • to defer exams in the future 

  • to withdraw from exams you’ve already sat (before receiving the mark) 

  • to have an extension for coursework in advance 

  • that penalties are not applied to coursework you’ve submitted late 

I am affected by mitigating circumstances but I worry that these might not be accepted. Is it better for me just to submit the assessment (or take the exam) and see how it goes? 

Assessment Boards make their decisions using the same information provided to students about what are acceptable circumstances, and what is the necessary evidence, so you are advised to read the guidance carefully before completing and submitting a MC request. 

You are strongly advised not to risk completing an assessment of any type if you are experiencing difficulties that would have an adverse impact on your academic performance and would meet the definition of mitigating circumstances. In this situation, by submitting a MC request you are complying with the College’s regulations and are making a conscientious decision to be assessed at a time when your circumstances have improved.  

What should I do if I am unable to meet a coursework deadline? 

In this situation you are required to submit a MC request.

The form can be submitted at any time before the submission deadline but normally no later than 7 calendar days after the submission deadline. 

Don’t delay submitting the form if you do not yet have the appropriate documentary evidence.  Evidence can be submitted up to 21 days after the date of the affected assessment. 

Please check above for more information & guidance on submitting a MC request.

What happens if I have taken an examination but with hindsight feel that I shouldn't have done so? 

"Exceptionally, a student who presents themselves for an assessment or submits coursework may, at the discretion of the Chair of the relevant Assessment Sub Board, be retrospectively granted an authorised absence from that assessment provided that they submit evidence of mitigating circumstances normally no more than seven calendar days after the date of the assessment or submission deadline. Supporting evidence should be submitted with the form provided for this purpose or within 21 calendar days of the date of the affected assessment." (T43.4). 

This means that you can submit a MC request up to 7 days after your assessment or submission deadline, but you will be asked to provide a good reason as to why you did not follow the normal mitigating circumstances procedure before you presented yourself for an examination or submitted coursework (T43.6). 

I have a King's Inclusion Plan (KIP). Can I use it as evidence? 

You can only use a KIP as evidence if it confirms that you have a long standing medical condition or disability and explicitly states that the KIP may be used as evidence to support mitigating circumstances. 

Please note that most KIPs will not include this adjustment. If yours does not, you should follow the procedure for evidencing an illness. You may wish to discuss your future requirements directly with the Disability Advisory Service

Remember that mitigating circumstances are different to Personalised Assessment Arrangements (PAA), which are organised through the Examinations Office. 

Will the information I disclose in the form be kept confidential?  

All information disclosed will be treated sensitively. Details will only be shared with those involved in the Mitigating Circumstance process and will be kept confidential.  

My REQUEST was accepted and I have been granted an extension but my circumstances haven’t changed and I need more time, what can I do?  

If you have been granted an extension but your circumstance have not changed and you need more time, you will need to submit a new request. You will need explain how your circumstances have changed and why you need more time.  You will also need new evidence to support your request. 

Can I appeal against the decision? 

You cannot appeal against a decision regarding your request until your module results are published.  Only then can you appeal against a decision of the Board of Examiners by submitting a Stage One appeal. Please read the guidance notes associated with the Stage One appeal carefully before lodging an appeal.