Absences and Illness

If you know in advance that you are going to miss a one-off class, you are expected to notify the module organiser. You can find a full list of staff email addresses at: www.sheffield.ac.uk/seas/staff

Short-term illness and other circumstances leading to absence should be reported to the SEAS General Office: tel. 0114 222 8400; email seas@sheffield.ac.uk to ensure that your Personal Tutor and Module Organisers are informed.

Acceptable reasons for absence to be authorised include:

• Health problems;
• Bereavement;
• Serious personal difficulties.

Unacceptable reasons for being absent include:

• Travel delays;
• Attending family celebrations;
• Paid employment;
• Extra-curricular sports activities.

It is your responsibility to catch-up on any missed work due to your non-attendance.

Extenuating Circumstances

Which form should I complete?

Student Self-Certification Form

  • For a period of absence of less than one week, and not affecting assessment.
  • Submit the form to SEAS, either in paper form to the reception, 6/8 Shearwood Road, or scanned in PDF format only. In the case of Dual degrees, please submit the form to your home department, as soon as possible after an illness.

Extenuating Circumstances Form 

  • For a period of absence, totalling more than one week, or having an ongoing impact on your studies.
  • For a medical or personal problem which has had, or may have, an impact on your assessment - for example if you need to ask for an extension - if your supporting evidence does not come from the University Health Service. Use this form if you have seen your home GP, or the University Counselling Service, or if your problem is personal rather than medical.
  • You can find full guidance on procedures, and the grounds on which we can give extensions or make other adjustments, in the Explanatory Notes page.
  • Submit the form to SEAS, either in paper form to the reception, 6/8 Shearwood Road, or scanned in PDF format only. In the case of Dual degrees, please submit the form to your home department, as soon as possible after an illness.

Online Extenuating Circumstances Form

  • If you were seen by a doctor at the University Health Service (UHS), you should complete the Online Extenuating Circumstances Form. This form will then need to be collected from UHS and submitted to the SEAS reception, 6/8 Shearwood Road or, in the case of Dual degrees, to your home department as soon as possible after an illness.

Module organisers will be notified if any student has an extension for an assignment, but we do not normally identify the student in question.

All evidence of extenuating circumstances is treated in confidence.

Deadline Difficulties

If you are unable for good reasons to submit assessed work on time, you may request an extension by submitting an Extenuating Circumstances Form with appropriate evidence to Angela Maskrey in the SEAS Office.

Extensions will be granted for documented medical reasons, including mental health difficulties, and for severe personal difficulties. Requests should be supported by a medical note or other appropriate evidence. Please see the guidance notes for full details of University policy, including events that are or are not normally accepted as extenuating circumstances.

  • If your supporting evidence comes from the University Health Service, you should fill in the online form (we are aware that UHS may take up to 7 days to process forms);
  • If your supporting evidence comes from another doctor, from the University Counselling Service, or from DDSS, you should download a form here.

Forms may be submitted on paper to the main SEAS Office; we can also accept scanned forms (in PDF format only) by email (A.Maskrey@sheffield.ac.uk).

Please submit forms and supporting evidence as soon as you are able to, so that we can process these and confirm adjustments in good time.

If marking is completed before medical evidence reaches the SEAS Office, late penalties will be applied. Any marks deducted can be restored once the evidence is received, but the process is much simpler for everyone if we have all the necessary material in good time.

The University expects that long term or recurrent circumstances would normally be managed by medication or other treatment, special exam arrangements and/or support and would not fall under the scope of the extenuating circumstances policy. If there is an unforeseeable and unavoidable increase in long-term circumstances leading up to or during the assessment, evidence of the exacerbation of the condition and its potential impact upon the assessment would be required and not just evidence of the condition/problem itself.

Extensions cannot be granted by module organisers.

The length of any extension will depend on your precise circumstances, though most extensions are short. Extensions of 10 working days will need to be agreed by the Head of School and DLT, so may take a little longer to confirm. If you have good grounds for a longer extension, and are unable to complete the necessary work by the end of the examination period, we will normally return you as Not Assessed for the module. In these cases, you will be asked to complete outstanding assignments for the summer supplementary examination period in August

Computer problems will not be accepted as reasonable grounds for late submission of work. You should always keep back-up copies of any computer work, and you should always save at regular intervals while typing to protect yourself in case something goes wrong. If you are taking a module in another department, ensure that you inform yourself of the relevant requirements.

See also Documenting Extenuating Circumstances

Examinations and Illness

Examinations take place twice a year at the end of each semester. There is also an opportunity to re-sit failed examinations during August.

Regulation 2.1 of the Examination Conventions states that:
It is the responsibility of students to notify their tutors and supervisors, or other appropriate departmental staff, at the earliest opportunity if there are any extenuating circumstances that might have a bearing on their examination performance. Students should provide notification by completion and submission of a Special Circumstances Form, along with any additional relevant documentary evidence where appropriate.

All medical evidence should be submitted using an Extenuating Circumstances Form to the SEAS General Office or, in the case of Dual degrees, to your home department as soon as possible after an illness and (except in the case of illness on the day of an examination) before any affected examination deadline. Significant personal evidence should be reported in the same way.

Evidence received after the Exam Board for the relevant semester can only be considered as part of the appeals process.

If you fall ill on the day of an examination, you must contact the School as a matter of urgency, and provide evidence as soon as possible confirming that you were ill and unable to take the examination.

If you are ill in the period immediately before the examinations and feel that your work has been seriously affected, you must provide medical evidence.

If you feel ill during an examination, you must inform the invigilator so that your condition can be taken into account.

Serious Illness/Extenuating Circumstances: Not Assessed If your work on a module has been seriously impaired, the Examinations Officer may be able to declare you 'not assessed' for a module, which enables you to sit the examination during the summer re-sit period as a first attempt. This means that any mark you achieve will not be capped at 40% (as is normally the case in a re-sit). You will need to support your case with an Extenuating Circumstances Form and submit it to the Examinations Officer by the end of the relevant semester. Evidence submitted after this time cannot be considered at the Exam Board and will need to become the subject of an appeal. Exam Boards take place at the end of February and the end of June. See the Extenuating Circumstances section of the Examination Conventions for further details.

Student Attendance Monitoring (SAM)

The University Senate has agreed a unified University policy on attendance monitoring for all home and international students. This is to ensure equity of treatment across the whole student population and enable attendance monitoring to be an effective tool for identifying any problems at an early stage and offering students appropriate support. Departments are therefore required to monitor attendance and review engagement with the programme of study, for all home and international students.

Students who are deemed not to be engaged with their studies may be reported to Student Services, who may in turn take formal action such as invoking the progress of student regulations or informing the UK Border Agency if appropriate.