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Mitigating Circumstances

Understanding the mitigating circumstances procedure

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Changes to mitigating circumstances from 2016-17

In response to student feedback on the ‘Fit to Sit’ policy, and in collaboration with the KCLSU, the College revised its regulations on mitigating circumstances for 2016-17 onwards. We have recognised that ‘fit’ was not always easy to define and also that it may, inaccurately, have suggested to students that only medical issues would be acceptable reasons to apply for mitigating circumstances. As such, our new regulations no longer include the term ‘fit to sit’, instead they adopt the broader and more supportive term ‘mitigating circumstances’. How these are defined is outlined on this page and all supporting documentation.

The process for applying for mitigating circumstances has not changed, however there is a new form, a revised guidance document on acceptable circumstances, and a refreshed set of FAQs.

Please read through the information provided here carefully and seek further guidance from your personal tutor, the assessments team or KCLSU Advice if you are unsure what to do.


Why does the mitigating circumstances procedure exist?

It is a requirement of King's College London that all students take or submit their assessments at times prescribed by the College. However, it is acknowledged that exceptionally, through illness or other good cause a student may be unable to meet these requirements. In such instances academic regulations allow students to submit details of their mitigating circumstances for consideration by Assessment Sub Boards. The boards will use the information submitted to determine whether the mitigating circumstances provided by the student are an acceptable reason for extending a deadline or deferring an assessment (e.g. sitting an exam at the next available opportunity).


Defining mitigating circumstances

Mitigating circumstances are defined as “recognisably disruptive or unexpected events, beyond the student’s control, that might have a significant and adverse impact on their academic performance.”

The College applies the principle that a student who attends, submits or participates in any form of assessment shall be considered by the College to be in a position to do so.

(Academic Regulation T43)


How to apply

If you believe your ability to complete an assessment of any type might be, or has been, adversely affected by mitigating circumstances, you should complete and submit a Mitigating Circumstances Form (MCF).

This form is a request to be granted an authorised absence from an assessment or an extension to a submission deadline under the mitigating circumstances procedure (Academic Regulation T43).

Guidance on completing this form and acceptable evidence are available in the mitigating circumstances document index. Please note that previous forms (NEA and ERF) are no longer in existence and should not be used.



It is important that you complete a Mitigating Circumstances Form (MCF) as soon as possible. If you are able to, you should submit it in advance of the missed/affected assessment date.

If you are not able to submit the MCF in advance you must submit it no later than 7 days after the missed/affected assessment date.

7 days is defined as 7 calendar days which includes weekends. Bank Holidays (England/Wales) and College Closure days are excluded from these 7 days.

If you had a reason why you could not submit an MCF within 7 days you can discuss this with your personal tutor or programme administrator. KCLSU Advice can give you advice that is independent from the College. An MCF would not normally be accepted after 7 days except in exceptional situations, such as hospitalisation with no ability to inform the College.

You will normally be notified of the decision within 7 calendar days from the date you submit the form, but during periods when the College is closed, notably the Christmas and New Year period, it may take longer.

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