Academic issues

Certain situations can cause anxiety and stress. Knowing who to speak to or what you need to do can help. On this page:

  • Where to get study help
  • Extenuating circumstances
  • Exams
  • Make an academic appeal
  • Suspend your studies
  • Apply for religious observance
  • Make a complaint

Where to get study help

We want to support your academic development throughout your studies and offer a range of support and resources. 

Who you can talk to

What you can do

Extenuating circumstances

We define extenuating circumstances as serious problems or events which are beyond your control or ability to foresee which may have affected your performance and/or may have impeded your ability to attend, complete, or submit an assessment on time.

Examples of extenuating circumstances include physical and mental illness. The illness maybe something like depression, that can affect your studies over a long period, or a migraine that just affects one exam, personal problems, eg family bereavement, housing difficulties.

If you wish a Board of Examiners to take into account an extenuating circumstance, you must:

  1. Contact your school office for further information as soon as possible;
  2. complete and submit:

You must complete the form and submit it to your school office before the meeting of the board of examiners where your assessment will be considered.

More advice about extenuating circumstances process from the Just Ask Service. The Student Counselling Service also have information on extenuating circumstances which may help.


You may feel there is  lot of pressure to succeed in exams and sometimes this can begin to feel a little overwhelming. If you are anxious about exam stress or beginning to experience it talk to someone. There are plenty of people to speak to:

If you are struggling with stress and anxiety contact your doctor, the Students' Health Service or the Counselling service. 

More advice and support on taking exams can be found on the Just Ask website.

Make an academic appeal

An academic appeal is a procedure which allows you in certain circumstances to ask for a review of a decision relating to your academic progress or award.

There are only specific circumstances where you can make an academic appeal and a limited number of grounds on which you can do so. Full details about making an appeal are in section 11 of Examination Regulations (PDF, 182kB).

Download the Appeal Form (Office document, 22kB).

For help and guidance regarding the appeals process, contact Just Ask.

Suspend or withdraw from your studies

If you are going through a difficult period with your studies withdrawing from or suspending your studies may sometimes seem like a quick and easy solution to your problems, but it may not be the best option for you and it's important you consider the alternatives.

Talk to your personal tutor or your supervisor (PGR students) or your School administrative staff who will be able to offer support and advice.

For help and guidance regarding the suspending or withdrawing from studies, contact Just Ask

International students

Changes to your student status, such as a suspension of study, will affect your immigration status in the UK. We are required to report any changes in status to the Home Office. The International Student Advisers will be able to advise and have produced this information.

Apply for religious observance

We respect the rights and religious views of our students. You need to tell your faculty office about your religious beliefs where there is potential for conflict with the setting of assessment. 

Who you can talk to

Make a complaint

We believe that students should feel able to make a complaint, knowing that it will be fairly investigated. Our complaints procedure has been designed to be as fair and straightforward as possible. If you have a complaint raise it as soon as possible with your personal tutor, supervisor or your school office.

For help and guidance regarding the complaints process, contact Just Ask

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