Supporting evidence

You are required to provide supporting evidence when you submit one of the following:

Schools will not normally accept a request for extenuating circumstances or grant coursework extension requests if evidence is not provided. 

If you are requesting to suspend on medical grounds, you need to submit supporting medical evidence. If you request to suspend on other grounds, check with your school to find out if supporting evidence is required. 

Provide a clear explanation of the impact

You must explain the impact of the circumstance on your studies and or/assessment on your form. This will help us understand how you have been affected, and decide what mitigation is appropriate, if any, or if we can provide other support.

If you do not provide enough explanation of the circumstance and its impact upon your assessment or explain why additional mitigation is needed, your request may not be accepted. 

You must submit the relevant form by the stated deadline. Remember that supporting evidence is not sufficient on its own.

Medical evidence 

Examples may incluide:

  • a letter from a medical practitioner confirming a diagnosis, treatment or referral for further investigation or treatment
    • if you are a patient of the Student Health Service and require a medical certificate, email l81133.admin@nhs.net
  • prescription for medication or treatment
  • for chronic conditions, you may be able to use previously submitted evidence, so long as it relates to the same condition. Speak to your school if you are unsure what evidence is required.

Only approach the Students' Health service or other medical practitioner for supporting evidence if you have an ongoing situtation for which you need treatment. 

Your school will not accept: 

  • a doctor's statement that you have reported a condition retrospectively 
  • medical evidence which only confirms that you have reported an earlier medical condition which didn't require attention when it occured. 

Do not submit:

  • images (including photos, x-rays, ultrasound scans, etc) of your body or sustained injuries
  • medical evidence in relation to other people without their consent.

Short-term illness

Doctors will only provide medical evidence if your illness is still apparent and needs treatment. Medical notes are not normally issued for conditions of less than a week. To help protect the NHS, you should only approach a doctor if you need treatment.

Schools will not normally grant an extension where you have experienced a minor illness which did not require medical attention. It is also unlikely that a minor illness of this type will be accepted as an extenuating circumstance or as grounds for a suspension of studies.

If you have missed an exam or test during the formal assessment period due to a short illness, you should self-certify your absence. Evidence is not required for self-certification.

Other types of evidence

  • A study support plan 
  • We do not typically request evidence of a bereavement of a close family member or friend, but do reserve the right to do so. This could be a death certificate or a copy of the funeral order of service. 
  • If you have been a victim of a crime, you may provide a police incident report form and crime reference number.
  • Correspondence with a counselling service. This can include:
    • offers of appointments
    • requests to complete questionnaires before appointments
    • or emails with referral or self-help suggestions.

If you do not have copies of your email correspondence with the Student Counselling Service for the time you are requesting mitigations to be made, email student-counselling@bristol.ac.uk to obtain this evidence.

The Student Wellbeing Service and Residential Life, and Student Counselling Service do not provide supporting letters to individual students. 

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