Extenuating circumstances

If you are applying to study at the University of Bristol and your education has been significantly disrupted through serious health or personal problems, you can apply for consideration of extenuating circumstances.

Please complete the Extenuating Circumstances Form 2021 (PDF, 224kB) and upload it to your applicant dashboard. We cannot accept this form via email or from a third party and any circumstances submitted without this completed form will not be considered.

A completed form should be submitted within four weeks of your application. Where evidence suggests that ongoing circumstances will affect both your studies and exam performance, these will also be taken into account on publication of examination results, should you receive an offer from Bristol.

Contact us immediately at admissions-ugec@bristol.ac.uk if there will be a delay in submitting your extenuating circumstances form.

Applicants who submit an extenuating circumstances form after an unsuccessful decision has already been made can only by reconsidered if the form was submitted within four weeks of applying through UCAS. Otherwise, we cannot reconsider an application.

If you wish to inform us of any extenuating circumstances after receiving an offer from Bristol, you can upload a form and supporting evidence to your applicant dashboard two weeks before your exam results are published or by the 15th of July 2022, whichever is sooner.

We only look at the extenuating circumstances you send us during the year that you apply. If you sent in extenuating circumstances for an application in a previous UCAS cycle, you will need to submit a new form for a new application. We will tell you if you need to re-submit further evidence.

When we consider extenuating circumstances

The information you provide on the form is confidential (viewed by a panel of three Admissions members of staff alongside your application). It is used to help us assess your academic performance in light of your extenuating circumstances, if either your predicted or achieved grades are lower than our typical offer.

If your extenuating circumstances affect your exam performance, we can also consider these alongside your exam results if you narrowly miss the terms of your offer and the University has places available.

Submitting an extenuating circumstances form does not guarantee that the University will make you an offer or that we will accept you if you do not meet the conditions of your offer.

We cannot say in advance whether an application is likely to be successful or not on consideration of extenuating circumstances.

Any circumstances deemed of a serious nature may be considered when assessing an applicant’s relevant qualifications. Examples include bereavement, severe illness or an abrupt change in circumstances which may affect, or have affected, attendance and/or examination performance. While we appreciate the significant disruption caused by coronavirus in both the 2019/20 and 2020/21 academic years, we expect this to be considered in schools and through exam boards. At university level, we will consider disruption which has been significant and personal to the individual applicant, in line with the examples above.

How we consider extenuating circumstances

  • We consider the effect of extenuating circumstances on your qualifications and/or your examination performance.
  • We require third party evidence to support your statement on your extenuating circumstances form. Therefore, we do not consider supporting evidence from a family member or friend. We need to know how these circumstances have disrupted your education, so the best evidence to submit is a detailed statement provided by your school/tutor. We also accept evidence from a medical professional, but bear in mind that we require evidence of circumstances impacting your academic performance, which a doctor or other medical professional may not be able to provide.
  • We do not consider extenuating circumstances when assessing the rest of your application, such as the personal statement or reference.
  • If you have any extenuating circumstances that may affect your performance in an additional test such as the LNAT or UCAT, please inform the relevant test centre, who will then notify us. We are not able to consider extenuating circumstances relating to additional tests submitted directly to us by an applicant, nominated contact or school.
  • We do not consider extenuating circumstances in relation to interview performance. If you have not been able to attend an interview due to extenuating circumstances, we would encourage you to rearrange a new interview date as soon as possible. We cannot guarantee that you will be offered another interview.
  • If you are applying with achieved grades which are below our entry requirements, extenuating circumstances do not guarantee you an offer. If you are not resitting or taking an alternative qualification, we advise you to explain why on your extenuating circumstances form.
  • We do not make contextual or other lower offers in light of extenuating circumstances. If an offer is made, it will be at the standard level (or contextual level if you are eligible). Then, if you do not quite meet your offer, we will use your extenuating circumstances when assessing whether we can accept you on to the course with lower grades. Please note that extenuating circumstances are not a guarantee of acceptance if you do not meet your offer in full.

Current students

If you are a current University of Bristol student and want to report extenuating circumstances relating to your degree work, please follow the guidance for current students requesting extenuating circumstances.

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