Submit a Notification of Extenuating Circumstances

Find out what constitutes extenuating circumstances and how to submit a Notification of Extenuating Circumstances (NEC).

Sometimes events beyond your control can affect your academic performance. Such events can include illness.

Submitting a Notification of Extenuating Circumstances (NEC) form allows you to inform the University of this. You can then seek guidance and support.

You can submit an NEC at any time of the year, but the timing of this notification is important. You should refer to our NEC policy for more information. It is also important that you:

  • include the outcome you're seeking as a result of your submission, and
  • provide as much information and evidence as possible to enable us to support you.

If we uphold your NEC, we many grant you an extension on your assessment. We may also permit you to complete the assessment at the next available opportunity. You should not assume that your NEC will be upheld. If you're unsure whether to attempt an assessment, you should seek advice from your School.

Self-certification for assessment extensions - to the maximum of seven days

Currently in order to request an extension on an assessment deadline due to illness you need to submit a University Medical Note along with your Notification of Extenuating Circumstances (NEC).

There is a cost associated with this, so to further support you with the cost of living price increases, we have updated our NEC policy. Any short illness of seven days or less that impacts your ability to submit an assessment can now be self-certified, without needing to visit a doctor and pay for a University Medical Note.

This applies when requesting an extension of up to seven days, or the next assessment opportunity for exams. If a longer extension is required, additional independent evidence from your GP will still be needed.

To self-certify, you will need to complete this self-certification form and submit it with your NEC. Other forms of self-certification won’t be accepted. This form can be used to support NEC applications submitted in the seven calendar days up to or after the assessment deadline or in the seven calendar days before the start time of the assessment event. Once an assessment event has started, the NEC process should not be used. Instead, you should submit a Request for Reconsideration.

Please provide as much information as possible about your illness and how it impacted your ability to complete your assessment. Brief responses may result in your request being turned down.

If you need advice about your circumstances

Contact your Academic School administration team or personal tutor. You can find their details on NOW or in your course handbook.

If you need more support

If your circumstances are affecting your studies, contact Student Support Services for help and advice.

NEC Policy

You can find more details on timelines, process and outcomes in our NEC policy.

Submit an NEC

If the above link does not work, please complete a paper form and send it to your School Administrator.

Notification of Extenuating Circumstances process FAQs

What is an NEC?

NECs allow you to inform NTU of events beyond your control that affect, or may affect, your academic performance.

An NEC enables you to seek guidance and support as appropriate from:

  • your Academic School
  • Student Support Services.

You may submit an NEC at any point during the year. However, the timing is important. Refer to to our NEC policy for more information on the timing of NECs.

If we uphold your NEC, we may grant you an extension. We may also offer you the chance to attempt the assessment or exam at the next assessment point.

What are extenuating circumstances?

Extenuating circumstances are events beyond your control. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • illness
  • bereavement
  • accidents
  • being the victim of a crime
  • procedural irregularities.

Extenuating circumstances are not problems arising from things within your reasonable control. Examples include IT issues, holidays, travel to exams, and so on.

Am I eligible to submit an NEC?

Almost all NTU students can use the NEC process.

The only exception is students pursuing research degrees. There are separate and specific procedures in place for them. See the Doctoral School regulations.

When you submit coursework, sit an exam, or attend an assessment, you accept we'll judge your performance on its own merits alongside that of your peers. Where you decide to attend an assessment event, you cannot submit an NEC after that event.

How do I submit an NEC?

You can submit an NEC through the online Academic Appeals Portal. For guidance on using the portal, please download the NEC Portal FAQs.

You may submit an NEC at any time of year, but the timing of this notification is important. Refer to the relevant regulations for more information on the timing of NECs.

Please make sure you state which module or modules are affected, and what outcome you are seeking.

The submission of your NEC form is not evidence in itself. You need to be able to substantiate your case with independent documentary evidence. Independent evidence is something more than your assertion alone. The evidence should normally be original (i.e. a doctor's note) and not a copy. If you have difficulty with this, contact your School Administrator immediately.

What is appropriate evidence for my NEC?

Examples of appropriate NEC evidence include:

  • medical evidence in the form of a medical certificate, hospital appointment card or similar
  • police crime incident report
  • death certificate
  • independent, professional third-party evidence.

In some cases, if you have been receiving regular support from Student Support Services, staff may be able to provide you with a supporting statement to accompany your NEC. However, they will not be able to provide one if you are on a waiting list or if you have not engaged with their support at all.

If you've had regular support from Student Support Services, they may be able to provide a supporting statement you can submit. They won't be able to supply one if:

  • you're on a waiting list
  • you haven't engaged with their support at all.

A student may self-certify in the following circumstances.

  • They contracted a short self-limiting illness up to seven calendar days before any assessment deadline or event.
  • They must not have:
    • attempted the assessment, or
    • presented themselves at the assessment venue.
  • There is a sudden deterioration in a long-standing medical condition or disability. The student must already have Individual Requirements in place for it.
  • Access to specific laboratories is restricted due to illness.

Download the self-certification form and submit with your NEC.

I don’t feel well enough to sit a timed assessment. What do I do?

You may not feel well enough to perform to the best of your academic abilities. If so, you must decided whether to sit your timed assessment.

You can submit a self-certification form if:

  • you're currently suffering from a self-limiting illness, or
  • you've suffered from such an illness in the seven calendar days before the assessment.

Assessments can include:

  • exams
  • individual presentations
  • any other assessment activity under timed or other assessment conditions.

Submit the self-certification form as an attachment with an NEC. You must submit them through the online Academic Appeals Portal.

If we uphold your NEC, we'll give you the chance to complete the assessment at the next opportunity. You should consider how you'll manage the extra assessment and associated workload.

I have a disability. Do I need to submit an NEC?

Some students may need more time to complete coursework for reasons related to their disability / long term health condition.

Where a disability or dyslexia officer has identified this need, it will be recommended on an Access Statement, sometimes referred to as a Statement of Access.

Students with an Access Statement should use this policy to request additional time to complete assessments, even where the reason for the additional consideration request is related to a disability / long term health condition stated in their Access Statement, and additional time for assessments have been recommended as a reasonable adjustment.

Where a student’s academic performance is impacted by illness or other circumstances, or reasons detailed in their Access Statement, which are likely to have impacted their ability to complete one or more assessments, they can submit a notification of extenuating circumstances. This applies to all assessments.

For students with an Access Statement, the statement itself can be used as evidence.

If you feel you'd benefit from a referral to Student Support Services, you may refer yourself. They provide a wide range of services to all students. This includes health and wellbeing support.

I need some advice about my NEC. Who can I contact?

For clarification on the NEC procedure, first contact your Academic School. The appropriate person to advise you might be your:

  • course leader
  • personal tutor
  • school administrator.

For independent advice, contact the Nottingham Trent Students' Union Information & Advice Service.

For additional support you can contact the University's Student Support Services. They provide a wide range of services to all students. This includes health and wellbeing support.

I submitted an NEC. What happens next?

An NEC Contact (NECC) or NEC Panel (NECP) will review your application and evidence. This will depend on the complexity of your circumstances.

If we uphold your NEC, we may offer you:

  • an extension of 7 or 14 calendar days, or
  • the opportunity to attempt the assessment at the next available opportunity.

Your Academic School will determine:

  • the length of the extension,  and / or
  • the date of the next available assessment opportunity.

We'll inform you of the outcome of your submission. We'll send you an email through the portal, usually within five working days. You can log in to the portal at any time to see the progress of your submission. We'll also notify you of the Boards of Examiners' decision. This will normally be within 10 working days of the Board of Examiners' Meeting.

If you have any queries, contact your School Administrator.

  • Last updated: 19/10/2023