Problems With Your Studies?

All students will experience personal difficulties at some time that may affect their daily lives and possibly their studies.  Part of the ‘learning curve’ for younger students is learning how to balance their lives, and to manage their personal circumstances while studying.  But that’s not always possible without help.

In a nutshell:
If you’re having difficulties affecting your studies or your exam preparation, contact your Personal Tutor or speak in confidence to a Students’ Union Adviser.  Either way, we’d expect your Tutor or your Adviser to help you think through your options and decide on further action.

Extenuating Circumstances

Check the current University guidance for claiming Extenuating Circumstances at . You can apply online through the Portal for Extenuating Circumstances to be taken into account. 

Most students experience a certain amount of stress at periods of formal assessment. It is expected that individuals studying in higher education will develop the ability to deal with this and to produce satisfactory work whilst meeting deadlines. “Examination stress” or stress in a practice placement shall not in and of itself be considered as an extenuating circumstance.

Valid extenuating circumstances would normally be:

(1) Unforeseeable - no prior knowledge of the event concerned; 
(2) Unpreventable – there was nothing reasonably within your power to prevent such an event;
(3) Expected to have a serious impact on academic performance.

All extenuation claims must be supported by evidence, explaining the issue affecting your studies. If you aren’t sure what to do or you need help, contact your tutor or an SU adviser.

Interruption and Deferral

In some circumstances the best option is to interrupt your studies. This means that you are intending to interrupt or suspend your studies for a specific time period but will return at a later date. You should aim to return to your studies at the start of the next academic session. This will be agreed with your personal tutor.  ‘Deferral’ means much the same thing, but is used when the University is aware that there are medical or welfare reasons for delaying your studies (it may be relevant for considering whether you need more than the standard 5 years to complete your degree).  In either event, you may want to repeat the whole year, or just part of it.

Do speak to a Students’ Union Adviser about interrupting or deferring your studies.  This may affect your University accommodation;  your Student Finance or your Student Visa (among other issues).


If you’re thinking of withdrawing from the University, please speak to your Personal Tutor and/or the Students’ Union Advice Service first.

If you’re going through difficulties and are not sure about continuing, we would usually suggest taking time out before making a final decision.  The University Interruption form would help you take time out without giving up your place at the University.  And the University’s Employability & Careers Service can advise you on alternative academic pathways, whether here or elsewhere.

For further information, check or contact your Students’ Union Adviser.