Students will be allowed to self-certify for extenuating circumstances of up to 14 days for 2020-21

If your coursework or assessments are disrupted in 2020-21 by serious events like illness, bereavement or self-isolation, you can apply for ’Extenuating Circumstances’ and self-certify for up to 14 days.

UCL has approved an enhanced Extenuating Circumstances Procedure for 2020-21 to support students affected by unexpected illness or disruption to their studies, including the need to self-isolate or quarantine.

UCL’s top priority is to support students. We will not automatically assume that you need an extension or deferral, but you can apply for extra support by submitting an Extenuating Circumstances form (your Department or Faculty will give you details of how to do this).

In order to help students access support without placing extra pressure on the NHS, you will be allowed to self-certify for up to 14 calendar days on two separate occasions during the 2020-21 academic session, within specific conditions.


Self-certification means that you do not need to provide medical or other supporting evidence.  

You can self-certify for any valid Extenuating Circumstance , not just those related to Covid-19. You must still explain on the form why your circumstances are sudden, significantly disruptive and beyond your control. Self-certified claims can be submitted up to two weeks in advance of the affected assessment(s).

The 14-day self-certification period will cover any assessments - coursework and/ or exams - falling within that period.

You can use self-certification to access coursework extensions of up to 14 days, deferrals without tuition (normally to the Late Summer Assessment period), and for the suspension of late submission penalties for work submitted up to 14 days late.


We know that self-isolation/quarantine is not a carefree ’holiday’. While many students will be largely unaffected and able to continue their studies as normal, some may find this distressing or disruptive.

If you are required to self-isolate, we will not automatically assume that you need an extension or deferral. However, you can decide to apply for extra support via the Extenuating Circumstances process if self-isolation is having a significant impact on your ability to study or complete assessments.

If you think that you have symptoms of Covid-19, visit our  About the virus and taking precautions page  for further information, guidance and support.

Extenuating circumstances longer than 14 days

You will still need to submit evidence if you have Extenuating Circumstances for more than 14 calendar days, or if you need to access other types of support such as a Deferral with Tuition.

If you are having difficulties getting evidence, you should get in touch with your Department as soon as possible for advice. Help is also available from the Students’ Union Advice Service and from UCL Student Support and Wellbeing - go to askUCL and log an enquiry

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