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					  UNIVERSITY OF SUNDERLAND STUDENTS’ UNION

    ACADEMIC AFFAIRS – INFORMATION LEAFLET


SUBMISSION OF MITIGATION

 During your time as a student, things may not go as smoothly as you would like. If
you fall ill during exams, experience personal problems at a time when you course
work load is heavy, or for any reason find that you are unable to study effectively,
LET SOMEONE KNOW.

If you're feeling isolated or homesick or are experiencing personal problems, it may
help to talk. The University provides a professional, confidential counselling service
within its Student Services Centre in Edinburgh Building, City Campus.

The University also provides specialised provision for financial counselling, health
advice, assistance for overseas students and students with special needs.

The Students' Union offers independent, professional advice on a range of welfare
issues, such as immigration matters, accommodation problems, financial worries,
legal hassles etc. The welfare team is located in the Advice Centre on the Ground
Floor, Edinburgh Building on the City Campus.



Extenuating or mitigating circumstances

If you have a valid reason that affects your performance at any time, the University is
prepared to take it into account.

However, it is up to you to inform the University of your difficulties. Don't brush
things under the carpet and hope for the best -it is a lot easier (and a lot less stressful)
to tackle problems as soon as they occur. If possible, discuss your situation with the
relevant lecturing staff, especially if you are going to miss a deadline.



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UNIVERSITY OF SUNDERLAND STUDENTS’ UNION ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
DEPARTMENT – INFORMATION LEAFLET: SUBMISSION OF MITIGATION
continued…..

You should tell your programme leader, module leader or personal tutor what is
happening, as soon as you know you are having problems. It is also necessary to
provide some from of evidence to confirm that your problems are genuine. This isn't
because the University doesn't trust you - they are just concerned that all students are
treated fairly and equally.

Problems may include illness, bereavement, emotional circumstances, financial
problems, or accommodation issues.

Mitigation forms
The way to formally notify the University that you are experiencing problems that
affect your ability to study is very simple. You need to obtain a copy of a Mitigation
Form complete it and submit it to your Faculty Office prior to a Mitigation Panel
sitting. Copy of the form available at the end of this Leaflet.

The forms are also available from your School office, The Gateway and the Students'
Union Academic Affairs Department.



Preparing to submit mitigation
Usually mitigating or extenuating circumstances are only considered if submitted in
the proper form at the correct time, so make sure you find out well in advance of any
exams or deadlines which maybe affected exactly what the procedure is. The
Academic Affairs Department in the Students' Union can help you to complete the
form and prepare the required information and evidence.

These procedures have been changed significantly, and it is important that you
familiarise yourself with them.
This new procedure comes into effect for all taught programmes from the start
of the new academic year 2011/12, not including any referred assessments taken
in September 2011.
 www.sunderland.ac.uk/regulations

In particular you should note that the University (like many universities) now takes
the view that by sitting an examination or handing in an assessment, a student has
deemed her/himself fit, and no subsequent claim for extenuating circumstances will
be considered. Your Faculty will publish deadlines for the submission of such claims
prior to assessment, and it is important that you are aware that any such claim must be
made by the deadline, as after it has passed a claim will not be considered unless there
are very exceptional circumstances.




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UNIVERSITY OF SUNDERLAND STUDENTS’ UNION ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
DEPARTMENT – INFORMATION LEAFLET: SUBMISSION OF MITIGATION
continued…..

It is sensible to attach as much information possible - a letter of explanation often
helps the academic staff to understand the difficulties that are affecting your study.
Your letter should give a brief outline of the problem/s, along with an explanation of
how they are affecting your studies, and details of what period of time has been or is
likely to be affected. Your statement should be accompanied be any relevant
documentation which provides evidence of the problems, e.g. a note from your doctor
or a letter from your counsellor. It is important that the documents you provide cover
the relevant dates, otherwise it may not be considered. It can also be useful to keep a
note of any conversations you have with any tutors, or emails you have sent
concerning your problems, and refer to these when you make a formal request for
your circumstances to be taken into account.

Treatment of sensitive or private information
If you don't want all the details of your circumstances discussed at the Mitigation
Panel because you find them highly personal or sensitive, it can be arranged for
mitigation to be submitted directly to the Chair of the Panel.

A brief general description of what's happened is then given to the members of staff
sitting on the Mitigation Panel and the more in-depth information withheld and stored
confidentially.

The University understands that problems can sometimes be of a highly personal
nature, and confidentiality is respected as far as possible.

Handing in the form

When you submit your form to the Faculty Office, a receipt will be signed and
returned to you by the administrator who receives it.

The receipt should be kept in a safe place along with a copy of the form and all
the documentation that you have attached.

What happens next?

Each School has a Mitigation Panel that meets periodically before the Module and
Programme Assessment Boards sit, usually following assessment periods.

A list of students whose mitigation has been accepted is supplied to the individual
Assessment Boards. If a Board finds that a student has not passed an assessment, the
list is consulted to check if mitigation has been accepted before applying an
appropriate assessment decision.




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UNIVERSITY OF SUNDERLAND STUDENTS’ UNION ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
DEPARTMENT – INFORMATION LEAFLET: SUBMISSION OF MITIGATION
continued…..

If mitigation has been accepted the following decisions may be applied, for example:

        The student may be given another chance to take failed assignments/exams
         without a grade penalty (“deferral”)
        Have an official record made to note that the student's performance could have
         been adversely affected, even in passed assignments/exams
        In certain circumstances the assessment mark may be brought to a pass mark

Points to remember!!

        Provide evidence (e.g. doctors note) to support your request
        Try to submit the mitigation form and evidence BEFORE the deadline for the
         piece of work or examination and on time for the Mitigation Panel to consider



If you cannot avoid submitting your request until after the Assessment Board has
made its decision you will have to follow the Review of Assessment.
Decisions procedure rather than submitting mitigation late as new regulations apply
as of academic year 2001/12.

 www.sunderland.ac.uk/regulations

Need advice and support?

The Academic Affairs Department offers students advice on academic problems. If
we can't help you we'll try to find someone who can.

        All enquiries are dealt with in the strictest confidence.
        Drop in and see us whenever you like, we are located on the Ground Floor,
         Edinburgh Building, City Campus.
         Open - Monday to Friday 9am-4pm
         Closed - Weekends and Bank Holidays

Alternatively you can contact us by phone on:
0044 (0)191 5153030

We will be happy to phone you back so you don't have to worry about the cost of the
call.

Email:

diane rooney@sunderland.ac.uk
joanne.cocklin@sunderland.ac.uk



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                        UNIVERSITY OF SUNDERLAND

                EVIDENCE OF MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES

    NAME:……………………………………………………………………………

    REGISTRATION NO: ……..…………………………………………………..

    SCHOOL:     …..….………………..…………………………………………….

    PROGRAMME: …..…………………………………………………………….

    LEVEL:… ………………………….…………………………………………….

    FORM OF EVIDENCE (or signature of member of staff holding the evidence):

    ……………………………………………………………………………………..

                                                         Date of Affected
       Module(s) Affected     Assessment(s) Affected      Assessments




    Student Signature …………………………… Hand in Date
    ……..………………

-------------------------------------------------------------------
                     UNIVERSITY OF SUNDERLAND

                     RECEIPT OF MITIGATION FORM

    NAME OF STUDENT:………………………………………………………………

    REGISTRATION NUMBER:……………………………………………….………

    AUTHORISED SIGNATURE:……...………………………………………………

    DATE RECEIVED:…………..………………………………………………………
How to use this form

Students should note that the University requires that any claim for mitigating
circumstances to be taken into account should be accompanied by documentary
evidence normally from a professional e.g. Doctor, Counsellor, Disability Support
Adviser. It is the student’s responsibility to submit this evidence to the Secretary of
the School Mitigation Panel before the date published by the School. Mitigation
submitted after the examination board has met will only normally be considered if it
can be shown that there is good reason why this information could not have been
provided before the board met.

Please complete the form overleaf making sure you include all modules for which you
wish to claim mitigation, and your programme details. It is your responsibility to
make sure you tell us of all modules where you wish to claim mitigation.

Please note that the details of your mitigation claim will be given to the School
Mitigation Panel and the Chair of your Assessment Board(s), but will not be divulged
to any other person. If you feel that the nature of your circumstances is such that you
would not wish this to happen, please discuss this with your programme leader or
tutor. They will be able to indicate to the panel that they have noted the evidence
without the full details being presented to the School Mitigation Panel.

You should attach the documentary evidence in support of your claim to this form and
hand it in to the School Office (CICP Office for Joint Honours students). A receipt
will be provided. You are also advised to retain a photocopy of this form and your
evidence. Please note that the original of the evidence should be presented, not a
photocopy.

When you get your transcript the decision made in respect of your mitigation claim
will be indicated against each module. The codes are:

MA – Mitigation accepted
MR – Mitigation rejected

Please note that for mitigation to be accepted the panel must be able to assure itself
that:
the documentary evidence presented properly supports the claim for mitigation
the nature of the mitigation claimed is such that it could have affected the student’s
performance.

The Assessment Board will need to establish that the time-scale covered by the
evidence coincides with the assessment period, or to the period immediately prior to
the assessment. The Assessment Board will also consider the extent to which the
mitigation presented could have affected your performance.



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