Guidance on Evidence

It is very important to support your Exceptional Factors claim with evidence. Without evidence of the circumstances you describe, it is very unlikely that the Panel will be able to uphold your claim.

All evidence must be genuine - any evidence that is found to be fraudulent will be considered a serious offence under the Student Code of Conduct

Evidence must be provided in English. It is your responsibility to ensure that any evidence that is not in English is accompanied by a translation from an accredited translator.

The following examples and suggestions are types of evidence the Appeal Panel would be looking for, and might be helpful for you in putting together your appeal. This list is not exhaustive, but it covers some of the most common Exceptional Factors that students submit an appeal under:

Select a situation to see the type of evidence you would need to supply

You were unexpectedly ill on the day of your exam. For example, food poisoning or a migraine.

Medical letter confirming that you were ill on the day of the assessment.

You were unexpectedly ill during the days leading up to the deadline for the submission of a piece of coursework. This affected how much work you could do on the coursework.

Medical letter confirming that you were ill and the dates the illness affected you

You have a long-term health condition which unexpectedly got worse than usual around the time of an assessment

Medical letter confirming the worsening of your condition and the dates this affected you. 

You unexpectedly injured yourself during the time you would have been working on an assessment or were due to attend an exam. For example, you broke your wrist and were unable to write or type properly.

Medical letter confirming the injury, the date it happened and ideally how long you were affected by it.

A dependent or relative was ill or injured at the time you were due to be working on an assessment or due to attend an exam and you had to look after them as no one else was able to.

Ideally submit something showing the impact on you, rather than just evidence showing someone else was unwell. This could be a letter from your own GP. If you submit any evidence referring to other people make sure you have their permission to use it as part of your claim. 

You have been affected by the death of a close family member or friend

It is appreciated that this is a difficult time and that in some circumstances a Death Certificate can be difficult to provide. If possible, a death certificate is preferred however alternative forms of evidence such as a Funeral Order of Service may be accepted. If this is not available, screenshots of social media bereavement page or messages of condolence can be submitted.

If you have had to travel abroad for the funeral, you should also consider submitting plane tickets or a flight itinerary in addition to the above evidence.

You could also submit a letter from a GP or Counsellor. 

You had unavoidable serious transport problems. For example, the sudden cancellation of your train or your car broke down on the way to an exam.

Confirmation of transport problems from a transport official alongside proof of travel documents such as train tickets.

Confirmation that your car broke down from a roadside assistance service or garage. 

You are having personal/emotional problems outside of university. For example, separation from your partner.

You could submit a letter from your GP explaining how the circumstances have affected you, for example if you have been stressed. You could also provide evidence if you are seeing a counsellor.

In addition, it may be helpful to provide a supporting statement from a family member or member of University staff, confirming the circumstances you describe, but this would not usually be sufficient on its own. 

You have been the victim of a crime

A letter or report from the Police, court documents, letter from victim support or a solicitor – a crime reference number on its own isn’t enough.

You could submit a letter from your GP explaining how the circumstances have affected you, for example if you have been stressed. You could also provide evidence if you are seeing a counsellor.

Severe, unexpected and unpreventable financial problems. For example, bankruptcy would be considered a severe financial problem but being a month behind on your rent payments would not be classed as severe.

A letter from your bank or other independent corroboration of events from a professional person or body.

You have been treated in hospital

A discharge note or appointment letter. If you know in advance you are going to hospital for an appointment or operation you should tell us straight away. You may be asked to provide further evidence after discharge.

In all cases, you must submit your statement clearly explaining how the circumstances have directly affected your ability to prepare for or engage with an assessment.


If you need any further help or guidance regarding the types of evidence you could consider submitting to support your claim, you should discuss this with Student Union Advice Centre who have trained advisors experienced in advising students:

  0161 247 6533

Guidance for Students