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Extenuating Circumstances

What are Extenuating Circumstances?

Extenuating circumstances are serious, unforeseen circumstances beyond your control which prevent you from meeting the requirements of your programme. If you are unable to complete assignments or attend required classes/exams due to unforeseen circumstances, you can apply for extenuating circumstances.

If you experience serious unforeseen circumstances which have caused you to

  • miss a substantial period of attendance (more than 10 working days)
  • have significantly affected your ability to study or complete assessments (continuous assessment and/or examinations)


  • have adversely affected your performance in any assessments you have undertaken,

your circumstances will be considered and may, for example, provide the opportunity to complete the impacted modules without academic or financial penalty, at a later date.

 Typically, such unforeseen circumstances could include

  • Involvement in an accident
  • Victim of crime
  • An acute illness or serious on-going medical condition
  • Ongoing life-threatening illness of a close family member or partner
  • Bereavement of a close family member or partner
  • Acute or on-going serious personal/emotional circumstances
  • Domestic upheaval at the time of the assessment (e.g. fire, burglary, eviction)

Whatever the circumstances affecting you, you should seek advice from a member of academic staff, the Student Adviser, a Science Office staff member or the Students’ Union support staff

There are remedies for short absences that can be implemented quickly during the teaching term if the Module Coordinator is aware of the absence. 

An application for short periods of illness and absence is not required and you should contact your module coordinators directly, unless the absence is due to circumstances outlined above.   

If your circumstances are more personal or complex and impacts for a prolonged period, you should submit an application for extenuating circumstances via the online system.  The online system can be accessed through your online registration under the ‘Programme Services’ tab.

When you complete the application form online you are required to submit hard copies of the appropriate original supporting evidence to the Science Office (see below under Supporting Documentation) as close as possible to the time the circumstances occurred.  For in trimester assessment, this must be within 10 working days of the missed assessment or deadline. Late applications will be lapsed.

Supporting documents should be emailed to Jb Kenny (jeilbonn.kenny@ucd.ie ) if your online application has already been completed and submitted.

Please follow the information and guidance on the Current Students’ webpage and note the following:

  • Applications for Extenuating Circumstances must be submitted no later than 5pm on Monday, 9th January.
  • Supporting documentation: All applications for extenuating circumstances require supporting documentation.

          Evidence from one of the following qualified professionals will be accepted:

  • Registered medical practitioner/health professional
  • Member of An Garda Síochána
  • Registered counsellor/psychotherapist
  • Psychologist
  • UCD student support professional (i.e. UCD Student Adviser; member of the UCD Access/New ERA or Disability Support Service staff; official UCD student counsellor or UCD Chaplain).

Please note: for Covid-19 related circumstances which impact the end of term exams, supporting documentation is also required (e.g. text from HSE to confirm a positive case).

If you require further assistance or have any queries in this regard, please contact the Science Office and we will respond to your query as soon as possible.

If you have not submitted an application for extenuating circumstances by the published deadline, and have serious documented grounds for submitting a late/retrospective request, please contact the College Office or the Science Student Adviser for further advice and access to the application form.

If you have been awarded IX grade(s) in the previous academic year, but due to particular circumstances, you wish to register and attend the module(s), you may submit a request to the Governing Board to change the grade from IX to WN (Withdrawn).  The subsequent registration to this module will not incur a fee or academic penalty.  Please contact the College Office first for further advice and access to the application form

If you have not been able to complete outstanding IX grade within the given timeframe (within the next two trimesters including Summer term) normally your IX grade would revert back to the original failing grade. If there were exceptional circumstances which has affected your ability to complete the IX grade you will need to request to extend remediation of IX grade(s) from the relevant module coordinator (s). Once approved you must submit the application form as soon as possible.  

To discuss these options please contact Jb Kenny (jeilbonn.kenny@ucd.ie) or a Science Office staff member.

For full details of the extenuating circumstances policy visit:

UCD College of Science

Room E1.09/E2.09 UCD O'Brien Centre for Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
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