Help with exceptional circumstances


What do I do if my personal circumstances are affecting my ability to study?

Although the University expects students to plan ahead well enough to compensate for minor illness or other minor situations, there is a system in place to ensure that where more major life challenges affect your ability to study, the University can take your situation into account.

This applies to sudden, unforeseen and temporary conditions and you can submit information about this, called exceptional circumstances, online via Sussex Direct.

What counts as exceptional circumstances?

The Student Life Centre provide information about what counts as exceptional circumstances and how to submit a claim.

The Student Life Centre can also advice on lateness penalties, which you will be likely to come up against if you hand in work late.

It’s important to be familiar with the list of what does and doesn’t count as exceptional circumstances – for example, personal computer failure is NOT counted as exceptional circumstances, so make sure you back up all your work regularly!

Contact us if you experience problems with exceptional circumstances

The Student Union is keen to build up an evidence base of cases which hightlight the problems students can sometimes experience with the exceptional circumstances procedure. This evidence will be used by our elected Officers to support their policy and campaigning work regarding improvements to University systems & procedures. Please get in touch if you experience any of the following problems:

  • Difficulty completing the exceptional circumstances claim form: For example, due to language difficulties or because you simply need a bit of extra help & support to present your case.
  • Problems meeting the evidence requirements: If you are confused about what type of evidence would be appropriate, or if the evidence you supply is deemed to be insufficient or inadmissable.
  • Your exceptional circumstances claim has been rejected: And you would like some advice about making a complaint or appealing the decision

Here to help

If you'd like to discuss your concern further, our Student Advice team are here to help. Our service is confidential and independent from the University.

Student Advice, 1st Floor, Falmer House, University of Sussex.