The Student Room Group

Mitigating Circumstances.


I hope I've posted this in the correct place. I need some advice on my situation.

I am a third year student who was due to graduate next month. However, since the start of this year, I began experiencing some mental issues which gradually became worse and by April/May, I was at the point where I was unable to do much if any work on two of my final assignments for the year; one of which is a dissertation. I contacted my university's department who said that I could apply for mitigating circumstances and have my deadlines stretched to August which I've had approved after I submitted a letter from my GP as evidence (I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression last month).

I thought this would be beneficial for me but my condition has become a lot worse ever since and although I've been seeing a mental health specialist nurse, I haven't experienced much improvement. I was prescribed with an antidepressant but I haven't been able to go to the chemist and pick it up because my parents found out and they're very against me taking it. For context, my parents are South Asian immigrants and in our culture, mental illnesses are a taboo subject and a lot of South Asians don't consider it a 'real' issue.

I began to seriously consider suspending my studies and resitting the second semester next year but the student welfare team I contacted stated that it wouldn't be ideal and that technically the university year is over so there isn't anything to actually suspend. I was told that I could apply for further mitigating circumstances but I'm not sure what evidence I would need to do that? Also, would they even consider my case? The best I could do is send in another letter but this time from the nurse I've been seeing who could detail my situation and state that I don't have access to medication right now.

I know I have till the start of August to work on my assignments but I feel worse and worse each day and get very little sleep. I also begin to panic whenever I work on my assignments even if I break them down and try to do a little each day. I'm going to try and work on them but I'd like to know what other options there are for me. In general, my grades since the start of my course have been good and I've scored below 70 on only two modules.

I've contacted the university department again to ask for my options but I just wanted to know has anyone been in a similar situation and how likely would it be for me to get another extension on the grounds of mitigating circumstances approved? What type of evidence would I need?
Reply 1
They will definitely consider your case. You can present the same MCs more than once, as long as the supporting evidence shows (through dates) that your condition is ongoing, still requiring treatment, and still impacting upon your academic performance.

Ideally this would be an updated doctor's letter.

An official mental health nurse letter would be a good alternative. This should include an update, including dates of recent and future treatment / appointments. An account of why you have been unable to take your prescribed medication and the impact of this on your ongoing mental health condition and thus academic performance would be a real plus.

You're in quite a tricky situation, not straightforward at all. I would certainly prepare for the possibility that you may not submit in August and make sure that you are totally up to date on your uni regs on retakes at L6. For that reason, I would focus on advice from wthin your university setting, ideally from your Programme Administrator, Student WellBeing Officer and maybe even the SU..

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