We know that there are times when unexpected circumstances occur, such as an illness, bereavement or difficult family circumstances, which can affect your ability to study or complete an assessment. We call situations like these a mitigating circumstance.

Mitigating circumstances are defined in academic regulation T43: “The College considers mitigating circumstances to be recognisably disruptive or unexpected events beyond the student’s control that might have a significant and adverse impact on their academic performance. The Mitigating Circumstances Policy applies to students on taught programmes. Marks will never be raised due to mitigating circumstances.”
Prospective students & mitigating circumstances
If you’re a prospective student, please see our separate article I’m applying to King’s & personal circumstances have affected my exam performance.
Current students & mitigating circumstances
For current students, mitigating circumstances might:
  • Affect your ability to study for, prepare and submit an assessed piece of work by a set deadline.

  • Affect your ability to attend an exam, class or lab assessment on a date set by your department.

By submitting a Mitigating Circumstances request you can make your circumstances known to your Assessment Sub Board. The outcome of a successful application might result in an extension to a coursework submission deadline or grant you an authorised absence from an exam.
The difference between Mitigating Circumstances & Personalised Assessment Arrangements (PAA)
The key difference between mitigating circumstances and Personalised Assessment Arrangements (PAA) is whether the circumstances affecting your academic performance are predictable and can be anticipated well in advance.

Students with a long-term health condition or learning disability are usually able to predict when or how their circumstances will impact their ability to complete assessments. As such, by applying for PAA they can, for example, be granted more time/resources to submit coursework or attend an exam. For more detailed articles about PAA, please visit the Assessment section of Student Services Online and click on the 'Personalised Assessment Arrangements' sub-section.

In contrast, when a student experiences an unexpected event that couldn’t have been planned for nor controlled, then they can apply for mitigating circumstances. Our article Evidence to support your mitigating circumstances application provides a list of example situations that would typically be considered acceptable mitigating circumstances.
The examples are not exhaustive, however, and the university will assess each request individually to account for the specific circumstances (or combination of them) and the evidence provided.
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