This information relates to updates to medical evidence requirements for undergrads and postgrads applying to the university for course extensions, intermission and exam access arrangements in the academic year 2020-21. We have briefly outlined what has and hasn’t yet been updated due to Coronavirus and its impact on the availability of medical evidence.
This post was written 24th August 2020 by our full time Disabled Students’ Officer, and is split by the university committee that makes the decision for your course. Exam Access and Mitigation Committee (EAMC) is responsible for all undergraduates, EMBA, LLM, MASt, MBA, MCL, MEng, MFin, MMath, MMus, MSci and PGCE students. Board of Graduate Studies (BGS) is responsible for PhD, EdD, MSc, MLitt, MPhil and MEd students.
Exam Access and Mitigation Committee
- EAMC website with guidance and committee deadlines
- EAMC Alternative Mode of Assessment guidance
- DSC Guide to Intermission (Disregarding Terms)
- DSC Guide to Double Time (Extension to Period of Study)
The Exam Access and Mitigation Committee (EAMC) make decisions and provide guidance, including on exam access arrangements, intermission, return to study and alternative modes of assessment (including Extension to Period of Study, “Double Time”). The most recent guidance on their website is from 26th May 2020 and does not reference the academic year 2020-21.
Our Disabled Students’ Officer contacted EAMC for an update on medical evidence requirements, and on 24/8/20 was informed “all applications will be considered based on the evidence presented”. It was also stated that “guidance notes for 2020-21 were currently in draft form and would be published in the coming weeks”. Existing guidance from EAMC states that “Where a student’s referral to a specialist medical advisor has been delayed for reasons outside the student’s control, this should be made clear”.
The DSO is aware of students whose colleges have not been supportive of applications because the guidance requires a level of evidence no longer accessible during lockdown (e.g. from consultants). Regardless of whether your College supports your application, they are required to submit it to the University on your behalf. This can often be accompanied by a personal statement. If you require additional or independent support, you may wish to contact the Student Advice Service.
Guidance for the coming year has not yet been issued. You can still make applications using the evidence you can access, and make it clear if you haven’t been able to access specialist evidence for reasons out of your control, e.g. Coronavirus. If you need support in liaising with your college or writing your personal statement, you can access the Student Advice Service. Keep an eye on the EAMC website for updates in the coming weeks – we will also publicise these updates as we receive them.
Board of Graduate Studies
Board of Graduate Studies guidance on:
- Leave to Work Away
- Medical Intermission
- Non-Medical Intermission
- Extension to Period of Study (including due to Coronavirus or for health reasons, i.e. “Double Time”, where full time rate of funding is given over a longer period due to reduced ability to study)
- Changing Mode of Study (between full time and part time, where part time study results in lower rate of funding)
The Board of Graduate Studies (BGS) is responsible for decisions and guidance on changes to your student status or studies, intermission, leave to work away and extension to period of study (including “Double Time”).
Current BGS guidance on medical intermission states that medical evidence is not required to ‘prove’ you have had Coronavirus and need to intermit. For extensions due to disability, “You will need to provide clear specialist evidence … for example a report by a medical professional”, and for extensions due to Covid, a “clear statement of the extent of the impact” [of Coronavirus or the lockdown on your studies].
University guidance on extensions for postgrads due to Corona states that you should discuss extensions with your supervisor, and funding extensions with your funding body, before applying to extend your submission deadline. If you need additional advice, contact the Student Advice Service.
If your medical reasons are separate from Coronavirus, you will need a medical report as normal. When applying for intermission or an extension because of Coronavirus, you won’t need any proof, but a statement of impact on your studies may be necessary. If you require additional or independent support, you may wish to get advice from the Student Advice Service.
If would like to speak to our campaign committee or disabled students’ officer, or tell us how we could improve this guidance, our contact details and social media pages are available here.
For advice and support with applications, as well as clarifying university procedures, all students can access the Student Advice Service.