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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!

View our service policies 

You can find links to our Support & Advocacy service policies towards the bottom of the Student Union policies page:

Our policies »


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

Call us 01273 877038 or email advice@sussexstudent.com to arrange an appointment and receive some help about the above issues. Our service is confidential and independent from the University.