Quality Manual

Policy on self-certification for examinations

This page contains the University's policy on self-certification for examinations. Its content is only applicable to staff and students at the UK and China campuses.

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The policy should be read in conjunction with the University’s Extenuating circumstances procedure:

Student Services - Extenuating circumstances procedure

Students may self-certificate absence from an examination(s) for a maximum of 2 consecutive calendar days in an examination period, this includes e-exams. Students with a support plan that provides additional time for examinations may self-certify absence if the examination duration is 48 hours or less before any support plan adjustments are applied. 

Key principles

Includes: examination attendance; Guidance on acceptable circumstances and evidence; extenuating circumstances (EC)

In exceptional circumstances, where a student is prevented from attending an examination due to circumstances which meet all of the criteria set out in section 1 of the Guidance on acceptable circumstances and evidence (EC Procedure), they may use self-certification if they are unable to provide any other form of evidence.

The circumstances must be out of the student’s control – the student could not have prevented them.

For clarity, this policy is intended for use by students who, unexpectedly, are unable to attend an examination due to short-term, acute circumstances e.g. a migraine or sickness and diarrhoea, and who are unable to obtain medical evidence of this.

If a student wishes to give advance notice of their inability to sit an examination, evidence will be required for this as part of their EC claim.

For more information about Guidance on acceptable circumstances and evidence, please consult the following:

Student Services - Guidance on acceptable circumstances and evidence


Scope of policy

Includes: definitions; exceptions

The definition of an examination is a timetabled in-person written examination; an e-exam whether in-person or online; a language oral examination; individual presentations or vivas; and/or a practical skills-based (e.g. OSCE/OSPE exam).  

Self-certification is only available for individual examinations and for summative examinations; it will not be accepted for:

  • absence from a group assessment
  • ‘in-class’ assessments, including presentations, whether held within or without the University’s exam periods
  • an extension/adjustment to a coursework deadline
  • absence from a practice placement
  • an examination that the student attended (self-certification is only applicable to non-attendance of assessments)


Includes: procedure; examination period; extenuating circumstances form; assessment type; discounting for degree classification

Students may self-certificate absence from an examination(s) for a maximum of 2 consecutive calendar days in an examination period, using the extenuating circumstances (EC) claim form. For absence of more than two consecutive calendar days, or for a further EC claim in the same examination period, medical or other evidence is required.

For more information about Extenuating circumstances, please consult the following:

Student Services - Extenuating circumstances

Students who are absent from an examination and who self-certificate will be required to undertake the examination at the next scheduled time the examination is run, normally in the August / September ‘re-sit’ period. The student will be offered a further attempt on the same basis as the missed assessment i.e. if a first sit attempt assessment was missed, a further first attempt will be offered, if a reassessment was missed, a further reassessment attempt will be offered. Normally, the further attempt will be in the format of an examination, however, a different form of re-assessment to assess whether the learning outcomes are achieved, as determined by the School/Department, may be recommended if the same or equivalent of the original is no longer possible.

Bespoke examinations to facilitate progression, graduation etc. will not be scheduled i.e. there will be no opportunity to take reassessments outside the next scheduled period.

The only potential outcome of a self-certificated absence claim is a further attempt at the assessment. A mark of 0 will be awarded for the missed examination until the student sits the examination at the next scheduled assessment period. 

Self-certified assessments are not eligible for discounting by Examination Boards for the purposes of calculating either module marks or degree classifications.


Students should be aware that if they self-certify their absence from a reassessment examination, they may be prevented from progressing to the next stage of study, if the progression requirements of the course have not been met. Subject to the progression requirements of the course, some students may be able to proceed to the next stage of study, carrying the outstanding assessment but, if not, they will have to interrupt their studies until the next scheduled assessment opportunity. Student Services will notify students of the impact of their non-attendance on progression after the meeting of the relevant progression or classification Examination Board.



Includes: fradulent cases; code of discipline

The University reserves the right to review the use of self-certification by students and to require evidence for multiple and frequent use of self-certification, for example, more than twice in an academic session (year).

The University holds a reasonable expectation that students will only self-certify their absence from assessments when prevented from attending by circumstances beyond their control.

Claims which are believed to give fraudulent reasons for absence from the assessment will be investigated under the Code of Discipline. If the claim is found to be fraudulent, disciplinary action may be taken.  Additionally, the mark of 0 for the missed assessment will be recorded as the final mark for that assessment for the purposes of progression and classification. This means that a further reassessment opportunity will only be offered if required or permitted by regulations.



Includes: maximum period from initial registration

When self-certifying absence, all students should read and understand the implications of the University’s Maximum period from initial registration which sets out that stages of study must be completed within a prescribed timeframe.

For more information about the Maximum period from initial registration, please consult the following:

Maximum period from initial registration for completion of studies

If you have any problems or queries relating to this page, please contact:

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Student Services

This content was last modified on 22 September 2023

Student Services

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