Mitigating Circumstances PGR

Mitigating circumstances are exceptional, short-term, unforeseen and unpreventable events which have a negative impact on a student’s ability to take or submit or to prepare for respective elements as detailed in 7.2 of the Mitigating Circumstances Policy MPhil/PhD Students (PDF). They are over and above the course of everyday life and significantly disrupt a student’s ability to study for or to complete detailed elements. 

Please note: the advice and process below only pertain to students registered on an MPhil or PhD programme administered by the SOAS Doctoral School. If you are not registered on one of these, please access the guidance page Mitigating Circumstances on MySOAS. 

If these unexpected non-academic events affect your ability to assessed in any of the following elements, the School recommends that you complete a Mitigating Circumstances online form:

  • Viva voce (examination) attempt
  • Submission of Upgrade (beyond the Doctoral School deadline)
  • Submission of Continuation papers (beyond Doctoral School deadline)
  • Final thesis submission

For further information on Acceptable and Unacceptable circumstances, please review 2.4 and 2.5 of the Mitigating Circumstances Policy MPhil/PhD Studens (PDF)

All mitigating circumstances claims must be accompanied by original, contemporaneous, independent third party documentary evidence which must confirm the existence of the mitigating circumstances and state how the circumstances have impacted upon the student. Please review Appendix A of the Mitigating Circumstances Policy MPhil/PhD students (PDF) for guidance on sources and types of documentary evidence.

The submission of a claim for mitigating circumstances does not mean that the claim will be automatically accepted by the Mitigating Circumstances Panel (MCP). The MCP will take into account the following factors:

  • The circumstances meet the criteria for acceptable mitigating circumstances
  • The proximity of the events covered by the claim to the timing of the relevant submission.
  • The suitability and validity of the evidence submitted

Equally, the acceptance of mitigating circumstances does not necessarily mean that action will be taken as a result of the MCs.

The deadline for submitting a claim is the Friday before the week of the termly MC panel (dates below), however you are encouraged to submit your claim as early as possible. Any claims submitted after the relevant MC panel deadline will be rejected unless a valid reason for the late submission can be provided and in such cases Chair’s Action will be taken.

Thesis submission date Mitigating Circumstances Panel meeting
15 September  31 August
15 December 30 November
15 April 31 March

Any concerns or queries regarding late submission of elements described in 7.2 of the policy, should in the first instance be discussed with your respective Student Support Officer (DS). All such conversations are considered in absolute confidence.

Extensions cannot be agreed in advance by your supervisor.

Mitigating circumstances relate to non-academic problems only. Any difficulties with the organisation or operation of programmes of study should be dealt with via the Student Complaints Procedure (PDF)