Fit to Sit

UPDATE: Due to COVID-19 there has been more recent guidance on RGU academic processes and procedures published. Please visit RGU Coronavirus Guidance for the more up-to-date information.

We hope that you will be able to perform to your highest standards throughout your time at RGU, however, we know that sometimes unexpected issues can impact on your academic life. Your ability to submit assessments, sit exams, and, perform to your best can sometimes be affected by extenuating circumstances. It is therefore extremely important that you keep an academic member of staff fully informed of any issues that could be affecting your studies.

RGU operates a Fit to Sit Policy which means that by undertaking an assessment you are declaring your fitness (mentally and/or physically) to undertake the assessment. In essence, if you sit an exam, then you are saying that you are fit enough to do so.

It is therefore important you ensure that your school is kept up-to-date with any issues that may impact on your academic studies, such as illness or other extenuating circumstances, as these circumstances could prevent you from undertaking, or hinder your preparation for, an assessment. If extenuating circumstances are affecting your ability to complete a piece of coursework, or are preventing you from undertaking, or hindering your preparation for, an assessment, you should submit a Deferral Request Form or a Coursework Extension Request Form.

  • Extenuating Circumstances

    RGU's Fit to Sit Policy defines extenuating circumstances as exceptional, serious, acute and unforeseen problems or events which genuinely affect your preparation for an assessment or your ability to undertake the assessment and/or submit a coursework on time, and which were outwith your control. For example: serious or significant physical/mental health problems; extraordinary personal circumstances; severe ailments which made it impossible to attend an examination; pregnancy, maternity, paternity or adoption related leave; unexpected illness during an invigilated examination. For further information on extenuating circumstances and for how to request extenuating circumstances via submission of either a Deferral Request Form or a Coursework Extension Request Form, refer to the Fit to Sit Policy.

  • NOT Extenuating Circumstances

    Some issues are just considered part of normal life and as such are not extenuating. You are expected to organise your academic life in a way which anticipates that events will not always go according to plan. Minor illnesses, poor time management, unexpected or adverse events do not normally excuse poor performance, they should be managed in addition to your studies. Poor personal organisation and failure to plan for foreseeable last-minute emergencies such as computer crashes are not mitigating. Circumstances which have already been fully catered for by the granting of a coursework extension and a lack of awareness or understanding of the University’s Academic Regulations and procedures would also not be considered extenuating. For further information on extenuating circumstances, refer to the Fit to Sit Policy.

Ensure you keep your School informed of any issues and problems even if you feel you can cope. In hindsight, you may find that you didn't manage well enough and that you were impacted more than you had realised at the time. By the time you realise that you had not coped, it may be too late to request a coursework extension or a deferral. If you realise you had not managed to cope, you may wish to appeal the decision of the Assessment Board.

For further information on appeals, read Regulation A3.1 for appeals for students on taught courses or Regulation A6 for research degrees, and read our advice on appeals.

If your extenuating circumstances are disability-related, associated to an enduring mental health difficulty, a long-term medical issue or learning difference, contact the Inclusion Centre ( so that support can be provided.

*Updated for the 2020-2021 Academic year.

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