If Things Go Wrong (where to find help)

Staff and student in discussionIf, during your time at University, you experience any issues beyond your control such as illness, personal or family problems etc. which have a significant, adverse, impact on your studies, you need to let someone know.  You should initially consult your Personal Tutor who will be able to advise you about the various University procedures in place to help you.

Personal Extenuating Circumstances (PEC) (Revised for 2016/17)

If you believe that your study or ability to complete assessments is being seriously affected by unforeseen and unavoidable personal extenuating circumstances you should advise your academic unit by completing the Personal Extenuating Circumstances (PEC) Form so that appropriate adjustments can be considered. 

If you have a disability or long term illness that requires adjustments, you should approach the Student Wellbeing Service who will be able to assess your needs and recommend appropriate support, via a Student Support Recommendation (SSR).  Please contact as appropriate:

Specialist Learning Team: specialistlearning@newcastle.ac.uk

Disability: disabilityadvisor@newcastle.ac.uk

Mental Health: MentalHealthAdvisor@newcastle.ac.uk

If you have a temporary disability, that requires a short-term adjustment for the examination period, you should complete the online Temporary Examination Arrangements Form (TEAF) to request appropriate adjustment from the examination office http://www.ncl.ac.uk/students/progress/exams/exams/alternative-arrangements.htm

PEC Forms

Appropriate online PEC forms can be found as set out below:

Newcastle University students are advised to carefully read the Submission Guidance Document below before submitting a PEC application. 

N.B. INTO Newcastle University, Newcastle University London and NUMed students should refer local guidance.

It should be noted that requests for adjustments that relate to the following, are not normally accepted as the basis of a PEC application:

  • Instances where an appropriate adjustment has already been made.
  • Retrospective report of illness or other extenuating circumstances, without good reason.
  • Ongoing medical conditions/disabilities including learning disabilities, or mental health conditions for which the student is already receiving reasonable adjustments via a Student Support Recommendation (SSR).
  • Transport problems, excepting those where it can be shown that adequate time had been allowed.
  • Unspecified anxiety or examination stress
  • Minor infection such as coughs, colds, headaches or hay fever, unless supported by specific medical evidence.
  • Distress relating to family pet.
  • Holidays, house moves, sporting or other social commitments.
  • Known employment or financial responsibilities (particularly when in full-time study).
  • Problems with personal computers, printers or other technology.
  • Where the circumstances could have been avoided, particularly due to poor time management.

Student Procedures

Other than Personal Extenuating Circumstances, there may be other problems that you encounter during your time at University, which the Procedures below may help with.  Again, advice from your Personal Tutor should assist you in deciding which would be more appropriate for your situation.


If you are uncomfortable speaking to your Personal Tutor or another member of School Staff then there are other sources of advice available to you, such as Officers of the Students’ Union, the Student Advice Centre or, if appropriate, Student Wellbeing Services (http://www.ncl.ac.uk/students/wellbeing).

Change in your Circumstances

If there is a change in your circumstances which require a change to your Programme of Study the following may help: