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Serious Adverse Circumstances (SACs) - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions in relation to submitting a SAC request

What is a SAC request?

If you feel your circumstances are affecting your performance you can put in a request to defer the submission of your assessment without penalty to the next available opportunity. This may involve a different piece of assessment and you should always talk to your module or programme leader about the implications for your studies. 


How do SACs work?

You will be required to complete an online form and submit supporting evidence. You can only apply for a SAC in certain circumstances.

By completing a request for SACs, you are seeking to delay submission of your assessment until the next assessment period for that Semester.


What is the deadline to submit a SAC request?

The University requires you to submit your claim as early as possible before the meeting of the Exam Board, and at the latest 5 working days before this. 

For information on Exam Boards, please see Board dates

For term and semester dates, please see Term and semester dates


Who can advise me about my SAC and the impact on my studies?

Please speak to your Personal Tutor, WASS advisor or Module/Programme Leader who can advise on module requirements and what support might be available. 

The Students’ Union Advice and Support centre advisors can help you through the process for submitting a SAC.


If I need a short-term extension, what should I do?

You should apply to your School for an extension.  Find out the details of who to ask for an extension in your module/programme information. For more information, please see Coursework Extension. 


What evidence am I required to submit to support my request? 

You need to provide evidence to support your request for SACs. All evidence must clearly relate to the assessment date for which the claim is being made.  

In certain circumstances you can self-certificate to support your SAC claim.

Students should be aware that making a fraudulent claim of Serious Adverse Circumstances will result in a referral being made under the UH Student Academic Misconduct policy and/or Fitness to Practise policy.   

Please be aware that certain situations are not suitable for a SAC request.


Will my SAC Form and the details of my personal circumstances remain confidential?

Please be assured that the information you have provided will be processed under strict confidentiality protocols as per the University’s Data Protection policies IM16-Data-Management-Policy & IM08-Data-Protection 


What happens to the request when I submit it?

You will receive an email confirming the submission of your request, you can also view this in your Student Record.


What happens to my evidence when I submit it?

You will receive an automatic reply to confirm that we have received your email. We will match your evidence up with your SAC request and then process this.


What happens if an assessment has already been submitted?

The University does operate a fit to sit policy, so if you decide to sit/submit an assessment, the University will not normally accept a claim that you had SACs regarding the assessment, there are very limited exemptions to this.

Should you fail to inform us in your SAC request that you have submitted the assessment, you should be aware that the Module Board of Examiners will disregard the recommendation for deferral made by the SAC Team. 


How will I know that my SAC request has been accepted?

Once the Exam Board have met and confirmed decisions about grades, these results will be published to your online Student Record.

The status of your module will confirm whether your SAC request application has been accepted. Please note that the SAC team will not contact you again with the results of the Exam Board’s decision.  


What if I have already been given a referral or deferral by the Exam Board and I wish to submit another request for SAC for this assessment?

That’s OK – you can submit another SAC request for the next assessment period via your Student Record.


Will submitting SAC and being granted a Deferral affect my overall grade/Degree classification?

NO, your overall mark will NOT be affected, you will not incur a penalty and your assessment will be marked as a first attempt. 


I require a Visa to study – can I still apply for a SAC?

If you are a student who requires a visa to study, any changes to your studies may have implications please ensure that you contact the Student Immigration Team for advice: 


I am having difficulties accessing my Student Record, what do I do?

Please contact who will be able to support you with this.


Where can I get support and advice about my wellbeing?

If you need support, please contact the Student Wellbeing service

Students can also email Hertfordshire Student’s Union Advice and Support Centre on They provide practical, impartial, free advice and support to students.  Please see further details on their website

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