PGT Project and Dissertation Extensions

Guidance on the process for PGT Project/Dissertation Extensions.

Purpose of PGT Project and Dissertation extension process and interaction with Mitigating Circumstances process

  1. The purpose of the PGT Project/Dissertation extension process is to provide for situations where exceptional and unforeseeable circumstances beyond a student’s control prevent them from submitting their project/dissertation by the submission deadline.
  2. Where the extension process is insufficient to address the problem, the Mitigating Circumstances process should be used. (Normally students will be expected to submit either an extension request or a Mitigating Circumstances claim, depending on the nature of the circumstances affecting them, but there may be instances where a student initially seeks (and is granted) an extension, but then comes to the view that the extension did not fully address the circumstances affecting them. In such a case, the student may submit a Mitigating Circumstances claim notwithstanding that they have already been granted an extension. (The student should still submit as much of their project/dissertation as they can prior to the extended deadline in order to avoid being awarded a zero mark for non-submission in the event of no action being taken in relation to their Mitigating Circumstances claim.) When considering the Mitigating Circumstances claim, the Mitigating Circumstances Panel will take into account the granting of the extension, and may decide that the extension was sufficient to address the circumstances. Equally, however, the Mitigating Circumstances Panel may decide that the extension did not fully address the circumstances described in the Mitigating Circumstances claim, and may therefore decide to take action in accordance with paragraphs 12.1-12.4 of Regulation XVII.
  3. The PGT project/dissertation extension process does not preclude bespoke adjustments in relation to a disability being negotiated by individual students on a case by case basis, with the involvement of CDS and the student’s School/Department.


  1. Students who think they may need a PGT project/dissertation extension should consult with their School/Department at the earliest opportunity.
  2. Students wishing to request a PGT project/dissertation extension must do so in writing, to the Associate Dean (Education and Student Experience) responsible for the module, via their School/Departmental Administrator, using the form below, detailing the exceptional circumstances they wish to be considered.
  3. All PGT project/dissertation extension requests must be supported by relevant documentary evidence. Students should give their evidence directly to their School/Department (normally to their Administrator) with, or as soon as possible after submitting, their form. Students should not delay submitting their form if they are waiting for evidence from a third party. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that their evidence is given to their School/Department in good time.
  4. Students may submit a PGT project/dissertation extension request at any point up to the original submission deadline, and will normally be informed of the outcome of their request within 10 working days of receipt of the full request, including supporting evidence.
    • Students who submit a PGT project/dissertation extension request fewer than 10 working days before the original submission deadline, and who are not informed of the outcome by the original deadline should submit as much of their project/dissertation as they can prior to the original deadline in order to avoid being awarded a zero mark for non-submission in the event of their request being rejected.
    • Where an extension is granted, any initial submission made by the student prior to the original deadline date will be superseded for all purposes by the student’s subsequent submission made prior to the extended deadline.
  5. Decisions on PGT project/dissertation extension requests will be made by the Associate Dean (Education and Student Experience) responsible for the module (or nominee) in consultation with the relevant Module Leader. Extensions shall be granted only where exceptional circumstances beyond the student’s control prevent submission of the project/dissertation on time.
  6. The Associate Dean (Education and Student Experience) responsible for the module shall, in consultation with the relevant Module Leader, determine whether an extension should be permitted and if so what period the extension should cover – normally, no more than two extensions to the original submission deadline, for an overall period not exceeding 4 months for full-time students and 12 months for part-time students, will be permitted.
  7. Any PGT project/dissertation not submitted by the due date (plus any agreed extension) will be marked at zero. Students who fail to submit coursework by the submission date (plus any agreed extension) due to extenuating circumstances beyond their control should submit a mitigating circumstances claim. A zero mark for late submission may only be amended if a mitigating circumstances claim is upheld.

Additional notes on the consideration of extension requests

  1. When deciding whether to grant a PGT project/dissertation extension, the AD(E&SE) and Module Leader will be guided by the principles set out in the Mitigating Circumstances section of the Student Handbook. However, the standard required, both in terms of the extent and seriousness of the circumstances and the supporting evidence is at a slightly lower level, recognising that the possible outcomes of a successful Mitigating Circumstances claim are more far-ranging than the granting of an extension request.
  2. In general, students must recognise that in the normal course of life they will experience occasional illness and other problems or events that coincide with PGT project/dissertation submission deadlines. Such circumstances are part of the everyday frustrations of life, must be managed, and do not necessarily provide grounds for an extension. Further, students are expected to take responsibility for their own personal organisation, including managing their learning, coursework assignments and revision, in a way which anticipates that events will not always run smoothly.
  3. It is not possible to list all the circumstances in which it will be appropriate to grant a PGT project/dissertation extension, but requests which are supported by relevant evidence, and which relate to a serious or significant medical condition or illness; exceptional personal or travel circumstances beyond the student’s control; or for part-time students only, paid employment where exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated, will normally be supported. Conversely, extension requests submitted without supporting evidence; arising from poor time management or personal organisation; or referring to circumstances within the student’s control, to minor ailments, or for full-time students, to paid employment, will not normally be supported. (See also section 2 of the Mitigating Circumstances section of the Student Handbook).
  4. The principles in section 4 of the Mitigating Circumstances section of the Student Handbook should be taken into account in determining whether appropriate supporting evidence has been provided.
  5. PGT project/dissertation extension requests relating to a long-term illness or disability will normally need to be supported with evidence from the University’s Counselling and Disabilities Service.
  6. Any student suspected of submitting a fraudulent PGT project/dissertation extension request and/or falsifying or fabricating supporting evidence may be charged with a disciplinary offence under University Ordinance XVII (Conduct and Discipline of Students).

Information for Student visa holders

If a project or dissertation extension is granted, the student is regarded as continuing with the module without attendance. This means that the University cannot issue the student with a new CAS to extend their Student visa. If a student's visa expires before their work will be marked and considered by a programme board, they will not be eligible to apply for a Graduate Route visa.  In such situations, students are advised to discuss with their School whether a project extension or Mitigating Circumstances might be the most appropriate option, taking into account the time required to produce work which is a true reflection of their abilities.

Specialist immigration advice is available from the Student Advice and Support Service.

Student Advice and Support Service
For more information about the mitigating circumstances process, follow the link below: