This article is for Extensions and is intended as a helpful guide that should be read alongside Regulations Governing Extension of Assessment Deadlines and Consideration of Extenuating Circumstances, for related processes see Extenuating Circumstances, leave of absence or Faculty Appeals 


Extensions are a brief delay in the submission deadline, granted by the module leader, usually up to 72 hours, providing there is a good reason as to why you need an extension.
Where an entire group of students have been affected by a significant issue, the University can provide an extension of up to 3 weeks.

The aim of an Extension is to compensate any time lost due to a minor issue which might otherwise cause you to miss the originally planned deadline.

Unsure if you should request an Extension, a Leave of Absence or Extenuating Circumstance?
An Extension should be used where an additional 72 hours would compensate for any disruption caused by circumstances usually outside of your control that are unforeseeable and unpreventable. If those circumstances are so exceptional, that 72 hours is not enough to offset the impact, you should consider extenuating circumstances before the deadline and bear in mind the university’s fit to sit policy.

If you are experiencing challenging circumstances which are having or is likely to have a profound and sustained impact on your studies and wellbeing then it might be worth taking a leave of absence from your course.

Circumstances which the module leader is likely to grant an extension include situations which are outside of your control (meaning unforeseeable and unpreventable).

Extensions likely to be granted
including but not limited to;

  • bereavement,
  • short-term illness,
  • accidents for which in employment would have likely led to absence on sick leave,
  • evidenced worsening of a long term health condition,
  • significant adverse family or personal circumstances
  • natural disasters or major household incidents such as floods, fires, building collapses

Extensions not likely to be granted
including but not limited to;

  • extensions to examinations
  • a long-term health condition for which
    • the student is already receiving reasonable adjustments, and
    • which was not changed in severity or impact,
  • poor academic or organisational practice such as,
    • pressure of work loads
    • failing to keep back-ups of documents/files and computer breakdown
    • holidays, weddings, planned house moves
    • financial issues
  • a request for a further extension where an extension has already been granted
    • if you try to conceal a previously agreed extension, any  further extension will be revoked, leading to you receiving a non-submission and a likely referral for disciplinary action

How long will my extension be
generally your extension should only last as long as required to offset any impact of a situation but within the following limits;

  • 72 Hours for a single student, including weekends and bank holidays
  • 3 weeks for a cohort extension
  • Any approved extension as part of a reasonable adjustment agreed in the case of a disability
    • If, due to worsening impacts of a disability, the agreed extension is no longer appropriate the student should refer to disability support for further assessment

You must seek an extension from the Module Leader and only refer to the Programme Leader in the absence of the Module Leader. Your module guide should tell you who your Module Leader is, what is to be submitted and when assignments are to be handed in.

You should consider your eligibility in advance and approach the Module Leader with this in mind.

If you feel that an Extension is not enough time to offset any impact of a situation which has affected you, you may wish to consider if an extenuating circumstances would be better but bear in mind the university’s fit to sit policy.

Unhappy with the handling of a request
If you feel that the Module Leader (or any other staff) have not acted fairly, professionally or correctly with regards to your request then you may wish to submit a complaint, however it is worth considering if your request was reasonable and asking the Module Leader to explain why your request was not approved. You may wish to speak with an Advisor at the University of Sunderland Students’ Union to explore your options and how best to approach this.

Unhappy with the time limitations
If the extensions you have been granted do not offset the impact of a situation you have faced, you may wish to consider an extenuating circumstances  but bear in mind the university’s fit to sit policy.

Page last reviewed: 27/06/2019
Next review due: 31/08/2020