Extenuating Circumstances

Extenuating Circumstances

We do not normally consider applicants who have not met our minimum academic requirements or those who are resitting their exams in order to upgrade their results unless applicants have experienced very serious personnel difficulties at the time of first sitting which have impacted on their ability to perform to their potential. To be considered under the mitigiating circumstances policy, any serious personal difficulties experienced at the time of undertaking an examination must have been declared at the time of sitting to the relevant exam board.

We will consider applicants mitigating circumstances on a case-by-case basis according to the guidelines explained below.

Please note: that applicants are not normally considered with more than two grades away from standard entry requirements and a resit or equivalent would normally be expected.

At any point within the application cycle, applicants may submit information on extenuating circumstances to the Medical School as part of their application or seek advice prior to application by emailing: medadm@abdn.ac.uk however, no final decision will be made until the Mitigating Circumstances Committee will be convened to consider all requests for extenuating circumstances at a suitable time AFTER all applications have been received on the 15th October.

Although the information regarding extenuating circumstances can serve to contextualise the academic performance of an applicant, the final decision as to whether to offer or confirm a place on the programme, and under what conditions, will remain at the discretion of the Medical School


School Leavers

Notification to examination board(s) (A-Level, Highers, GCSE and other relevant examinations).

The applicant must state clearly whether the examination board(s) has been informed of the mitigating situation, and what action has been taken as a result, including any appeals that may have been made and any further details the applicant considers to be relevant. If this information is not included, the Medical School will assume that the examination board(s) has been informed, and that the applicant’s academic achievements reflect this. If examination board has not been informed, please indicate the reason why this did not occur.

The Medical School will respect the final award of the relevant examination body after special consideration has been given by the examination board. Please note that we expect the examining boards to take extenuating circumstances into account when confirming your final award. We will not apply mitigation on their behalf.

Narrow missed grades

Applicants who have narrowly missed the minimum entry requirements may be considered under exceptional circumstances. Applicants who are more than two grades below minimum academic requirements will not normally be considered further.  Applicants whose examination grades are affected by extenuating circumstances resulting in achievement of ‘borderline’ grades for meeting entry requirements, will be required to provide details of the circumstances and an explanation as to how these circumstances have impacted their performance and subsequent grades.

Applicants who are ‘borderline’ for fulfilling criteria to meet conditions of offer (A levels, Highers or other relevant examinations) 

Consideration may be given to applicants with extenuating circumstances whose achieved qualification grades mean they are ‘borderline’ for meeting the entry requirements of their offer for Aberdeen. Applicants whose grades are less than ‘borderline’ for meeting the entry requirements will not be considered further.

Taking more than normal number of years to complete academic programmes.

Applicants who take more than the normal number of years to complete examination courses should provide suitable supporting evidence as detailed in required supporting evidence section of guidelines.  Applicants who do take more than the normal number of years to complete their qualification due to extenuating circumstances will be required to provide details of the circumstances and an explanation as to how these circumstances have affected academic performance.

Suitable supporting evidence

Supporting evidence for mitigating circumstances must be provided from a verifiable third party, such as:

  • Letter(s) from doctor (on GMC register), hospital consultant, or other health professional.
  • A police report, crime report or letter from a solicitor.
  • Other relevant confirmation from a suitable third party.

And where appropriate:

  • Details from school/college/education provider verifying the academic potential of the applicant, the nature of the circumstances, the timescale and impact on academic performance.
  • Attendance reports from school/college/education provider


Graduate Applicants

Degree classification

The University of Aberdeen does not consider applicants who have obtained a lower second class honours degree (or lower). Mitigating circumstances put forward for consideration in this respect would not be considered as we expect the university awarding the degree to have considered any relevant circumstances.

Subject requirements over and above degree.

In the case of graduate applicants, mitigating circumstances that affected the qualifications required over and above the degree, will not be taken into account if they were achieved prior to application. Chemistry can be re-taken in order to meet the medical degree programme entrance requirements, where required.

If extenuating circumstances affect the sitting of qualifications required as part of the conditions of offer for the medical degree programme (other than degree classification), then the policy on ‘borderline’ grades for fulfilling criteria to meet the conditions of offer (see previous section) will be applied.


As the UCAT is a required entry requirement for medicine at Aberdeen, all applicants to Aberdeen must complete the UCAT by the appropriate closing date for that year's entry. Applicants should ensure that they register early for a test as being unable to gain a test sitting will not be accepted as an extenuating circumstance for non-completion of the test.

If you are not fit to take the test due to illness or other personal circumstances, you must reschedule your test to a later date, even if this means losing the test fee.  UCAT recommend that candidates take the test early in the test cycle.

If you are unable to sit the UCAT throughout the test cycle because of a significant or unforeseen medical or personal issue you must contact us to see whether they we are able consider your application without a UCAT result.  We would require suitable supporting evidence. 

UCAT operates a fit to sit policy by presenting yourself for the test you are declaring your self fit and well and we adhere to the guidance given on the UCAT website with regard to candidates who are not fit to take the test due to illness or other personal circumstances.

Please see  the UCAT website for more information: https://www.ucat.ac.uk/ucat/mitigating-circumstances.  https://www.ucat.ac.uk/ucat/mitigating-circumstances/

Interview Attendance

Candidates will be invited for interview by email via the email address provided on their UCAS application and will be provided with details allowing them to book a time and date most convenient. (Candidates should check their spam folders regularly whilst their application for Aberdeen is still being considered.  Missed invites will not be accomodated).

Please note that there will be no additional dates or slots available other than what is published on the website..

Please be aware that by taking part in the Multiple Mini-Interview you are declaring yourself fit, well and able to undertake the interview.  If you are unwell on the day of the interview, or any unforeseen exceptional events occur, please let us know and we will try to reschedule the date.