Advice From The Advice Centre: Special Considerations


Here at Wessex Scene, we’ve teamed up with the SUSU Advice Centre to talk about the kind of guidance and help that is available to you. This will be a monthly series that aims to cover the things that matter most to you as students. For example, information about your courses, housing, and finances, among other areas. Of course, if there is a topic in particular you would like some more information on, just comment below so we can cater this series to you. 

– Editor of Wessex Scene

Special Considerations

Exam season is upon us and nervous energy begins to fill our campuses. I have always enjoyed coming to work during exams as it is usually sunny (hurrah!), students will congregate around their exam rooms, there will be silence for a few hours while folk try to tap into their grey matter for that hidden semantic memory and then you suddenly hear a stampede of noise as waves of anxiety float away; leaving very happy and chatty people at the Stag’s sitting on the grass relaxing before the next round of heady stress and apprehension.

For almost all students, exams and final submissions for work is a very unfavourable time of year. Many of you will experience anxiety relating to the season but for some, this anxiety can be overwhelming and some of you may be facing difficulties away from the bubble of University life. Relatives could be poorly, your health may not be great or maybe you are having issues at home with neighbours or housemates. The list of daily troubles is endless but if you feel that this has (or may!) impact your work and performance at University, you should let the University know.

Every year in The Advice Centre at the end of June, we run a results hub for students who have received their results and have either failed or feel they could have done better. It is often at this point that they discuss everything they have been through the previous year and when we ask ‘did you apply for Special Considerations?’ the answer is often the same: ‘I didn’t think it would affect my work as much as it did.’

Students tend to have a very ‘head down, get on with it’ approach to University work but sometimes, this just isn’t enough. If you or someone you care about is unwell or struggling, you cannot expect to perform to the same standard and, naturally, you will be worried and concerned. This is bound to detract from your work. It has to! The University is aware of this and knows that sometimes life gets in the way. They want to support you and give you the best chances, but they can’t help if you don’t tell them. This is why we always ask if you applied for Special Considerations. The onus is on you to recognise when you may not be at your best and to inform the University through Special Considerations. Even if you think you are okay or that it won’t affect your performance you should apply for Special Considerations. It doesn’t take long but it could be the difference between you getting the grade you want or settling for a lower one.

The form is very straightforward and you can get this online or from your faculty. You can ask for support from your tutor, Enabling Services (Building 37) or The Advice Centre (Building 40) if you need it.


Former English Student | Travel Editor 2016-17 |Current MSc. International Politics | Editor at Wessex Scene for 2017-18.

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