Report an absence

If you have missed or will miss one or more teaching events or tests, you must report your absence in your My Essex portal:

If you are absent from a test or exam for reasons beyond your control, you should ensure that you not only submit absence approval request, but also submit an extenuating circumstances form . Please note, approval of your absence does not automatically mean your extenuating circumstances will be accepted as that is considered by Extenuating Circumstances Committee during the academic year.

You should select the 'reason' category on the form and where necessary provide a brief, factual statement of the circumstances that prevented you from attending the teaching event.

Accepted reasons for absence from teaching

Extenuating circumstances

Extenuating circumstances are formally defined by the University as circumstances which are beyond your control, such as a medical or personal issue, and which cause you to be absent from a timetabled teaching event.

Your department will consider the reasons for your absence and decide whether it should be recorded as an authorised absence, so please make sure your department know about your circumstances by reporting your absence in via My Essex.

You may need to provide supporting evidence if you're absent frequently for short periods of time, or if you're absent for more than ten days.

Participation in certain events

  • Representing the University in British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competitions, or in regional, national or international competitions.
  • Being selected for, and being required to train with, or compete for, a national sports team (eg. Home Nations or Great Britain).
  • Participating in a significant extra-curricular University or SU Society event or one-off activity.

Jury service

We have some guidance available for students called up for jury service.

University work-based placements

If you are on a University organised work-based placement and your timetable shows that you should be in a teaching event/s you must submit a notification of absence.

Reasons not accepted for absence from teaching

Examples of unacceptable reasons for absence

It's not possible to list every circumstance that a department wouldn't accept or take into account. However some examples are:

  • oversleeping or missing a bus/train
  • general pressure of work such as working on coursework or studying for a test
  • demands of employment, which could have been arranged around your timetable
  • personal disruptions which could have been anticipated such as travel, holidays or family events, which could have been arranged around your timetable
  • other demands of University life, which could have been arranged around your timetable
  • missing a teaching event where reasonable prior notice had been given of a change to the timetable

Action taken by your department

It's at the discretion of your department to decide whether an absence should be recorded as known (reported but not authorised) or authorised, in accordance with these guidelines. In the case of participation in a sporting competition, a Students' Union staff member will verify the reason for absence and decide when it should be recorded as authorised.

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