2020/21 Exams

Find information about how we are running our exams in 2020/21 here.


  • Explainer Video. This video will explain how you access your examination paper and upload your answers for assessment.
  • Managing your assessment (pdf). This includes information about the system we're using to run our exams this year and how to try out a mock exam submission.

Special Circumstances

The University Special Circumstances procedure is a way for Boards of Examiners to take into account any circumstances outwith students’ control that have hindered their performance in assessments.

The link here takes you to the University’s Special Circumstances information page. There is a detailed explanation of the application process and a link to complete an application.

It is important that you read this carefully, particularly if you have applied previously, because the process has changed for this year.

 The key points are these:

  • Students need to complete the application via the online form
  • The deadline for form submission is 7 calendar days after your final assessment of the semester.
  • You should consult with your PT if you intend to apply; they can help support your application and provide advice.
  • You can include any assessment for consideration (final exam, coursework submission etc., even if an extension has been granted).
  • Any special circumstances applications made during semester 1 that include assessments for which results have not yet been ratified will be taken into account as a matter of course. If you have not yet completed an application this academic year, and need to include semester 1 assessments for a full-year course, these may not be available in the list of assessments available. In this event list these in your statement about how the circumstances have affected you.
  • You are required to provide evidence. Different types of evidence carry different weights, and more information about providing evidence can be found on the University of Edinburgh wwebsite.
  • For students taking online exams, if you face any technical difficulties during your assessment, or your submission is late as a result of any technical issues, you should inform chemistry.teaching@ed.ac.uk as soon as possible. You should also, where possible, provide evidence of any issues e.g. screenshots/photos of error messages etc., so that this can be taken into consideration and, if possible, steps can be taken in order to mitigate the impact on your performance. Where this is not possible, you can submit an application for Special Circumstances.

Once you have submitted an application its validity will be assessed by the central Special Circumstances team. This is different from previous years in that up until now the School has done this. The decision on validity is then communicated to the School for consideration by the Board of Examiners, who have a range of options for action.

If you are thinking of submitting an application, please talk to your PT first. We are aware of lots of applications being made by students from other schools without their PT’s involvement. This has a couple of potentially negative effects that we want to avoid. Firstly, your PT can help ensure that your application is strong and sufficiently evidenced, and secondly they can ensure that you receive any necessary support.