Absence from Classes

Attendance is a basic assessment requirement for credit award, and failure to attend compulsory events such as tutorials and comply with other compulsory elements for a module may result in your losing the right to be assessed in that module. Any absence from (failure to engage with) such events must be reported by completing a Self Certificate of Absence form and contacting the module coordinator as soon as possible. Please go to MySaint, the relevant section can be found under ‘My Details’. Failure to do so may result in an Academic Alert.

The appropriate coordinator will decide whether or not a given reason is an acceptable justification for absence. All cases are considered on their individual merits, but for guidance, the following non-exhaustive list contains examples of reasons that may be considered acceptable:

  • illness or injury
  • exceptional personal circumstances (e.g. a bereavement or serious family illness)

and where approved by the coordinator in advance:

  • a hospital appointment
  • a job or internship interview
  • a visa interview
  • a major external CS student competition where you are representing the School (e.g. a “hackathon” or similar sponsored event)

Absences known in advance must be discussed with the coordinator as early as possible. Requests made after the absence in such cases are unlikely to be granted.

The following reasons are unlikely to be considered acceptable:

  • a driving lesson
  • a family holiday, wedding etc
  • a sporting or other extra-curricular activity, unless covered by the flexibility for sport policy
  • pre-booked travel

Under certain circumstances, the School may request further documentation in addition to the self-certificate. In this case, students should contact Student Services in order to organise the appropriate documentation. You may find this university guide useful to check whether you require a medical letter. If you submit more than three self-certificates in a single semester, or if the period of absence extends to more than two weeks, you may be contacted by Student Services, the relevant Associate Dean, or by an appropriate member of staff in your School.

In all cases, when the coordinator approves a reason for absence they may:

  • declare that the reason for failing to meet a compulsory element is acceptable
  • grant an extension to a coursework deadline

Normally, where an absence is approved in advance, the original coursework deadlines will stand, and it will be your responsibility to manage your time to meet them.

The final decision in each case is at the discretion of the coordinator, based on the circumstances of the individual student.

Completion of a Self Certificate is not an acceptable substitute for contacting your tutor, lecturer, or coordinator well in advance if you have to be absent. Advance notice of absence is acceptable only for good reason (for example, a hospital appointment or job interview). It is your responsibility to contact the appropriate member of staff to complete any remedial work necessary.

The University is legally bound to report to the UKVI any student on a student visa who fails to enrol on a module or programme of study, or who fails to attend, or who discontinues their studies.

Absence from Examinations

Failing to submit an online examination by the specified deadline will be treated as late submission or absence from an examination as specified in the Examination Policy. Absence from examinations due to illness or any other unavoidable reason must be reported via self-certification as soon as you are able to do so, preferably before the assessment is due to take place and in any case no later than 3 days after the assessment. You must contact the School in order to request alternative arrangements, the granting of which are entirely at the discretion of the School. Normally, if the reason for missing an examination is accepted, the only options for sitting the assessment will be later in the same diet, or in the extended May diet.

Contact: Examinations Officer School of Computer Science
Email: exams-cs@st-andrews.ac.uk

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Last Published: 14 Jun 2024.