The deferral process allows you to postpone an assessment to the next appropriate assessment opportunity

The deferral process allows you to postpone an assessment to the next appropriate assessment opportunity.

You are required to sit all assessments in the academic year in which you received tuition. If you are absent from an exam or fail to submit an assessment you will receive a mark of zero (i.e a fail) for that course, which will count as an attempt.

However you might, under certain circumstances, be allowed to postpone one or more assessments to the next appropriate assessment opportunity.

Deferring Assessments

Due to COVID-19 the School has made some changes to extensions, deferrals and exceptional circumstances.

Please click on the link below for the student guidance on the changes to these procedures:

Student Guidance

*This guidance has been updated on 8 March 2021

The deferral form can be accessed here.


Under what circumstances can I request a deferral?

We have a “fit to sit” policy that applies to all students. If you submit an assessment, or sit an exam, we consider you to have declared yourself well enough to do so.

However, you may experience circumstances which are sudden, unforeseen, outside of your control and proximate to an assessment. They may have a significant impact on your academic performance in an exam or other form of summative assessment. 

If your assessment has not yet taken place, you should first seek an Extension Request. This may be appropriate for a summative essay, project or dissertation.

If you require more time to submit the work than an extension would normally allow, or the assessment in question has a static deadline e.g. an exam or take home assessment, you may apply for a deferral.

What is a deferral?

An approved deferral allows you to postpone an attempt at an assessment to the next appropriate opportunity without being marked as absent.

Please note that:

  • Deferral of assessment is not a right and permission will only be given in exceptional and unforeseen circumstances that are proximate to the period of assessment. 
  • There are changes to the Deferral procedure from 3rd April 2020 until further notice. Students will no longer be required to provide evidence
  • Deferrals will not be granted after a scheduled assessment has taken place.
  • If you do not submit an assessment or sit an exam for which you do not have an approved deferral you will be marked as absent. Please refer to the Exceptional Circumstances guidance for information regarding what to do if an assessment has taken place.
  • You may request to defer any assessment appropriate to your individual circumstance and must state on the deferral form each component of assessment you are seeking to defer.
  • If not all components of assessment within a course are deferred, you will be expected to attempt and complete all other components in accordance with published deadlines.
  • Repeat Teaching will only be granted for deferred assessments if you can demonstrate that your ability to engage with and benefit from teaching during the academic year was also affected by extenuating circumstances.

You can find further information about the deferral procedure in the sections below.

How can I defer an assessment?

Please complete the online deferral form by clicking the button below.

Deferral Form

Deferrals for UG RDAP will go live on 16 July 2021.

You will be sent an e-mail to your LSE email address confirming our decision once we have processed your  completed form.

General Course students: you will need to get approval from both the General Course Dean and your home institution. Please speak to the Dean for further advice.

PhD students: please speak to your department directly about deferring assessed courses.

What happens if my deferral request is rejected?

If your deferral request is rejected, you may try to obtain further evidence and resubmit your request if the assessment deadline or exam has not yet taken place.

If the assessment deadline has passed or exam has taken place you may try to obtain further evidence to submit with an Exceptional Circumstances (ECs) form within the normal ECs deadline. The Exam Board will then consider whether there are grounds to discount the absent mark.

What happens after submitting a deferral?

You will receive an email confirming our decision about your deferral application to your LSE email address.  We aim to process deferral forms and send you this email within three working days of receipt. Please note that it may take us longer to process requests during busy periods.

When will the deferred assessment take place?

Deferral is to the next suitable opportunity to attempt the assessments

At present, this means:

  • For Undergraduate Students: this will be the In-Year Resit and Deferred Assessment Period in late Summer 2021.
  • For Postgraduate Students: this will be the Resit and Deferred Assessment Period in January 2022. 

What support is available to me from LSE?

If you are facing difficulties with your studies, whether for academic or personal reasons, there are a number of sources of support that may be able to help. 

Most departments remove material from Moodle in the summer to prepare the pages for the next academic year. If your deferral request is approved please ensure that you save any material from Moodle before the end of the academic year. If you have any queries please contact the Department who runs the course(s). 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I have to pay any fees when I come back to sit my deferred exam/s?

There are no tuition fees to pay as you would have paid for, and received, all tuition in the previous academic year.

If you are sitting a deferred first attempt at your courses, then there are also no re-entry fees due. However, if you have deferred a resit, you will have to pay the re-entry fees of £60 per full unit and £35 per half unit.

Will I be entitled to tuition/supervision?

You will not be entitled to tuition or supervision for deferred exams or assessments (including your dissertation).

Can I have access to the Library even if my student ID card has expired?

Yes, if your card is due to expire you can you can request a new one.

What syllabus will I be examined in when I come back to sit the deferred exam/s?

You will sit assessments based on the syllabus in which you were taught. If you deferred an exam from 2019/20 to 2020/21, you would sit the paper based on the 2019/20 syllabus.

How do I register for my deferred assessment(s)?

You will automatically be re-entered for your deferred assessments by the Results Team. Visit re-entry for more details. 

Can I defer part of a course, for instance, complete assessed course work and just defer the exam?

You should request to defer the specific assessment (or assessments) affected by your exceptional circumstances. The marks for any assessments (exams or other) taken before or after this affected period will be banked and combined with the marks you achieve for deferred assessments the following year.

For example, if you defer January exams from 2020 but still have summer exams to take for the same courses that year, then you would still be expected to sit your summer exams in Summer 2020. The marks achieved for these summer exams would be combined with the marks you achieve for the deferred assessments in 2021.

Are there limits on how many times I can defer?

Normally, deferral is a permission and not always granted. 

The School would not normally approve deferral if it would result in the student exceeding the maximum period of registration.

The normal maximum period of registration is stated in the General Academic Regulations for your programme. Failure to achieve an award within the maximum period of registration allowed will result in deregistration.



Every taught programme has a maximum period of registration: this is five years for a three-year undergraduate programme, six years for a four-year undergraduate programme, and two years for a Masters programme. If by deferring an assessment you will extend your studies beyond the maximum period, you may not be permitted to continue with your studies, irrespective of any outstanding assessment opportunities. If you are unsure whether you are likely to exceed your maximum period of registration or require any further advice on this, please contact the Student Services Centre in plenty of time before your deferral deadline.


I have a student visa. If I defer, can I remain in the UK?

Your visa status may change as a result of your deferral. The School is required to report to the UK Border Agency any changes in the registration status of Tier 4 students. This means that your Tier 4 visa may be amended or curtailed.

Please contact the International Student Visa Advice Team or more details and advice. If you require individual advice, please contact the International Student Immigration Service via the ISVAT web query form.

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