Exceptional Progression

into your next year of studies

In very rare cases you may be permitted to progress without having met these requirements. This is called Exceptional Progression.



What is Exceptional Progression?

In order to progress between years in an undergraduate programme you need to meet the progression rules:

  • To progress from your first year to your second year you must pass three out of four units.
  • To progress from your second year to your third year you must pass seven out of eight units. 
  • LLB students must pass all papers to be able to progress

In very rare cases you may be permitted to progress without having met these requirements. This is called Exceptional Progression. 

Applications for Exceptional Progression will only be considered if you can provide evidence of a serious, unexpected event that took place during your exams and resulted in their failure. If you experienced exceptional circumstances which have affected your studies on a long term basis your application will not be considered.

Students are  not encouraged to apply for Exceptional Progression as it is very rarely approved. 

Why do the progression rules exist?

LSE programmes are structured with each year building on the knowledge gained in the previous year of study. It is therefore essential that you have the required knowledge before progressing to the next year of study.

Being granted Exceptional Progression has a substantial impact in terms of the extra workload created in the following academic year, which may lead to a detrimental impact on your exam performance.

In addition, students carrying extra papers into their final year will not usually be given an opportunity to resit them if failed, but they've managed to meet the degree classification requirement. Unless students fail more than three whole units at the classification stage, they will be awarded a degree in their final year. Penalties are applied for failed papers. Full details about classification can be found here.  

Our research has shown that students progressing against the regulations very often fail the following year, or at best pass with marks well below what they would otherwise have achieved because of the extra pressure of studying for their resit exams.

How many students are granted Exceptional Progression?

The panel only ever approve Exceptional Progression in extremely extenuating circumstances. On average only two or three applications are approved each year.

If you have experienced difficulties (medical, personal, academic) during the year which contributed to your exam under performance then an application for repeat teaching is far more likely to be considered favourably by your department.

How can I apply for Exceptional Progression?

Applications for Exceptional Progression are considered by the Repeat Teaching Panel and administered by the Advice Team within the Student Services Centre.

If you wish to apply for Exceptional Progression you must, at the very least, demonstrate that you have studied successfully throughout the year and that your exam failure was entirely due to extenuating circumstances during the exam period.

Some of the factors that will be considered when the Panel are assessing your application are:

  • Excellent performance throughout the previous academic year which is evidenced in both your LSE For You class registers and departmental recommendation.
  • Good attendance and coursework submission record of at least 80% in the failed courses.
  • Strong performance in past examination papers. This includes any papers that were passed in the previous academic year. The panel are aware that achieving good marks in some courses is not always a useful indicator of performance in courses that require a very different approach. This is particularly true on joint degree programmes where some students find the quantitative courses very challenging.
  • Have no more than two failed units to carry forward to the next year. The Panel never approves progression in cases where more than two units remain outstanding.
  • Evidence that you will be able to cope with an additional examination load in the next academic year.
  • A willingness to study over the summer period to ensure you are up to speed with failed courses.
  • Support from your department.

These are the minimum that you would be expected to be able to demonstrate in your application so if you fail to meet these requirements you are advised not to submit a progression application. 

You should also note that meeting the criteria is not a guarantee that the Panel will decide that progression is in your best academic interests.

Please also be aware that requests for Exceptional Progression will not be considered if you have two or more irredeemable fails at the point of application.

If you wish to proceed with an application you can download the form here. Please ensure you complete all sections as applicable. 

Can I also apply for Repeat Teaching?

No, if you submit an application for Exceptional Progression you will not be permitted to then submit an application for repeat teaching.

By applying for Exceptional Progression you are confirming that you fully benefited from the teaching last year and so do not need Repeat Teaching.

You should consider this carefully when making a decision to apply for Exceptional Progression.

When should I apply?

You are advised to submit your application for Exceptional Progression as early as possible, although the Panel does not convene until the Summer Vacation so no decisions will be made during term time.

The deadlines to apply for Exceptional Progression for 2019/20 are:

  • Monday 29 July 2019 – Deadline for Exceptional Progression applications for 2nd and 3rd year undergraduate students
  • Wednesday 25 September 2019 - Deadline for Exceptional Progression applications for 1st year undergraduate students with access to the In-Year Resit and Deferred Assessment Period (IRDAP) only

First year undergraduate students with access to the In-Year Resit and Deferred Assessment Period (IRDAP) must attempt their outstanding assessments within the IRDAP period before applying for Exceptional Progression.

Late applications will not be considered.

Meet the team

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