The University has a system of medical certification for students based, primarily, on the assumption that most courses are designed to take account of minor illnesses and occasional periods of sick leave and that these episodes should not normally require a doctor’s note.
A standard University form has been designed to be completed by the student, followed by their doctor (see details below), for any period of absence due to illness at exam or significant assessment times or for significant medical problems at other times. You should bring a completed certificate with you to your appointment otherwise an unecessary delay will occur. A certificate will be issued only if the doctor thinks the condition merits it and note that a charge may be made for its completion.
The form may be signed by a GP, hospital doctor, relevant nurse or counsellor, who has been involved in your care.
Please note that a medical note is never needed so urgently as to require seeing the duty doctor. Please book an appointment with your usual doctor or the doctor who has already dealt with the problem.
Wellbeing and Support
For students who are currently registered at the University there is a wide range of mental health and wellbeing support available at the University. This includes a 24/7 Counselling support line, face to face drop-ins and ongoing Counselling and therapeutic support sessions. There is also an extensive range of self help information for a wide variety of topics and a number of different groups running through the year. You can find out about all the services and how to access here: Mental Health (birmingham.ac.uk)
If you have a diagnosed medical condition you may also be eligible for academic support through a Reasonable Adjustment Plan and you can find out more here: Disabilities, long-term mental health conditions and specific learning difficulties (birmingham.ac.uk)
And if you have any academic concerns, problems with your course or want support or advice to access any of the services at the University please speak with your course Wellbeing Officer Wellbeing Officers (birmingham.ac.uk) who will help you.
Categories of Certification
- Significant medical problem. e.g. glandular fever, hospital admission or illness lasting more than 7 days.
- As above but retrospective i.e. applied for after the illness has ended or late in the course of the condition. This will carry significantly less weight with the University.
- On-going or chronic, significant illnesses e.g. diabetes, severe asthma, CFS etc. A letter may well be required by your department from the doctor completing the medical certificate outlining the effect of your illness on your studies.
- Sudden disruptive illness (only at exam time or during assessments counting towards your degree).
Students must make their personal tutor/supervisor/mitigations officer aware of the impact which they believe that this illness has had on their performance in the assessment. This information should be provided as soon as possible and certainly before the meeting of the relevant Board of Examiners.
The University may well also require completion of a mitigation form as part of the process of illness assessment - this does not need to be seen by the health professional completing your medical certificate.
To download the University of Birmingham Medical Certificate please click on the link below:
Self Help Guides for Students
The university have put together a series of self help guides. Please follow this link in order to access these: http://www.selfhelpguides.ntw.nhs.uk/birmingham/
If you or someone you know needs help for a mental health crisis, or breakdown, you should get immediate expert advice and assessment. In an emergency, call 999.
It's important to know that support is available, even if services seem busy at the moment. NHS urgent mental health helplines are for people of all ages. You can call for:
• 24-hour advice and support – for you, your child, your parent/carer, friend or someone you care for
• help to speak to a mental health professional
• an assessment to help decide on the best course of care
You can find a local NHS urgent mental health helpline (England only) here. Please note that there may be different numbers for your home and university areas so make sure you check which number to call.
You can also contact the following free listening services from the voluntary sector:
• Call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans 24/7, or email: email@example.com for a reply within 24 hours
• Text "STUDENT" to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line, or text "YM" to the same number if you're under 19 for support from Young Minds.
• If you're under 19, you can also call 0800 1111 to talk to Childline on their 24 hours helpline. The number will not appear on your phone bill.
• Text THEMIX to 85258 to contact the Mix
• If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, phone Hopeline UK on 0800 068 41 41, or text them on 07786 209 687 between 9am – 10pm weekdays, 2pm – 10pm weekends or email firstname.lastname@example.org
• Call the CALM helpline on 0800 58 58 58 between 5pm and midnight.