Does a UK university accept defering an exam due to legal matters as a vaild reason for deferrement especially when the missing payment comes at a time when it is really needed?
TL;DR: You must read the policy of your university relevant to your case.
I can't speak for all UK universities, of course. However, in my current university (Russell Group member), you can't ask to defer an examination as these are set centrally by Registry. Rather, students who feel that they have a valid reason for missing a scheduled examination have to lodge a mitigating circumstance/s claim.
MitCerts fall into four categories, each with its own evidential requirements:
- Serious illness affecting a close family member
- Unforeseeable or unpreventable events.
If you were a student in our university, you would submit a MitCert citing unpreventable events. This type of MitCert is often required to be submitted before the examination. In addition, this type of MitCert is the broadest category and the evidential requirement is equally broad: "Independent documentary evidence must be provided." This means that you have to make the case for yourself that the hearing cannot be moved to a later date. This is because the policy states clearly that the following will not be regarded as mitigating circumstances: "...inadequate planning and time management, pressures from paid employment, any event that could reasonably have been expected or anticipated..."
I have represented my Department and Faculty on meetings of the Mitigating Circumstances Committee. In general, the Mitigating Circumstances Committee is biased for the student. The policy is clear: "The Mitigating Circumstances Committee... will always seek to act in the best interests of the student." We have considered applications citing attendance at hearings (as complainants, witnesses, or jury members) before and, while not common, are rather easy to decide because there is ample evidence from the court that the applicant's presence was required in some capacity or another.
In my university, the effect of a successful MitCert application depends on your student status, your year level, the credit weight of the examination, and the type of module (or subject) you are taking. In some cases, you will be allowed to take the resit examinations during the resit period as if the resit exam was your original attempt. In other cases, your marks will simply be carried forward. There are a few more consequences.
The effect of an unsuccessful MitCert application means that you will receive a zero mark for the examination with a special code indicating that you did not attend. Then, your final module mark will be calculated and the process proceeds as usual.
You must read the policy of your university. There is no substitute for this as policies and procedures differ from place to place.