Coursework assessment rights

You have the right to fair and equitable participation in learning and assessment at the University of Sydney. This means your unit coordinator must design and deliver assessment tasks that fairly assess what has been taught in class. It also means that your work must be fairly marked. Your rights are explained in the Assessment Procedures 2011 and Coursework Policy 2021.

Some key assessment rights include:

  • The right to be assessed by more than one method – for example, an essay as well as an exam.
  • The right to constructive, timely feedback so you can learn from mistakes and improve in the next assessment task in that unit.
  • The right to valid and fair assessment, which means assessments are marked against published criteria.
  • The right to receive advice on academic referencing.  
  • The right to appeal against a mark or grade. Find out how to appeal.
  • The right to reasonable adjustments for assessments for students who are registered with Inclusion and Disability Services (where recommended by Inclusion and Disability Services). Find out more about disability rights and reasonable adjustments.
  • The right to request simple extensions for 5 calendar days for any assessments that are not exams. Find out about simple extensions.
  • The right to request special consideration because of injury, serious illness, misadventure, or carer responsibilities. Read more about special consideration.
  • The right to apply for special arrangements for issues like a funeral for a close family member, or a religious or cultural event. Find out more about special arrangements.


  • Unit of study outlines must be available before the start of semester and include details of the assessments for the unit, including any late penalties.
  • Where possible, assessments should be timetabled to prevent clashes with other study commitments in your degree. Find out what to do if you have an exam clash.
  • All written assignments and exam scripts must be identified only by Student Identification Number (SID). 

If your assessment rights have been ignored

If you think your assessment rights have been ignored, the first step is to approach your unit coordinator or tutor to discuss your concerns. You can do this in an informal and respectful way. You may want to prepare for your conversation by reading the policies listed below for detailed descriptions of your coursework rights at the University of Sydney.

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your conversations with the faculty or school about their practices relating to teaching and assessment you may want to make a complaint.

Get help from SUPRA

If you need assistance or advice on your assessment rights, or help making a complaint, our professional caseworkers can help. Contact us for advice.

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Written by SUPRA Postgraduate Advocacy Service March 2023.

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