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Show Good Cause – coursework students

It is important to the University that students make satisfactory progress in their degree. The University also expects you to understand the requirements of your course. These requirements are outlined in the University of Sydney Coursework Policy 2014 and in your faculty’s policies and rules on progression located in the faculty handbook or your faculty website.

If you fail to meet the academic progression requirements for your course, you will be sent an email notification. You will be placed on the academic progression register if, for any semester, you:

  • fail to complete more than 50% of your enrolled credit points
  • do not achieve an average semester mark of 50% or more
  • fail a compulsory unit
  • fail a unit for the second time
  • have an unsatisfactory attendance record
  • can’t complete your course in the maximum time while enrolled in a normal study load

If you are placed on the academic progression register, the University will contact you. There are 3 stages of the academic progression register.

Stage 1 – warning notice

All students who do not meet academic progression requirements for the first time are sent an email notification. The notification will tell you that you have been placed on the academic progression register. It is important to take a stage 1 notification seriously and follow the advice in the letter, e.g. meet with an academic advisor. Your faculty will take this into consideration if you later receive a stage 3 notice.

Stage 2 – warning notice

A stage 2 notice is only sent to students in a full-time course of more than 2 years who are listed on the academic progression register for a second time. Most postgrad students proceed straight to stage 3.

Stage 3 – Show Good Cause notice

If you appear on the academic progression register for a second time in a degree of 2 years or less, or you fail to meet progression requirements in 2 consecutive semesters, you will be asked to Show Good Cause as to why you should be allowed to re-enrol in your course.

During the semester you may have had circumstances beyond your control that significantly impacted your study and assessments. The faculty need to understand the reasons for your results.

What should I write in my Show Good Cause response?

Coursework students can use our Show Cause & Exclusion Survival Kit. We recommend you read this for detailed advice on preparing your Show Good Cause letter and supporting documents.

It is extremely important you read all faculty notifications in a timely manner. If you don’t understand a notification, you should contact your faculty directly using the contact details in the notification letter or contact us for advice. Your response to a Show Good Cause notice has a strict deadline. If you cannot submit your response in time, request an extension by contacting your faculty or ask us for assistance.

Being asked to Show Good Cause does not mean you are automatically excluded. You remain enrolled in your degree until after you submit your response and an outcome is provided, or until all appeal options are exhausted.

If you have received a show good cause notification:

  • write a letter to show good cause as to why you should be allowed to continue in your course
  • submit your letter with supporting documentation before the deadline listed in your notice
  • pre-enrol in units for the next semester
  • go to all your classes as a continuing student

Possible outcomes

One of the three following outcomes are possible:

  1. You have shown good cause and are permitted to continue in your course.
  2. You have not shown good cause but are permitted to re-enrol with conditions. This means you are allowed to continue your studies but will need to follow specific conditions, which may include meeting with an academic advisor or reducing your study load. Conditions are different for each student.
  3. You have not shown good cause and are excluded from your course.

Can I appeal?

You have a right to appeal against being placed on the academic progression register, any conditions placed on your re-enrolment, or against exclusion for not showing good cause. To appeal against exclusion, see our Show Cause & Exclusion Survival Kit.

Assistance and advice

If you need assistance with your Show Good Cause letter or need assistance to appeal against exclusion, contact us.

What if I improve in the future?

In many cases your next semester will be trouble free and you will pass all your units. If you pass 2 consecutive semesters, you will be removed from the academic progression register.

Useful Resources


Contact us
(02) 9351 3715
Download our Show Cause & Exclusion Survival Kit.



The SUPRA office is closed – but you can still get help!

To help protect the health of our community during COVID-19 our Postgraduate Advocacy Service, Legal Service and council are working from home. We are working to full capacity and are providing timely and accurate information, advice and support.