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Special consideration and special arrangements

Special consideration

If your studies are severely impacted by illness, injury, or other serious events (misadventure), you may be eligible for special consideration. You can apply for special consideration for any impacted assessment including a compulsory tutorial or class attendance, assignments, or exams.

Common circumstances that may be eligible for special consideration:

  • On the day of your exam or during your exam you are severely unwell.
  • You live with a disability and your condition worsens around the due date of an assessment or exam.
  • For a group assessment: a member of your group is affected by illness, injury, caring responsibilities, or other serious event, and this impacts the group’s ability to complete the assessment.
  • Someone you have primary caring responsibility for is ill or injured, requiring your support.

If you are registered with Disability Services and have an Academic Plan, you are still eligible to apply for special consideration.

How to apply

Applications for special consideration are due within 3 working days of the original assignment due date or exam date. You will need to apply online through the University’s website.

Tips for special consideration documentation

  1. See a doctor or other professional practitioner on the day you are unwell and have them complete a Professional Practitioner Certificate (PPC), which is the University’s preferred form for medical certificates.
  2. The PPC must state the period of time you were impacted and cover the due date of the assessment or exam.
  3. You are not required to disclose a diagnosis or the specifics of an illness.
  4. The PPC will need to state that your studies were totally or severely impacted to meet the special consideration criteria.
  5. In cases of misadventure, other evidence should be uploaded with the application e.g. a police report for a robbery or fire.
  6. All documentation provided to the University must be in English or accompanied by a translation from a NAATI qualified translator.
  7. If you have no other form of documentation you may include a statutory declaration and have this witnessed by a Justice of the Peace (JP). Solicitors at SUPRA can also witness statutory declarations. Contact us for assistance.
  8. Make sure all documents you submit are legitimate, especially medical certificates and PPCs. Do not use a medical certificate from an online doctor unless it is your regular treating practitioner. If you submit a false medical certificate or PPC you will be in breach of the Academic Honesty Policy and Code of Conduct for Students. Misconduct penalties are severe and can include zero marks for the unit of study or exam and exclusion from the University for up to 2 years.      

Don’t wait for the outcome of your application before submitting any assessment. You should still submit as soon as you are able.

Late applications

If you are too unwell to visit a doctor, go as soon as you feel well enough. Medical certificates dated after 3 days of the assessment deadline may not be accepted.

After hours doctors can visit you at home and can supply medical certificates, such as 13SICK (137425). This service is bulk-billed for Medicare card holders and free for OSHC through Allianz, NIB, Medibank Private and BUPA

Late applications will not be approved without a reasonable explanation for the delay and with evidence to support the explanation, e.g. a medical certificate or PPC stating you were hospitalised or unable to consult a doctor due to illness or injury.

Waiting to see if you passed an assessment before applying for special consideration is not a reasonable explanation. If you have no other explanation the application will be declined.


In most instances students will be advised of the outcome within 4 working days.

You will receive an email notification advising you if your application has been approved. You will then be notified by email whether you will be given an extension of time, an alternative assessment, or a replacement exam.

If your application is declined, you must be given reasons for the decision.

If you forgot to include important information or documentation with your application, you can re-apply with additional information within 3 working days.

If I am too unwell to sit my replacement exam, can I apply for further special consideration?

If you are too unwell to sit the replacement assessment you should apply for special consideration again with new supporting documentation. If your application is accepted you may be given a further replacement assessment. If this is not possible, you may be awarded a grade of discontinued not to count as failure (DC).

Can I withdraw my application for special consideration?

Yes, you may withdraw your application at any time as long as it is before the release of results for the assessment.

Special arrangements

Some circumstances that may prevent you from completing assessments fall outside special consideration policy. However, you may qualify to apply for special arrangements for the following:

  • essential religious or cultural commitments
  • compulsory legal absences
  • competitive sporting or cultural commitments
  • birth or adoption of a child
  • essential employment commitments
  • other circumstances, determined on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the Dean or faculty.

A friend’s wedding will not usually be considered eligible for special arrangements; a funeral for a family member or close friend is eligible.

Apply via the University website as soon as you are aware of the circumstances. Requests for special arrangements for assessments held in formal University exam periods must be made within 14 days of the publication of the examination timetable.

How do I appeal when my application is declined?

If you believe an incorrect decision has been made, you can ask for your application to be reviewed within 15 working days. This is called an ‘informal resolution request’. You can submit this request online through the special consideration website or through the link in the decision email.

If you are dissatisfied with the decision on your informal resolution request, you may formally appeal to the Academic Panel within 20 working days of the decision. You can submit your formal appeal online.


Contact us

(02) 9351 3715

Useful websites


Relevant policies to special consideration can be found at on the Policy Register and include the following:

Need more help?

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