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Special Consideration & Arrangements


If your studies are severely impacted by illness, injury, or other serious events (misadventure), you may be eligible for special consideration in affected assessments. This can apply to compulsory tutorial or class attendance, assignments, or exams.

Common circumstances that may be eligible for special consideration:

  • Someone you have primary caring responsibility for is ill or injured, requiring your support
  • You live with a disability and your condition worsens around the time an assessment is due
  • On the day of your exam or during your exam you are unwell
  • 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.

If you are registered with the University Disability Services and have an Academic Plan, you are still eligible to apply for Special Consideration.


How to apply

Applications 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.

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


Late applications

If you are too unwell to go see a doctor, go as soon as you can. Be aware that medical certificates dated after 3 days of the assessment deadline may not be accepted.

Late applications will not be approved without a reasonable explanation for the delay, with evidence to support this explanation. For example, this could be a medical certificate or PPC stating that 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.
  • If your application is successful, you will receive an email notification advising you it 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.
  • If you forgot to include important documentation with your application, you can also re-apply with correct or 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 again for Special Consideration with new supporting documentation. If your application is accepted you may be given a further replacement assessment. If this is not possible, you be awarded a grade of Discontinued not to Count as Failed (DC).


Can I withdraw my application for Special Consideration?

You may withdraw your application at any time so long as it is before release of results for the assessment, or before completion of the assessment.


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), the University’s preferred form for medical certificates. You can download this form from the Special Consideration website.
  2. The PPC must state the period you were impacted and this should cover the due date of the assessment or exam.
  3. You are not required to disclose a diagnosis or the specifics of your illness.
  4. The PPC should state you were severely or totally unable to study.
  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. You can download this form from the University website, and have this witnessed by a Justice of the Peace (JP). See also: Justice of the Peace

Make sure all documents (especially PPCs and medical certificates) you submit are legitimate. Do not use a medical certificate from online doctors unless it is your regular treating practitioner. If you submit a false 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, and exclusion from the University for up to 2 years.


What are Special Arrangements?

Some circumstances that may prevent you from completing assessments fall outside the Special Consideration Policy. Instead you may be able 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, at the discretion of the Dean or Faculty.

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

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


How do I appeal when my application is declined?

If you believe an incorrect decision has been made on your application, 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, you may formally appeal to the Academic Panel within 20 working days of the decision on your application. The form to appeal is available on the Special Consideration and Arrangements website.


Useful Websites

University of Sydney Special consideration and arrangements website

University Health Service

List of Justices of the Peace at the University of Sydney



Coursework Policy 2014
Assessment Procedures 2011
University of Sydney (Student appeals against Academic Decisions) Rule 2006 (as amended)

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