Simple extensions, special consideration and special arrangements

Simple extensions

If you experience an issue that is impacting your ability to submit a task by the deadline, you can apply for an extension of 5 calendar days called a simple extension.

You should apply for a 5-calendar day extension for assignments through the special consideration portal. You will need to submit a student declaration [52KB] with your application. You can apply up until the due date of your assignment. All approved applications are given 5 days extension. You may submit your assignment earlier if you do not require the full 5 days.

Find out how to complete a student declaration.

For non-assignment tasks (such as an in-class assessment, quiz or small test) you should apply directly to your unit of study coordinator via email. Make sure to include ‘simple extension request’ in the subject line of your email.

You cannot apply for a simple extension for an exam.  

You cannot appeal the outcome of a simple extension application. If you are unable to submit your assignment by the new simple extension deadline, you will need to apply for special consideration.

Find further information and instructions for simple extension applications.

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 compulsory tutorials or class attendance, assignments, and exams. A successful application may result in an extended deadline or an alternative or replacement assessment.

Common circumstances in which you 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 Inclusion and Disability Services and have an academic plan, you are still eligible to apply for special consideration. 

If you are unwell on the day of the exam, we recommend that you do not sit the exam, and you apply for special consideration. Once you have started an exam you will only be eligible for special consideration if you become unwell during the exam.

How to apply

Applications for special consideration are due within 3 working days, that is, no later than 11:59pm Sydney time on the third day of the original assignment due date or exam date. You will need to apply online through the University website.

Tips for special consideration documentation

  • See a doctor or other professional practitioner on the day you are unwell and have them complete a Professional Practitioner Certificate [PDF 317KB] (PPC), which is the University’s preferred form for medical certificates.
  • The PPC must state the period of time you were impacted and cover the due date of the assessment or exam.
  • You are not required to disclose a diagnosis or the specifics of an illness.
  • The PPC will need to state that your studies were totally or severely impacted to meet the special consideration criteria.
  • The University Health Service may be able to assist you with your PPC.
  • In cases of misadventure, other evidence should be uploaded with the application e.g. a police report for a robbery or fire.
  • All documentation provided to the University must be in English or accompanied by a translation from a NAATI qualified translator.
  • If you are unable to obtain a Professional Practitioner Certificate, include either a statutory declaration or a student declaration [52KB] outlining your circumstances, accompanied by supporting documents. Your statutory declaration or student declaration needs to indicate how your ability to study has been impacted by your circumstances and when you expect to be able to complete your assessments or return to your studies. A statutory declaration needs to be signed by a Justice of the Peace (JP). There are a number of Justices of the Peace on campus.

Read more about statutory declarations.

All documents you submit must be 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 University of Sydney (Student Discipline) Rule and the Student Charter. 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 more than 3 days after the assessment deadline may not be accepted.

After-hours doctors can visit you at home and can supply medical certificates, such as 13 SICK (13 74 25). 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. If you need further clarification, still have questions about why your application has been declined, or why you have not received a response within 4 working days, you should make an online enquiry.

You will receive an email notification advising 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, the University must give you 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 late discontinuation not to count as failure (DC) grade.

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

If you have essential commitments that will impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special arrangements to fulfil your responsibility.

Special arrangements may be granted for the following:

  • essential religious or cultural commitments
  • compulsory legal absences
  • competitive sporting or cultural commitments
  • primary carer responsibilities
  • 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.

How to apply

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 to complete a statutory declaration or a student declaration

If you can’t get the required supporting documentation for your application, you will need to provide a statutory declaration or a student declaration with information about your illness, injury or misadventure.

A statutory declaration is a written and signed statement, declaring something to be true, in the presence of an authorised witness, usually a Justice of the Peace (JP).

A student declaration [52KB] is a written statement outlining your circumstances.

What needs to be included in your declaration:

  • specific information detailing how your studies were significantly or severely impacted
  • the dates your studies were impacted – including a start and end date
  • a brief explanation of your symptoms or issues if you feel comfortable disclosing this information to the University
  • an explanation for your lateness, if your application is late.

For example:


‘I was severely impacted by [sickness, injury, misadventure etc.] from [start date] to [end date].


This [illness, injury, misadventure] caused [briefly describe symptoms or issues you experienced].


This affected my ability to [sit my exam, complete my assessments, submit my assignment].’

Make sure your information is clear and concise. Do not include images or long explanations. The declaration is a supporting document, not a cover letter.

Make sure the content of your declaration is true as there may be serious consequences for you if you are found to have made false declarations. 

If you would like help filling out your statutory declaration or student declaration, contact a SUPRA caseworker for assistance.

How do I appeal when my application is declined?

If you believe an incorrect decision has been made regarding your special consideration or special arrangements application, you can ask for your application to be reviewed within 15 working days. This is called an ‘informal resolution’. You will need to follow the University’s 3-stage academic appeals process. The appeal information should be included with your special consideration outcome.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your informal resolution request, you can submit an application for review to the Academic Panel within 20 working days of the decision. You can submit your application for review online.

You cannot appeal the outcome of a simple extension application. 


Policies relevant to special consideration and special arrangements can be found on the University Policy Register and include the following:

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Written by SUPRA Postgraduate Advocacy Service March 2023.

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