Current Students

Special consideration

Further information



Faculty variations

Faculty conditions vary for ‘special consideration'. Always seek advice from your faculty adviser.

Getting help

A counsellor may be able to help you.

If you think your study has been severely affected by serious illness or other factors outside your control, you can apply for special consideration. University Policy on Special Consideration (UP11/23).

Special consideration allows faculties to take into account significant and unforeseen factors that may have affected your academic preparation or performance, such as:

  • significant personal illness
  • death or serious illness of someone close to you
  • other significant circumstances.

The faculty can consider:

  • extensions for assignments
  • withdrawal or changes to courses
  • changes to your final grade in a unit of study
  • deferred examinations.

Applying for special consideration will not save you from the consequences of poor academic preparation. The final decision rests with the faculty.

  1. Type of application
  2. Application guidelines
  3. Deferred examinations

Type of application

One-off extension

If you want to apply for a one-off extension to the deadline for a written assignment or project, you need to submit an application for special consideration.  You should submit your form to your allocated Faculty Office as soon as you know you will need an extension.  Applications should be submitted no later than three days after the assessment is due.

Until otherwise advised, normal deadlines apply to assignments, reports, projects and examinations.

Broad application

If your difficulties are ongoing or have been occurring for some time, you can request that special consideration be applied to all aspects of assessment.

Contact the relevant sub or associate dean or the faculty academic student advisor.

Until otherwise advised, normal deadlines apply to assignments, reports, projects and examinations.

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Application guidelines


  • Third university working day after the date the assessment was due.

Your faculty may be able to extend this deadline in exceptional circumstances. Supporting documentation should clearly cover the due date for the assessment.

Application form


Applications on medical grounds are best supported by certificates signed by your doctor indicating that you were seen during an illness, or as soon as it was possible afterwards to seek help. The certificate should show:

  • when you first sought attention
  • probable duration of illness
  • level of impact on performance.

Within the limits of confidentiality, certificates should provide sufficient detail on the nature and seriousness of the illness so that an equitable performance assessment can be made.

Applications on other grounds are best supported by a healthcare professional, religious leader, or residential college principal, or by a university lecturer or other person who is sufficiently informed to be able to make a comprehensive and objective assessment of the severity of your circumstances. The kind of documentation you need will depend on the situation, but should support your account of the circumstances and indicate the likely duration and level of impact on performance.

Certificates signed by family members are not acceptable.

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Deferred examinations

If your special circumstances prevent you sitting exams as originally scheduled you can apply for a deferred examination.

Be proactive. If you think something serious is affecting your study, tell you sub-dean, associate dean or academic student adviser as soon as possible.

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