Can’t do an assessment because life or sickness got in the way?

Special Consideration

You can apply for special consideration if you are unable to complete an assessment or exam because you, or someone you are the primary carer for, is affected by short term illness (mental or physical) or misadventure, or an exacerbation of a disability, that is outside of your control, unexpected, and affects you severely. Long term illness is considered a disability and should be addressed through the University’s Disability Service.

You must submit your application within three working days of the assessment, together with documentation to support your claim. This might be a Professional Practitioner’s Certificate (PPC), police report, death notice, etc. While a statutory declaration might support your other documents, usually it is not considered helpful as a document on its own.

Don’t focus on the event itself, but rather the severity of the impact that you experienced. So, for something like the death of a family member, you will need to show that the person died (e.g. funeral service leaflet), as well as a PPC to show that you were severely affected by grief. Be aware that in most cases the University’s Counselling and Psychology Service will not give you a PPC, and you will need to gain a PPC from another treating psychologist or doctor.

If you are successful in your application you might be given an extension, a supplementary exam (that usually occurs in week 18), or in some limited cases, a re-weighting of assessments. They cannot give you extra marks. If you continue to be affected by illness or misadventure, you can apply for special consideration for these alternative assessments. Where the faculty is unable to provide an additional supplementary assessment, you should be given a Discontinue Not Fail (DC) grade.

Something less severe

A Unit of Study Coordinator is able to grant a two-working day extension for a non-examination task. Note that this does not change any conditions for special consideration.

Late applications

The University will consider late special consideration applications only if you can provide evidence that it was absolutely not possible for you to submit your application within the three working days.

Supporting documentation

A PPC should be dated on or before the date of the assessment, with the range of dates you are affected including the date of the assessment. It is likely that you will need to be very severely affected or totally unable to study. If you are the primary carer for someone who is sick, get a PPC to show that they were sick, and that you were very severely affected by having to care for them. It will need to be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation. If you are too unwell to go to the doctor, search the internet for a home visit GP. If you submit a false medical certificate you risk severe penalties, including being excluded from university.

Special arrangements

If your study is affected by an event that is not sickness or misadventure, you can apply for ‘special arrangements’. This includes, but is not limited to, jury duty, court summons, armed service, birth or adoption of a child, an essential religious commitment, sporting or cultural commitments where you are representing the University, state or country, and in some cases essential employment. This does not include attending a wedding. You will need to provide supporting documentation and apply using the Special Consideration portal. For final exams, this must be lodged no more than 14 days after the exam timetable is published.

Disability

If you have a long term or pre-existing medical condition you can apply for disability support. Disability Services can help you to create an academic plan to successfully complete your degree with any reasonable accommodations, so contact them as soon as possible.

Unsuccessful?

You can appeal a rejected special consideration application. Address the issues they have raised, and submit it within 15 working days of the original decision.

Need help?

For help with special consideration applications email an SRC Caseworker at help@src.usyd.edu.au. We are happy to give you advice.