Special consideration

You may be eligible for special consideration if serious or exceptional circumstances beyond your control affected your performance in an assessment task.

Special consideration may be granted on medical, compassionate or hardship/trauma grounds. If granted special consideration you will have an opportunity to undertake another assessment task or to have your marks adjusted.

Special consideration is intended to assist you in dealing with unexpected, short-term setbacks.

Long Term Difficulties

If you are experiencing longer term conditions or circumstances we have a number of specialist services to help you. These include services relating to health, safety and wellbeing, financial support and the Disability Resource Centre who will assist with identifying and implementing appropriate adjustments for students with ongoing medical conditions or disabilities.

We recommend you connect with these services if you are experiencing problems at University. Their support may also reduce your need to apply for special consideration.

If you have ongoing difficulties you may still be eligible for special consideration, if you can demonstrate that your difficulties have suddenly worsened or than an additional issue has arisen.

Eligibility for special consideration

Applications for special examinations and other forms of special consideration will only be considered on the following grounds:

  • serious medical conditions, e.g. hospitalisation, injury or illness
  • compassionate reasons, e.g. the recent death of a close family member or family breakdown
  • hardship or trauma, e.g. a sudden change in employment circumstances, severe disruption to domestic arrangements, victim of crime.

Circumstances within a student's control (e.g. misreading timetables, exam stress, returning home, holidays, social or family occasions) and temporary, minor ailments (e.g. headaches, colds, sleeplessness, gastric upsets, general period pain) will not be accepted as grounds for special consideration. Religious or faith-based issues are also not in themselves grounds for special consideration, although they may be used to support an application on other, valid grounds.

All applications must be accompanied by verifiable supporting documentation, such as a written statement from a recognised authority or practitioner registered with a professional body (e.g. social worker, medical practitioner, lawyer or psychologist); a death notice or certificate; or a police report.

Applications on medical grounds will be rejected unless:

  • the supporting documentation is presented on the Deakin University Medical Certificate, or
  • they include a statement from a registered medical practitioner that explains:
    • the severity of the medical condition
    • how it affected your ability to study or undertake the assessment task, and
    • the dates you were affected.

This information will assist the University to make an informed decision.

A Statutory Declaration may also be used for applications based on hardship/trauma or compassionate grounds, but must be accompanied by other verifiable supporting documentation.

Contact your Faculty/School/Campus office (see below), or make an appointment to see a Deakin University Student Association Advocate, if you need advice about the other types of supporting documentation you can provide.

Any student who is found to have submitted false supporting documentation will be referred to the Faculty Student Misconduct Committee. Making a false statutory declaration is an act of perjury. Perjury is a criminal offence and the penalties can be severe.

Applying for special consideration

Applications must be lodged through StudentConnect no later than three (3) University working days after the date of the examination or the approved submission date for the assessment task. Contact your Faculty/School/Campus office if extraordinary circumstances prevent you from lodging your application online or within the three-day timeframe.

Separate applications are required for each assessment item for which you would like special consideration.

The Special Consideration Student User Guide (PDF, 1.2 MB) explains how to scan and attach copies of supporting documentation to your application. You may also be required to supply the originals.

You are encouraged to include a written submission explaining how the circumstances affected your studies.

Applying for special consideration does not guarantee that it will be granted.

Once you have submitted your application you will receive an email via your Deakin email address stating that it has been received.

After the Unit Chair and the Chair of the Faculty Academic Progress and Discipline Committee (FAPDC) have considered your application, you will be notified of the outcome via your Deakin email address. This process can take up to three weeks. You will also be able to check the status of your application through StudentConnect.

Extensions of time and rescheduling of assessment during the trimester

If circumstances beyond your control will prevent you from attending a test, placement, practicum or similar, or from submitting an assignment by the due date, you should speak to your unit chair as soon as you become aware of the problem. Your unit chair may allow you to do the task at another time or may give you an extension.

Assignment extensions are normally only approved when students apply at least three days before the due date, and the unit chair may ask to see the work you have completed so far.

You will need to supply supporting documentation about the difficulties you are facing and the unit chair may also ask you to submit an application for special consideration.

Note that:

  • Special arrangements like these are not available in all units.
  • Work that is submitted late without an approved extension will be subject to a marking penalty, or may not be marked at all.

For further information, check your unit guide.

Faculty Contacts

Faculty of Arts and Education


Faculty of Business and Law


Faculty of Health

Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment

Geelong - Waurn Ponds
Geelong - Waterfront
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