Special consideration

You may be eligible for special consideration if circumstances beyond your control prevent you from undertaking or completing an assessment task at the scheduled time.

Special consideration will only be granted on acute medical, compassionate or hardship/trauma grounds, if your Faculty believes it is warranted. If granted, special consideration will give you an opportunity either

  • to undertake an assessment task at another time or
  • to take additional time to complete the assessment task.

From Trimester 1, 2015 the adjustment of marks will no longer be available as an outcome of special consideration.

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

Long term difficulties

If longer term conditions or circumstances are affecting your assessment performance, we have a number of specialist services to help you. These include services relating to health, safety and wellbeing and 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 that an additional issue has arisen.  Note that additional special consideration can only be granted for the same task once and where extraordinary circumstances (such as hospitalisation) prevent you from attempting your first special assessment task or exam.  See additional special consideration below.

Eligibility for special consideration

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

  • an acute medical condition that prevents a student from attempting an assessment task, e.g. hospitalisation, injury or illness
  • compassionate reasons, e.g. the recent death of a close family member or family breakdown; or military, jury or emergency service obligations
  • hardship or trauma, which might be caused for example by a sudden change in employment circumstances, severe disruption to domestic arrangements, or when you are the victim of a serious crime

Circumstances within a student's control (e.g. misreading timetables, exam stress, returning home, holidays, social or family occasions) and minor ailments (e.g. headaches, colds, sleeplessness, gastric upsets, normal 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. Documents that are back dated or based only on information provided by the student will not normally be accepted

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 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 and supporting documents are required for each assessment item for which you would like special consideration.

The Special Consideration Student User Guide (PDF, 1018.5 KB) explains how to create and submit an application including attaching copies of your supporting documentation. If your circumstances are particularly difficult, the staff in your Faculty/School/Campus office can help you with your application.

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. Where the documentary evidence you supply is inadequate, your Faculty may require you to supply additional information and/or original documents within five working days. Failure to provide the required documentation may results in the withdrawal or rejection of the special consideration application.

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.

Possible outcomes of special consideration

There are four possible outcomes of an application for Special Consideration:

  • Special consideration not granted
  • Special consideration granted - a special exam, administered by the Division of Student Administration (outcome 3 - RIE grade). Your exam/s will be scheduled in the next available supplementary/special exam period.
  • Special consideration granted - a special assessment task, administered by your Faculty, will be provided for you.
  • Special consideration granted - a new submission date is to be arranged for your assessment task

Cancelling or withdrawing an application for Special Consideration

A student may cancel an application for Special Consideration themselves only if they have not pressed the "Submit application" button on the online form.

Once an application for Special consideration has been submitted via the online form, withdrawal of an application can only occur by contacting the Faculty directly (see Faculty contacts below).

Additional special consideration

Additional special consideration can only be granted for the same task once and where extraordinary circumstances (such as hospitalisation) prevent you from attempting your first special assessment task or exam. Applications must be lodged with the Chair of the Faculty Academic Progress Committee (through the Faculty contacts below) normally no later than three working days after the first special task was due to be completed.

Incomplete results must be finalised as soon as possible. Students who are unable to complete their assessment tasks within a reasonable timeframe may be eligible for a fee refund or debt remission if they withdraw from their units after the relevant census date. See Refunds and remissions.

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 of up to two weeks.

Assignment extensions are normally only approved when students apply before the due date.

You will need to supply supporting documentation about the difficulties you are facing and the Unit Chair may ask to see the work you have completed so far.

Note that work that is submitted late without an approved extension will be subject to a marking penalty, or may not be marked at all.

The Unit Chair may advise you to apply for special consideration where:

  • rescheduling is impractical or
  • you have requested more than two weeks' extension
  • you were unable to apply for an extension before the due date
  • you are still able to apply for special consideration if you have been granted an extension.

For further information, check your unit guide.

Further help with special consideration

If you're having trouble or need further assistance with applying for special consideration contact your relevant Faculty Course Adviser.

Page custodian: Division of Student Administration
Last updated: