Special consideration is intended to assist students who, due to circumstances beyond their control, have been disadvantaged in their assessment tasks in comparison to other students. If you think you need special consideration? Act quickly! Remember to seek advice as soon as possible. Deadlines are short.
If seeking an extension for an assignment, the student should contact the Faculty/School/Campus office in the first instance. Generally, assignment extensions are handled via a separate process by the School/Faculty Office and do not require an application for Special Consideration.
Applications must be received by the Faculty/School/Campus office no later than three (3) University working days after the examination. A medical certificate must clearly support your application where illness:
- prevents students attending for an examination
- prevents students from completing the examination once begun
- disadvantages students during the examination.
In all cases of medical grounds, a medical certificate clearly stating the severity of the medical condition and its effect on the student's ability to attend/complete examination, must accompany the application.
In all instances applications MUST be complete at the time of submission.
Special Consideration applications for other forms of assessment such as Clinical Placements, Teaching Practice, Laboratory Reports, etc, should all be addressed through the Faculty/School/Campus office.
Students experiencing difficulties with hardship, illness, compassionate issues or problems with their studies may be eligible to access counselling support through Student Life. This service is available at all campuses.
Students should approach their Unit Chair or Faculty Adviser to discuss any concerns. In many circumstances an extension of time granted by the Faculty may be sufficient to assist the student through their particular difficulty.
Special Consideration is only given in serious and exceptional circumstances, which are beyond the student's control and these circumstances prevent the student from performing at their best for a particular piece of assessment.
The reasons for application must be classified under one of the following categories:
- Medical To cover medical conditions of a serious nature, e.g. hospitalisation, serious injury or chronic illness
Note: Temporary minor ailments such as headaches, colds and minor gastric upsets are not serious medical conditions and are unlikely to be accepted.However, serious cases of these may be considered.
- Compassionate e.g. death of close family member, family breakdown
- Hardship/Trauma e.g. sudden loss or gain of employment, severe disruption to domestic arrangements, victim of crime
Note: Misreading the timetable, exam anxiety or returning home will not be accepted as grounds for consideration.
Students must provide evidence to support the reasons for their application; therefore all applications for Special Consideration must be accompanied by appropriate documentation from a recognised authority, including professionals registered with a professional body (such as social workers, medical practitioners, lawyers and psychologists), death notices or certificates, police reports and statutory declarations. Applications on medical grounds should be presented on the Deakin University Medical Certificate. Applications without supporting documentation will not be considered.
The list of frequently asked questions on this page about the Special Consideration process may be of assistance.
Please note that religious or faith based issues are not in themselves grounds for special consideration. However, they may be used in support of an application that meets the eligibility criteria set out above.
Applications for Special Considerations should be lodged online. To access the Special Consideration application portal, log in to StudentConnect and click 'Special Consideration' on the left vertical (blue) menu. Read all the information carefully and follow the prompts to submit your application.
A Student User Guide (778 KB) is available. The guide can also be accessed from the Special Consideration Portal in StudentConnect.
Further information is available from your Faculty Campus Office or Student Centre.
An application for Special Consideration MUST be lodged NO LATER than three (3) University working days after the assessment items due date or the date of a scheduled examination.
Students, who for very genuine reasons are not able to apply online, must contact their Faculty Campus Office or Student Centre. The hardcopy application form is not available to be downloaded.
Applications will be considered by the Unit Chair and Chair of the Faculty Academic Progress and Discipline Committee (FAPDC). The Division of Student Administration (DSA) will notify the student via their Deakin email address of the outcome of their application.
Students will also be able to view the status of the application, including the outcome, via the online process. Refer to the Student User Guide available via StudentConnect.
Please note: submitting a Special Consideration Application Form does not guarantee Special Consideration will be granted.
Students must provide evidence to support the reasons for applications; therefore all applications for Special Consideration must be accompanied by appropriate documentation from a recognised authority. Refer to the Student User Guide available via StudentConnect for directions on how to scan and attach supporting documentation to the application.
Applications without supporting documentation will not be considered .
Deakin Medical Certificate
Applications based on medical grounds should be presented on the Deakin University Medical Certificate. Students can contact the School/Faculty/Campus office or alternatively download the Deakin Medical Certificate Form (133 KB).
Other forms of documentation
For applications on non-medical grounds, evidence can be provided by professionals who are registered with a professional body, such as social workers, lawyers and psychologists. Other acceptable documents may include a death notice or certificate, a police report or statutory declaration. Certificates signed by family members are not acceptable.
A Statutory Declaration may be used when the application is for hardship/trauma or compassionate grounds to explain issues relevant to the application. Statutory Declarations can be obtained by contacting the Faculty/School/Campus office or alternatively students may download a Statutory Declaration Form (20 KB)
Note: A Statutory Declaration is insufficient in itself and other supporting documentation must accompany the application.
Warning: Making a false statutory declaration is an act of perjury. Perjury is a criminal offence and the penalties can be severe.
Faculty of Arts and Education (Melbourne Burwood Campus)
Phone: (03) 9246 8100
Faculty of Arts and Education (Geelong Campuses)
Phone: (03) 5227 3379
Faculty of Arts and Education (Warrnambool Campus)
Phone: (03) 5563 3314
Faculty of Business & Law (Undergraduate Melbourne Burwood Campus)
Phone: (03) 9244 6555
Faculty of Business & Law (Undergraduate Geelong Campuses)
Phone: (03) 5227 1277
Faculty of Business and Law (Undergraduate Warrnambool Campus)
Phone: (03) 5563 3510
Faculty of Business & Law (Postgraduate)
Phone: (03) 9244 5043
Faculty of Health
Phone: (03) 9251 7777
Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment
Phone: (03) 5227 2119
In any situation where you feel that your studies have been strongly affected it is always a good idea to discuss it with your unit chair first so they can be made aware of the situation. Although in the case of special consideration the unit chair cannot grant you special consideration from this discussion.
No. All applications for special consideration must be made through your faculty. Issues such as extensions can be discussed with your unit chair however anything else must be formalised through a faculty request.
Things like a serious accident, long term or acute health problems (contact the Disability Resource Centre), sudden and serious illness, mental illness like depression, anxiety disorder, psychosis etc, hospitalisation, death of a close family member or friend, assault or sexual assault, family breakdown, obligatory religious observance.
Having a cold or flu, headaches, menstrual periods or feeling sick, having to work long hours of paid employment or social occasions. In particular dealing with exam stress or anxiety does not count.
No. For students with a permanent or temporary disability, it is not always necessary to apply for special consideration to implement special arrangements. Check with the Disability Resource Centre about your situation.
If I cannot attend my exams and the reason doesn't fall into the special consideration categories, can I change the date of my exam?
No. The date of an exam will only be changed in exceptional circumstances in accordance with University policy and procedures. This includes where there is a clash between two or more exams or where alternative assessment arrangements have been granted.
Exam dates and times will not be changed due to work commitments, holidays, attending weddings or other social or family occasions.
No. Your usual doctor or other medical practitioner can supply a letter or medical certificate. If possible ask the doctor to complete the Deakin Medical Certificate, which can be downloaded from this page. However the Deakin Medical Service is available and able to support you if you choose.
No. If you have seen a private psychologist, social worker or psychiatrist, then ask them to write a letter or complete a medical certificate. Please ensure that they provide the appropriate details to assist in your special consideration request.
If you have previously seen a Deakin counsellor for help with this problem, then the counsellor will usually write you a support letter and/or advise you of the process.
If you have never seen a counsellor before, and there are serious personal issues affecting your study it is never too late to seek help. However it is unlikely the counsellor will write you a support letter after one consultation. A counsellor will also help you think about who else can provide documentation and help you deal with the problem. See how to make an appointment for more information.
International Students can consult the International Student Advisors within Student Life for support and help with the process.
Yes. A written submission is a great opportunity for you to express in your own words how this illness or event affected your studies.
For ideas on how to write a written submission go to DUSA. You should outline your situation in this letter, mention that you have discussed this matter with the Unit Chair, talk about how this problem directly affected your studies and be specific about the time period. If you have any further concerns about how to write the written submission DUSA members are welcome to discuss this with DUSA Student Rights Officer.
A Statutory Declaration is considered a legal document. This means that anything in a Statutory Declaration is considered to be the sworn truth. Under the Commonwealth Statutory Declarations Act anyone who makes a false statement in a declaration is guilty of an offence and can be fined or jailed. The form is provided on the DSA website along with the special consideration form. You need to write a true statement about your circumstances and then your signature must be witnessed by an approved witness. Witnesses can include pharmacists, lawyers or doctors (a complete list can be found on the back of the stat dec form). You must show a photo ID to your chosen witness. For further help with understanding what's required, contact a DUSA Student Rights Officer .
No. A written submission is your first and best option and then a Statutory Declaration and supporting documentation.
No. You need supporting documentation or proof of your circumstances. Think about who knows your situation and can provide you with evidence. Medical practitioners, clergy, private psychologists, social workers or psychiatrists, community health workers, lawyers and police can write letters or supply proof, copies of documents such as a death certificate, bereavement notices, etc.
Yes, however usually a letter from this person will be insufficient. In the event that they do complete a Statutory Declaration this person would be under the same previously listed legal expectations.
In this case you would at least need to write a written submission and provide a Statutory Declaration. However the student must understand that under these circumstances the evidence they have provided would place limitations on a positive outcome. It would also be advisable in this situation to seek help either through your faculty, counselling or DUSA . These organisations may be able to help you think through what you can do.
No. If you apply for special consideration after the assessment has been completed or was due this must be done within three working days of the due date. However, if something happens during the semester that you know is going to affect your exam performance, you can submit the special consideration request to the faculty office before your exam. You will still need all the appropriate documentation, but it does give you time to seek help to deal with the situation. If you feel strongly that circumstances prevented you from putting your application in within the specified timeframe you can discuss this matter with a DUSA Student Rights Officer.
Applications for Special Considerations should be lodged online. To access the application portal, log in to Student Connect and click 'Special Consideration' on the left (blue) menu. Read all the information carefully and follow the prompts to submit your application. A Student User Guide is also be available from this location.
Further information is available from your faculty campus office or student centres.
An application for Special Consideration must be lodged no later than three (3) University working days after the assessment items due date or the date of a scheduled examination.
Students, who for very genuine reasons are not able to apply online, must contact their Faculty Campus Office or Student Centre. The hard copy application form is not available to be downloaded.
Once your application is lodged online you will receive an email stating that the application has been received.
Applications will be considered by the Unit Chair and Chair of the Faculty Academic Progress and Discipline Committee (FAPDC). The Division of Student Administration (DSA) will notify you of the outcome of your application by email to your Deakin email address.
You will also be able to view the status of the application, including the outcome, via the online process. Refer to the Student User Guide available via StudentConnect
DSA will inform you of the outcome by email to your Deakin email address. This could take several weeks or more depending upon when your application is submitted.
Special consideration can offer two options. For those who apply before the exam in serious circumstances they may be granted a deferred examination. In other situations special consideration will be taken into account when marking. Please remember it does not guarantee a pass and any extra percent given to students that is not based on academic performance is taken very seriously by the faculty.
The request for special consideration is submitted to your Faculty Academic Progress and Discipline Committee (FAPDC). A decision is made by a representative of the FAPDC and in consultation with the relevant Unit Chair.
Appeals can be directed to the faculty where you have further supporting documentation, however there is no specific University policy for appealing a special consideration outcome. DUSA members can see a DUSA Student Rights Officer to discuss the situation and evaluate further options.
Yes. Although special consideration is not an option you would want to rely on heavily for ongoing issues. Students can discuss ongoing support options with counsellors, DUSA Student Rights Officer or with the Disability Resource Centre.
In general if something has happened that you think is serious and has affected your ability to do your work, complete assessment tasks or prepare exams, then it would be wise to seek help. It may not always result in a successful application for special consideration but it may provide you with some advice and tools to deal with any ongoing issues. By exploring what options you have available in such situations you maximise your chance for the successful completion of your degree.