Cultural or religious observance

If you participate in official religious or cultural observance and your commitments will have an impact on your studies, you may be eligible to Register for ongoing support for your studies.

Who is eligible?

Students who participate in ongoing religious or cultural observance, and whose participation may impact their studies, may be eligible for support.

Examples of religious or cultural observance include:

  • Official religious observance such as prayer, fasting or religious holidays
  • Official cultural observance such as memorials, holidays or practices related to a specific culture or cultural tradition (to attend wedding ceremonies, are not included).

What support is available

Once you have successfully registered, you will receive an Academic Adjustment Plan (AAP). This plan is based on the impact of your circumstances and provides recommended reasonable adjustments for your study. Adjustments are made on a case-by-case basis and may include:

  • Alternative assessment arrangements
  • Alternative exam arrangements (AEAs)
  • Assistance from an academic support worker (ASW)
  • Equipment loans
  • Assistive technology
  • Accessible formatting of course reading materials
  • Extensions to assignments
  • Flexibility in attendance requirements
  • Accessible teaching spaces and ergonomic furniture.

Implementation of reasonable adjustments are dependent on faculty guidelines considering academic integrity, inherent requirements and your individual needs.

Adjustments can be applied to your subjects in advance of assessments; adjustments cannot be retrospectively applied to previous assessment tasks or attendance requirements.

How to register

Visit our registration page for information about how to register for ongoing support.

Visit registration page

Required supporting documentation

A signed letter on the official letterhead of your religious congregation or cultural authority outlining the nature of your observances and impact on your studies.

This might include:

  • A religious authority such as a rabbi, minister, priest, imam, monk or simila.
  • A cultural authority such as a director, manager, organiser or similar. For example, a letter from Murrup Barak.

If your supporting documentation is provided by an overseas practitioner and/or not available in English, you'll need to provide a NAATI-accredited translated copy.

Useful resources

This University service may also be helpful to students who participate in official religious or cultural observance.

  • Student Health and Wellbeing Digital Hub
    Access a range of wellbeing support through the Health and Wellbeing Hub Digital Hub. Get guidance on identifying mental health issues or discover programs that help with connection and self-growth.
  • Chaplaincy
    Chaplains are representatives of different faith groups in the wider community, who are placed in the University by their respective faith group with the approval of the Vice-Chancellor.
  • Standards for equity services
    Information about student equity and disability service standards at the University of Melbourne for students, staff, and the wider University community.


  • Why we collect your personal information

    SEDS is collecting and processing your personal information for one or more of the following:

    • To determine eligibility for Special consideration and/or Registration for ongoing supports
    • Inform available outcomes available for Special consideration
    • Develop and implement Academic Adjustment Plans (AAPs) when registering for ongoing support including alternative exam arrangements and accessibility supports
    • Inform reporting and planning activities including for government funding reporting requirements, and to improve student services in relation to Special consideration and Registration for ongoing supports (non-identifying information only).
  • How we process your personal information

    We will process your personal information as necessary for our legitimate interests, in accordance with applicable privacy laws, and only under the following circumstances:

    • For the purpose for which it was collected; or
    • A related purpose which you might reasonably expect; or
    • Where you have consented to the processing; or
    • If we are required or permitted to do so by law.

    We collect your personal information directly from you. In some cases, we source some information (e.g., your subject enrolment details and results) from the University’s student database, and if required we will validate curriculum and assessment details with the relevant faculty.

    We will only share your personal information with the University of Melbourne staff members who are directly involved in the assessment of your application and in determining the appropriate outcomes. The information may also be made available to authorised staff in your Faculty to aid in determining special consideration outcomes, and also with the centrally organised exams team when it involves alternative exam arrangements (AEAs) including accessibility adjustments when registered for ongoing support.

    Where relevant, sharing of your Academic Adjustment Plan (AAP) with others such as academic staff will be done with your consent. If you choose not to share your AAP, this may limit what adjustments can be made.

    There may be some instances where your personal information may be transferred outside of Victoria or Australia (for example, where providers are located internationally or use a cloud-based system with servers based in international jurisdictions). We take all reasonable steps to ensure that the interstate or overseas transfer of personal information is in accordance with our privacy obligations as outlined in the University’s General Privacy Statement.

    If you choose not to provide requested information, it may mean that your application is deemed ineligible and/or cannot be approved and implemented by SEDS, faculties or other services or programs at the University.

  • Further privacy information

    Refer to the University’s General Privacy Statement or other privacy statements for general information about how we process and protect personal information, including:

    • Our lawful basis for processing personal information;
    • Collection, use and disclosure of personal information;
    • Accuracy, security and storage of personal information;
    • Retention and disposal of personal information;
    • Your individual rights; and
    • Applicable privacy laws.

    Your rights

    You may request access to, or correction of, your personal information we hold, or exercise your individual rights as applicable under relevant privacy laws, unless this would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of others or would contravene the University’s other legislative obligations.

    If the lawful collection of your personal information is based on your consent, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of our processing of your information prior to you withdrawing your consent.

    Privacy contacts

    For further information you can contact us at Equity and Disability Support

    For further information about how the University manages personal information, and for details of how to make an enquiry, lodge a complaint, or to contact the University’s Privacy and Data Protection Officer, please refer to our Privacy webpage, view the University's Privacy Policy or contact

    Last updated:  Wednesday 16 August 2023

Need help?

If you still have questions relating to ongoing support for cultural or religious observance, please contact Stop 1.