If your ability to undertake an assessment is affected by illness, bereavement or trauma, you may be eligible for support via special consideration.
Special consideration is guided by the Assessment and Results Policy and is assessed on a case-by-case basis for circumstances that:
- Have an expected duration of less than six weeks, and
- Adversely impact your ability to undertake, prepare for, and/or complete an assessment task (e.g. an exam or assessment).
Possible outcomes of special consideration can include an extension, resubmission of an assessment, or an alternative assessment. Please note: if you have submitted a special consideration application, you are required to meet all assessment obligations while awaiting an outcome, however, do not attempt assessment tasks, including attendance at examinations, if in doing so you would further compromise your health or the health of other people.
If your circumstance is expected to last more than six weeks, we recommend you also register for ongoing support.
If you are applying for special consideration due to major technical disruptions or failures in an online exam, visit special consideration (technical) for information on supporting documentation required and how to apply.
Every situation is unique and eligibility for special consideration is determined on a case-by-case basis related to your circumstances and the relevant supporting documents you provide.
|Circumstances that may be eligible||Circumstances which are not eligible|
Before applying for special consideration
Consider an extension.
For some subjects and circumstances, the first option is to contact your Subject Coordinator or faculty about an extension. This is a local arrangement with your faculty that does not require you to go through the formal special consideration process. See the FAQ on applying for an extension. You should also check your subject in the LMS, as you may need to apply directly to your faculty or Subject Coordinator for some assessments.
Possible study adjustments
If your application for special consideration is successful, you may be offered an assessment adjustment.
Assessment adjustments can include:
- A deferral, extension or resubmission of assessment
- An approval of alternate arrangements for assessment
- An additional assessment
- A re-weighting of the assessment, where this does not affect learning outcomes or academic standards (applies to shorter assessments only)
- An option to redo one or more assessment tasks
- Authorisation for late withdrawal from a subject. Please note:
- You will remain liable for the subject's fees unless you apply separately for fee remission in special circumstances and your application is approved.
- If you are a Commonwealth Supported student, unless there are approved special circumstances, failed and withdrawn subjects, including if granted a late withdrawal as a special consideration outcome, will count toward your:
- Student Learning Entitlement (SLE), and
- As a fail toward your completion rate (only applies if you commenced your course from 2022).
- If your studies have been impacted by special circumstances, please submit a fee remission in special circumstances application, which will enable your situation to be assessed for fee remission, SLE and completion rate purposes.
- The Eligibility for Commonwealth Supported Places and HELP loans page outlines more information on SLE and completion rate requirements, including how to advise the University if your studies were impacted by special circumstances.
Students should note the following limitations on assessment adjustments:
- Adjustment of a mark for any assessment task, or the overall subject mark will not be granted (except where a re-weighting is permitted under policy).
- Where a student is offered, accepts and undertakes an alternate assessment/examination, the mark from the alternate assessment/examination replaces the mark from the first assessment/examination, regardless of which is the higher.
How to apply
To ensure your submission is processed smoothly, remember to include as much information as possible in your application and follow the advice below.
Step 1: Gather your supporting documents
All applications for special consideration require supporting documentation to verify your circumstances, which is used to assess your application.
All documentation must clearly outline the:
- Date of your medical or health practitioner appointment or consultation
- Impact of the circumstance on your ability to prepare for, or complete, or attempt the specific assessment task
- Dates or duration of the impact on you.
Where documentation is not clear or is suspected as being altered, the University will seek to verify with the issuer. Documentation which misrepresents your past and/or present circumstances may constitute academic misconduct in accordance with 5.65 of the Student Academic Integrity Policy and under the Academic Board Regulation 42 (a).
Applications on medical or health grounds
A Health Professional Report (HPR) form (PDF 161.6 KB) is our preferred document for applications made on medical or psychological grounds. It can be completed by a range of healthcare and allied professionals (such as medical doctors and psychologists).
If you cannot provide an HPR form
The following documents can be provided:
- A medical certificate or supporting letter on official letterhead from a treating health practitioner is also acceptable but it must include the impact on your ability to prepare for and/or undertake the assessment task, including duration.
- If you are overseas and are unable to access medical services due to extenuating circumstances and are at personal physical risk, for example due to political and/or civil unrest, the special consideration student declaration (students outside Australia) (PDF 176.4 KB) can be completed and uploaded to your application. The student declaration will be used along with the additional information provided to assess your application. Eligibility is not automatic and student declarations will not be automatically accepted.
If your supporting documentation is provided by an overseas practitioner and not available in English, you'll need to provide a NAATI-accredited translated copy.
The following forms of documentation will not be accepted:
- Medical test results
- Medical certificates if you have not been seen in person or via telehealth by a Medical Practitioner
- Photos of your medication or injury
- Statutory declarations (for medical or health related grounds)
- Letters of reference or support from University or College staff (other than Health Service or Counselling and Psychological Services staff if there is an existing service provision present).
Applying due to other circumstances
You will need to provide any documents that verify your circumstances and address the impact on your assessment tasks.
Accepted forms of documentation include:
- Signed police reports or court orders
- A death certificate or death notice, along with a statutory declaration attesting to your relationship with the deceased
- Confirmation of cultural or religious observances, signed by a senior cleric or community leader on official letterhead.
- A statutory declaration (however this cannot be for applications on medical or health grounds).
For more information regarding supporting documents relating to COVID-19, please visit the COVID-19 section below.
Step 2: Know the deadlines
Applications must be submitted within four business days after the examination or assessment due date (see Assessments and Results policy, section 4.129).
If you cannot supply your supporting documentation at the time of your application, you can apply online and include a note in your application when you expect to be able to supply your documents.
We can hold your application for up to five working days while we await your supporting documentation. If you do not provide the required documentation within the given time, your application may be rejected.
If you submit a late application, you must explain why you could not submit the application by the due date and provide documentation which substantiates your explanation. The Academic Registrar, or a nominee, will determine whether the late application will be accepted based on the explanation you provide. The same documentation that would be required for a timely application must be submitted with the late application.
Applications submitted after release of results in the subject will only be considered in exceptional circumstances (e.g. hospitalisation).
For more information on late applications, please see the Assessment and Results Policy.
Step 3: Apply online
Submit an online application form with supporting documentation:
While you are awaiting an outcome of special consideration
If you have an exam or test, you must sit your examination or test if you have a medical condition that does not prevent you from doing so. However, you should not attempt assessment tasks, including attendance at examinations, if in doing so you would further compromise your health or the health of other people. You may still be eligible for special consideration after the examination or test is completed.
Advice for students affected by COVID-19
Special consideration will only be granted if you have tested positive for COVID-19. Please follow the steps outlined (above/on this page) to apply for special consideration if COVID-19 has impacted your study or ability to complete assessments.
On campus activities
Please do not come to campus or attend in-person assessments if you have tested positive for COVID-19. For more guidance about what to do if COVID-19 has impacted your studies or assessments, including applying for special consideration, please see our FAQs.
Follow COVIDSafe guidelines on campus
Please do not come to campus if you have any COVID-19 related symptoms, however mild, unless you have a medical diagnosis that your symptoms are not infectious.
If you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 you are encouraged to notify your supervisor or subject coordinator to explore studying from home, if you can, for 7 days.
Ask your subject coordinator about the availability of online materials, such as lecture recordings, and if attendance/participation requirements can be temporarily waived or other arrangements can be made while you are away. If you have COVID-19 and your absence impacts your studies or assessments, please request an extension of up to 10 days from your faculty or apply for special consideration.
For more information, please see our guidance for taking care on campus.
You should check your student email account regularly for the outcome of your special consideration application.
Most applicants will be advised of their outcome within five business days of the date the application and supporting documentation is received.
For applications which relate to the final assessment, the outcome will be received on or within five business days of the release of final subject results.
You will be given an application number in the acknowledgement email when you submit your application. If you haven't received an outcome by the time your subject results have been finalised, please contact Stop 1.
Seeking a review
If your special consideration application has been deemed ‘ineligible’ for consideration, you may seek a review of that decision, if:
- The decision was made without appropriate consideration of facts or circumstances, or you can provide additional evidence.
- There was failure to adhere to appropriate or relevant published policies and procedures.
- You experienced unfair treatment, prejudice or bias.
How to seek a review
- Log into the special consideration application portal.
- Click 'View' to access your special consideration application, and select 'Review' to request a review of the outcome.
- Submit the special consideration outcome review request within five business days of receiving your outcome notification.
- Specify your grounds for seeking a review.
- Attach and upload supporting evidence (if applicable).
To find the 'Review' button, please ensure your screen is not enlarged and only request a review once. The 'Review' button will disappear after your first request.
I've submitted a request for a review. What happens next?
You will be contacted via your student email (within five business days) with one of the following outcomes:
- Successful review (original 'ineligible' decision overturned): your application for review was successful, your application is now eligible for consideration and an appropriate outcome will be decided by your Faculty.
- Unsuccessful review (original decision upheld): your application for review was not successful and the original special consideration decision of ‘ineligible’ is unchanged. Should you have grounds for submitting a complaint or raising a grievance in relation to this decision, you may do so in accordance with the Student Complaints and Grievances Policy.
The University of Melbourne respects the privacy of your personal information. Information you provide as part of a special consideration application is strictly confidential and subject to the protections of relevant privacy laws.
Need help with special consideration?
Submit an online enquiry to Stop 1 and we'll get back to you within 10 business days.