Special consideration for ongoing support

If your studies are affected by ongoing circumstances such as a disability, mental health condition or commitment, you may be eligible for support.

Assistance from the University is available when an ongoing circumstance or an official commitment affects your ability to perform your academic duties and the expected duration is longer than six weeks.

If your circumstances are expected to impact your studies for less than six weeks, you must apply for special consideration due to unexpected circumstances.

Advice for students affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)

We acknowledge that studying remotely and the impacts of COVID-19 may significantly affect your health, wellbeing and academic progress. Students who wish to apply for special consideration to seek an adjustment may do so accordingly. It is important to note that the transition to a virtual campus will not be considered as grounds for special consideration in most instances. All applications will be assessed individually, based on the documentation and evidence provided. Options for supporting documentation have also been updated to provide more flexibility for students. Find out more.


Eligible circumstances Eligibility criteria Required supporting documentation More information
Disability Students with disability, as defined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. Health Professional Report form (PDF 402.9 KB), medical certificate or supporting letter on official letterhead from a treating health practitioner. Disability services
Chronic medical or mental health condition Students with an ongoing medical or mental health condition which will impact their studies for six weeks or more. Health Professional Report form (PDF 402.9 KB), medical certificate or supporting letter on official letterhead from a treating health practitioner. Medical and mental health support
Carers Students who have ongoing carer responsibilities, as defined in the Carers Recognition Act 2012 (Vic). Documentation to verify that you have significant carer responsibilities, such as an official Centrelink document or a letter from a GP. Support for carers
Elite athletes or performers Elite athletes or performers associated with approved organisations.
  • A completed Elite Athlete Recognition form
  • A signed letter from your performance organisation outlining your professional obligations as an elite performer.
Support for elite athletes or performers
Defence reservists or emergency volunteers
  • Members of the Australian Defence Reserve Service
  • Volunteers for the Victorian State Emergency Service, the Country Fire Authority or similar.
A signed letter on official letterhead of your organisation outlining your duties and obligations. Support for defence reservists or emergency volunteers
Cultural or religious observance Students who participate in ongoing religious or cultural observance whose participation may impact their studies. 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. Support for religious or cultural observance

How to register

  • Step 1: Understand eligibility and documentation requirements

    Review the eligibility and documentation information above. Please note that because every situation is unique, eligibility for ongoing support is determined on a case-by-case basis.

  • Step 2: Know the deadlines

    We encourage you to lodge an online registration application at the start of your course, or as soon as your circumstances become known, to ensure you receive support as soon as possible.

    While you are welcome to register at any time during your studies, there are deadlines for when you need to submit alternative exam arrangements (AEA) requests for each exam period.

    Exam period
    (For dates, see exam dates and timetable)
    Deadline to submit AEA requests
    Semester 1 exams Monday 27 April 2020
    Semester 1 supplementary exams Monday 6 July 2020
    Semester 2 exams Monday 21 September 2020
    Semester 2 supplementary exams Monday 30 November 2020
  • Step 3: Register online

    Fill out the online registration form and submit your application with supporting documentation. To ensure your registration is processed smoothly, please include as much information as possible.

    Register now


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.

Any person who contacts the University can expect that their personal or health information will be treated in accordance with the University of Melbourne’s Privacy Policy (MPF1104). You can access your personal information, subject to any relevant laws, by contacting us.


Once you have submitted your application to register, you’ll receive a submission acknowledgement email to let you know your registration is in progress. You will later be advised by email of the outcome of your registration.

Possible outcomes include:

  • Registration approved by the faculty
  • Registration to be negotiated with the faculty
  • Registration not approved by the faculty
  • Referrals to student services which can support your needs.

If your registration is approved, you will receive an email with a link to book an appointment with a Student Equity and Disability adviser to create your academic adjustment plan. Appointments can be by phone, in-person or virtual. Your registration will only be finalised after your appointment has been completed.

If your registration is not approved, you will receive an email with details about the outcome.

Your academic adjustment plan

Your academic adjustment plan is an official document that:

  • Details the impact of your circumstances
  • Outlines reasonable study adjustments to assist with your studies
  • Supports you when negotiating your study adjustments with academic staff.

Appropriate adjustments for your study and assessments will be determined during your appointment with a Student Equity and Disability adviser. These adjustments will then be documented in your final academic adjustment plan.

Your academic adjustment plan is a confidential document. Academic staff can view a list identifying students who have an academic adjustment plan, but they cannot view the content of your plan unless you show it to them.

Requesting a specific study adjustment

Study adjustments are not automatic or granted to you on request. All adjustments must be discussed with and approved by a Student Equity and Disability adviser and the relevant faculty.

In assessing whether an adjustment is reasonable, the University considers:

  • Your circumstances
  • The benefit of the adjustment on your ability to achieve learning outcomes and participate in your course or program
  • The impact of the adjustment on the University, including staff and other students.

Retrospective adjustments

Your academic adjustment plan cannot be retrospectively applied to previous assessment tasks or attendance requirements.

If any previous tasks have been affected by your circumstances, or may be impacted upon prior to your appointment with a Student Equity and Disability adviser, you will need to apply for special consideration due to unexpected circumstances.

Re-registering for support

The length of time that you are eligible for an adjustment will depend on your circumstances, and you may need to re-register for support as required.

For example, if you are a performer with commitments that are short-term or sporadic, your registration will last for the relevant period only. However, if you are a person with a vision impairment, your registration will be sustained throughout your studies.

You may also need to apply for short-term support through special consideration due to unexpected circumstances in situations where your academic adjustment plan does not already provide support. For example, if your plan only allows you to use assistive technology, but you fall ill and miss an exam, you would need to apply for special consideration due to unexpected circumstances within four working days of the exam date.

More information