Skip to main content

Academic progression

  1. Academic progression
  2. Preparing your show cause submission
  3. Academic progression support

Preparing your show cause submission


Your student representative organisation can provide advice and support when preparing a show cause submission.

If you are an undergraduate student, contact the SRC’s Caseworker Help service.

If you are a postgraduate student, contact SUPRA’s Postgraduate Advocacy Service.

Your show cause notification will include information on what you need to provide in your letter, how to submit it through Sydney Student and the deadline for when you need to make your submission. The main purpose of your show cause letter is to:

  • provide evidence demonstrating that your academic progress has been impacted by circumstances beyond your control  
  • show you have developed a plan for how  you will improve your academic progress, including the steps you will take to address any circumstances that have negatively impacted your study performance.


Explain the circumstances that have negatively affected your study performance

  • Describe the circumstances that have impacted you and how they were out of your control.
  • Describe how the circumstances affected your studies.
  • Explain how these impacts were out of your control.

Demonstrate that you will be able to meet progression requirements

  • Describe what steps you’ve taken to resolve these issues so that your performance can improve next semester.
  • What will you do in the future to address the circumstances affecting you.
  • Explain your plans for your unit enrolments for your next semester and any changes you’re making to help you meet your requirements, such as reducing your study load.
  • Think about the services available that may help you achieve this.

Provide supporting documents

You may want to submit documents with your show good cause letter to show how your circumstances have impacted on your academic progression.

These might include:

Receiving an outcome

Formal decisions on show cause are often not made until after the start of the next semester, due to the tight timelines surrounding results and holidays. It is important to keep checking your student email account for your show cause decision and any actions you may need to take.

If the Associate Dean decides you have shown good cause they will:

  • allow you to re-enrol without restrictions.

If they decide you have not shown good cause, then they have two options. They can:

  • allow you to re-enrol with conditions (for example passing a unit of study or limiting the number of credit points you can enrol in within a set time period)
  • exclude you from your award course for two years.

If you are allowed to re-enrol, and you do not meet the academic progression requirements in the next semester, you may be asked to show good cause again.

What exclusion means

Unfortunately, if we do not accept the reasons and plan put forward at the show cause stage, then you will be excluded from re-enrolling in your course. We will email you to notify you of this decision.

To be excluded means that you will not be permitted to re-enrol in your course or any other course at the University for at least four consecutive semesters (two calendar years).

If you are in international student this is likely to affect your student visa status, and we are obliged to inform the appropriate government department about any exclusion. For any questions about your visa requirements you can contact the international compliance team at

Appealing the decision

If you’re excluded from your course or don't believe the conditions imposed on your re-enrolment are reasonable, you can submit an appeal to your faculty.

The email you receive with your decision will include information on how to appeal. Read more about our Academic appeals process.

If you’re appealing against an exclusion decision, you should continue to attend any classes you’re enrolled in while your appeal decision is pending. Even if we make the decision to exclude, we do not immediately cancel your enrolment because of your right to appeal.

Applying for readmission after being excluded

After two years, you can apply to return to the same award course, as long as it is still offered by the University. Readmission is not automatic and is at the discretion of the Associate Dean of the faculty or school.

In your application you will need to show that during your period of exclusion you have taken steps to support your future academic progression. This could include steps you have taken to strengthen your skills, such as studying or work experience, or steps you’ve taken to address any personal circumstances that previously prevented you from meeting progression requirements.

If you're in one of the following faculties/schools you can fill out the Student application for re-admission after exclusion:

  • Faculty of Medicine and Health
  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Science
  • University of Sydney Business School
  • Faculty of Engineering

If you're in another faculty or school you will need to contact an academic progression advisor.

Student Centre



1800 SYD UNI (1800 793 864)
or +61 2 8627 1444 (outside Australia)

Find out more about how we can help

Last updated: 27 October 2023

Website feedback

Tell us if you’ve spotted a typo or something else wrong with this page.

Thank you

Your feedback has been sent.

Sorry there was a problem sending your feedback. Please try again

You should only use this form to send feedback about the content on this webpage – we will not respond to other enquiries made through this form. If you have an enquiry or need help with something else such as your enrolment, course etc you can contact the Student Centre.