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Special consideration and arrangements

While you are studying there may be circumstances or essential commitments that impact your academic performance. Our special consideration and special arrangements process is there to support you in these situations.

Overview and eligibility

COVID-19 update: eligibility and supporting documents

As a result of COVID-19, there may be circumstances out of your control that impact on your ability to complete an assessment task. This may include self-isolation, travel bans, carer responsibilities, work commitments, attendance requirements or IT issues impacting online study. 

Check our Coronavirus advice page for information on applying for special consideration and documents required in these situations. Be aware as an an alternative to a medical certificate or other medical documents, you can submit a student declaration, with any available supporting evidence, that describes the misadventure, illness or injury that you suffered and for how long. 

If you have an exam scheduled between 10pm and 7am in the timezone you're living in, you may be eligible for a special arrangement

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure, which affect your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration.

If you have essential commitments that will impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, it may be possible for you to make special arrangements to fulfil your responsibilities.

There are three things you have to do to apply for special consideration and arrangements:

Long-term or ongoing circumstances

If you are affected by long-term circumstances, such as a recurring medical condition, we encourage you to register with Disability Services. We can also support you through a wide range of services and refer you to external support organisations.


Before you apply, check whether you are eligible and, if so, the form of consideration that may be granted to you. The outcome of your application depends on how the University assesses the degree of impact on your studies and the duration of time that you have been affected.

Special consideration: short-term illness, injury or misadventure

If you (or someone you have carer’s responsibility for) have experienced a short-term illness, injury or misadventure that has significantly impacted your performance in an assessment or exam, you may be eligible for special consideration. Examples may include:

  • acute illness or injury such as surgery or hospital admission, or illnesses requiring treatment from a health practitioner
  • the death of a family member or close friend
  • a natural disaster or car accident.

Your eligibility depends on whether the circumstances were out of your control and you can provide all the necessary supporting documents.

Circumstances where you will not be eligible for special consideration

Special consideration is not granted for circumstances that are considered reasonably in your control, such as:

  • public transport delays
  • personal events such as birthdays
  • minor ailments or illness where you are still capable of completing assessments
  • travel plans
  • balancing workloads from other units of study, disciplines or faculties
  • information and communications technology problems – except where they could not have been prevented, avoided or the effects minimised by reasonable diligence on your part.

In some cases, you can talk to your faculty and discuss the option of a simple extension.

Exam clashes

The special consideration process should not be used if you are unable to sit an exam due to a clash. Find out what to do if you have an exam clash.

Special arrangements: essential commitments

There are certain circumstances where special arrangements will be made available to you if an essential commitment affects your ability to complete an assessment. Examples may include:

  • essential religious commitments or beliefs (including cultural and ceremonial commitments)
  • a compulsory legal requirement (jury duty, court summons)
  • a sporting commitment representing the University, state or nation
  • military service
  • birth or adoption.

COVID-19: assessments scheduled in different time zones

When the University schedules its learning, teaching and assessment activities, it does so in local time which is Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST). Due to COVID-19, you may be living in a different time zone and be required to complete an assessment in AEST local time. This may mean you will undertake assessments at unusual times, such as very early in the morning or late at night.

Where feasible, if you're in this situation we ask you to undertake learning and assessments in the assigned AEST local time. If this is not possible, you may be eligible for a special arrangement. To be eligible, you need to be living in a different time zone to AEST, have a final exam or assessment scheduled between 10pm and 7am in the time zone you’re living in and apply before 11:59pm, 1 June. 

To apply, you need to include a student declaration and clearly state the time zone that you are currently residing in and the start time of your exam. Apply for a special arrangement.

Student Centre

Limited service

As a precaution, we’re currently closed for in-person enquiries.

Read our latest COVID‑19 advice


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

Opening hours: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.


Last updated: 27 May 2020

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