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Special consideration and arrangements

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


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 11pm and 7am in the timezone you're living in, you may be eligible for a special arrangement.

If exceptional circumstances such as illness, injury or misadventure significantly affect your short-term academic performance in an assessment task, you may be eligible for special consideration. Exceptional circumstances are defined as circumstances that are beyond your control and unavoidable.

If you meet the eligibility requirements and your application is approved, you will be granted special consideration. This means we’ll apply a form of adjustment to support you and make sure you receive fair and equal academic treatment. This could be in the form of a replacement or alternative assessment, or an extended deadline.

If you have essential commitments that will impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for a special arrangement to fulfil your responsibilities. Special arrangements are intended to support the University’s commitment to flexible learning.

It is not guaranteed that your application will be approved. Even if you’re eligible, special arrangements are not always possible, particularly when clinical placements and practicums are involved. This means where possible you should always sit your original exam or continue to work on your assessment to avoid a possible fail grade.

Steps to take

There are three key steps to applying for special consideration or special 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. By registering you will gain access to the adjustments and services to support you to succeed in your studies.

Alternatively, if you experience an exacerbation of your condition and feel your circumstances would affect your performance for the majority of the semester, you may wish to consider Discontinuing a unit of study.

Consider a simple extension

If you are seeking an extension of up to two working days for non-examination tasks, as outlined in the Coursework Policy 2014 (pdf, 584KB), you may be able to arrange a simple extension with your unity of study coordinator.

Special permission

If you don’t meet the standard requirements for a unit of study, you will need to apply for special permission in Sydney Student. Do not apply for special consideration.


Any personal or sensitive information submitted as part of your special consideration application will be managed carefully by the University as per our Privacy Policy 2017 (pdf, 219KB)

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 and have a final exam or assessment scheduled to start between 11.00 pm and 6.59 am in the time zone you’re living in.

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.

Find out more about our service


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

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


Last updated: 15 September 2020

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