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Staying on Track

Stage 3

If you don’t meet your academic progression requirements for a third time, or for a second time if you're in an award course of two years or less, or if your faculty’s dean has decided it’s necessary, you will be placed on Stage 3 of the academic progression register.

You will need to write to your faculty to show good cause (show cause) why you should be allowed to continue in your award course. Find out how to contact a progression advisor in your faculty or school.

You may also be asked to show cause if, for a second time, you’ve failed a compulsory unit of study, fieldwork, clinical work, practicum or other professional experience.

During the show cause process, you can continue going to class.

Show good cause

In your show good cause submission, you will need to provide evidence that you couldn’t meet your progression requirements because of circumstances outside your reasonable control, for example serious ill health or misadventure. It doesn’t include circumstances not related to the University, such as work demands.

If you need advice or help writing your show good cause letter, you can contact the Students' Representative Council (SRC) (undergraduate students) or the Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association (SUPRA) (postgraduate students).

What to include

Your show good cause letter will vary depending on your circumstances, but make sure you include a description of:

  • the circumstances that have impacted on your academic progression and how they were out of your reasonable control
  • how the circumstances have affected your studies
  • how you are resolving, or have resolved, these circumstances so they won’t affect you next semester.

If you have had to show good cause in the past, your letter will also need to include:

  • a description of any issues from previous show cause letters that are still affecting your studies
  • reasons why strategies to address these issues haven’t been effective.

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 could include:

How to submit

Your Stage 3 notification will give you a deadline to submit your show cause letter.

Upload your letter and documents in Sydney Student (go to ‘My studies’, then ‘Assessments’).


Your faculty will inform you of the outcome of your show good cause letter once it has been reviewed.

The faculty will either:

  • allow you to re-enrol
  • allow you to re-enrol with conditions (for example passing a unit of study within a set period of time)
  • exclude you from your award course for two years.

If you are allowed to re-enrol, with or without restrictions, and you do not meet the academic progression requirements in the next semester, you may be asked to show good cause again.


If you’re excluded from your course or do not agree with the conditions of your re-enrolment, you can appeal the decision.

Find out how to submit a faculty-level appeal.

If you’re appealing against an exclusion decision, you should continue to attend any classes you’re enrolled in pending the appeal decision.

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Last updated: 22 March 2021

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