Academic consideration

What is student academic consideration?

Academic Consideration is intended to help minimise the impact of compassionate, compelling or extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control, which significantly impair a student’s ability to complete an assessment task on or by the due date as stipulated in the Subject Outline; or which affects Academic Progress in a subject relevant to their course of study. Academic consideration may be granted on the basis of compassionate, compelling circumstances and/or extenuating circumstances.

The Student Academic Consideration Policy enables students to request consideration for the evaluation of assessable components of a subject in a fair, reasonable and consistent manner.

Student responsibilities

Students are responsible for making reasonable efforts to minimise the impacts of circumstances affecting their academic performance.  In all instances, students should liaise with their Subject Coordinator in the first instance when they become aware of an impact on their studies. 

Academic consideration is considered for compassionate and compelling circumstances which:

  1. Significantly impact a student's ability to meet the requirements of a subject teaching/learning and/or assessment task (as defined in the relevant subject outline); and
  2. Are beyond the student's control, i.e. not due to their action or inaction'.

Prior to submitting an application, students should familiarise themselves with the eligibility criteria outlined below.


COVID-19 update

Students can apply for academic consideration for COVID-19 related impacts in 2022. This includes (but is not limited to) impacts due to:

  • COVID-19 related illness;
  • lockdown restrictions;
  • self-isolation / quarantine requirements;
  • attending vaccination appointments; or
  • other immediate impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Where students are experiencing ongoing impacts due to COVID-19, please contact UOW’s Student Accessibility and Inclusion (SAI) team for ongoing support and to apply for an Access Plan.

Eligible and non-eligible circumstances when applying for academic consideration

Eligible circumstancesNon-eligible circumstances

Circumstances considered to be compassionate or compelling for all students may include, but are not limited to:

  • medical illness or injury to a student or a student’s immediate family member that requires hospitalisation and/or impairs a student’s ability to engage with their studies. This includes physical injury or serious illness, and episodes of mental illness or cognitive function impairment
  • the death of an immediate family member, close friend, partner or classmate
  • an adverse experience that has impacted on the student’s physical or mental wellbeing, including but not limited to witnessing a serious accident, or being the victim of a serious crime
  • instances where the student is unable, through no fault of their own, to participate in the learning experience, and for which no additional learning opportunity can be provided to make-up for the loss of learning;or 
  • instances where the student is unexpectedly required to care for a close family member, partner or close friend.

Compassionate or compelling circumstances that may be applied only to international students (only) include, but are not limited to:

  • major political upheaval or natural disaster in a student’s home country that has impacted on the students family, and that requires immediate emergency travel or consular support;
  • inability to begin a course of study on the agreed start date due to a delay in the student receiving an international student visa;
  • circumstances where the students Electronic Confirmation Of Enrolment (ECOE) or Student Visa (for students studying at offshore locations) may need to be extended due to the student’s failure to pass one or more subjects, but where these failures have not resulted in the student requiring an intervention strategy, as outlined in the Course Progress Policy; or
  • changes to family circumstances in the student’s home country that have negatively impacted on a student’s ability to pay tuition fees or reasonable personal living expenses.

Consideration will not be considered for common occurrences which interfere with daily life. Non-eligible occurrences include, but are not limited to:

  • circumstances, whether personal, professional or relating to the students studies, within the student’s control, or which can reasonably be expected to occur in the normal course of the student’s study, work, family or social life

  • instances where the student’s personal travel have made them unable to attend classes or submit assessment tasks as required by the subject outline

  • a failure by the student to understand, or seek clarification on their obligations in relation to University policy, legislation, or obligations reasonably expected of a student of the University

  • for courses with a professional or work placement component, inability to obtain release from the student’s regular paid employment to undertake or complete the placement

  • for international students, instances where the students failure to enrol in the number of subjects required by the terms of their study visa without prior academic approval has resulted in their inability to complete their course within the time provided in the ECOE; or

  • for international students, inability to pay tuition fees or living costs based on changes to their employment status while working in the country in which the course is being delivered. Students on an international student visa must not rely on the proceeds of paid employment to support their studies or living costs.

Step 1

  • Log-in to SOLS
  • Select 'Academic Consideration' from the left hand menu
  • Complete the application (ensure you provide a detailed overview of how the circumstances is/has affected your ability to study)

Note: No further action is required by Wollongong Campus students.

Step 2

Due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, UOW has waived the requirement to provide supporting documentation as part of an application for Academic Consideration for the remainder of 2022.

Once you have submitted your academic consideration application, frontline staff will then review and verify the application. If verified, your application will be sent to your relevant Subject Coordinator for consideration.

Application response times

Students are generally notified of the outcome via SOLSMail within five (5) working days of receiving an email notification confirming lodgement of the application.


The outcome of an application is determined by the students Subject Coordinator, Head of Students, Associate Dean, Faculty Assessment Committee, or Faculty Assessment Committee.  In deciding whether or not to grant a request for Academic Consideration, and in deciding what form of Academic Consideration (if any) may be appropriate, regard is given to:

  • Whether the Academic Consideration sought would compromise the learning outcomes of the subject
  • Whether the circumstance significantly impacts the student’s ability to meet the requirements of a subject’s teaching/learning and/or assessment tasks as defined in the Subject Outline
  • Whether the circumstances were beyond the student’s control, not due to their action or inaction, and could not have been reasonably foreseen or avoided
  • Whether the student complied with time-frames for submission of their application and documentary evidence, or had extenuating circumstances for not doing so
  • The student’s academic progress so far in the session
  • Whether the student’s circumstances are sufficiently supported by documentary evidence (not applicable during Trimester 1, 2 and Autumn Session 2022)

IMPORTANT: Students who make three or more applications for student academic consideration (within a six month period) will be requested to contact the Head of Students of the Faculty for academic advice.

Students who are unsure whether a particular circumstance is considered 'eligible' are encouraged to:

  1. Familiarise themselves with the Student Academic Consideration Policy; or  
  2. Contact the Student Service team in Student Central (or your local campus) for assistance with eligibility and the application process. 

If you have questions about your studies, require academic support or information about other support services provided by UOW, please contact your Student Support Advisor.  Student Support Advisers are available to assist students who are studying at all UOW Campuses and in all UOW Faculties.