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 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.

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.

To apply simply:

  1. Log-in to SOLS
  2. Select 'Academic Consideration' from the left hand menu
  3. Complete the application (ensure you provide a detailed overview of how the circumstances is/has affected your ability to study); then 
  4. Finalise your application* and upload your supporting documentation via the Academic Consideration Portal. Learn more about providing supporting documentation

*Note: If you are a UOW College student, please finalise your application by contacting the College reception on (02) 4252 8804, or via email  If you are a student of a regional, satellite or off-shore campus, please contact your local campus for instructions.

All applications for Academic Consideration must be supported by documentary evidence (refer to Section 9 of the Student Academic Consideration Policy). Applications without suitable documentary evidence will not be verified by front-line staff or forwarded to the relevant Subject Coordinator for consideration, even where the circumstance is eligible.

The kind of documentary evidence required depends on whether you are applying for academic consideration on medical grounds or non-medical grounds.

Medical grounds

To be considered for medical grounds, a student must provide a medical certificate, or official letter from a registered medical practitioner or registered psychologist, which includes the following information:

  • the name of the student-which matches the name on their UOW record
  • the date the certificate was written and signed by the registered medical practitioner
  • the start and end date for which the student’s medical circumstances are covered by the document (and must match the student’s request), and
  • any additional information which may assist the student in obtaining academic consideration

Statutory declarations will NOT be accepted as evidence for medical grounds.

Non-medical grounds

To be considered for Academic Consideration for non-medical grounds, a student must provide at least one of the following supporting documents:

  • a death certificate and/or death notice (where the circumstances are related to bereavement)
  • a police report or event number, where the student has been a victim of crime
  • a letter from an employer on an official company letterhead, where the circumstances are employment-related
  • a jury notice letter from a relevant authority, where the circumstances are related to jury duty
  • a letter from the armed forces on official letterhead, where the circumstances are related to military duty
  • a UOW subject outline or exam timetable, where assessable tasks are scheduled at the same time
  • a selection confirmation on the letterhead of the state, national or international sporting body, where the circumstances relate to sporting commitments
  • a letter from a minister of religion (or the like) on an official letterhead, where the circumstances relate to religious obligations
  • a letter from an official cultural authority on an official letterhead, where the circumstances relate to cultural obligations; or
  • where the nature of the circumstances and how it affected the student are not obvious in the supporting evidence, a NSW statutory declaration may be included to establish further details.

Note: For statutory documents in NSW, under the NSW jurisdiction and legislation, statutory declarations must be authorised by appropriate witnesses, which are:

  1. Justice of the Peace (JP)
  2. A Notary Public
  3. A commissioner of the court for taking affidavits
  4. A solicitor (with a current practising certificate issued under Part 2.4 Division 3 of the Legal Profession Act 2004); or
  5. Other person by law authorised to administer an oath.

UOW College students must submit their supporting documentary evidence to the College Reception in Building 30.

Application response times

Students are generlly 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, or
  • Whether the student’s circumstances are sufficiently supported by documentary evidence.

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. 

What is Academic Consideration

This short video provides students with an overview of Academic Consideration and its eligibility criteria.