We know that life isn’t perfect, and that there may be a time when you can’t hand an assignment in on time, or make it to an exam. If you find yourself in a situation like this, you may be eligible for academic consideration.
Academic consideration is designed to help you out when you’re sick or injured, or have run into a serious, unplanned situation that has affected your ability to study.
Don’t forget about the support services available on campus; see the Services Supporting Students site to find your Student Support Advisor, and the details on counselling and disability support.
All of the detail is in the Student Academic Consideration Policy, which we recommend you read before submitting your application, but we’ll provide a summary of the most important things you need to know here.
You can make an application on medical grounds, compassionate grounds, or in extenuating circumstances.
Here are some examples of eligible circumstances:
- The day before you’re due to deliver a final presentation, you lose your voice. You visit your doctor and are diagnosed with Laryngitis. You’re unwell and unable to deliver the presentation, so submit an application to undertake a supplementary assessment task, supported by a medical certificate from your doctor.
- The day before an assignment is due, someone breaks into your flat and steals your laptop. You report the break-in to the police. The work you’ve done on your assignment was saved on your laptop, so you apply for an extension, supported by the police incident report and a statutory declaration.
Not all circumstances qualify for academic consideration. Ineligible circumstances include:
- Non-serious circumstances. This includes things like missing a bus, difficulty finding a park etc. If you are impacted by a non-serious circumstance you may wish to speak to your subject coordinator about alternative arrangements if required.
- Preventable circumstances. For example you’ve booked an overseas holiday that conflicts with an end of session exam. Your application for academic consideration may be declined as better planning could have prevented the clash.
- Exams or assessment tasks already completed (including sitting a final exam where you leave before the end time). You cannot apply for academic consideration for an assessment task or exam once you've already completed it. If you feel you have serious circumstances which should be considered, you can use the Academic Complaints process.
Applications in SOLS are due on or before the due date of the assessment task or exam.
If you find that you can’t submit the application on time, you may be able to submit it up to three days after the due date. However your supporting documentation should address why you were unable to submit on time.
In exceptional circumstances, the above timing requirements may be exempted by the Subject Coordinator. Late applications will be denied unless an exemption is granted. Examples of exceptional circumstances justifying an exemption may include, but are not limited to, an accidental injury or sudden illness requiring the student’s immediate hospitalisation, or a student being homebound without access to a computer.
Supporting documentation must be submitted within 3 working days of the SOLS application.
Please Note: If you have already sat or attempted an exam or handed in an assessment task, you cannot apply for academic consideration for that exam/assessment task. If you believe you have extenuating circumstances which warrant consideration, please refer to the Academic Complaints process to make your request.
The first step in applying for academic consideration is to create your application in SOLS.
Log in to SOLS and select 'Academic Consideration' from the left hand menu.
For step by step instructions, check out the SOLS Menu Explained - Academic Consideration Instructions.
For your application to be approved, you’ll need to provide evidence to support your application (the types of evidence which can be used are shown below under the 'Types of Evidence' Heading).
Scan and upload your document here, attend in person, or post the documentation in.
Staff will verify that your documentation is real, and then return it to you (if you have submitted a hard copy). You will need to keep the original for 12 months, in case you are asked to reproduce it.
Providing false documentation like a fake medical certificate to support your academic consideration claim is really serious. Student Central regularly checks the validity of the documents and if you’re caught with false evidence it will be treated as high-level misconduct and you’re likely to automatically fail the subject. Having this kind of misconduct on your permanent academic record could jeopardise professional registration in your chosen field.
Ask yourself; do you want all of your hard work wasted?
PLEASE NOTE: If you are currently suffering from a contagious illness (eg. Cold and flu, gastro), we strongly encourage you to submit your supporting documentation by:
- Uploading your documents online
- Post - Student Central Bld 17, UOW, Northfields Ave, NSW 2522 (or directly to your local campus of study)
- Have a friend or relative bring the document to Student Central or your local campus
- For Wollongong Campus students, drop the document into a Student Central drop box (located next to the ticket machine or outside across from STA Travel)
There are several types of official documents that you can submit to support your application. In order for the evidence to be valid, it should be from an authority who is qualified to comment on your circumstances. For example, a doctor can verify that you are sick (medical certificate), but your employer cannot (letter from employer).
Official supporting documentation which can be accepted include:
- A medical certificate on official letterhead, that includes your name, the date the certificate was written, and a start and end date of when you require consideration. The certificate should be from a registered health professional and include their provider number and contact details.
- Registered Psychologist Letter on official letterhead, that includes your name, the date the letter was written, and s start and end date of when you require consideration. The letter should include the psychologist's registration number and contact details.
- A death certificate or death notice – you’ll also need a statutory declaration if your relationship to the deceased person isn’t obvious.
- A police report or event number, and a statutory declaration describing how the event impacted on your studies.
- A letter from a minister of religion, on a relevant letterhead with contact details.
- A letter from an employer, on a relevant letterhead with contact details.
- A jury notice showing the dates you’ll be required to attend court.
- A UOW Subject Outline indicating when conflicting in-session tests are scheduled.
- Selection confirmation on the letterhead of the state, national, or international sporting body with contact details.
- A letter from a cultural authority on a relevant letterhead with contact details.
If you cannot provide any of these official documents, you can complete a statutory declaration and have it witnessed by a Justice of the Peace. This becomes a legal document, meaning if you knowingly provide false information you could receive a substantial fine or even be sent to prison. It is strongly recommended that you include with your statutory declaration some form of additional evidence (for example receipts or plane tickets depending on the situation), to give your application the best chance of being approved. A statutory declaration on its own is not a very strong piece of evidence.
Statutory declarations should only be used where it is not reasonable for you to obtain an item of official evidence as listed above.
Student Central can provide JP services on set days.
Once your supporting evidence has been verified, your subject coordinator will be notified that your application is ready for them to review.
You should receive a response through SOLS within five working days. If you don’t, you’ll be copied into an email reminding your subject coordinator of your application. If a response hasn’t been received after a further two working days, your application is automatically escalated within the Faculty. Contact your Head of Students if you haven’t received a response within ten working days.
Applications for academic consideration will be assessed by your subject coordinator/s and may be declined or approved in line with the conditions set out in the Academic Consideration Policy.
If you can’t provide clear evidence, haven’t submitted your application within the deadline, have already submitted the assessment task or sat the exam, or your subject coordinator can see that you haven’t done enough to avoid the situation, your application will most likely be declined.
If you do not agree with the outcome of your application, you can appeal the decision with your Faculty. Please see the Academic Complaints Process for more detail.
If your application is approved, the type of consideration granted might be:
- an extension of time to submit an assessment task
- permission to undertake a deferred assessment task or examination. Note that this will delay your results being released. If you are in your final session and sit a supplementary exam for your final subjects, you may not be able to graduate until the next round (eg. if sitting supplementary exams in July, your graduation will be delayed until December).
- recommendation for a late withdrawal without academic penalty
- consideration in marking a particular assessment item
- consideration in determining a final mark
Unsure if you qualify for academic consideration, or don’t know what to do next?
- First, read through the Student Academic Consideration Policy. We’ve provided a summary of the Policy here, but the document itself contains more detail.
- Have a chat with someone in Student Central about your application.
- Your Student Support Advisor is also available for advice, and can help you tap into services across the University.