During your university education, you may experience a major event in your life that prevents you from completing your course assessment or sitting your exams. These significant events, such as illness, the death of a family member, or a serious accident are called ‘misadventures’.

If you experience a 'misadventure'  that has nothing to do with your disability but affects your studies or exams, you may be eligible to apply for Special Consideration.

Any student may apply to have their circumstances taken into account under UNSW’s Special Consideration policy. Each case is individually reviewed and assessed, and if your application is successful, you may be given some flexibility to meet your course requirements e.g. you may be allowed to sit your exams at a later date.

How to apply for Special Consideration

You must submit a form for Special Consideration and provide documentation that outlines your situation and supports your application. There is a time limit on when applications will be accepted after the illness or misadventure occurs (usually within three days), so it is important to submit your application as soon as possible.

If you would like additional support in submitting your Special Consideration application, contact a Student Support Advisor. (They can also help with study planning, goal setting, and time management.)

What is Special Consideration?

Special Consideration is a process available for students in cases of sickness, misadventure or other circumstances beyond your control which may:

  • prevent you from completing a course requirement
  • keep you from attending an assessable activity
  • stop you submitting assessable work for a course
  • significantly affect your performance in assessable work, be it a formal end-of-term examination, a class test, a laboratory test, a seminar presentation or any other form of assessment.

If your application for Special Consideration is not related to your disability, then you should apply via myUNSW.

What should I do when my Special Consideration application is related to the impact of a disability or medical condition?

Students registered with Equitable Learning Services may experience circumstances related to their disability which are potentially eligible for Special Consideration, such as:

  • an exacerbation of your disability
  • unexpected treatment or hospitalisation
  • increased caring demands for a person with a disability.

If you require Special Consideration related to your disability or ongoing medical condition:

  1. Your treating clinician should complete the Equitable Learning Services Special Consideration Form or similar supporting medical documentation. (Supporting medical documentation should provide evidence of your circumstances which outlines what occurred and when, the impact on your ability to study, and the duration of the impact.)
  2. You can apply through the Special Consideration portal. For information, see the special consideration page.

However, if you are concerned about disclosing personal medical information when applying for Special Consideration, Equitable Learning Services may be able to provide you with a generic supporting letter in lieu of the medical documentation stating relevant information to upload with your application. 

  1. To receive a cover letter from Equitable Learning Services for Special Consideration, you must provide to your Equitable Learning Advisor a professional authority form or similar supporting medical documentation completed by your treating clinician. (Supporting medical documentation should provide evidence of your circumstances outlining what occurred and when, the impact on your ability to study, and the duration of the impact.) 
  2. Your Equitable Learning Advisor will provide you with a letter containing key information such as the dates your ability to study was impacted. It will not contain any personal medical information.
  3. You then need to apply for Special Consideration via myUNSW and must upload the letter provided to you by your Equitable Learning Advisor as your supporting documentation with your application.

See also

Further extension request

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