Applying for special consideration

At Swinburne, we offer special consideration and assistance to help you continue your progress should unfortunate circumstance occur. It exists to enable you to maintain academic progress in the event of extremely difficult circumstances.  

However, ‘special’ really does mean special — it’s only given where genuine need is proven (e.g. having a vacation scheduled is not grounds for special consideration).

All applications for special consideration must be submitted using the appropriate online form by no later than 5.00pm of the third working day after the originally scheduled due date or exam date. 

Am I eligible for special consideration?

Refer to the below table for examples of the specific circumstances that are eligible for special consideration adjustments and extensions. You can also view the type of adjustment arrangement you can apply for based on your individual circumstances and the application outcomes you can expect if your application is approved.

If you have: Type of adjustment arrangement you can apply for:
A disability or long-term medical or mental health condition Equitable assessment arrangements (EAA)
Primary carer responsibility for a family member with a disability or long-term medical or mental health condition Equitable assessment arrangements (EAA)
An unavoidable cultural or religious commitment that falls on the day of a scheduled exam Alternate assessment arrangement (AAA)
National or specialist commitments such as elite national-level sports or the defence reserves Alternate assessment arrangement (AAA)
An illness or other unavoidable exceptional circumstance that affects your preparation for an in-semester assessment task Extension of time for submission of assessable work (for applications made in advance for an extension of up to 7 days)
Unexpected short-term physical or mental ill-health, such as:
  • sudden and serious illness (e.g. glandular fever, severe asthma or severe migraine)
  • broken dominant hand
  • mental illness, such as depression
  • Extension (for applications made in advance, for an extension of up to 7 days), or
  • Special consideration (for all other circumstances and types of assessment)

Other unexpected circumstances outside your control, such as:

  • a serious accident
  • hospital admission
  • unexpected carer responsibility for an immediate family member
  • death of a close family member
  • assault, family breakdown or being the victim of a crime
  • severe disruption of living arrangements
  • financial hardship, such as sudden loss of employment or income
  • Extension (for applications made in advance, for an extension of up to seven days), or
  • Special consideration (for all other circumstances and types of assessment)

You may be eligible for special consideration for assessments, if:

  • you have been hampered, to a significant degree, by illness or extraordinary cause in studying for a unit; 
  • you have been prevented by illness or other extraordinary cause from preparing or presenting for a component of assessment, or part of a component of assessment; 
  • you have been, to a significant degree, adversely affected by illness or other extraordinary cause, during the performance of a component of an assessment; or, 
  • you have been adversely affected by illness in the first 60 minutes of an examination. 

Examples include:

  • study hampered by acute illness or condition 
  • prevented from presenting an assessment task by a car accident 
  • prevented from preparing for an assessment task by unexpected flooding in your primary residence 
  • acute illness during the first 60 minutes of an exam 
  • family bereavement during the assessment preparation period. 

In every case, you must provide documentary evidence to support your application.

The rules for applying for special consideration also apply to tests or assessments undertaken in test conditions (e.g. mid-semester tests) and assignment work.

If a sudden or severe medical issue or chronic illness affects your ability to sit an examination or submit a major piece of work for assessment, you may be entitled to special consideration. 

Special consideration is granted only in exceptional circumstances, and you must provide documentary evidence to support your claim. 

There are some non-medical grounds under which special consideration is granted, but all medical claims must include a medical impact statement, to be completed by your professional practitioner and submitted with your application form. 

If granted special consideration, you will be awarded one chance to sit another examination or re-submit an assessment at a different date, which you must be available to do. 

If you're living with a chronic illness you may also be eligible for additional support, including reasonable adjustments to your assessment activities. See our information on AccessAbility to learn more. 

Download the medical impact statement form [PDF 225KB].

There’re five possible outcomes of an application for special consideration relating to a course assessment:

  • your assessment may be deferred 
  • you may be granted an extended period for assessment 
  • alternative arrangements for assessment are approved 
  • you're allowed to re-do one or more assessment tasks 
  • special consideration is not granted (a full reason will be provided). 

Special consideration for exams

You’re expected to sit all your exams at the scheduled time.

If you’re unable to attend an exam due to illness, you fall ill in the first 60 minutes of your exam, misadventure or other extraordinary circumstance beyond your control, you can apply for and, if successful, be granted permission to sit a special exam at a later date.

  • All special exams for on-campus students are usually held at our Hawthorn campus 
  • All special exams for OUA and Hawthorn Online students are held at the end of the following study period 
  • All applications must meet Swinburne’s compliance requirements to be eligible.

All applications for special consideration must be submitted using the appropriate online form below by no later than 5.00pm of the third working day after the originally scheduled due date or exam date. 

The possible outcomes of an application for special consideration are: 

1. Special consideration is granted.  

If your special consideration application is approved, the following may occur: 

  • If your application relates to an end of semester exam, you may be allowed to sit a special exam on a specific date. You must sit this exam even if you sat the original exam as that mark is now void. If you don't sit the special exam you will receive a zero mark for the exam.
  • If you were impacted in the preparation or delivery of another form of assessment, you may be granted an alternative assessment. Your convenor will determine what form this will take.
2. Special consideration is not granted.

Swinburne does not normally allow for special exams to be rescheduled unless the circumstances that prevented you sitting the special exam were extraordinary and severe. If special consideration is not granted, your application did not meet our compliance requirements. 

If your application for special consideration is approved and you’re awarded a special exam, you will sit this exam on the Thursday or Friday of the week following the formal exam period for that teaching period. You must be available for that sitting; no alternative will be arranged.

How to apply

Applications for special consideration must be submitted using the appropriate application form listed below.

Applications that do not meet our requirements may be deemed ineligible. Your application may also be refused if you have not met all other mandatory requirements for successful completion of the unit, such as any specified hurdle requirements.

If you’re awarded a special exam, you must be available for the special exam dates.

Application forms

To make an application for special consideration, select the relevant application form for your course or program and follow the steps for submission. Remember, all applications for special consideration must be submitted using the appropriate online form by no later than 5.00pm of the third working day after the originally scheduled due date or exam date. 

Special consideration applications can be made online by following the prompts.

Special consideration application form

Swinburne Online students will need to log in via the student portal to make an online application for special consideration.

Special consideration application form

If you’re a vocational education or Swinburne Professional student, download, fill out and submit the following form via email to VE-Progressions (VE-progressions@swinburne.edu.au). 

Your application should be submitted no later than 5.00pm on the third working day after the submission date for the assessment task for which you're requesting special consideration. 

Download the Vocation Education and Swinburne Professional special consideration form [PDF 104KB].

If you’re a Foundation Year or UniLink student, download, fill out and submit the following form. You need to lodge this application with studentHQ no later than 5.00pm on the third working day after the submission date for the piece of assessment/exam for which you're requesting special consideration. 

Download the Foundation and Pathways Department: Application for Special Consideration in Assessment (includes special exams) [PDF 1,17KB].

If you’re an ELICOS student, download, fill out and submit the following form. You need to lodge this application with TD Reception for the attention of EAP Coordinator or the GE Coordinator no later than 5.00pm on the second working day after the submission date for the piece of assessment/exam for which you're requesting special consideration.

Download the ELICOS: Application for Special Consideration in Assessment (which includes special exams) [PDF 185KB].

If you change your mind, you have two days to retract a special consideration application once lodged. 

If you’re an undergraduate or postgraduate student, email your faculty progress team:

If you’re a Foundation Year or UniLink student, email: FP-progressions@swinburne.edu.au.

Extensions

If your preparation for an in-semester assessment task is affected by illness or other extraordinary circumstances outside your control, you may apply in advance for an extension to the due date. 

Extensions are generally granted up to a maximum of seven days. In very special circumstances a longer extension may be given.

If you’re seeking an extension of seven calendar days or less (from the original due date) you must apply on or before the assessment due date. 

Applications for an extension must be made directly to the unit convenor or teacher, by email or phone. Log in to canvas to find unit convenor or teacher contact details.  

You’ll find out if you’ve been granted an extension via your Swinburne student email account. 

  • Check your Swinburne email regularly or redirect it to an email you check frequently. You’ll need to respond promptly to requests for action or information supporting your application. 
  • Your notification email will include details of the extension, and your revised deadline if one has been granted. 

If you’re experiencing ongoing issues and require multiple extensions or are unable to sit a final assessment or exam, consider applying for special consideration instead.

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    Equitable assessment arrangements

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    Alternate assessment arrangements

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