Special consideration is available to students who have had their studies significantly impacted by exceptional or extenuating circumstances outside their control. This is granted to enable eligible students to continue to progress successfully without compromising the integrity of assessment.
Special consideration may be granted for varying assessment requirements, ranging from specific assessment tasks in a single subject to whole teaching sessions for multiple subjects.
The University provides very comprehensive information on how to apply here, however if you are still having problems – read on for a run down on how to figure out what’s happening.
|Application||Apply online via your student portal|
|Review||Seek a review of the initial decision|
|Grievance||Escalate your issue to a formal Grievance if the review is unsuccessful|
|Appeal||Final avenue of appeal to the Academic Board|
Once you have submitted an application for Special Consideration, including all supporting documentation, you should receive an outcome within 5 working days. Hopefully your application will be approved and an appropriate adjustment will be arranged. However, should your application be rejected, there are some further avenues available to challenge the decision.
You can request a Review of the initial decision; you can only do this ONCE (within 3 working days of receiving the outcome), and only if you have a legitimate belief that:
- a decision was made without appropriate consideration of facts, evidence or circumstances; or
- there was failure to adhere to appropriate or relevant published policies and procedures; or
- a penalty applied to you which you deemed to be inappropriate; or
- you experienced unfair treatment, prejudice or bias
Read your outcome email carefully. The most common reasons for an application being rejected are:
- Insufficient impact
- Late application not accepted
- Dates of impact do not correlate with the timing of the assessment task
- Supporting documentation does not adequately verify your circumstances
- Your circumstances are deemed to be “ongoing”, rather than “unexpected” or “short term”
- Application submitted after the release of results
When requesting a review, you should include any new or further supporting documentation, and you should provide reasons as to why you feel you have grounds for the initial decision to be overturned. Within 5 working days, you will get one of the following outcomes:
- Successful review (original decision overturned):your application for review was successful and your assessment options will be reconsidered by your Faculty. Huzzah!
- Unsuccessful review (original decision upheld): your application for review was not successful and your original Special Consideration outcome is unchanged. Dang…
If your request for a review is unsuccessful, and you still feel you have a legitimate claim for Special Consideration, you can escalate the matter to a formal Grievance in accordance with the Student Complaints and Grievances Policy. We have a Special Consideration Grievance Template. The template provides guidance on the structure and content of your Grievance letter.
Once you have used our template to draft a Grievance letter, it would be a really good idea to send it to us for feedback (along with copies of all the previous documentation relating to the application). We can advise you on any ways that you may be able to strengthen your Grievance letter before submission.
And finally, if your Grievance is not upheld, you can potentially appeal to the Academic Board. This is your final avenue of appeal within the University, and you can read about the process on the Academic Board’s website, paying particular attention to Step 3: Contact the Student Union Advocacy Service! We can advise on your prospects for an appeal, the grounds upon which it could be based, and the best way to convey your arguments. We can also attend the appeal hearing with you and assist you with making your case to the Board. You can get some guidance to make a start yourself on our Appeals page, before you contact us for advice.