Special Consideration

Got valid grounds to get an extension for your HIST1001 paper? Here's how to apply!

Everything going wrong?

When events such as sickness, injury, misadventure or other circumstances beyond your control affect your performance in an assessment or exam, the University may grant you special consideration with regard to an assessment. Such special consideration is usually in the form of allowing extensions for submitting assessment work, additional assessment or allowing you to sit an exam after the exam date.

Any application for special consideration must be made as soon as possible and within 3 days of the due date of the specific piece of assessment.  Applications will only be accepted after this time in exceptional circumstances. You will also need to advise your faculty and see if there are local requirements. Speak to the lecturer for your individual course as soon as possible and consult your Course Guide.

Arc can provide you with advice and assistance with your special consideration application.

To apply for special consideration, do these things:

Make your application via Online Services in myUNSW. You must obtain and attach Third party documentation before submitting the application. Failure to do so may result in the application being rejected. Log into myUNSW and go to My Student Profile tab > My Student Services channel > Online Services > Special Consideration.

Submit to UNSW Student Central the following:

Circumstances where applications will be granted:

  1. Where academic work has been hampered to a substantial degree by illness or other cause. Except in unusual circumstances a problem involving only three consecutive days or a total of five days within the teaching period of a semester is not considered sufficient grounds for an application.
  2. The circumstances have to be unexpected and beyond your control. You're expected to give priority to University study commitments and any absence must clearly be for circumstances beyond your control. Work commitments are not normally considered a justification.
  3. An absence from an examination should be supported by a medical certificate or other document which clearly indicates you were unable to be present.
  4. If you are absent from an exam or you attend an exam and want to request special consideration, you would normally have to provide a medical certificate dated the same day as the exam.
  5. An application for special consideration has to be provided within three working days of the assessment to which it refers. In exceptional circumstances an application may be accepted outside the three-day limit.

Supporting Documents to include with application:

To give the University sufficient and appropriate information on which to base its decision about your request, you must support your application with certified official documentation that contains at least the following key information:

  1. the assessment task/s for which you are seeking consideration;
  2. the dates/deadlines associated with these tasks;
  3. the basis of your request ie. the nature of your misadventure, illness, etc;
  4. the date/s on which you were seen by the professional/authority providing your official documentation;
  5. the date of the illness or misadventure or the dates of the period of time of the illness or misadventure;
  6. the professional's/authority's assessment of the severity of your illness or misadventure and opinion of the likely effect on your capacity to undertake the assessment task/s concerned.

Your documents will usually be in the form of a doctor's certificate, but may include police report (if you were in an accident), death certificate (if there was a death in the family), hospital report (for severe illness or injury), or court summons. It may also include letter from a counsellor if the cause relates to significant family or personal problems.

You must submit the originals of the application and supporting documents, as well as copies. If you do not also submit copies of all your documents, your application will not be considered.

Other important things to know

  • If you can't attend an exam because of illness or some other reason you need to provide supporting documentation dated the same day as the exam.
  • Submitting your application is not a guarantee that you'll be successful. Your faculty can also take into account how you have performed in other assessment tasks in the course, plus your academic standing and your history of making previous applications for consideration.
  • Special Consideration doesn't mean that you are given additional marks in an assessment. Depending on the circumstances, you may be granted supplementary assessment, an aggregation of marks from previously completed tasks, or an extension.
  • Your school or faculty will often have their own 'local' rules or procedures as well; read your course outline and make sure you follow these.
  • Keep copies of your supporting documents.


Full information about UNSW's Special Consideration policies can be found here.

You complete your application, and attach supporting documents through your myUNSW account.

Need more information?

If you are a UNSW student and Arc member we can give you free legal advice. Send us an email or contact Arc Reception to book an appointment with us.

Arc Legal & Advocacy

Arc @ UNSW Reception

P:02 9385 7700


H:9AM-6PM (during term), 8.30AM-6PM (Stuvac & exams), 9AM-5PM (holidays)

M:PO Box 173 Kingsford NSW 2032

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