Do you risk exclusion from your course? We can help you appeal it!

You may have received a letter from the University stating that you are eligible for exclusion from your course. This letter would have been sent to your student and personal email inbox. You can also access it via eStudent.

What does exclusion mean?

“Exclusion” is when the University withdraws you from your course (or like courses). This is for a minimum period of 12 months. Other Universities will honour this and will not allow you to enrol with them either.

I can’t find the show cause notice on eStudent, how do I find it?

Follow these steps to locate the Show Cause letter on eStudent:

  • Log onto eStudent via HiQ;
  • Click the tab on the top of the webpage titled ‘Personal Details’
  • On the left-hand side of the screen, you will see a list of blue hyperlinks. Click the last blue hyperlink called ‘Correspondence’
  • Click the blue ‘search’ box (NOTE: If you received an error message when clicking ‘search’, try changing the ‘start date’ to an earlier date).
  • You will see a list of all documentation sent to you by QUT. Find the Show Cause Notice from this list.
  • When you found it, click the blue ‘view’ button under the ‘attachments’ column.

How do I become eligible for exclusion

You may be eligible for exclusion if:

  • your GPA is less than 3 in consecutive teaching periods other than in the first 96 credit points of your course; or
  • you have failed a subject three (3) or more times; or
  • you have failed a designated unit two (2) times; or
  • you have exceeded the maximum time limit for your course; or
  • you have failed to meet the requirements of your higher research degree candidature.

Can I appeal the decision to exclude me?

Yes, of course! You have the right to appeal any decision to exclude you from your course. If you can successfully argue (or “Show Cause”) why you should remain enrolled, you can continue your studies.

What do I write in my show cause appeal

We recommend addressing the following points in your Show Cause letter:


    What extenuating circumstances impacted your ability to perform well in your studies for every period of poor performance throughout your degree, not just the most recent semester of poor performance
    The University are looking for circumstances beyond your control that prevented you from performing to your full potential. This could include illness, a death in the family, psychiatric conditions, etc. Be as detailed as you can. If you have had more than one semester of poor academic performance, you will need to address every semester of unsatisfactory academic performance, not just the most recent.
    You will need to provide independent supporting documentation, such as from a doctor and/or counsellor, as evidence of these circumstances.


    How these circumstances negatively impacted your study
    QUT cannot assume that special circumstances during your studies had an impact on your assessment. You will need to explain and demonstrate (using independent documentation) that your extenuating circumstances negatively impacted your ability to perform academically. You will need to be detailed. For example, you may have been so ill that you were forced to miss classes. Don’t stop there! Write about how that disadvantaged you; for instance, it might have meant you couldn’t ask your tutors questions when you were confused about course content.


    What strategies have you implemented to improve these things so that, if you came back to uni, they wouldn’t affect you as much (if at all)?
    After that, you need to explain how your circumstances have gotten better. They want to see that if they let you back into your course that you can do better. This might be a doctor’s treatment plan, reducing your work hours, seeing a counsellor – whatever it is you need to do to remedy your individual issue.
    If you have been sent this letter for failing a unit three times, emphasise what strategies you will put in place to maximise your chances of passing it the next time you enrol in it.


As part of your Show Cause letter, you will need to upload documentation as evidence of the extenuating circumstances, their impact on your studies and the strategies you have implemented to redress your situation. All documentation must be scanned and uploaded as a PDF file. Do not upload photos of your documentation as JPEG images.

What are common mistakes I should avoid making when writing my show cause appeal?

Many students commonly make the following errors when writing their Show Cause application:

  • An application that is too short. You need to be thorough and convincing. Show your passion for learning!
  • Merely explaining the last semester. If you have had a long history of poor academic performance, explain any circumstances from the whole period. Tell the Committee everything or they will question whether you have the capacity to do well in the future.
  • Glossing over your good performance. If you’ve done well, point it out! Show the Committee that you’re capable of getting good grades.
  • Leaving out important things. Within reason, no circumstances are too trivial to write about. If you believe that it impacted on your studies, the Committee should know about it.
  • Forgetting to proofread. You’re trying to show the Committee that you’re a competent student – try not to make mistakes in your appeal.
  • Uploading photos of documentation as a JPEG image. Do not upload any photos of your documentation in JPEG form. Please scan all evidence and upload it as a PDF.

If you need help writing your application, come and see us at the Guild’s Student Rights Hub. We will write your application on your behalf to get you the best outcome.

Where do I lodge my show cause appeal?

Your Show Cause letter (and other documentation) is to be submitted electronically via the Appeal against exclusion form (AP Form). You can access the AP Form and information about the appeals process from the HiQ Page Appeal against unsatisfactory academic performance. Upon completion, you will receive a receipt via email confirming the submission of this form. Please keep a copy of this submission receipt just in case an error occurs during submission and processing.

I missed the appeal deadline; can I still submit my show cause appeal after the deadline?

In short, the unfortunate answer is “no”. You cannot submit a Show Cause appeal after the submission deadline. If you missed the deadline because you failed to:

  • Register or update the correct postal address with QUT by lodging a Change to Personal Details Form with HiQ;
  • Check your student email;
  • Check your correspondence with QUT on eStudent;
  • Leave enough time to prepare your appeal;

these will not be grounds for an extension. For this reason, we cannot stress enough how important it is for you submit your Show Cause on time!

If any extreme circumstances have made it impossible for you to submit your application before the deadline, we recommend contacting sbs.uap@qut.edu.au immediately. An extension in such circumstances cannot be guaranteed.

My show cause appeal was dismissed. What do I do?

The decision is final within the University, but you may appeal the decision on procedural grounds only via the QUT Student Ombudsman. After 12 months have passed, you have the right to apply for readmission back to your course. See our article on Readmission After Exclusion for more on this.

Can I book an appointment with the Advocacy Officer?

Absolutely! If you would like help preparing your Show Cause, book a free 30-minute appointment with us by contacting our two Student Advocates. Their contact details are as follows:

Shane Snow | Gardens Point Student Advocate
Monday to Friday (9:00am to 4:30pm)
GP campus, X Block, Level 2, Room X206*
E: advocacy@qutguild.com
P: 3138 1683
M: 0421 486 937

Jessica Michael & Anna Wilson | Kelvin Grove Student Advocate
Monday to Friday (9:00am to 3:30pm)
KG campus, C Block, Level 4 (opposite the general store and post office)*
E: kgadvocacy@qutguild.com
P: 3138 2349

*Physical offices are currently closed due to COVID-19. Our officers are still here to help, please email them and they will get back to you as soon as they can.

You can also book a meeting time with one of our Advocacy officers here.

I can’t come onto campus to visit the Advocacy Officer- can I email you a draft of my Show Cause instead?

Yes you can. Email your Show Cause to advocacy@qutguild.com and we will email you our feedback as soon as practicable.