special circumstances

If your academic performance has been or will be negatively impacted by special circumstances beyond your control, there are several options that you can apply for:

  1. an assignment extension
  2. special consideration
  3. a deferred exam
  4. a supplementary assessment
  5. withdrawal without academic and/or financial penalty


Assignment extension

48-Hour Late Submission period

You can submit eligible assignments during the 48 hours after the due date with no penalty (the 'late submission period') or apply for a longer extension if there are special circumstances and you can't submit during the late submission period. Visit Late assignments and extensions for more information.


Longer Extension 

Consider this option if you cannot submit your assignment due to special circumstances and need extra time to work on your assignment. Special circumstances include:

  • Health conditions
  • Family or personal circumstances
  • Employment-related circumstances 
  • Unavoidable commitments

You must apply for an extension before the end of the 48-hour late submission period and provide supporting documentation to support your claim. To apply visit here and to find out more information on what special circumstances are visit here.


Special consideration for assessment

Consider applying for special consideration for assignments if you have submitted – or plan to submit – your assignment on the due date but feel that your special circumstances reduced the quality of your work. If approved, QUT can choose to:

  • reconsider the final unit grade. But be careful, reconsideration of you grade does not guarantee an increase of your grade. QUT may choose to leave your grade unaltered after reconsidering it.  
  • issue an alternative or additional assessment item.
  • re-weigh your assessment. Let’s say you have a 20% assignment, 20% quiz and a 60% exam, but special circumstances impacted your performance in the assignment. QUT may reduce the weight of the assignment to 0% and increase the quiz to 40%.
  • give you a late assignment extension. This outcome is only relied on where a student fails to submit an extension application on time due to extenuating circumstances.

Unlike assignment extensions, special consideration only applies to students who are experiencing:

  • Health issues, except for minor illnesses that only lasted 1-2 weeks and occurred a week (or more) before the assessment due date; and
  • Personal/family circumstances.

You must apply on or within 3 days of the assessment due date.


Deferred exam

Consider applying for a deferred exam if you are physically unable to attend your exam due to special circumstances and would like to sit your exam at a later date. You must apply on or within 3 days of your exam.

Also keep in mind that:

  1. You cannot defer an already deferred exam. If you extenuating circumstance are present the day of your deferred exam, attempt your exam where you are able to and apply for special consideration.
  2. You cannot defer your exam if you attended it, regardless if you left early or not. The most you can do in this scenario is apply for special consideration.


Supplementary Assessment

Consider applying for supplementary assessment (’supps’) if:

  1. You failed a unit with a grade of 3; and

  2. You would like a second chance at passing the unit; and

  3. This unit is not a designated unit; and

  4. This unit is:

    1. one of your final 96 credit points (for students in a degree that is 3 years or more fulltime); or

    2. one of your final 48 credit points (for students in a degree that is less than 3 years fulltime.

Students may be granted supplementary assessment in a limited number of cases where a grade of 3 has been achieved. This limit is such that the maximum number overall in a course is:

  1. two in the final 96 cp in coursework programs of three or more years full-time duration or equivalent, or

  2. one in the final 48 cp in coursework programs of less than three years full-time duration or equivalent.

Withdrawal without academic and/or financial penalty
Consider applying for withdrawal without academic and/or financial penalty if your special circumstances
  1. caused you to fail a unit; or
  2. forced you to withdraw from a unit after the census date; and you would like QUT to
  3. wipe the fail grade from my academic record; and/or
  4. waive any obligations to pay the unit’s tuition fees.

You must provide independent supporting documentation to prove to QUT that:

  1. you failed the unit/s because of special circumstances that begun/worsened on or after the relevant census date. These circumstances must have:

    1. made its full impact on your academic performance or after the relevant census date for that teaching period;

    2. made it impracticable for you to complete the unit that semester

    3. been beyond your control; and

    4. been severe, uncommon and abnormal for you.

  2. your performance in the unit up until your special circumstances began/worsened was satisfactory.

You have 12 months to submit this application, counting from day you completed or withdrew from the unit.

Please make use of the handy resources provided below to determine your eligibility for this option or book an appointment with an Advocacy Officer.

Withdrawal Without Penalty Checklist

Withdrawal Without Penalty Student Guide