Special consideration

Special consideration allows your school and student office to take into account significant factors that may have affected your academic preparation or performance. UWA has established a policy to recognise and support the differing needs of students balancing life and university study. View the University Policy on Special Consideration for more information (word document will automatically download). 

Am I eligible?

You may be eligible for special consideration if your study has been adversely affected by illness or other significant circumstances outside your control.

Significant circumstances may include but are not limited to:

  • death or serious illness of a member of your immediate family or household or of a close friend
  • serious injury
  • being a victim of a crime
  • breakdown of relationship
  • sudden loss of income or employment
  • serious disruption to domestic arrangements
  • or other significant circumstances

The following are not grounds for special consideration:

  • pre-arranged holiday travel
  • social events (such as birthdays)
  • usual rostered work commitments
  • your study load
  • misunderstanding/misreading an examination timetable or assessment deadline
  • computer and/or IT failure

What help can I receive?

Likely outcomes of applying for and being granted special consideration can vary.

You may be:

  • granted an extension for an assignment
  • permitted to withdraw from your unit without academic penalty
  • offered a deferred examination
  • permitted exemption or alternate opportunity granted for an assessment item

How do I apply?

Under the revised streamlined application process, you can submit your application online no later than three University working days after the date your class was held or your assessment was due. If you are submitting an application after three University days, you'll need to also upload evidence of extenuating circumstances.

Applications for Special Consideration on medical grounds should also be accompanied by a telehealth (preferably through a videoed consultation) or standard medical practitioner certificate.

Applications on 'other' grounds or without supporting evidence from a medical practitioner are to be supported by submission of a Special Consideration Declaration signed by a relevant healthcare/legal or other authorised person. 

Important information before you apply

The University has seen an increased number of applications supported by documents that have been falsified. Creating or amending documents, particularly medical certificates, is serious misconduct and also a criminal offence.

Students received a range of penalties including:

  • Fail in assessment items
  • Fail in units with some students receiving fails in 4 or more units
  • Exclusion, degree revocation, and expulsion.

Any incident may be reported to the Police and/or investigated by the University.

Apply online


Special consideration

All requests for Special Consideration and for withdrawal from a unit after census date are to be submitted using the online application system. Make sure you have your supporting documents readily available for upload.

Form based requests for special consideration will no longer be accepted.


If you're seeking special consideration on grounds other than medical, download and submit a Special Consideration Declaration along with your application.

Request to cancel unit fee (if withdrawing from unit)

If you're wanting to withdraw from your unit/s and are seeking remission of debt, visit Refunds and remissions before making your request. You should also speak with your Student Advising Office before choosing to withdraw, as they will be in a position to guide you on the best option for you.

  • What if I missed my deferred exam?

    In general, the University does not defer an exam that has already been deferred. In this situation, your option would be to apply for withdrawal from the unit through special consideration.

  • Can I submit an incomplete application?

    No; the system will not allow you to submit an application that is incomplete.

  • Can I start an application and come back to it later?

    Yes; the system will store an incomplete application until you have the supporting documentation (remember to submit by the required deadline as incomplete applications will not be considered for assessment).

  • What is the time limit for submitting a request for special consideration?

    Applications will need to be submitted before or within three University working days of your assessment. If you do not submit the application within that time period, you will need to provide evidence which supports why you have submitted a late application.

  • What sort of supporting evidence and document format will I require?

    Documents must be in PDF, PNG or JPG format, and each file must be no larger than 10MB in size. All documentation will need to cover the period of absence from your exam and, where relevant, circumstances/details that surround the absence. If you’ve missed the submission deadline, you’ll also need to provide supporting evidence outlining the extenuating reasons that justify you missing the deadline.

    Medical reasons

    Medical certificate/letter from a doctor covering the period of absence

    Cultural or religious reasons

    Special consideration declaration or letter supporting the period of absence (signed by a religious leader)

    Elite sport or art commitments

    Special consideration declaration or letter supporting the period of absence (signed by a coach/manager or senior member of organising committee)

    Health-related, legal or professional commitment

    Special consideration declaration or letter supporting the period of absence (signed by relevant professional officer)


    Special consideration declaration, personal statement, statutory declaration or letter supporting the period of absence (signed by a relevant professional officer) e.g. police report, traffic information

    Matter of undisclosed nature

    Special consideration declaration (signed by a relevant professional officer)


    Special consideration declaration, statutory declaration or letter supporting the period of absence (signed by a relevant professional officer)

  • Can I submit an online request for all types of special consideration?

    Yes; all requests for special consideration (including withdrawing from unit/s) are to be submitted using the online system

  • Do I need to let anybody know if I am going to be late with an assessment

    At the start of your Unit your Unit Coordinator will explain expectations about contact. If that information is not made clear to you – you can ask for preference.  Your Unit Outline will also provide details on who to contact if you are going to be late submitting an assessment, presentation or missing an assessment.

What's next?

You should be notified of the outcome of your application within three University working days.

There are three possible outcomes to an application: approved, declined, or ineligible.

An application is deemed ineligible if you fail to follow the requirements of the Policy by:

  • submitting your application late without evidence that supports your inability to meet the deadline,
  • failing to provide any supporting documentation, or
  • failing to provide appropriate supporting documentation to support the grounds on which you are seeking special consideration.     

Request a review

If your application is approved but you are granted a different accommodation to what you requested, or if your application has been declined, you have the right to request a review. To make a request, respond to the outcome to the original decision maker, if you're still unsatisfied, they will provide you with details to escalate your review.

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