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Academic Quality and Standards

Special Consideration Policy


The purpose of Special Consideration is to give a student, whose work for a particular piece of assessment has been adversely affected by exceptional circumstances beyond their control, a further opportunity to demonstrate their ability.


* all campuses
* all undergraduate and graduate/postgraduate coursework and graduate research degrees
* all staff, coursework students and graduate research candidates undertaking coursework. It does not apply to the thesis component or equivalent of a graduate research degree. (Students experiencing difficulty with the research components of their degree should consult the relevant research degree handbooks).

Students whose work is affected by chronic conditions are to refer to section E of the Unit Assessment procedures - Alternative Arrangements for Assessment . Students availing themselves of Alternative Arrangements for Assessment are not prevented from also applying for special consideration where appropriate.

Policy Statement

A student whose work during a teaching period or whose performance in an examination or other assessment has been affected by acute illness or other exceptional cause beyond their control may apply in writing to the relevant Faculty for special consideration.

The accepted causes are:

  • acute illness e.g. hospital admission, serious injury, severe asthma, severe anxiety or depression. This does not include minor illness such as a mild cold.
  • loss or bereavement e.g. death of a close family member.
  • family relationship breakdown.
  • hardship/trauma e.g. victim of crime, sudden loss of income or employment, severe disruption to domestic arrangements.

In addition,

  • those students demonstrating relevant obligations to military or jury service or service to emergency services such as the Country Fire Authority, and
  • elite athletes registered with Monash Sport's athlete support program participating in a key event

will be eligible to apply for special consideration.

The relevant Faculty’s Board of Examiners or delegates will determine the most appropriate outcome for the special consideration application, depending on the student case and the piece of assessment affected, but a mark adjustment shall not be made under any circumstances.

Supporting procedures

Special Consideration Procedures

Supporting guidelines

Strict Religious Observance Obligations Guidelines

Responsibility for implementation

University wide - Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education)
Faculty wide - Deans, Associate Deans (Teaching), Chief Examiners, Student Service Officers.



Key Stakeholders

Disability Liaison Unit
Student and Community Services Division
Faculty academic staff
Faculty student service staff
Student representative organisations
University Counselling Service
University Health Service
University Ombudsman
University Solicitor’s Office
Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching)
Monash Institute of Graduate Research

Approval body

Name: Academic Board
Meeting: 6/13
Date: 16-October-2013
Agenda item: 11.1

Endorsement body

Name: Coursework Admissions and Programs Committee
Meeting: 5/13
Date: 21-August-2013
Agenda item: 8.1.2

Name: Graduate Research Committee
Meeting: 5/13
Date: 05-September-2013
Agenda item: 11.1


Alternative and equivalent form of assessment: Where Faculty policy and procedure permits, a special assessment task designed to replace the required assessment task as listed in course and unit information. Not available in every Faculty.

Board of Examiners: Faculty committee responsible for determining the results of the performances of all candidates enrolled in the faculty. The composition and duties of the Board of Examiners are specified in the Examination Regulations.

Deferred Examination: Also referred to as a special examination: may be granted to students whose work during the academic year or performance in an examination or other assessment has been gravely affected by illness or other serious cause. See Monash University (Academic Board) Regulations Part 3.

Mark adjustment: The alteration of a mark using a subjective judgement of the impact of illness or other hardship on a student’s performance.

Legislation Mandating Compliance

All relevant legislative instruments that stipulate requirements with which members of the Monash community (all of whom are subject to the law) are obligated to comply.

Monash University (Academic Board) Regulations Part 3
Monash University Act 2009

Related policies

Grading Scale Policy and Grading Scale Procedures
Assessment in Coursework Units Policy and Unit Assessment Procedures

Related documents

Special Consideration Forms: in semester application form, end-of-semester application form
Special Consideration webpage
Handbook for Doctoral Degrees
Handbook for Research Master's Degrees

Date Effective


Review Date



Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching), Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Research Training)


Education Policy and Programs, Office of Planning and Quality

Content Enquiries

University Policy Use

Version Number: 1.2


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