Director, Student Success / Director, Curriculum Quality and Standards / Director, Student Administration
University Academic Board
Date of Next Review
6.3.3 Roles and responsibilities
6.3.4 Special circumstances
6.3.5 Late assessment and extensions
6.3.6 Lost, stolen or damaged assessment items
6.3.7 Special consideration
6.3.8 Deferred examinations
6.3.9 Assessment for students with a disability
6.3.10 Supplementary assessment
6.3.11 Exceptional circumstances affecting learning and teaching
6.3.13 Recordkeeping and confidentiality
QUT recognises that a student’s ability to complete or their performance in an assessment task may be affected by unforeseen circumstances, health, disability or conflicts with employment, family or community responsibilities. The University has approved arrangements to manage these circumstances while maintaining academic standards.
This policy applies to students undertaking undergraduate and postgraduate coursework award course.
|Vice-Chancellor and President||
Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar
Executive Dean of Faculty (may be delegated)
|Head of School||
|Director, Student Administration||
QUT recognises that at times during a student’s studies certain unforeseen or unavoidable events or circumstances may affect their capacity to successfully complete assessment under the conditions pre-specified within a unit or course. These include:
- health conditions
- family or personal circumstances
- employment related circumstances
- unavoidable community or public service commitments (including Jury service or a recognised emergency management body such as the SES or CFA)
- defence service by reservists
- commitments as a member of the Elite Athlete Program
- course related circumstances
- significant cultural commitments.
In eligible courses and units QUT may grant an academic concession where these circumstances apply and can be verified with the required documentation.
QUT requires students to submit assessment items on the due date so that marking can occur with feedback provided in a timely manner to support future learning.
Assessment work submitted after the due date without an approved extension of time will ordinarily not be marked and a grade of 1 or 0% will be awarded against the assessment item.
In eligible units and where special circumstances exist, an extension of time may be granted for submission of an assessment item without penalty.
a) Eligible courses and units
A student may apply for an assessment extension in any course or unit unless University Academic Board, as part of the curriculum development, approval and accreditation process (C/4.1), determines that an extension will not be allowed in that unit or course. Exceptions for individual assessment items in such ineligible units or courses are approved in accordance with delegations for unit outline approval (C/4.1.3). All other exceptions are approved by University Academic Board. Exceptions are determined by a clear and defensible academic rationale.
b) Conditions for granting an assignment extension
An extension of time for an assessment item may be granted where the student has:
- applied for an extension prior to the due date for the assessment item (an extension may be granted where an application was not made before the due date as an outcome of an application for special consideration (E/6.3.7)
- applied in writing using the approved form and provided relevant supporting documentation; and
- justified their request on the basis of relevant special circumstances that prevent completion of the assessment task by the specified deadline.
c) Extension of due date
Any extension granted must specify in writing a new due date for submission of the assessment item, during which the student can submit the work without a penalty being applied.
The duration of any extension granted should take reasonable account of the delay experienced by the student, and permission to submit after the normal due date for the assessment without penalty should not be open-ended.
Students should create and securely store a copy of the final version of all written assessment items prior to submission. Similarly, for non-written physical assessment items, students should photograph or otherwise make a secure record of the items prior to submission.
Where a student's assessment item cannot be located and there is a reasonable belief that the item had been submitted, the unit coordinator should consider the following options:
- giving the student a notional mark for the lost assessment item based on the average of their previous assessment
- giving the student the opportunity to resubmit the assessment item
- giving the student the opportunity to redo the assessment item
- setting an alternative assessment item to be submitted within a set period.
Students who consider that their ability to make satisfactory academic progress during a teaching period, or their performance in an assessment item has been adversely affected by special circumstances may apply for special consideration.
Special consideration is regarded as a significant concession to a student and, as such, will only be granted when a properly documented and timely case is made by the applicant.
Applications for special consideration:
- should be submitted prior to or normally no more than three business days after the date of the examination or the submission date of the assessment item
- for assessment work submitted after the due date, must address the reasons for failing to comply with relevant policy on the granting of extensions (E/6.3.5); and
- must be supported by documentary evidence that demonstrates extenuating circumstances and indicates the temporal extent and severity of the circumstances, and the effect on the student’s performance.
The executive dean, in consultation with the course and/or unit coordinator if appropriate, will determine the outcome, which could include:
- no change to assessment item result or final grade
- completion of alternative or additional assessment of a similar type and academic level
- late acceptance of an assessment item where application for late submission has not been made
- reconsideration of the weighting for an assessment item/s for a unit/s.
In cases where special consideration is granted, the faculty decision-maker may resolve to determine the outcome at the time of finalisation of grades, unless it would be more appropriate to determine the outcome at the time of application.
Special consideration applies to the full grading scale, not just the pass/fail boundary. Granting of special consideration will not necessarily result in a change of grade.
In accordance with E/6.1.13 students must ensure they are available to undertake an examination:
- at the time and place specified for the examination in the central examination period; and
- at any other time specified for an examination in the notification of assessment requirements.
Students who are unable to attend an examination at the prescribed time due to special circumstances may apply to sit for a deferred examination.
The following are not grounds for awarding a deferred examination concession:
- misreading the examination timetable
- pre-booking a holiday during the examination period.
Where a student is unable to attend an approved deferred examination, the grade for the unit is awarded on the basis of work completed unless the student makes a successful case for withdrawal from the unit without academic penalty.
Students will not be granted an unlimited number of deferred examinations over the course of their studies.
Students with permanent or temporary disability have the right to alternative arrangements for assessment which provide equality of opportunity to enable students to fulfil course requirements.
Students should contact the relevant campus Disability Officer early in the teaching period and preferably prior to the published date for withdrawal without financial penalty for the relevant teaching period.
Alternative arrangements for assessment are negotiated between the student, Disability Officer and the course coordinator.
Students are required to present evidence to the Disability Officer, usually in the form of documentation from a medical or other relevant specialist practitioner which substantiates the nature of the special need.
The Disability Officer will develop a service plan which includes recommendations for alternative arrangements for assessment for approval by the relevant course coordinator. Service plans are reviewed and re-negotiated each semester. The student will be advised in writing of any alternative arrangements for their assessment.
a) Centrally organised assessment
For centrally organised examinations, responsibility for the conduct and administration of alternative assessment provisions for students with a disability rests with the Director, Student Administration Department.
b) School-based assessment
For assessment other than central examinations, administrative and financial responsibility, including organisation of appropriate equipment and support personnel, rests with faculties and schools.
Supplementary assessment is provided to support course progression, and is designed to create opportunities for students to complete requirements for their qualification. Supplementary assessment is not a reassessment of the student's overall grade or the mark for an individual assessment item (E/9.1). It is a new item of assessment designed to provide further opportunity to demonstrate that the student has achieved the required learning outcomes of the unit.
a) Eligibility for Supplementary assessment
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:
- two in the final 96 cp in coursework programs of three or more years full-time duration or equivalent, or
- one in the final 48 cp in coursework programs of less than three years full-time duration or equivalent.
Applications should be submitted within five business days following release of the final grade for a unit.
c) Grades following completion of supplementary assessment
Students who successfully complete supplementary assessment requirements will be awarded the grade of 4. Where supplementary assessment is not successfully completed, the original grade of 3 will be reinstated.
d) Transfer between courses
Where students transfer between QUT courses, supplementary assessments that have already been granted for units being credited towards the second course will count towards the maximum number of supplementary assessments allowed for the second course.
When there are exceptional circumstances affecting learning and teaching, academic concessions may be granted in a unit or for an identified cohort of students, without the requirement for the students to make an application.
Any decision to grant academic concessions under this provision will take account of the disruption caused, any changes required to mitigate their effect and must be communicated clearly to students and the relevant academic staff and Head of School.
- An assessment extension must take into account the delay caused by the exceptional circumstances and any changes to the assessment due to those exceptional circumstances.
- Special consideration may be granted as outlined in 6.3.7(b) and determined by the Executive Dean in consultation with the course or unit coordinator.
- A deferred examination may be approved for a unit, or an identified cohort of students in the unit affected.
Students dissatisfied with a decision to reject an application for a concession included in this policy can appeal via the procedure for review of academic ruling (E/9.1).
Exceptional circumstances affecting learning and teaching means circumstances affecting learning and teaching that are caused by factors outside QUT’s control. Such circumstances include, but are not limited to, natural disasters, outbreak of pandemic disease, damage to QUT physical or virtual infrastructure, industrial action or strikes, action/s required by QUT under law or any other circumstance that requires activation of QUT’s Crisis Management Plan.
Refer to Appendix 3 Schedule of Authorities and Delegations (C120, C121, C122, C124, C126).
MOPP A/8.6 Disability
MOPP E/6.1 Examinations
MOPP E/9.1 Review of grades and academic rulings
Late assignments and extensions (QUT staff and student access only)
QUT Assessment and feedback procedures (QUT staff access only)
Special circumstances (QUT staff and student access only)
Special consideration (QUT staff and student access only)
Supplementary assessment (QUT staff and student access only)
Unit information protocols (QUT staff access only)
Higher Education Support Act 2003 - Administration Guidelines 2012
Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld)
Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act 2001 (Cth)
Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)
Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth)
Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (Cth)
|19.03.20||E/6.3.3, E/6.3.11-E/6.3.15||Provost||Revised to include responsibility for ‘exceptional circumstances affecting learning and teaching’, definition, and provision of concessions available in those circumstances|
|30.04.18||E/6.3.4||Dean of Studies||Revised to include amendments as a result of changes to the Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act 2001|
|17.11.17||All||University Academic Board||
New policy (incorporating rescinded E/6.3 Alternative arrangements for assessment, E/6.4 Supplementary assessment, E/6.5.6 Special consideration and E/6.8 Late assessment and extension policies)