Manual of Policies and Procedures

C/5.5 Student academic concessions

Policy Owner

Director, Student Success / Director, Student Administration

Approval Date

26/07/2021

Approval Authority

University Academic Board

Date of Next Review

30/06/2024

5.5.1 Purpose
5.5.2 Application
5.5.3 Roles and responsibilities
5.5.4 Special circumstances
5.5.5 Types of academic concessions
5.5.6 Late assignments and extensions
5.5.7 Automatically approved 48-hour assignment extension
5.5.8 Formal assignment extension
5.5.9 Special consideration
5.5.10 Deferred examinations
5.5.11 Assessment for students with a disability
5.5.12 Supplementary assessment
5.5.13 Lost, stolen or damaged assessment items
5.5.14 Exceptional circumstances affecting learning and teaching
5.5.15 Review
5.5.16 Record keeping and confidentiality
5.5.17 Definitions
5.5.18 Delegations
Related Documents
Modification History

A revised version of this policy was approved by University Academic Board (UAB), 21 November 2022.
The new version, effective Semester 1, 2023 is available on the Digital Workplace C/5.5 Student academic concessions (QUT staff access only).
Contact, please contact the Director, Curriculum Quality and Standards for further details.

5.5.1 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide a range of academic concessions in acknowledgement that special circumstances may affect a student’s ability to complete an assessment task or may affect their performance in an assessment task.
Student academic concessions are intended to ensure that students who experience significant disruption to their study are not disadvantaged but academic standards are maintained, including equity for all students in the unit, the academic integrity of assessment, achievement of learning outcomes and the inherent requirements of a unit or course.

5.5.2 Application

This policy applies to students undertaking undergraduate and postgraduate coursework award courses.

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5.5.3 Roles and responsibilities

Position
Responsibility
Vice-Chancellor and President
  • approves exceptional circumstances affecting learning and teaching apply
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Education)
  • approves protocols for student academic concessions

Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar

  • approves procedures for the administration of student academic concessions within Student Administration

Executive Dean of Faculty / Executive Director QUT College (may be delegated)

  • approves applications for special consideration, deferred examinations and supplementary assessment
  • approves the concession where special consideration has been granted (in consultation with course and/or unit coordinator if appropriate)
  • manages alternative arrangements for assessment in faculty and school-based examinations
Director, Student Administration
  • manages the deferred examination process
  • manages alternative arrangements for assessment in central examinations
Disability Adviser
  • recommends alternative arrangements for assessment for students with a disability to the course coordinator (or equivalent)
Course Coordinator
  • approves alternative arrangements for assessment
Unit Coordinator
  • approves extensions to due dates for assignments (may be further delegated)
  • approves actions where an assessment item is lost, stolen or damaged
    after submission

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5.5.4 Special circumstances

QUT recognises that at times during a student’s studies, circumstances beyond their control may affect their capacity to successfully complete assessment. These special circumstances include:

  • health conditions
  • disability
  • 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.

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5.5.5 Types of academic concessions

A range of academic concessions, depending upon the type of assessment, is available to support students to meet the assessment requirements of their course and to maintain academic standards. The academic concessions are:

  • assignment extension (automatically approved 48-hour and formal)
  • special consideration
  • deferred examination.

In certain circumstances, a student may be eligible to apply for withdrawal without penalty from a unit. The Withdraw from units without penalty webpage provides further information (QUT staff and student access only).

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5.5.6 Late assignments and extensions

Extensions (automatically approved 48-hour and formal) only apply to assessment items classified as assignments (Assignment definition C/5.5.17).

A student may apply for an assignment extension, unless:

  • Extensions are not allowed in the unit or course as approved by University Academic Board as part of the curriculum development, approval and accreditation process (C/4.1).
  • The unit outline states that no extension is allowed for the assignment. Exceptions are approved in accordance with delegations for unit outline approval (C/4.1.3).

Assignments submitted after the due date without an approved extension (automatically approved 48-hour (C/5.5.7) or formal C/5.5.8)) results in the assignment not being marked and a grade of 1 or 0% being awarded for the assignment. An application for an assignment extension may be made after the due date.

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5.5.7 Automatically approved 48-hour assignment extension

Purpose

The purpose of an automatically approved 48-hour assignment extension is to accommodate unexpected, but not significant or long-term events, that may occur just before an assignment is due. This assignment extension allows a single 48-hour extension to the original due date.

Application

An application for an automatically approved 48-hour assignment extension can be submitted within 48 hours before the due date of the assignment and within 48 hours after the due date.  However, whenever the application is made, the extension remains at 48 hours of the original due date.

The application is made online and the student must specify the grounds for the automatically approved 48-hour extension. The granting of the extension is automatic upon correct completion of the application.  The due date is extended by 48 hours only, irrespective of whether the new due date is a weekend or a public holiday.

If the assignment is not submitted within the 48 hours of the due date of the assignment, the assignment will be considered to be late, will not be marked and a grade of 1 or 0% will be awarded for the assessment item.

Only one automatically approved 48-hour extension is allowed for an assignment and only applies to the original due date of the assessment. If a student is affected by special circumstances during the 48 hours of the automatically approved assignment extension, the student may apply for an extension with supporting documentation.

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5.5.8 Formal assignment extension

Purpose

The purpose of a formal assignment extension is to support a student in completing an assignment when they have been affected by special circumstances. A formal assignment extension is appropriate when a student experiences unexpected but significant interruption to their study that impacts upon their ability to complete the assignment by the due date. Normally a formal assignment extension is required when the automatically approved 48-hour assignment extension is not sufficient to support the student due to their special circumstances.

Application

An application for a formal assignment extension must be submitted before the due date of the assignment. In exceptional circumstances, applications may be submitted up to 48 hours after the due date of the assignment if the student can provide:

  • documentation to evidence the exceptional circumstances which prevented the application for extension before the due date of the assignment; and
  • the required supporting documentation for the extension.

If a student received an automatically approved 48-hour assignment extension and experiences special circumstances that provide grounds for a formal assignment extension for the same assignment, the application for the formal assignment extension must be made within 48 hours of the original due date of the assignment, that is, during the period of the informal assignment extension.

The application is made online and the student must provide supporting documentation to provide evidence of the special circumstances which will prevent or have prevented the submission of the assignment by the due date.

The duration of any extension granted will not normally exceed 14 days and will take reasonable account of:

  • the impact of the special circumstances upon the student’s learning;
  • the length of the unexpected interruption experienced by the student;
  • any academic concessions that have been granted previously in respect of the assignment, including an automatically approved 48-hour assignment extension; and
  • the type of assignment.

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5.5.9 Special consideration

Purpose

The purpose of special consideration is to support students who consider that their ability to demonstrate their achievement of the unit learning outcomes in assessment or assessments has been adversely affected by special circumstances in the teaching period.

Special consideration is a significant concession and will only be granted when a properly documented and timely case is made.

The Executive Dean, in consultation with the course and/or unit coordinator if appropriate, will determine the outcome of a special consideration application. The outcomes may include:

  • no change to the result of the assessment item or the final grade of the unit
  • allow late submission of an assignment where an assignment extension application has not been made within time
  • completion of alternative or additional assessment of a similar type of academic level
    • the alternative or additional assessment must be appropriate and relevant for the unit and assess the relevant unit learning outcomes.
  • reweighting of an assessment item/s, taking into account:
    • the ability of the student to demonstrate the unit learning outcomes if an assessment item does not contribute to the final grade of the unit
    • whether it is equitable
    • any inherent requirements of the unit or course; and
    • ensuring that the reweighted assessment is not in breach of the Assessment and feedback policy (C/5.1)
  • final grade adjustment, taking into account
    • the academic concessions applied for and granted in the relevant teaching period
    • the duration and extent of the special circumstances with reference to the assessment/s
    • the student’s level of achievement in all assessment items in the unit with reference to the unit learning outcomes
    • the student’s level of achievement in other units in the relevant teaching period and previous teaching periods, if appropriate; and
    • the student’s level of achievement in previous teaching periods, if appropriate.

Application

Further information is available on HiQ - Special consideration.

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5.5.10 Deferred examination

In accordance with the Examinations policy (E/6.1), students must ensure they are available to undertake an examination. The following are not grounds for awarding a deferred examination concession:

  • misreading the examination timetable
  • pre-booking a holiday or committing to other pre-planned events during the examination period or the time specified in the assessment requirements of the unit.

Deferred examinations are not subject to a deferred examination concession.

Where a student does not undertake the approved deferred examination, the grade for the unit is awarded on the basis of assessment completed, unless the student makes a successful case for withdrawal from the unit without academic penalty (Withdraw from units without penalty (QUT staff and student access only)).

Purpose

The purpose of a deferred examination concession is to support a student who experiences special circumstances that impact upon their ability to undertake an examination at the scheduled time.

Application

An application for a deferred examination must be submitted before the date of the examination or within three working days after the examination.

The application is made online and the student must provide supporting documentation to evidence the special circumstances which will prevent, or have prevented, the student undertaking the examination.

Students granted a deferred examination concession undertake an examination at a later scheduled time. For centrally organised examinations, deferred examinations take place during the supplementary and deferred examination period (Examinations E/6.1).

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5.5.11 Assessment for students with a disability

Purpose

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.

Application

Students should contact the relevant campus Disability Adviser 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 Adviser and the Course Coordinator.

Students are required to present evidence to the Disability Adviser, usually in the form of documentation from a medical or other relevant specialist practitioner which substantiates the nature of the disability, injury or health condition.

The Disability Adviser will develop an Access Equity Plan which includes recommendations for alternative arrangements for assessment for approval by the relevant course coordinator. Access Equity Plans are reviewed and re-negotiated each semester. The student will be advised in writing of any alternative arrangements for their assessment.

Information on support provided by the University for students with a disability can be found at Disability Support. The university Disability policy (A/8.6) provides further details.

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.

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.

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5.5.12 Supplementary assessment

Purpose

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. 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.

Supplementary assessment will not be granted on designated units (Designated units in award courses (C/3.1.6)) or on units undertaken in Non-award study (C/3.3).

Application

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 credit points in coursework programs of three or more years full-time duration or equivalent, or
  • one in the final 48 credit points in coursework programs of less than three years full-time duration or equivalent.

Applications should be submitted within five working days following release of the final grade for a unit.

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.

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.

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5.5.13 Lost, stolen or damaged assessment items

Students are required to 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 was 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; or
  • setting an alternative similar assessment item to be submitted within a set period.

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5.5.14 Exceptional circumstances affecting learning and teaching

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, and 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.

A deferred examination may be approved for a unit, or an identified cohort of students in the unit affected.

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5.5.15 Review

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).

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5.5.16 Recordkeeping and confidentiality

Records must be retained in accordance with the university’s Records governance policy (F/6.1) for all student academic concession applications.

Personal information contained in the documentation related to student academic concessions will be managed in accordance with the university’s Information privacy policy (F/6.2).

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5.5.17 Definitions

Assessment is defined in the Assessment and feedback policy (C/5.1.12).

Assignment means an assessment item that must be submitted by a specific due date through the learning management system or if the assessment outcome is a physical artefact, physical submission by a specific due date. Assignments do not include examinations, tests or quizzes completed within the learning management system or assessment that requires a student’s physical or virtual presence to complete.

Attend an examination includes completing an online examination.

Automatically approved 48-hour assignment extension means a 48-hour extension granted upon application without documentation for permissible assessment types (C/5.5.7).

Deferred examination means an examination rescheduled for the student to undertake. For centrally timetabled examinations, deferred examinations are held in the Supplementary/Deferred exams period for a teaching period (C/5.5.10).

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 (C/5.5.14).

Extension means an extension to the due date of a permitted assignment (C/5.5.6).

Formal assignment extension means an extension based upon an application supported with the required documentation evidencing the special circumstances (C/5.5.8). This extension is normally required when the automatically approved 48-hour assignment extension is not long enough for the student to complete the assignment due to the special circumstances.

Special circumstances is defined above, in section C/5.5.4.

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5.5.18 Delegations

Refer to Register of Authorities and Delegations (C120, C122, C124, C126) (QUT staff access only).

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Related Documents

MOPP A/8.6 Disability

MOPP C/5.1 Assessment and feedback

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)

Studying with a disability, injury or health condition

Supplementary assessment (QUT staff and student access only)

Unit and module 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)

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Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
11.03.22 All University Academic Board Revised to include staged implementation of policy amendments
26.07.21 All University Academic Board New policy (incorporating rescinded policy E/6.3 Student academic concessions), effective Semester 1, 2022

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