Manual of Policies and Procedures

E/6.3 Student academic concessions

Contact Officer

Director, Student Success / Director, Curriculum Quality and Standards / Director, Student Administration

Approval Date


Approval Authority

University Academic Board

Date of Next Review


6.3.1 Purpose
6.3.2 Application
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
6.3.12 Review
6.3.13 Recordkeeping and confidentiality
6.3.14 Definitions
6.3.15 Delegations
Related Documents
Modification History

At its 26 July 2021 meeting University Academic Board approved a revised student academic concessions policy, C/5.5 Student academic concessions and rescinded E/6.3, effective from the beginning of Semester 1, 2022.

6.3.1 Purpose

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.


6.3.2 Application

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


6.3.3 Roles and responsibilities

Vice-Chancellor and President
  • approves exceptional circumstances affecting learning and teaching apply

Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar

  • approves procedures for the administration of student academic concessions

Executive Dean of Faculty (may be delegated)

  • approves applications for deferred examinations, special consideration and supplementary assessment
  • approves the concession where special consideration has been granted (in consultation with course and/or unit coordinator if appropriate)
  • management of alternative arrangements for assessment in faculty and school based examinations
Disability Officer
  • recommends alternative arrangements for assessment for students with a disability to the course coordinator
Unit Coordinator
  • approves extensions to due dates for assessment (may be further delegated)
  • approves actions where an assessment item is lost, stolen or damaged
    after submission
Head of School
  • approves action to be taken in the event of a lost, stolen or damaged assessment item
Director, Student Administration
  • management of alternative arrangements for assessment in central examinations


6.3.4 Special circumstances

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.


6.3.5 Late assessment and extensions

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.

d)   Informal assignment extension (effective from 1 November 2021)

The purpose of an informal assignment extension is to accommodate unexpected, but not significant or long-term events, that may occur just before an assignment (E/6.3.14) is due. An informal assignment extension allows a single 48-hour extension to the original due date.

An application for an informal assignment extension should be submitted within 48 hours before the due date of the assignment. Applications for an informal extension may be submitted within 48 hours of the due date of the assignment, however, 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 informal extension. The granting of the informal 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 informal extension, the assignment will not be marked and a grade of 1 or 0% will be awarded for the assessment item (E/6.3.5).

Only one informal 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 informal assignment extension, the student may apply for an extension with supporting documentation.


6.3.6 Lost, stolen or damaged assessment items

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.


6.3.7 Special consideration

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.

a)   Application

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.

b)   Concession

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.


6.3.8 Deferred examinations

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.


6.3.9 Assessment for students with a disability

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.

Information on support provided by the University for students with a disability can be found at Disability Support. Refer also to University policy on disability (A/8.6).

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.


6.3.10 Supplementary assessment

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.

Supplementary assessment will not be granted on designated units (C/3.1.7 for definition of designated units) or on units undertaken in non-award study (C/3.3).

b)   Application

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.


6.3.11 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, 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.


6.3.12 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).


6.3.13 Recordkeeping and confidentiality

Personal information contained in the application will be managed in accordance with the University’s information privacy policy (F/6.2). Records of applications for special consideration and their outcomes should be retained in accordance with the University’s records management policy (F/6.1).


6.3.14 Definitions

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. (Effective from 1 November 2021).

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.


6.3.15 Delegations

Refer to Register of Authorities and Delegations (C120, C121, C122, C124, C126) (QUT staff access only).


Related Documents

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)

Studying with a disability, injury or health condition

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)


Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
26.07.21 E/6.3.5(d), E/6.3.14 University Academic Board Revised to include informal assignment extension and definition of assignment (effective from 1 November 2021)
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)