Special Consideration - Examinations - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Special Consideration

There are two categories of Special Consideration:

  1. Special Consideration for assessment is for students who have covered the work of a course but have been prevented from demonstrating their knowledge or skills at the time of the assessment due to unforeseen circumstances. This may be because the student has not sat the test/exam or has sat but with impaired performance. Applications under this category must be submitted within five working days of the assessment due date.

  2. Special consideration for late discontinuation is for students who have been prevented from completing a course of study, due to circumstances beyond their control, or that were not reasonably foreseeable, and they were unable to withdraw from the course(s) by the published withdrawal deadline. Applications under this category must be submitted no later than five working days after the examination period has finished. 

If the assessment is an essay or assignment where it may be possible to receive an extension, your first step is to contact the course co-ordinator directly to apply for an extension to complete the piece of work. This doesn’t stop you from applying for Special Consideration, but if an extension has also been granted, this will be taken into account when assessing your application.

If you are applying for Special Consideration, it is recommended that you also contact your course co-ordinator(s).

How to apply

Before proceeding with an application, you must read this information: Special Consideration Process (PDF, 595KB).

It is also recommended that you read:

Special Consideration for Assessment (Missed Exam/test or Impaired Performance)

Special Consideration for Late Discontinuation

For special consideration for assessment, you need to submit a separate application for each piece of assessment that has been affected by unforeseen circumstances.

For special consideration for late discontinuation, you can list a number of courses on one application.


You can commence an application for special consideration before obtaining all of the supporting evidence.
If your application is based on medical grounds, you must have a UC medical certificate completed by a registered medical practitioner: UC Medical Certificate (PDF, 143KB).

You should ensure that you see your medical practitioner within a reasonable timeframe for them to be able to make a diagnosis, and that they are provided with sufficient information regarding the timing of your assessments (if applicable) to enable them to provide beneficial supporting documentation.”

If you aren’t able to provide independent evidence for your circumstances, you must complete a statutory declaration in front of a Justice of the Peace and attach this to your application: Statutory Declaration for Special Consideration (PDF, KB87)

If you require further information contact:
Melanie Coulter
Phone: +64 3 369 5024 extn 95024
Level 0, Matariki

After you apply for Special Consideration

The first step is for your application to be reviewed by the Special Considerations Committee who will decide whether to accept or decline the grounds of your application.

If your application is for an assessment item and the grounds are accepted, it will be forwarded to the department to determine an academic remedy (if required) which they will organise with you directly.

If your application is for late discontinuation and the grounds are accepted, it will be forwarded to the Dean of the owning college of your qualification. 

If your application is declined, you will be notified by the Examinations Office.

Appealing a decision
You have the right to appeal the outcome of a special consideration application.
Appeals should be made in writing within 10 days of the notification of the decision.

If you wish to appeal a decision of the Special Consideration Committee or a Dean, the appeal should be addressed to the Academic Appeals Committee via the specialconsideration@canterbury.ac.nz.

If wish to appeal a decision of an academic department, the appeal should be addressed to the Dean of the Faculty for your qualification. The appeal regulations.