Clashes and alternative arrangements

Examination clashes

Every effort is made to minimise examination clashes (two exams scheduled at the same time). However, there will be instances where exam clashes are unavoidable.

If you are affected by an exam clash, arrangements will be made for you to sit both exams on the same day:

  • You will sit one of your clashing exams in the morning and one in the afternoon. Your exams will not be rescheduled to another day.
  • To prevent contact with other students sitting the exam at the scheduled time, after your morning exam you will be escorted to a supervised lunch room until your afternoon exam starts.
  • If you are affected by an exam clash you will receive written notification advising you of the planned arrangements.

Alternative arrangements

Students enrolled in Campus (C) courses and students enrolled in Distance (D) courses who live within 90 minutes' travel time of the University of Canterbury, are expected to be available to sit their exams on-campus for the entire duration of the examination period. The only exceptions to this are where a student is prevented from entering New Zealand as a result of COVID.

Alternative arrangements are allowed only very rarely and only in exceptional circumstances which are beyond the candidate’s control. Holiday plans are not considered valid grounds for alternative examination arrangements.

Reasons that will be considered when a student applies for alternative examination arrangements include:

ReasonCriteriaDocumentary evidence
Religious Conflicting religious day or event Letter from priest, rabbi or church elder
Sickness Student or close family member Letter from medical professional
Bereavement Family member or close friend Death notice or other appropriate evidence
Study Overseas study. Must be a tertiary institute Letter from other institute
Sporting or cultural event Representing New Zealand, or the University of Canterbury (at a high level) Letter from coach or event organiser
Wedding Immediate family member or part of a bridal party Wedding invitation and proof of relationship or involvement. Proof of travel where applicable.
Business Business travel at a professional level Letter from employer. Proof of travel where applicable.


How to apply

If you will be unable to sit one or more of your exams at the scheduled time and place you should apply to sit them off-campus. In very rare occasions, you may be permitted to sit your exam at an alternative time. You should not make any arrangements until your application is approved.

To apply you must:

  • Write a letter outlining your situation.
  • Include verifying documentation with your letter
  • If you are applying to sit the exam off-campus, you must also submit an Examinations Off-campus form.

Your application must be received at least one month before the start of the examination period (unless the situation arises at short notice). 

Applications should be addressed to:

Examinations Senior Coordinator,
Level 0, Matariki/Registry, 
University of Canterbury, 
Private Bag 4800,
Christchurch 8140

Alternatively, bring all documentation to the Examinations Office, Matariki/ Registry, Level 0. 


The application fee to sit an alternative exam arrangement is $131 (per venue). The fee is payable after your application has been approved. Payment instructions are included in the Exam Payment Options form.

Please note if your exam will be sat paper-based: Once an application to sit an exam off-campus has been approved, it is your responsibility to locate a suitable venue and supervisor. This must be approved by the Examination Arrangements Senior Co-ordinator.  Any additional fees incurred are your responsibility.

Need more information?

Please contact Examinations Senior Coordinator