Special Consideration

Special Consideration Applications must be submitted no later than FIVE WORKING DAYS after the assessment due date. 

You will receive an email notification once your application has been received.  A further email will be sent once the grounds of the application has been assessed to advise you of the decision on the grounds of the application. If the grounds are approved, this decision will also be emailed to the relevant Department, so they can apply an academic remedy. Please direct all enquiries to Special Consideration.

For an overview of the process please view the Special Consideration Procedure document.  For more detailed information, please read all the information contained on this page, in particular the information in relation to your supporting evidence before you submit your application.

Please note: For students unwell with COVID and the symptoms commenced more than 7 days before the assessment due date, or you have ongoing symptoms, which have persisted for more than 7 days, you should seek medical advice and will be required to provide a SC Medical Form (2023) in support of a special consideration application.

Special Consideration Information

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, such as illness, bereavement or other critical circumstances outside of their control at the time of the assessment.

The special consideration process is a two-step process.  First, the grounds of your application(s) are considered by the Special Consideration Committee and, if approved, are notified to both the Department/School and student via email.  Second, the application is considered by the Department/School to determine if an academic remedy is appropriate.  The outcome of which will be notified by the Department (e.g. a re-sit or alternative assessment) or when results are released (e.g. possibly an AEG grade, AEG Pass or No Change of Grade).  

Please note: An approved Special Consideration application does not mean that your grade for the course will change.  This decision is made by the respective Department after considering all your marks for the course the application relates to.

Examinations and Tests

Where a student is impaired or absent for a test or examination worth 10% or more, they may apply for a special consideration.  Applications under this category must be submitted no later than five working days after the assessment due date.  

Special consideration is NOT available for:

  • essays, assignments or quizzes, where an extension of time is available to complete the assessment item - see below for the process to apply for an extension;
  • missed lectures during the semester;
  • experiencing examination anxiety;
  • having several examinations or assessments close together;
  • known impairment, such as chronic illness (medical or psychological), injury or disability unless medical evidence confirms that the circumstances were exacerbated, despite appropriate management, at the time of assessment;
  • mistaking the date or time of an examination; 
  • failing to turn up to an examination or test because of sleeping in; 
  • where applications are repeatedly made for the same or similar reason, then the application may be declined on the grounds that the reason is not unexpected; 
  • where the application is made at the time of the assessment but the supporting documentation is received significantly after this date or after the date results are released; or
  • the application is made following the release of results (unless under exceptional circumstances).

Extensions for Essays/Assignments/Quizzes

A special consideration application is not the process to apply for an extension of time to complete and essay, assignment or quiz.  You must contact the Course Supervisor, with your supporting documentation, and apply for an extension of time to complete the assessment.

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 (an explanation as to why they were not able to withdraw by the due date must be provided in the application). Applications under this category must be submitted no later than five working days after the examination period has finished, prior to results being released.

An approved application for special consideration for late discontinuation does not provide a refund of fees. It only removes the relevant course(s) from a student's transcript.

Please note: If an application is received, considered, and approved, after the release of results, as per the Special Consideration Regulations, all courses in the relevant semester will be withdrawn regardless of whether the student has passed them or not (unless exceptional circumstances exist). 

It is important to note that while late discontinuation applications may be processed for international students, if the change results in a study load falling below fulltime, there may be implications for future student visa.  UC is obligated to advise Immigration NZ when a student reduces to part time study during their enrolment, and the student should be prepared to provide an explanation of why the late discontinuation was required with future visa applications.  It is the student’s responsibility to check with  Immigration New Zealand if they have any questions or concerns. 

All Teaching Placements

Please note that Special Consideration applications for impairment are not available with respect to teaching placements.  Students undertaking teaching qualifications can only apply for Special Consideration for Late Discontinuation with respect to their teaching placements.

Teaching Qualifications

In the following teaching qualifications, students are not able to apply for special consideration for impairment for any of the courses in the qualification.

They can only apply for Special Consideration for Late Discontinuation from the teaching Qualification.  This applies to the:

  • Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (GradDipTchgLn); 
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (PGDipTchgLn); and
  • Master of Teaching and Learning (MTchgLn).

Further information in relation to special consideration for teaching courses and qualifications can be found on the CIS and in respective Course Outlines. 

The first step is for the grounds of 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.

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

If your application is declined, you will be notified by the Special Considerations Coordinator

Reviewing/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 request a review of the decision in relation to the grounds of your application, made by the Special Consideration Committee the appeal needs to be addressed to the Dean of Academic Governance and sent to Special Consideration.

If you wish to appeal a Departments decision in relation to the remedy applied to an approved special consideration application, the appeal needs to be addressed to the Dean of your Faculty and sent to Special Consideration.

 Check the appeal regulations for more information.

Supporting Evidence

All Special Consideration Applications MUST be submitted with supporting evidence.  It is important that you submit your supporting evidence at the time you submit your application to avoid unnecessary delays in the processing of your application.


  • Applications made on medical grounds including Covid require a fully completed Special Consideration Medical Form, or other detailed medical certificate, as supporting evidence.  The SC Medical Form MUST be completed by a health practitioner, signed by them, dated and have their Health Practice stamp and/or Health Registration number.  Please download the SC Medical Form (2023) and have your medical practitioner complete this.
  • Electronically signed and unsigned medical forms will NOT be accepted.
  • You MUST see your medical practitioner within a reasonable timeframe for them to be able to make a diagnosis, and the consultation MUST take place within a period that is relevant to the assessment item. 
  • The relevant period for a missed examination would be within 48 hours of the examination; and for impaired performance the medical forms should be dated within 10 working days (but preferably earlier) of the date of the test or examination.


Supporting evidence in relation to a bereavement can be a copy of the newspaper death notice where your name is listed OR a letter from one of the following:

  • Medical Practitioner
  • Funeral Director
  • Minister of Religion
  • Religious Leader
  • Kaumātua
  • Police. 

Please note that where a newspaper death notice does not indicate the relationship of the deceased to the student, you will need to include, as supporting evidence, a letter from a third party outlining and confirming the relationship.  A third party letter can be provided by a person from the list above.


There are many support services available at UC in relation to student wellbeing. Watch The Four Pillars of Wellbeing video for some advice from two of our GPs at UC Health.

If you are struggling and need someone to connect with, you can visit our Wellbeing Hub which provides pathways to lots of helpful resources and services. If you feel you need additional support contact the team at Student Care.

Need to apply for Special Consideration?

find out more about

Primary Contact email: specialconsideration@canterbury.ac.nz

Vanessa Smith

Special Consideration Coordinator
Level 2 North, Matariki
Internal Phone: 92544

Heather Couch

Academic Quality and Records Team Leader
Chair, Special Consideration Committee
Level 2 North, Matariki