University Of Canterbury Special Consideration

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 completed an assessment or sat the test/exam or has completed an assessment or sat the test/exam but with impaired performance. Applications under this category should be submitted within five working days of the assessment due date.

Special Consideration for late discontinuation

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 should be submitted no later than five working days after the examination period has finished. 

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.


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) to discuss the Special Consideration application with them in advance of the application being submitted.

Special Consideration Applications – COVID-19

If your studies are still being affected by COVID-19 we encourage you to submit a special consideration application.  The reason for your application may be that you missed an assessment item or your performance was impaired. 

In the first instance we would encourage you to speak with your course co-ordinator and let them know of the difficulties you are experiencing, which may include things such as technological problems (i.e. not being able to access wifi or you had an IT issues during an online assessment item) or personal or family issues.  Your course co-ordinator in many instances will be able to provide advice and support. 

If you wish to apply for a special consideration please complete the relevant form.  Your application will need to be accompanied by supporting evidence, which depending on the reason why you are applying, could include a) medical evidence, b) evidence of an IT issue, c) correspondence with the course co-ordinator or d) any other relevant information.   All COVID-19 related applications must be supported with evidence.

Need to apply for Special Consideration?

How to apply

You can apply for Special Consideration on the grounds of a missed assessment, test or exam, or for impaired performance. If you are seeking an extension request please contact your Course Co-ordinator or Academic Administrator in the first instance.   A Special Consideration should not be submitted to request an extension.

For assessment items less than 10% please contact your Course Coordinator for advice.

Before proceeding with an application, you must read this information: 

It is also recommended that you read:

Application Forms

Please click on and fill out the appropriate form below.

For special consideration for assessment, please note you can now submit multiple assessment items on one application.  Please click the ‘Add new row’ link to add multiple assessment items.

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


You can start an application for special consideration before obtaining all of the supporting evidence.  If you submit an application all supporting evidence must be submitted within 10 working days.

Medical certificates

If your application is based on medical grounds, it should be supported with medical evidence from a medical practioner.   Ideally you should submit a UC Medical Certificate. Where possible, 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/exams (as applicable) to enable the medical practioner to provide beneficial supporting documentation.

Other accepted evidence

If you are submitting an application which is related to a bereavement, appropriate evidence is a death notice from a newspaper or a letter from a medical practioner, funeral director, minister of religion, religious leader, kaumatua or the police.  Please note that where the notice or letter does not indicate the relationship with the deceased to the student, you should include as evidence a letter stating the relationship.

If you are not 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

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 for the final decision. 

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 [email protected].

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