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Classes and assessment

Special circumstances

UTS makes provision for various types of special circumstances that students may face whilst studying at UTS. You can find an outline of these provisions below. 


UTS is committed to providing equal opportunity for students with disabilities through an inclusive educational environment. The Accessibility Service works with other University staff to ensure that appropriate support is available for students:

  • with disabilities and ongoing illnesses
  • admitted through the inpUTS educational access scheme and special admissions schemes.

If you will be disadvantaged by a disability or ongoing illness in your assessment tasks, the university can make arrangements which will minimize or eliminate the impact of the disability. You will still need to demonstrate that you meet the learning objectives of your subjects. The arrangements will involve modifications to assessment tasks, but maintain academic standards.

For more information on assessment arrangements for students with accessibility requirements, please refer to the UTS Accessibility website.

Special consideration

Special consideration consists of the exercise of academic discretion to provide equitable treatment to students whose performance in an assessment item is affected by illness, misadventure or work-related circumstances.

You should only apply for special consideration when your performance in an assessment item, including examinations, has been affected by extenuating or special circumstances beyond your control.

Special consideration is not automatically guaranteed and may not result in a mark adjustment. 

Alternative (Special) Exam

If you have missed the whole of a centrally-conducted exam due to illness or misadventure, you may apply for an alternative exam.

You may not apply for an alternative exam if you have:

  • attempted any part of a centrally-conducted exam. If you have attempted part of an exam, you may apply for special consideration.
  • missed a faculty-based exam. If you miss a faculty-based exam, you should contact your Faculty.

Special conditions in exams

Under certain circumstances, special assessment arrangements can be made in order to ensure that all student have the same opportunities in completing assessment items. 

If your application for special exam conditions is granted, you will be notified by email. Please print this email and take it to your exam.

There are a number of different ways to apply for special conditions on your assessment items: 

  • UTS Accessibility Service​ has information for students with a disability or ongoing illness
  • You can apply for special conditions in subject assessments if you are a primary carer or are pregnant. 
  • You can also apply for special consideration if you are engaged in active service

Special conditions in exams - for students from a non-English speaking background

If you have been studying in English for a limited time, you can apply for special conditions in exams where:

  • you are from a non-English speaking background (NESB), and
  • you are in your first or second semester at UTS, and
  • the duration of your exam is two hours or more.

If approved, the special conditions are:

  • the provision of an additional 10 minutes per exam hour
  • the use of a monolingual paper (non-electronic) English dictionary.

Refund or remission due to special circumstances

You can apply for a refund of upfront tuition fees, a remission of HECS-HELP debt, or a re-credit of FEE-HELP balance if:

  • you were affected by special circumstances and
    • you were unable to continue studying and withdrew from a subject after the census date had passed, or
    • you were unable to successfully complete the requirements of a subject

Special circumstances are those that are generally considered to be unusual or uncommon, and were not able to be foreseen prior to the census date.

You must be able to demonstrate that the special circumstances that apply were:

  • beyond your control, and
  • did not occur or make their full impact on you until on or after the census date, and
  • made it impracticable for you to successfully complete the requirements for the subject.

You can find information about refund of upfront payments due to special circumstances on the refunds and remissions page

Students required to be engaged in active service

If you have your study disrupted as you are required to be engaged in active service, such as:

  • Australian Defence Force members,
  • volunteer for the NSW State Emergency Service, and
  • volunteer for the State fire services.

You may apply for:

More information

Equity-related policies, statements and strategies – Includes ‘Accommodating students with disabilities in fieldwork,’ and ‘Widening participation strategy.’

Student Rules:

8.2 Learning and assessment arrangements