If you are struggling to submit an assignment due to unexpected circumstances, you may be able to apply for a short extension or special consideration.

Short extensions

You can apply for short extensions of time – up to five days for higher education (HE) courses or 10 days for VET/TAFE courses – for assessments and assignments. Apply for a short extension at least one working day before the assessment due date.

Short extensions may be granted for:

  • unavoidable work commitments
  • family, cultural, religious or elite sporting commitments known in advance
  • other unexpected circumstances outside a student’s control.

Apply for a short extension

Send your application to your College Course and Unit Advisor (CUA) or your Victoria University Polytechnic teacher.

We recommend that you attach documentary evidence such as a letter from a relevant authority (e.g. employer).

For extensions of more than five days, or short extension applications after the deadline, submit a special consideration application.

Special consideration

Special consideration is available if unexpected circumstances affect your ability to complete an assessment, or if you need an assessment extension longer than five days (or 10 days for VET/TAFE students at VU Polytechnic).

You may be eligible to receive special consideration for the following coursework:

  • assignments
  • examinations
  • laboratory experiments
  • literature reports
  • portfolios
  • presentations
  • tests.

If your circumstances will severely affect your performance for the next 3–4 weeks, you should consider withdrawing from the unit before the census date. Seek advice from your Course and Unit Advisor to discuss the implications for your course progression or international student visa.

If your studies are affected by the impacts of an ongoing illness or disability, you may want to consider registering with Accessibility Services to obtain an Access Plan.

Applying for special consideration

You will need to complete the following steps before submitting a special consideration application form.

Check that you are eligible according to the Adjustments to Assessment Procedure.

Sample reasons to apply for special consideration:

  • Student A was unwell on the day of their exam. They asked their doctor for a Treating Professional Supporting Document or medical certificate and attached this to their online special consideration application the day after the exam.
  • Student B had something unexpected (a funeral interstate) and needed more time for an assignment. They applied for special consideration online and attached supporting documents (funeral notice, flight details and a statutory declaration).
  • Student C was in hospital on the day of his exam and all the following week and could not submit a special consideration application before the deadline (within 3 days of the exam). They submitted a late application and attached a half-page letter explaining the exceptional circumstances, a statement from the hospital showing the dates of treatment and a Treating Professional Supporting Document or a medical certificate completed by the doctor.
  • Student D had an unavoidable work commitment and could not do an in-class presentation. They contacted the Unit Convenor in advance and applied for a short extension well before the due date, attaching an official letter from their employer.

If your reason for applying is due to a medical condition:

  • Ask your medical practitioner or other treating professional (such as a counsellor) to complete the relevant section of the Treating Professional Supporting Document or supply a medical certificate.
  • If you are unable to obtain any supporting documentation from your medical practitioner within 3 days of the assessment due date, please provide a statutory declaration outlining your circumstances.

If your reason for applying is non-medical, you will need to upload external support verification, such as a letter from your employer, a statutory declaration, police statement, funeral notice, letter from another authority or religious leader statement.


Apply for special consideration (via MyVU login) within three working days of the assessment due date. This means you have 3 working days after the due date to apply.

You will receive an email confirming successful lodgement of your form. The application processing times can vary, depending on the complexity of your situation and the availability of academic staff.

You will be advised of the outcome via email. If your application is approved, you might be granted an extension of time, a special examination, an alternative assessment, removal of a late penalty or adjustment to marks, depending on your circumstances.

If you were unable to submit a special consideration application before the deadline, and there were exceptional circumstances that prevented you from lodging in time, your application may still be approved.

  • Write a letter (half to one page long) describing the exceptional circumstances that caused your application to be late.
  • Apply for special consideration online and upload this letter, along with supporting documentation.

Contact Student Advocacy if you would like further advice as to whether your circumstances may be considered exceptional.


Tips for applying

  • Organise your work/other commitments around your assessments. You are expected to complete assessments by the due date.
  • If you won't be able to complete an assessment on time, contact your Unit Convenor as soon as possible to discuss options.
  • Stay in touch with your Unit Convenor about your circumstances.
  • Attach supporting evidence to your application.

Review of short extension & special consideration decisions

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your application, and you think there are good reasons that this should be reviewed, then you may request your Course Chair to review the decision.

Request review

You must make the request within three (3) working days of being notified that your application was rejected.

  1. Write to your Course Chair outlining the reasons the decision should be reviewed (half to one page long).
  2. Attach the documents from your original application along with any other relevant evidence.
  3. If you don’t know who your Course Chair is, ask the Student Service Centre or find their details on your College staff contact page.

You should be notified of the outcome within three (3) working days through your VU email.