Special Consideration for Illness or Misadventure

If the policies of the School of Mathematics and Statistics in any way conflict with any University policy, then the University policy applies.

The University has policies for special consideration that are followed by the School of Mathematics and Statistics. In addition, the School has its own policies as follows.

"Illness" includes all medical conditions that may affect a student's performance, including depression and similar illnesses.

Note that the University provides a Health Service for medical problems and a Counselling Service which is well experienced in assisting students experiencing depression or personal problems.

"Misadventure" is used to denote a non-medical circumstance beyond a student's control that affects their study. Such circumstances include things like the death of a close relative, a car crash on the way to a test, or jury duty. It does not include any work-related events such as being rostered on at the time of a test or even being sent overseas during exam period. (Students are expected to give priority to their studies over any employment.) It also does not cover lateness due to transport or traffic problems unless these are exceptional. It also does not include anything relating to the student's social or sporting life (unless the student is representing the University).

Special consideration for tests or assignments

If you miss a test, examination or other assessment due to illness or misadventure you can ask for special consideration for the test, assignment or examination.

In the case of illness, a doctor's certificate (or counsellor's letter) covering the date(s) concerned is required. For misadventure, full documented evidence is required. 

You should complete an application for Special Consideration using the UNSW online service. The application will be forwarded to the Course Convenor for consideration. Note that the School's policy is to ignore or refuse all requests until the documentation is verified by Student Central. However, your Course Convenor may accept the application if you show them the original documentation and provide a copy for the School to keep.The School reserves the right to contact the doctor or counsellor concerned to verify that the documentation is genuine. Failure to get documents verified can result in no special consideration being granted by the School.

Once the documentation has been verified, the Course Convenor will consider the application and either accept or reject it depending on the severity of the incident or illness. If the application is accepted, then either an additional assessment will be granted at a time determined by the Course Convenor, or the result of the assessment will be recorded as an M mark on the Mathematics database. If it is rejected, then the student can appeal to the Director of First Year (for first year courses), the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the Postgraduate Coursework Director as appropriate.

If you are affected by illness or misadventure for an assignment, then you may be given an extension (this will be recorded on your file) or if you are affected for a lengthy period, then we may give you an M mark (see below). As assignments are set at least 14 days before they are due, then the illness or misadventure must be of a substantial nature and duration before any consideration is given.

When the during-semester composite marks are calculated, M marks are replaced by the average of assessment marks of the same type, or, if there are too many M marks or insufficient other marks to average, then greater weight may be placed on the final exam mark. If an Additional Assessment test is to be run for students who missed an original test, this will be stated in the Course Homepage and Initial Handout, and it must be sat at the time the Course Convenor fixes.

Special consideration for the final exam

If the consideration is for the final exam, again you must make an application through the University's online system. This should be done within three working days of the date of the assessment, unless the circumstances mean this is not possible (see the UNSW Student Central rules). Again, School policy is to ignore or reject applications until the documentation is verified by Student Central or directly by the Course Convenor. The Course Convenor will decide on all applications once all the School's marking processes have been completed. This typically happens several days after the end of the exam period, but before official results are released.

If you are suffering long-term illness or misadventure, you should be referred by your lecturer or tutor to see the Director of First Year, the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the Postgraduate Coursework Director as appropriate to explore your options. Full documentation (originals and copies) must be provided to prove the long-term nature of the illness or misadventure, and the copy will be retained by the School. Possible courses of action include applying to discontinue without failure or making special examination arrangements.

Note that the School of Mathematics and Statistics has a firm policy of NOT altering any mark due to a special consideration. All students must always show in tests, assignments and examinations that they have reached the required level of knowledge and skill in the course. Special consideration normally results in allowing you to show this in another assessment task, usually an Additional Assessment exam or test.