If unexpected circumstances outside your control have affected your ability to complete an assessment, then you may be eligible to apply for special consideration.

Examples of eligible circumstances include:
  • an unexpected short-term physical or mental health condition
  • difficult personal circumstances or significant emotional disturbance
  • unexpected carer responsibility for an immediate family member
  • bereavement of an immediate family member or someone else close to you
  • having been the victim of a serious crime
  • other unexpected circumstances outside your control, such as:
    • an unavoidable employment, family, cultural, religious or elite sporting commitment
    • severe disruption of living arrangements
    • financial hardship, such as sudden loss of employment or income
    • serious technical issues during an online assessment. See more information below.

Note that applying for special consideration does not guarantee it will be granted. Each application will be assessed on a case by case basis.

How to apply

  • Most students can apply online. See exceptions below.
  • You must apply within five working days after the assessment date or due date. 
  • After submitting your application, you have up to five working days to provide your supporting documents

Exceptions to online applications and deadlines

  • Late applications may be accepted if you can provide compelling or compassionate reasons and evidence for submitting a late application.
  • Late course withdrawal without academic penalty: you can apply up to one year after you withdraw from a course (or after the course end-date if you didn't withdraw).
  • HDR candidates can only apply for coursework components of their program; e.g. courses such as ‘Research Strategies’ or ‘Research Methods’. To apply, email special.consideration@rmit.edu.au. 

If you're having issues with the research component of your program; e.g. courses such as ‘PhD Research’ or ‘Masters Research’, please refer to the HDR Action and Support Procedure that’s in place to support you.

Technical issues during an online assessment

Major or sustained technical disruption, failure or connection problems beyond your control during an online assessment may be grounds for special consideration, if it's proven they prevented you from successfully completing and submitting your assessment. 

Examples of technical issues that are not grounds for special consideration include but are not limited to:

  • The transition from face-to-face to an online teaching, learning and assessment environment.
  • An electronic file of your work becomes corrupt, or your hard drive is damaged or affected by viruses, and you haven’t kept a back-up of your work (eg. on an external hard drive, Cloud, USB, etc.).
  • Any technical problems that could have been prevented, avoided or the effects minimised by reasonable diligence; e.g. uploading an incorrect file, or not uploading a file successfully.
  • Minor technical issues such as a brief interruption to your internet or power.

If any of the above situations impact your assessments, contact your course coordinator as soon as possible to discuss your options. 

To apply for special consideration due to a major and unexpected technical issue, please follow these steps:

Step 1. Take screenshots

Take screenshots (which must include the date and time of the incident/issue/communication) of as many of the following as possible: 

  • error messages
  • screen not loading
  • failed devices
  • time-stamped speed tests 
  • power outage maps
  • messages or information from your electricity or internet service provider regarding the issue/outage experienced

Where relevant, obtain documentation from your electricity or internet service provider, or RMIT’s ITS team, confirming the sudden and unexpected prolonged internet or system outage/problem you experienced.  This may include phone logs, chat transcripts or emails.

If you have experienced a submission issue with Canvas, please contact Canvas Support who may be able to assist you with providing formal documentation to evidence those circumstances. You can access Canvas Chat or call the student hotline on +61 1800 910 175 which is available 24/7.

Step 2. Contact your course coordinator or tutor

Contact your course coordinator or tutor immediately and advise them of the issue in writing. 

Where appropriate, we also recommend that you immediately email your course coordinator or tutor a copy of your work as evidence that you completed the assessment task but were unable to submit it because of a technical issue.

Step 3. Submit a special consideration application

Submit a special consideration application immediately and upload your screenshots, evidence of contact made with your course coordinator or tutor and all other relevant supporting documentation/communications.

In your self-statement please tell us specifically how this technical issue affected your completion/submission of the assessment and include the date and time this issue occurred.



  • Submit your application even if you don’t have the necessary supporting documents ready (you have up to five working days to provide supporting documents after submitting your application).
  • Start gathering your supporting documents as soon as possible in case there are delays in obtaining them. Be mindful that if you're applying because of a health condition, your health practitioner may be unwilling to provide supporting documents once you no longer have symptoms.
  • If you submit late, it's very important that you explain why and provide supporting documents as evidence of the compelling or compassionate reasons why you couldn’t submit on time, such as evidence of hospitalisation or a death notice for a relative.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

RMIT handles all personal information in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Special consideration applications often contain sensitive personal and/or medical information. Your information is kept in confidence in a secure database that is accessed only by members of the Special Consideration team in the Academic Registrar’s Group for the purpose of assessing your application.

Emails in relation to your application may be copied to RMIT school or college staff as part of the process, but will not include details of the circumstances for which you sought special consideration.

Where your application raises concerns about your health or wellbeing, or if you apply repeatedly for special consideration in the same teaching period, the Special Consideration team may ask another support area of the University such as Counselling, Equitable Learning Services or Student Support to contact you offering support. This process does not involve providing other units with access to your special consideration documentation.

Yes. If you're registered with Equitable Learning Services (ELS) and have an Equitable Learning Plan, you may still apply for special consideration if something unexpected happens.

An Equitable Learning Plan contains planned, proactive arrangements for ongoing circumstances, while special consideration is a reactive process to provide for unexpected illness or hardship that is short-term in nature.

If you have an immediate need for additional adjustments (beyond those already detailed in your Equitable Learning Plan), you should apply for special consideration in the interim and provide supporting documentation from your treating health practitioner.  You still need to apply for special consideration within five working days of the assessment date or due date.

You should notify ELS as soon as possible (within 10 working days) of any change in your ongoing circumstances that may require reassessment of your needs.  

Please ensure you:

  • read the content of your Equitable Learning Plan and communicate regularly with lecturers, teachers and assessors to ensure that your Equitable Assessment Arrangements are implemented in good time, and
  • contact the ELS if you have any questions in relation to your Equitable Learning Plan.

If you’re granted a deferred assessment, you’ll be notified by email of the deferred assessment details at least five working days before the deferred assessment date.  

Until you complete the deferred assessment, your course result will be recorded as DEF (deferred assessment). 

You must sit the deferred assessment to obtain a result for that assessment. If you don’t sit the deferred assessment, you’ll receive a zero mark.

Make sure you:

  • check your student email account daily for notification of a deferred assessment
  • comply with any instructions in the email notification
  • are available to complete the deferred assessment as detailed in the notification.

Where possible, the school offering the course will record the deferred assessment grade before the deadline for adding courses in the next Semester.

Find out more about...

Contacts and help

Special consideration team

Email the team at special.consideration@rmit.edu.au if:

  • you have questions about eligibility, supporting documents or the application process
  • you're experiencing ongoing difficulties applying online
  • you're applying on behalf of a student who is incapacitated

Financial, health and general support services

Find out what financial, health and general support services are available. See our Student support page for details. 

RMIT University Student Union (RUSU)

RUSU Student Rights Officers can give you advice about special consideration. Contact RUSU Student Rights.

Compass is a RUSU service that provides support and referrals. Contact Compass.