Guidelines for Coursework Extensions


These guidelines apply to assessed coursework and tests in undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses, and to mitigations for impacts to this coursework due to circumstances that are unexpected and out of a student’s control.  


  • These guidelines are intended to create a more consistent approach to the handling of students’ requests for consideration in completing coursework and tests, including extensions to due dates for these. Staff need to also ensure they are familiar with local guidelines (e.g. faculty, school, programme) with respect to coursework extensions. 
  • The benefits of these guidelines include: 
    • Students will experience consistency across courses in the handling of extension requests; and 
    • Teaching staff will have a reduced administrative burden of handling medical certificates, etc. 
    • There is consistency with amendments made to the Aegrotat and Compassionate Consideration process in 2022 relating to tests and exams. 
  • The former expectations that students seeking an extension or consideration visit the University’s Health & Counselling Services (UHCS) are relaxed, providing for: 
    • Students to seek medical, counselling or other support from the most appropriate and convenient sources only if possible; and 
    • Teaching staff to employ a ‘high-trust’ approach towards students’ requests. 


To support students’ continued engagement in assessed coursework, in taught courses. 


  1. Course information on Canvas should provide clear guidance to students on the specifications, resources, and processes for assessments, including: 
    • Due dates and requirements for assessments and the submission of work for assessment.
    • Information on local course extension processes 
    • Advice to students to adhere to coursework due dates and scheduled tests, and to complete all assessments whenever possible – in particular, that this will enable adequate and timely feedback to be provided and will support their learning within the course as intended.
    • Advice to students on any specific implications of falling behind on assignments, especially where the sequence of these is important to successful progress in the course/s.
    • Additional support and resources (where available) to students who require these. 
  2. By direct request to the Course Director/Course Coordinator (or nominee - as appropriate for the course and advised to students) a student may request a mitigation (such as an extension) in respect to assignments if their assessment has been disrupted by illness or other unexpected event that is out of the student’s control. 
  3. Students should notify the Course Director/Course Coordinator (or nominee) of their situation as soon as practicable, and preferably before any due date. Notifications received after an assessment due date should still be accepted where that is reasonably possible within the context of the course. 
  4. Notifications by students should include information about the unexpected circumstances and should attach evidence to support this if they have any.
    • The evidence expected should only be that which a student may be reasonably expected to be able to provide. 
  5. Course Directors shall apply a ‘high-trust’ approach in responding to students’ requests and should not inquire further or seek further evidence unless there are firm grounds to do so.  
  6. In response to requests, Course Directors (or nominee) shall apply the most appropriate resolution that best supports the student’s successful progress in the course (consistent with accreditation requirements if applicable), for instance: 
    • An extension of time for the assignment; or 
    • An alternative assessment activity; or 
    • A waiver for that assignment (see note 9 below). 
  7. The resolution should be communicated to the student directly.  
  8. Feedback on students’ learning and assessments is important for their progress in a course; however, where an extensions or alternative assessments have been offered the feedback given may be diminished owing to logistical reasons. 
  9. If an item of assessment is waived the Course Director (or nominee) will advise the student on the adjustment of marks to compensate for the missing coursework, such as: 
    • Re-weighting other items of assessment; or 
    • Adding the weighting of the missing item to the final examination. 
  10. For courses that use plussage the Course Director (or nominee) shall advise the student on how the resolution will impact plussage for this course. 
  11. Course Directors (or nominee) are encouraged to add a note in the Canvas Gradebook for each mark where a mitigation been applied – in order to keep a record of these decisions for their own use. This may occur for instance, if the student subsequently applies for an aegrotat or compassionate consideration. 

Document management and control

Owner: Pro Vice-Chancellor Education

Content manager: Manger, Academic Quality Office

Approved by: Pro Vice-Chancellor Education

Date approved: 19 May 2023