Disruption to studies

Disruption to studies

The University recognises that students may experience events or conditions that adversely affect their academic performance. The Disruption to Studies policy applies only to serious and unavoidable matters. The University classifies a disruption as serious and unavoidable if it:

  • Could not have been reasonably anticipated, avoided or guarded against by the student; and
  • Was beyond the student's control; and
  • Caused substantial disruption to the student's capacity for effective study, and/or completion of required work; and
  • Occurred during an event critical study period and was at least three consecutive days duration, and/or
  • Prevented completion of an assessment task scheduled for a specific date (e.g. final examination, in class test/quiz, in class presentation).

Steps to notify of disruption to students


To be eligible for Special Consideration, a disruption to studies notification must be completed and submitted online through AskMQ no later than five working days of the assessment task date or due date. If a student requires someone to submit on their behalf, this will be considered.

In submitting a disruption to studies notification, a student is acknowledging that they may be required to undertake additional work. The time, date, deadline and nature of this additional work is non-negotiable.

Students who undertake assessments do so on the basis that they are declaring themselves “Fit to Sit”. As a result, students who have already undertaken the assessment task will need to demonstrate that they were unaware of the Disruption to Studies’ impact on their ability to perform the task in their evidence, that they were taken ill during the assessment (in the case of an examination or test), or that other exceptional circumstances beyond their control vitiated the Fit to Sit declaration. 


Supporting documentation must be submitted within five working days of submitting the notification. Refer to the Disruption to Studies: Supporting Evidence Schedule for examples of supporting documentation. Submitted documentation will be used to determine if the disruption is serious and unavoidable.

Supporting documentation must demonstrate that substantial disruption has been caused to the student’s capacity for effective study during an event critical study period and include:

  • beginning date and duration of the effect of disruption; and
  • a statement confirming  that the student:
    • was unable to complete an assessment task scheduled for a specific date (e.g. final examination, in class test/quiz, in class presentation) because of the effect of the disruption; and / or
    • had their preparation for an assessable task affected for not fewer than three (3) consecutive days duration.

Originals of all documentation regarding the disruption must be retained by the student, which the University may request at any time. Students will have ten business days to submit the original documentation.

Withdrawal of notice of disruption

A student may withdraw their Disruption to Studies notification at any point before the determination of whether it is 'Serious and Unavoidable’ is made. After this determination, the student may not withdraw the Disruption to Studies Notification and must submit themselves to partake in the assessment activities organised by the Unit Convenor, or accept the ‘W’ status for the unit.

Medical disruptions

A completed Professional Authority Form is the preferred form of evidence for disruptions related to health conditions. Health documents that clearly indicate the duration and specific nature of impact on studies will also be considered as evidence.

Refer to the Disruption to Studies: Supporting Evidence Schedule  for details regarding the professional authority that is relevant to the disruption event. Students can contact staff in Campus Wellbeing and Support for guidance on medical circumstances relating to a disruption event or for help completing a Professional Authority Form.

The University may contact a registered health professional to verify authenticity or obtain further information relevant to the student’s disruption.

Prior conditions

Other policies cover conditions existing prior to commencing a unit of study, except in the event of deterioration or exacerbation of the condition. The student is responsible for managing their workload in light of any known or anticipated problems.

Students with a pre-existing disability/health condition may visit Disability Support  and contact Campus Wellbeing and Support for further information.

Non-medical disruptions

If a disruption is non-medical, appropriate supporting evidence indicating the severity and impact of the circumstances must be included with the notification as per the Supporting Evidence Schedule. Details of the actual circumstances are not required if the supporting evidence communicates the severity impact of the circumstances.

How to apply

  1. Visit AskMQ and use your OneID to log in via 'Current student: domestic and international'
  2. Under 'Forms' select 'Disruptions' and fill in your relevant details. A notification needs to be submitted for each unit you believe is affected by the disruption
  3. Attach supporting documents by clicking 'Add a reply' > 'Browse' and navigate to the files you want to attach, then click 'Submit form' to send your notification and supporting documents

Keep copies of your original documents, as the University may request them.

Once your submission is assessed, recommendations are sent to your unit convenor to ensure an appropriate solution for affected assessment(s) is organised.

For further information, consult the Disruption to Studies Procedure.

Back to the top of this page