You will require supporting documentation any time you have to prove that special circumstances affected your capacity to perform to the best of your ability. These include:
- Adverse Circumstance application
- Appealing against a final result
- Appealing against a final result – potential graduate
- Remission of fees
- Review of Academic Performance
Special Circumstances are those that are generally considered to be unusual or uncommon and were not able to be foreseen. You will need to be able to prove that these special circumstances were were beyond your control and due to these special circumstances, you were unable to complete your course requirements.
Examples of special circumstances include:
- Health grounds – either physical or psychological
- Non-health grounds such as:
- Compassionate grounds, for example, the death or serious injury of a close family member or friend
- Hardship for example, sudden loss of employment; family breakdown; or severe disruption to domestic arrangements
- Trauma – for example, impact of crime or accident; impact of natural disasters; or
- Unavoidable commitments.
In order to demonstrate your special circumstances you will require supporting documentation.
What supporting documentation can I submit?
All documentation provided must be either original documents or certified copies. it can include:
- A letter or medical certificate from an accepted health professional, which should include the date(s) that the health grounds have adversely affected the relevant assessment item(s);
- Evidence demonstrating compassionate grounds – this may include a funeral notice or letter from a counselling service;
- Evidence demonstrating hardship – this may include a letter from a counselling service;
- Evidence demonstrating trauma – this may include a letter from a police officer, fire officer or letter from a counselling service;
- Evidence supporting unavoidable commitments as a student Reservist, an elite sportsperson or religious responsibilities – this may include an official notification or letter from a person/s in authority such as a letter from Elite Athletes Coordinator;
- Evidence supporting jury duty or other court ordered appearance – this may include a court subpoena; or
- A Statutory Declaration. This document will only be accepted when used to demonstrate compassionate grounds, hardship or trauma and it must be provided with other supporting documentation. Statutory Declarations will not be accepted for health grounds.
Documentation NOT accepted
- Documentation that is either undated or doesn’t clearly state the date that the adverse circumstances occurred or impacted you.
- Documentation with dates for a different period other than the one you’re applying for.
- Back-dated medical documentation is not always accepted. Whenever possible, your medical certificate must be from the same day as your adverse circumstances occurred.
- Documentation from friends, housemates, family in regards to illness or misadventure.
- Letters from employers in relation to illness.
Documentation should always be as detailed, date specific and impact specific as possible. Note that if your documentation simply states you were suffering from a ‘medical condition’, that this may not be sufficient.
How we can help
A Student Advocate can help you with your supporting documentation in a number of ways:
- Check that your supporting material is in the correct format (e.g. certified copy)
- Check that your supporting material is appropriate to your appeal
- Advise whether you have sufficient supporting documentation to evidence your case.
A Student Advocate will be happy to review your supporting documentation before you submit it. Please contact StudentAdvocates@newcastle.edu.au as soon as possible before the submission is due.