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Curtin University

Organisational Support for Students

Sometimes it is necessary to obtain a letter from CDS explaining to your lecturers or School why you were not able to complete an assessment on time, study at a full load, or complete every unit within a semester. Read on to learn how to go about this ...

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Assessment Extension

As per Curtin's official policy on extensions:

Assessment Extension is a process involving the formal permission for a student to delay the completion or submission of an assessment task after the deadline. This may apply to assignments, tests, examinations and other forms of assessment.

Where an Assessment Extension extends beyond the date of the Board of Examiners the interim grade 'Deferred Assessment' shall be used. Deferred Assessment is the formal approval, by the Board of Examiners, to delay the determination of a student's final grade in a unit to permit the student to complete an assessment task(s) at a later date.

Please note, however, that an Assessment Extension cannot be used to defer a unit to a future study period.

To gain support for an Assessment Extension from CDS, you must have exceptional circumstances that are relevant to this Service. Exceptional circumstances that CDS can provide support for include:

  • Injury, illness or condition (which includes mental health concerns) that have resulted in a significant delay on the assessment in question; and
  • Family issues such as an injury, illness or bereavement.        

Please note: You will be required to bring verification of your circumstances before support can be provided. Without such verification, it is likely you request for support will be denied.   

CDS does not provide letters of support for extensions when the exceptional circumstances involve:

  • Purely medical conditions (please see your doctor for support);           
  • Commitments to participate in elite sports or emergency services (please obtain verifying documentation from the team/club/organisation you are involved with); or           
  • Unavoidable and unexpected work commitments (please obtain verification from your employer).

The official university form to apply for Assessment Extension can be found here.

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Refund and Remission of Fees

As per the Refund and Remission of Fees webpage.

If you have experienced an adverse and unexpected event that has had a significant impact on your studies after the census date of a particular study period, you may be eligible to be withdrawn from your studies under special circumstances. In order for your application to be favourably considered, you will need to demonstrate that these circumstances:

  • were beyond your control;
  • did not make their full impact known until on or after the census date;
  • affected your to the extent that you were unable to complete the requirements of the unit; and
  • could not be addressed with applicable assessment extensions.

If you are successful, you will be withdrawn from your units and these will be recorded as a "WD" on your Academic Transcript. You will also be eligible for a remission of debt and/or a refund if this type of special withdrawal is granted.

CDS supports students wishing to request a refund or remission of fees if they have experienced:

  • Serious physical or psychological illness causing a serious loss of study time and preventing attendance at classes;
  • Personal or family circumstances, including the death or serious illness of a close relative, that significantly affected their study; or
  • A change of employment conditions that could not have been anticipated before the last date for withdrawal.

Please note: You will be required to bring verification of your circumstances before support can be provided. Without such verification, it is likely you request for support will be denied.

Furthermore, medical diagnoses and conditions cannot be supported by a counsellor or disability advisor.

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International Students Request to Enroll in Less than 100 Credits

Though international students are normally required to maintain a full-time enrolment, they can seek to reduce their load under certain circumstances - including Credit for Recognised Learning and when the number of available units for a semester are less than 100 credits combined.

In addition, students may seek to apply for this due to extenuating medical reason (for which they should see their doctor) or for extenuating personal reasons. In this latter case, CDS may be able to assist students in their application by providing supporting documentation. As with the other types of support noted above, verification of circumstances is likely to be required and should be brought to the Counselling Service when students present to make their request for this supporting documentation.

Please note: According to the Department of Home Affairs, financial hardship and poor English skills are not considered valid reasons for reducing study load and support will not be provided when these are the only relevant circumstances.

The official form to apply to reduce study load to less than 100 credits can be found here.

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Leave of Absence for International Onshore Students

Though international students are generally precluded from taking a Leave of Absence (LoA) due to their visa conditions, there is provision for this to occur where there are compassionate or compelling circumstances. Examples of such circumstances include:

  • Serious illness;
  • Serious illness of a close relative;
  • Bereavement; or
  • Pregnancy.

CDS can assist in providing a supporting letter for this application, but again, verification of circumstances will be required and should be brought to the Counselling Service when students plan to request such support.

The official form to apply for this Leave of Absence as an International Onshore student can be found here.

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Appeals Against Status

CDS professionals do not provide any formal organisational support to students who have been terminated or placed on conditional status (ie. no letters of support will be provided). Instead, students affected in this way are directed to the following Learning Support website that details what to do when on conditional or terminated status.

The Counselling Service does, however, provide personal counselling to those students experiencing acute stress after receiving their results, or needing therapeutic help regarding the circumstances that affected their study.

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Statutory Declarations

Often written verification will involve the need for a student to complete a Statutory Declaration. This is a document which becomes legally binding once it is witnessed by an eligible individual, and on that basis can be used for or against the person making the declaration in a court of law.

Download a Statutory declaration to print off and complete here.

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