Academic Progression - Stage 3

This page provides information on Stage 3 of the Academic Progression Staying on Track Program. Academic progression is covered by Part 15 of the Coursework Policy and is designed to provide early identification and support for students who are making poor progress.

Stage 3 and Show Good Cause

At Stage 3 you will be asked to Show Good Cause why you should be allowed to continue.

If you do not Show Good Cause you may be excluded from the University for a period of two years.

If we do allow you to continue, we will likely impose strict conditions on your enrolment. You will be required to meet your academic advisor (or other more senior person) who may impose conditions on your continued enrolment such as reduced enrolment and follow-up meetings with progress reports from your lecturers.

What to include in a show good cause letter

You are required to write a letter to the Faculty and include appropriate attachments that address the issues listed below.

Scan documents if appropriate, and then read the instructions to upload your show good cause letter and supporting documents into Sydney Student.

  • You are required to show that your performance has been affected by illness or misadventure beyond your reasonable control. (This does not include demands of employers, pressure of employment or time devoted to non-University activities, unless these are relevant to serious ill health or misadventure)
  • You are required to demonstrate that you have reasonable prospects of meeting satisfactory progression in the following semester.

In all cases, providing evidence to substantiate your claims will greatly strengthen your case for showing good cause and being permitted to continue in your award course.

  • You should provide independent documentary evidence (eg doctors' certificates, police reports etc) which provide evidence of the issue and where possible how this impacts on your academic performance.
  • You are required to document the strategies that you have already undertaken, or will undertake, to address each of these circumstances - with a view to ensuring that they will not impact in a similar manner in the future. You should specifically list (with evidence if you can) what actions you have taken to improve your performance since you were first advised that you were on Stage 1 and Stage 2.
  • If you have shown cause before, you should indicate whether previously-identified factors affecting academic progression have recurred, including reasons why previous strategies to address these factors have not been effective.
  • We suggest you seek the advice of the SRC (undergrad students) or SUPRA (postgrad students) to prepare a show cause letter.
  • If circumstances prevent you from responding on time you should immediately contact the faculty office. If there are legitimate reasons, preferably substantiated with evidence, we can accept late submissions in some cases.
  • Even if you have recently suspended your enrolment for a semester or more, you are still obliged to reply to any "show good cause" request. A lack of response by the due date usually results in exclusion.
  • If you have had multiple semesters of poor performance, and are being asked to "show good cause", we strongly recommend that you consider the potential negative consequences of being excluded. Voluntarily discontinuing completely from your degree before the due date of the show good cause letter will allow you to avoid having an exclusion on your record.

The semester has already started - what do I do?

Due to the tight timelines surrounding results and holidays, formal decisions on show cause are often not made until after the start of the next semester. If you have submitted a show good cause response, this indicates that you wish to continue uni, and you are entitled to enrol conditionally in the degree until the decision has been made (and any appeals heard if that is the case).

If we do permit you to continue in your degree, our usual decision involves placing conditions on your enrolment of a maximum of 18 credit points, enrolling in any lower level core units of study that you have not yet passed, and not enrolling in any units where you have not passed the assumed knowledge or pre-requisites. If semester starts, and you have not yet received a decision, it is in your interest to ensure that you choose an enrolment that satisfies these points.

If you're an international student, you will need to be aware of your student visa requirements.

For international student on a student visa, if we require you to do a reduced load, you will first need to enrol in 24 credit points for each semester, and then apply to drop a unit of study (see your academic advisor about the best unit to drop). See the reduced study load page for instructions on how to apply in Sydney Student. You can upload a PDF copy of your Stage 3 decision letter as evidence in your application. If you have problems enrolling in a reduced load please email immediately with your details.

Even if we make the decision to exclude we do not immediately cancel your enrolment because you can appeal. You are allowed to continue under a conditional enrolment pending an appeal. You should continue to attend classes and attempt assessments until your appeal is finalised. However you should also consult with your School Academic advisor to ensure that your conditional unit of study selection is appropriate for your circumstances. Even if your advisor approves conditional enrolment, you are still obliged to respond formally to the show good cause request, and your advisor's conditional enrolment approval does not constitute a formal decision on your case.

No other correspondence from the university over-rules the need for you to show good cause or appeal. If you apply for suspension of studies, you still are required to show good cause (or appeal), and notifications from the university asking you to enrol do not imply your show good cause has been accepted - these notifications are generated because you are entitled to enrol conditionally.

If your appeal is unsuccessful or you do not appeal, in most cases (unless the appeal decision has specifically been deferred until the end of the semester) , we usually mark your unit of study enrolment as WD - withdrawn, with no fees associated with it.

What are the implications of exclusion?

Unfortunately. if we do not accept the reasons and plan put forward at the Stage 3 Show Cause stage, then the decision is exclusion.

If you are in international student this is likely to affect your student visa status, and we are obliged to inform the appropriate government department about any exclusion.

A student with an exclusion on their tertiary academic record is likely to experience issues if applying for other university studies, even in the studies are unrelated to engineering or at another university.

If you have had multiple semesters of poor performance, and are being asked to "show cause", we strongly recommend that you consider the potential negative consequences of being excluded. Voluntarily discontinuing completely from your degree before the due date of the show cause letter will allow you to avoid having an exclusion on your record.

A student who has been excluded does have the right to lodge an "appeal to the faculty" against the decision or apply for readmission after 2 years..


Please email or visit the Engineering and IT Faculty Office for in person questions.