Academic Progression - Stage 3

This page provides information on Stage 3 of the Academic Progression Staying on Track Program. The official university Student Academic Progression Policy 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 making satisfactory progress in the following semester.

In all cases, providing evidence to substantiate your claims will greatly strengthen your case for continued enrolment.

  • 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.

International students may need to use the "apply for reduced load" function in Sydney Student to enrol in only 18 credit points. Instructions for international students to reduce their study load

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 appeal the decision or apply for readmission after 2 years.