Academic Advocacy

Professional Student Advocates are available to assist with any academic concerns. They will clarify the options that are available to you and, if you so wish, help you to pursue appropriate action. Your discussion with the advocate is confidential. Any action will only be taken with your consent.

Examples of our Services:

  • Interpreting University Policies & Procedures
  • Protecting Student Rights
  • Appeals & Hearings
  • Plagiarism Hearings
  • Academic Misconduct Hearings
  • Review of Individual Piece of Assessment
  • Appeal of Final Subject Grade Process
  • Examination Support including Deferrals
  • Special Consideration for Assessment & Examinations
  • Academic Progression and Statement of Reasons
  • Complaints & Feedback
  • Discrimination and Harassment

University Rules Require: 

  • That assessment requirements are made clear to you at the beginning of each academic year or semester (as appropriate)
  • That a detailed and comprehensive statement of subject aims be published in a prospectus which is supplied free of charge to students.
  • That assessment objectives and examination procedures be made known to you before the start of a course
  • That no subject or course should have fixed or pre-determined pass rates (this means the number of students passing/failing, note that in order to pass you must achieve 50%)
  • That all assessable work relevant to exams is returned before Study Vacation
  • That no test worth more than 30% of the assessment in a given subject be held in the three weeks prior to a scheduled examination period
  • That no formal examinations be held outside the examination periods (except for Honours examinations)
  • That an independent check of an examiners clerical work on each paper is an essential aspect of the examining procedure

Important Notes:

  • Always make sure you keep a spare copy of your assignments in case your original is misplaced by your lecturer or tutor. University rules require you to retain this spare copy. Always lock up electronic copies.
  • Remember that dates for addition/substitution of subjects are important. If you enrol in a subject after this date, even if you receive advice from the School that it's okay to do so, MAKE SURE YOU CHECK WITH THE LECTURER CONCERNED AND SEEK THEIR APPROVAL.
  • When you enrol in a subject that uses terms such as flexible delivery, video conferencing, intensive mode lectures etc., make sure you understand what these terms mean. It may mean you rarely see your lecturer in person for the duration of the semester, if at all. Find out, ask questions, DO NOT ENROL IN SUBJECTS WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT YOU ARE ENROLLING IN (i.e. how your subject/course will be delivered).

If you are unhappy with the quality of your education, contact someone - speak with the lecturer concerned if appropriate or visit the Student Association Office to speak with an Advocate.

Academic Misconduct 

What is it? Academic misconduct includes but not limited to:

  • Cheating in an examination (unauthorised materials in your possession)
  • Presenting another person’s work for assessment as if it were one’s own, or other forms of plagiarism (such as self-plagiarism)
  • Collusion with another student, producing an assignment together which is meant to be completed individually
  • Paying someone to write an assignment for you
  • Falsification of research results
  • Falsification of an academic record

Relates to
Assignments, essays, tests and other forms of on-course (non-invigilated) assessments and Examinations (invigilated).

What Happens?
You will be contacted by the University if academic misconduct is alleged to have occurred. More detailed information can be found here. JCU takes academic misconduct by students very seriously. The procedures and penalties are outlined in the Student Academic Misconduct Requirements Policy. If you have further enquiries contact the Student Association on 1800 330 021 or [email protected]

Review of Individual Piece of Assessment

View JCU's policy on Review of Assessment here.

Questioning Essay Results - Having Papers Remarked

If you are not comfortable with a mark you have received and believe your work is worthy of a higher grade, you can apply for a re-mark.

The first thing to do is to meet with the lecturer who marked the essay. Explain your concerns and ask them to explain how she/he decided on the grade they awarded. Matters can frequently be cleared up easily at this point.

However, if you're still not happy, you can apply to the College Dean and request a re-mark by an independent marker. A Student Advocacy and Welfare Officer can help you with the application. Further information is available here.

Requests for a re-mark must be lodged within two weeks (10 working days) of receiving the mark so it is advisable to contact a Student Advocacy and Welfare Officer as soon as possible.

Questioning Examination Results – Having Exam Papers Remarked

If you wish to question an exam result the first step is to contact the examiner. This is usually your lecturer or the subject co-ordinator. You should ask to see your exam paper and have the marks explained to you. It is your right to see the paper. If your request to see the paper is refused, avoid unnecessary stress and contact a Student Advocacy and Welfare Officer as soon as possible.

That you misunderstood the question is not usually grounds for having your result changed. If you can ascertain that the question was ambiguous and that it would be reasonable to misinterpret it, you may have adequate grounds, but be warned, this requires a well prepared case.

A better examination result relies on the examiner considering your case and deciding that you should have received a higher result. This can only be achieved by discussing the paper with the examiner. If you are not happy with the outcome, your next avenue is a formal review of assessment request for a remark to the College Dean. Please refer to the JCU policy regarding Review of Assessment which is available here.

Appeal of Final Subject Grade

If you disagree with your final result you can refer to the University rules governing reviews of assessment. This procedure requires you to firstly attempt to resolve the matter informally through discussing the matter with the Subject Co-ordinator. If you are not comfortable with contacting staff directly please contact the Student Association on 1800 330 021 or [email protected] and we can assist you.

You can only appeal a final subject grade on the following legitimate grounds for Appeal:

  1. a clerical error;
  2. inconsistencies with the stated assessment items in the Subject Outline;
  3. a request for a review of a decision made in response to an application made by the student for a Deferred Examination or Special Consideration.

If you are able to identify and provide documentation for one or more of the legitimate grounds of appeal after you have received feedback the matter will be referred to the Head of Academic Group for review. If the matter is unable to be resolved at the College level a student may appeal in writing to the Director, Student Services.

If you wish to pursue a review of assessment you are welcome to contact a JCUSA Student Advocacy and Welfare Officer for confidential assistance in preparing your application. Enquiries should be made as soon as possible, and appeal applications should normally be made no later than:

  • 20 working days after the Results Publication Date for the relevant Study Period; or
  • 20 working days after publication of deferred and supplementary results

Please refer to the JCU policy regarding appealing a final subject grade which is available here.

Examinations FAQ

View full list of FAQ's here.

Deferred Examination
If you cannot attend your exam at the scheduled time due to exceptional circumstances you may be eligible to apply for a deferred examination. Complete and submit a Deferring a Formal Examination application form with the required supporting documentation before or no later than three university working days after the date of the exam.

If you are feeling sick on the day of the exam, do not sit the exam. See a medical practitioner as soon as possible, obtain a medical certificate and apply for a deferred exam. If you attend the exam and cannot finish due to illness, you will not be able to apply for a deferred exam.

If your application is successful, your subject result will appear as ‘ED’ (exam deferred) in eStudent once results are officially released. If you are not granted a deferred exam, your subject result will appear as ‘X’ (Fail). For more information on deferred exams, see Deferred and supplementary exams for SP1 & SP2.

Supplementary Examination
If you receive an NS grade for a subject this means you were close to passing and have been granted a supplementary examination. This provides you with another chance to pass the subject, however you must pass the supplementary exam to be able to pass the subject.

Special Consideration in Exam Marking
Complete and submit the Special consideration – examinations application form with the required supporting documentation.

Applications must be submitted before or on the day of the exam. If the exam is held late in the day or on a weekend, it can be submitted before the end of the next working day. 

You will not be formally advised of the outcome, however if the examiner agrees that you have made a case for special consideration, the examiner will take your circumstances into account when marking your exam. This may result in being granted a supplementary exam. In this case your subject results will appear as ‘NS’ (Supplementary Exam Granted) once subject results are officially released.

Academic Standards and Progression

The University requires that you maintain satisfactory academic progression in your course, you are required to attain the following minimum academic standards:

  • Pass more than 50% of enrolled credit points, and
  • Pass all enrolled core subjects, and
  • Pass all enrolled Schedule A subjects, and
  • Maintain sufficient progress so as to enable you to complete all award requirements within the published Maximum Time to Complete
  • Achieve all progression requirements for your course as stipulated in the University Handbook Award Rules

If you do not meet the minimum academic standards in a teaching period, your academic status will change and the University will send you an email. Further information about you academic status can be found here

Complaints and Feedback

Complaints from class actions and individuals can be taken forward and if students wish so, anonymously, protecting students' identities. Students will be provided with advice and information regarding how to approach the University, or make complaints. This enables you to raise legitimate concerns without fear of recrimination. We can also provide you with advice and information regarding whom to approach, or make complaints. More information about providing feedback or making a complaint can be found here.

Discrimination and Harassment

If you believe you're being discriminated against it's possible that you are, however, you should seek advice before levelling this allegation.

People often believe that rules, procedures and/or individuals are discriminating against them for a variety of reasons. Our JCUSA Student Advocacy and Welfare Offers have dealt with claims of discrimination that, upon investigation, have been the result of misunderstandings. On the other hand, the Office has also dealt with serious cases of discrimination.

If you believe that you are being harassed or discriminated against, a list of Discrimination and Harassment Contact Officers at JCU is available here.

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The James Cook University Student Association works closely with the James Cook University. Please visit to find out more.