What to do if you're asked to 'show cause'

If you are 'at risk' and continue to experience difficulties with your studies, we may send you an email asking you to 'show cause'. You will have to make a show cause submission to explain why you’re having troubles.

Why would I receive a 'show cause' request?

If you are a part-time local student:

  • you failed more than 50% of your enrolled units, credit points or scheduled hours for two consecutive progress review periods (this includes a Withdrawn Fail, withdrawing after census date), and/or
  • you failed a unit (or its equivalent) for a third time.

If you are a full-time local or International student:

  • you failed 50% or more of your enrolled units, credit points or scheduled hours for two consecutive Progress Review Periods (this includes Withdrawn Fail), and/or
  • you failed a unit (or its equivalent) for a third time.

If you are an ELICOS student, you failed your ELICOS unit for a second time.

If you are a professional degree student you have special academic progress requirements. Check the 'course rules and special requirements' link on your course page for more details.

What do I have to do if I'm asked to show cause?

You must submit an online show cause submission within five working days of the date of the show cause notification email. If you fail to do this, you will be automatically excluded from your course.

Your submission should:

  • describe any circumstances that impacted on your ability to study and explain how these issues affected your studies
  • describe any solutions or protective measures that you have put in place to overcome these circumstances
  • include original or certified copies of any documentation that supports the circumstances that impacted on you e.g. doctor's certificate, counsellor's statement, statutory declaration.

If you submit documentation in a language other than English it must be accompanied by a certified translation.

Swinburne Online students must complete the Swinburne Online Show Cause form.

ELICOS student should follow the instructions given in their Show Cause letter.

What if I can't meet the submission deadline?

If you have experienced circumstances beyond your control, and have documentation to prove it, you must contact your faculty Progress Team within five working days of the date of the 'show cause' notification. The progress team contacts for each faculty are listed below:

Who can help me prepare a submission?

Swinburne Student Life's independent advocacy service can help you prepare a show cause submission.

There are Student Life offices on each campus. Make an appointment by calling +61 3 9214 5445 or emailing studentlife@swin.edu.au.

What happens after I make my submission?

Your show cause submission will be evaluated. A decision will then be made as to whether you will:

  • be able to continue your course, with or without conditions
  • be excluded, or
  • whether you need to attend a meeting to further discuss your circumstances. 

If you’re allowed to continue your course, make sure you follow the conditions and take advantage of the support services available to you. If you pass all of your units in the next study period, your academic status will return to good standing.

What if I have to attend a progress review meeting?

If you’re required to attend a progress review meeting, we'll contact you via your Swinburne student email address.

If you fail to attend a meeting, you may be automatically excluded from your course. This exclusion is for a period of two years and only applies to your current course.

Can I apply for a review of a decision?

Under the Review and Appeals Regulations 2012, you are entitled to apply for a review of a progress review decision. You must lodge an application for review within 21 working days of receiving notification of the decision. Read more on reviews and appeals or read our Complaints, Review, Appeals and Feedback Policy.

Visit Appeals for more information.

Keeping your details current

Make sure you keep us updated with your current mobile phone number, as we may send you important alerts via SMS.

Also, remember to check your Swinburne student email account regularly, even during semester breaks.

Not updating your contact number or not checking your student email are not considered acceptable excuses for failing to respond to a submission request or not attending a meeting.