Applying for a Leave of Absence
- What is a Leave of Absence?
A student may request a Leave of Absence (LoA) from the University if they are unable to continue their studies – either for a semester, or for a full year.
A semester or year for which LoA is granted will not be counted as a semester of registration for purposes of re-admission assessment. Leave of Absence (LoA) is generally granted on medical, psychological or compassionate grounds (e.g. the death or serious illness of a close family member), and documentation of the circumstances is required.
Please note the following key points about Leave of Absence applications:
- You may ask for Leave of Absence for one semester, or for the whole year.
- If you need to be absent for a week or two during the semester, Leave of Absence is not the appropriate procedure. Rather, you will need to negotiate your shorter absence individually with your tutors/course convenors for each course.
- LoA is not granted easily in the Faculty of Law due to the number of full-year courses.
- Leave of absence will not be granted after the course has been completed.
- Ordinarily, leave of absence will be not be granted after week 9.
- While Leave of Absence means that the semester will not be counted for re-admission, this does not automatically mean that you will be re-admitted if you have passed too few courses overall. You must still meet a modified total calculated with the LoA semester removed. Therefore, if you have been granted LoA for one semester and have failed a significant number of courses in your other semester, you may still face exclusion.
- Where leave of absence is granted, all courses for the period for which results have not yet been entered, will be withdrawn from the student’s record. The student’s record remains active, and the student has the right to return at the end of the period without reapplying.
- You are not considered an active student while you are on Leave of Absence. This means that you may not stay in residence, and you will not have access to classes, supervision, the library, ICTS services, laboratories or other UCT facilities such as Student Wellness for the duration of the period of leave of absence. The myuct email remains active.
- University rules do not allow us to grant Leave of Absence retroactively.
- We will consider appeals for retroactive granting of LoA only if you can demonstrate that you were absolutely incapacitated (e.g. hospitalised) between the submission deadline and the date of your application.
- Please note that even if LoA is granted, you are still subject to fees office deadlines on course drops. If your LoA application is submitted after the deadline for removing courses from your record, those courses will still show on your transcript, even though the semester does not count for re-admission calculation. You are likewise still liable for fees if your LoA application is submitted after the first three weeks of semester.
- Students granted leave of absence on medical grounds will be required to show that they are fit for study before resuming their studies.
- Who do I apply to?
Application for Leave of Absence must be submitted using Peoplesoft service requests. Full instructions for applying for a LoA are easily accessed online on VULA.
Applying for a Deferred Exam
- What is a deferred exam?
A deferred exam is an exam that is written at a later date instead of on the date originally set for the exam. Deferred exams are granted on medical or compassionate grounds, or for religious or political reasons, and applications for deferral are considered by a committee established by Senate for this purpose in terms of the general university rules. (see Handbook 3 General Rules and Policies). The granting of this permission is entirely at the discretion of Senate, irrespective of the grounds (including medical) on which the application is made. No deferred examination may be granted for a supplementary examination or examination without attendance (EWA).
A student who becomes ill during an examination must proceed directly from the exam venue to the Student Health Service unless the nature of the illness makes this impossible. In such cases of deferral, if the deferred exam is granted, the candidate will be required to write only those portions of the original examination which he or she missed.
Misreading of the examination timetable is not condoned or accepted; neither is it a ground for a deferred examination (See Handbook 3 General Rules and Policies.)
- If a student is unable to sit the deferred examination on the appointed day, the result will be AB (absent). The examination cannot again be deferred.
- Senate will accept that, where students have obtained a duly performed certificate for a course, they have met the test for having performed adequately for their application to be considered on the grounds advanced, without further consideration of their academic performance.
- Senate will not grant permission to students to write a deferred examination in courses in which they have been refused a duly performed certificate. If permission is granted and a duly performed certificate is subsequently refused, the permission will lapse.
- Students who have not heard the decision on their application by the date of the examination should take the examination. Such students would retain the result if the deferment is refused, and shall lose the result if the deferment is granted. NB: Where students write the examination and hear after writing that they are granted the deferment, the grant of the deferred examination stands and the result of the examination written may not be substituted. A pass result for an examination written will not be considered grounds for an appeal against the decision to grant the deferment.
- Students who are granted a deferred examination and have been informed of this before the examination may nonetheless elect to take the examination. If they take the examination they must lose the grant of the deferred examination.
- Who do I apply to?
Application must be made via Vula (see Form ACA44) within seven days from the first examination (written, oral, or practical) which the student missed or was unable to complete. Form ACA44 can be found at http://www.forms.uct.ac.za/studentforms.htm - and students can also apply through the prescribed form obtainable at the Records Office in the Student Administration Building (Masingene, Middle Campus).
- What is a supplementary exam?
Where supplementary examinations are allowed in the rules for a degree, diploma or certificate, such an exam is the re-assessment of a candidate who has failed the course, but who are permitted to present themselves for re-examination without having to repeat the course.
Senate may permit a candidate to write supplementary examinations in the equivalent of three half courses in any one year, provided that he or she has reached a sufficiently high standard when failing such course(s).
Students who are granted supplementary examinations will be required to re-write the whole formal examination component, including all papers, practicals, etc., which constituted the original formal examination component.
- In deciding the result of a candidate who has taken a supplementary examination, Senate may take into account the results of the candidate’s original examination in the subject, as well as class work which did not form part of the examination.
- Supplementary examination may not be deferred for any reason
- A student who is writing a deferred examination is not eligible for a supplementary exam.
- If a student is unable to sit the supplementary examination for any reason, the supplementary examination is forfeited and the original result stands.
- No supplementary examinations are granted on an examination without attendance (EWA).
- All students are responsible for establishing whether they have been awarded a supplementary examination for any courses failed and, if so, for confirming the date, time and venue of the examination.
- A student who has been granted a supplementary examination in a first semester course and who registers for the same course in the second semester prior to writing the supplementary examination, forfeits the supplementary examination.
- If the student fails the second semester course, the decision to grant a supplementary examination would be made on the basis of the second semester result. The supplementary examination previously awarded on the basis of the failed attempt in the first semester, will not be reinstated.
- How do I get a supp?
A student cannot apply for a supplementary exam. The decision on whether to award a supplementary examination will be taken by Faculty Examination Committee on the recommendation of the Head of Department in which the course is offered.
Exam Without Attendance (EWA)
Senate may allow students who are repeating a course to take the examinations in the course without the re-attendance at classes. In such cases, Senate will specify which of the course requirements such students will be required to complete, in addition to the examinations, and how they will be assessed.
- Who do I apply to for an EWA?
Applications must be made to the Deputy Dean (Undergraduate Studies) on firstname.lastname@example.org, or talk to the Head of Department (HoD) in which the relevant course is based. HoD contact details can be found at http://www.law.uct.ac.za/law/about/deans_team/staff. Applications will be considered by a committee comprising the Deputy Dean (Undergraduate Studies) and the Heads of Departments.
Applying for Exemption (essays, assignments, tests)
Please note that the Faculty of Law does not grant extensions on essay or assignment submission deadlines or make-up essays, assignments or tests, but exemptions may be applied for. If you would like to apply for an exemption from an essay, assignment or test, please use Form LAW03 – available at http://www.forms.uct.ac.za/studentforms.htm - which must be submitted, as per the instructions on the Form and together will full supporting documentation, to the Deputy Dean (Undergraduate Studies) on email@example.com. The supporting documentation must clearly confirm an inability to perform on the specific date of the essay, assignment or test for which the exemption is sought. If the exemption is granted, the essay, assignment or test will not be taken into account in calculating your year mark for the course concerned and the final examination will count proportionately more towards your final course mark.
- What is a Concession?
A concession means any deviation from the rules governing the LLB curriculum. For information about the rules, please consult the Faculty Handbook.
- Who do I apply to?
If you would like to apply for a concession please complete form LAW02, available at http://www.forms.uct.ac.za/studentforms.htm and submit it to the Deputy Dean on firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy of your academic record. Check with the Faculty Office for deadlines.