4. Absence notification and documentation

Students should notify the Faculty of any absence as soon as they are aware that they will not be participating, by completing the online Absence Notification form. The form will ask for details of relevant, learning activities missed and details of the reason for absence.  Supporting documentation should be provided. For example, if a student is presenting at a conference, a copy of the conference program including their session should be provided. Absence of three or more days, or absence from assessments requires a medical certificate or other appropriate documentation. In the case of repeated 1-2 day absences the course coordinator may request a medical certificate or other supporting documentation. In these instances course coordinators will require the student to prepare a learning plan.

Once a student has completed the on-line form, notification will automatically be sent to the course coordinator and supporting professional staff which saves the student sending separate notifications.

For absences of two or more days, OR a cumulative absence of more than three days in a semester, a learning plan must be submitted to the relevant course coordinator/s. Students should detail in their learning plan how they will catch up with the learning related to the activities they have missed as well as how they intend to demonstrate that they have met the relevant learning objectives. If the absence is due to another academic activity e.g. presenting a paper at a conference, the student should submit documentation to show the agreement about academic equivalence from the course coordinator.


Attendance and participation in line with these guidelines is a component of every Electronic Course Profile. At the end of each semester an attendance and participation report identifying students who have had repeated or ongoing absences for a course (e.g. Clinical Practice, Health, Society & Research or Clinical Sciences in years 1 & 2 and Medical Specialities, Surgery, General Practice or Critical Care in Years 3 & 4), will be provided by Clinical Units and the Office of Medical Education to the End of Semester Examiners’ meeting. Students whose attendance and participation is below what would be expected for a medical student could face the possibility of failure in the course and their participation and performance throughout the semester will be reviewed. As part of this process they may be called into the Faculty to discuss their situation. In assessing attendance and participation, the following factors will be considered by the end of semester examiners’ meeting:

  • Evidence of participation in the course when present e.g. as evidenced by participation in in-class activities including on-line; or by active engagement in clinical placement;
  • the stated reasons for each absence and documentation provided;
  • the relevance or equivalence of the reason for absence to the education of medical students;
  • the learning or catch up plans submitted;
  • evidence of remediation;
  • the student’s overall participation and performance in the program;
  • a proactive approach to communication with Faculty staff; and
  • demonstrated professional behaviour throughout the semester.  


If a student feels that they are at risk of being unable to satisfactorily attend and participate in the required learning activities during the semester they are encouraged to contact the relevant course coordinator in the first instance for appropriate advice. If the absence is prolonged it may be recommended that the student apply for an interruption to studies or withdraw from the course.


Students who are absent during scheduled examinations must apply for a deferred examination via myUQ and provide either a medical certificate or other supporting documentation. For other assessable activities, please refer to the Electronic Course Profile (ECP) and if required contact the course coordinator for further advice. For full information see the 2021 MD/MBBS Assessment Guidelines.