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Students on the steps of the Information Services Building

The following general information covers most common enquiries from Distance Learning students. For detailed information about these and other matters, see the Examinations website.

Changing your address

IMPORTANT: The primary means of University communications with students about examinations information is through eVision and/or the student email address allocated by the University. Please note that it is your responsibility to update any change of contact details in eVision.

Did you know? You can forward your student email to an address that you use regularly. Forward it to the address you use most often now, so we can keep in touch with you.

Email rules and forwarding – AskOtago service portal

Contact Student Administration

You can contact Student Administration with any questions you have about Distance examinations, or find Examinations information online:

Student Administration
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin, 9054
Tel +64 3 479 8237

Examinations – University of Otago

Examination periods and personal timetables

The University of Otago has three main examination periods:

  1. The Summer School examinations run from around mid-February
  2. Semester 1 examinations are in June
  3. Semester 2 and full-year examinations run from mid-October to mid-November

The dates for these periods are set two years in advance. Check the Examinations website for specific dates for the current year:

Examination periods and timetabling

Because of the flexible nature of study at the University of Otago, specific examination dates are scheduled and released as follows each year:

  • For Summer School – late January
  • For Semester 1 papers – mid-April
  • For Semester 2 and full-year papers – mid-August

Once scheduled, your individual timetable will be displayed in eVision, giving the date and start time for each exam. Once venues have been arranged, we will email you with the details.

IMPORTANT: There are normally no provisions for candidates to sit final examinations at different times from those scheduled. Variations from the University's Examination and Assessment Regulations are granted only very rarely and only in exceptional circumstances clearly beyond the candidate's control, such as bereavement or serious illness. For more information, see the Examinations website:

Changes to final examination dates, times, or venues

Examination location

Examinations for Distance Learning papers may be online or in person. Where practicable, students will sit their in-person examinations at a local centre based on their semester address in eVision. Some students, however, might be required to travel distances of up to an hour's drive. Supervisors appointed by the University will attend each examination centre. Date and time details will also be available in eVision, but details of your examination location will be as advised by email.

Requests for a late change in your examination centre will be accepted only if the centre has been booked in advance and at least ten working days' notice has been given.

Please ensure that any change of address is updated in eVision well in advance of your exam date. Please also notify Student Administration of any late changes of address:


Examination rules

We strongly advise that you become familiar with the University of Otago's examinations rules, available on the Examinations website:

Preparing for and sitting examinations

Alternative examinations arrangements for students with disabilities

If you have a temporary or permanent impairment, injury or chronic illness and you will have difficulty sitting examinations under conventional circumstances, please contact Disability Information and Support:

Disability Information and Support
Tel +64 3 479 8235

Visit the Disability Information and Support website for further information about applying for alternative examinations arrangements, including deadlines:

Alternative arrangements for examinations and tests – Disability Information and Support

Absence from examination

If you remain enrolled in a paper, but do not sit the final examination for it, the marks for all the work you have completed which count towards the final result will be added up, including a zero mark for the final examination. This total will then generate an actual final result – which in most instances will be a “Fail”. If you decide not to sit the examination, you must notify Student Administration, in writing of your withdrawal from the paper(s) concerned:

Student Administration

Refer to the University's Academic Key Dates for final dates to withdraw from papers, with and without the refund of fees:

Academic Key Dates

Special Consideration in Final Examinations

The Special Consideration in Final Examinations provision applies only where it is clearly documented that a candidate has been:

  1. prevented from taking an examination, or
  2. seriously impaired in an examination

…through illness or other exceptional circumstances beyond his or her control at the time of, or in the 14 day period immediately prior to, the examination itself. Special Consideration in Final Examinations does not apply to illness or other circumstances occurring outside of this period.

If you have been affected by illness or other exceptional circumstances during the teaching period, you are expected to have informed your Head of Department directly at the time (not individual lecturers or tutors).


Five calendar days from the date of the last examination for which you are making an application for Special Consideration.

Further information

You will find full details of regulations and how to apply on the Examinations website:

Special Consideration in Final Examinations

Final Examination Only

In most courses, if you have completed your course work satisfactorily but fail or are unable to sit the examination, you may apply for Final Examination Only enrolment (formerly called Terms Carried Over). This means that you may sit the examination on the next occasion that the paper is offered without attending teaching sessions or submitting assignments. If your application is approved, a fee per paper will be charged, but you will not have to pay tuition fees again. This concession is granted only once for a particular paper, and only for the teaching period in which the paper is next offered.

An application would not be approved if the content of the course is going to be significantly changed when it is next offered.

Further information

See the Administration website for application forms and up-to-date information about the closing dates for applications:

Final Examination Only

Results and Recounts

Official Summer School results will be available from early March. Official semester 1, semester 2 and full-year results will be available via eVision once confirmed.

Please note that candidates must not communicate with examiners in regard to an examination, either in the examination script or otherwise, before confirmed results are released, except through the Manager, Student Administration. To do so is a breach of the University of Otago's Examination rules.

You can apply for a recount to check that your final result has been calculated correctly. A recount does not involve re-marking your work. For more information, refer to the Examinations website:

Recounts – Examination scripts and results

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