Illness & Absence

If you are sick, please be considerate of others and do not come to campus.

The University provides a variety of options for students to be absent from studies for a short period of time. The three most common are:

  • Short-term absence: A self-declared absence of up to 48 hours for any reason (but only once per term and only up to the last day of classes; this isn’t available during the exam period).
  • Public Health Event: An absence up to 10 days due to a “public health event” where you are sick or need to isolate to protect the health of others (e.g. COVID or a flu-like illnesses).
  • Verification of Illness: An absence due to other illness.

All of three of these require registering on-line. The last one also requires additional verification.

If you are a Math student, please see Math’s Verification of Illness Form (VIF) and the associated information. Otherwise, please refer to information from your home faculty or the Registrar’s FAQ and declaration instructions .

If you need to be absent for other reasons or for a longer period of time, you should consult with your academic advisor.

Informing CS135 Instructors and Staff

Registering one of the first two absences automatically informs course staff; you don’t need to do anything else.

For absences due to other illnesses:

  • If you are a Math student, we automatically receive the VIF when you register the absence. You don’t need to do anything else.
  • If you are not a Math student, obtain a VIF and email a copy to the Instructional Support Coordinator with a subject of “CS135 X illness” where “X” is replaced with the appropriate assignment (eg A03) or midterm (eg MT).

If you must be away for other reasons, please email documentation to the Instructional Support Coordinator with a subject of “CS135 X Other Factors” where “X” is replaced with the appropriate assignment (eg A03) or midterm (eg MT1).

Impact on Assignments, Midterms, and Final Exam

In a course as large as CS135 we are not able to give make-up assignments or exams.

Assignments: Assignments due within periods covered by a “public health event” or a VIF (Verification of Illness) will normally be excused with the weight shifted to the remaining assignments unless students are able to submit within 48 hours of the original deadline and send email to the ISAs ( ) to indicate they have done so.

Assignments due within a 48 hour self-declaration must be submitted within 48 hours of the original deadline with the file use48HourAbsence.rkt (see Assignment policies) Covering short-term illnesses or other events is their purpose.

Midterms: Midterm exams will normally be excused and the weight transferred to the final exam.

Final Exam: If you are ill and cannot write the final, we will assign one of the following marks for the term:

  • INComplete, in cases where the illness is accepted and we believe the student could plausibly pass the course based on other work done in the term. The student will be required to write the final exam the next time CS135 is offered (either Winter or Fall; CS135 is not offered in Spring). The ISC makes the arrangements. Note that successor courses (e.g. CS136) may not be taken until CS135 is passed.
  • DNW (Did Not Write), in cases where medical documentation is not provided or we reject it or we do not believe the student could plausibly pass the course.

Limits on Excused Assessments

At some point we simply do not have enough information to assign a grade. Students with more than three excused assignments or more than one excused exam will be given an INComplete (provided we believe, based on the work we do have, that they could plausibly pass the course).


A medical note may not be accepted. It may have been forged, bought, or the doctor may not be aware of our standards. A medical note does not cause course staff to suspend judgement.

You can keep up with the course in the following ways:

  • Look at the course calendar to see where we expect to be at the end of each lecture.
  • Read the commentary in the study modules for those lectures.
  • There is no direct way to keep up with tutorials other than attend. They focus on the development process, which is also a major focus of office hours; make use of office hours. If you’re sick, visit office hours on MS Teams .
  • Do the assignments, as usual.

It is your responsibility to keep up with the course content. It is particularly important for the content covered by any assignments you may have missed. Reading the notes is no substitute for actually doing the assignment!

We highly recommend that you complete any assignments that may have been excused You may submit assignments after the last deadline (eg 8am the morning after the official deadline). MarkUs will complain but still accept them. Then email to ask the ISAs to “mark for feedback”.