Annual Welcome From Professor Mortensen

Head of the School of Law & Justice

Welcome to USQ School of Law & Justice

Dear Law Students, 

Welcome to the School of Law and Justice.  For most, who are returning to your studies, you will be used to getting this email and the information in it.  However, there is information about elective courses later in the email that may still be new and that you should read.  There are more than 160 students who are beginning with us this semester, and this will be the first time you read a message of this kind.  A special welcome to you.

1. Where to go for help?

Later year students will be familiar with the processes, and we spoke with new students about this in the Orientation sessions.  But I again wish to remind law students about who to see if you need help with anything relating to your study or your life in this University.  The answer is simple – for almost every question, you go first either to your course examiner, to the Faculty Assessment Team or to your Student Relationship Officer.

1.1 Coursework: If you have questions about the material you are learning, the law or other ideas in the field you’re studying, your assessment, assessment requirements and review of assessment, make sure you contact the following people (in the following order) –

  • Course examiner
  • Course moderator
  • Head of School

The examiner and moderator for the course are identified on StudyDesk.  This makes it a relatively simple exercise of knowing who to contact, as the examiner is almost always the only person actually teaching the course.  Occasionally there are a few core courses that have more than one person teaching.   In almost all cases, the examiner and the moderator will sort out your problems – they’re the experts in the field, they know the course, they know the conditions of teaching and assessment, they can solve things fastest.  If an academic issue is raised with me (as Head of School), I will ask whether the examiner and moderator have been approached.  As I mention below, if you start taking up other avenues to address an academic question, you will inevitably be re-directed to the examiner.  Please just remember: Examiner→Moderator→Head of School.

1.2 Extensions:  If you need to ask for an extension on the submission date for an assignment or for a deferral of an exam, you should apply to the Faculty Assessments Team at:   For students who were studying with us before 2019, and who had the earlier experience of a different process, this is just a reminder that this change was outlined in an Announcement on 15 February 2019.  In these requests, you will need to address the question of Compassionate and Compelling Circumstances that are the requirements for being granted an extension or deferral, and attach the necessary accompanying documents.   The Faculty will assess the application, and make the decision whether or not to grant the extension or deferral.  

Again, please do not approach anyone else (including the course examiner) about extensions or deferrals.  You will again be referred back to the Faculty and the site above.  It’s fastest to go there directly.  Timeliness is incredibly important in extension and deferral requests, and we don’t want you delayed by having gone to someone who can’t deal with them.  

1.3 Questions about anything else: If your questions are about anything else, including enrolment issues and the inevitable questions about IT, please contact your Student Relationship Officer (SRO).  You should have received written advice as to who your SRO is, but in any case they will be personally identified for you on StudyDesk.  Your SRO will often be able to answer the question immediately; they can always work out who can answer your question if they themselves can’t. In almost every case, your questions will be going either to the course examiner, the Faculty Assessments Team or to your SRO.  Please don’t go anywhere else!  If you do go to someone else for questions that the examiner, Assessments Team or SRO can answer, it will inevitably take a lot longer to solve your problem and you will slow down the process of answering them.  There are students who occasionally email other university officers – even the Vice-Chancellor!  Don’t do that.  It’s unwise, and will just annoy the people who are incorrectly approached.  Also, anyone who does go elsewhere is then just sent back to the School – where, once more, it will be Examiner→Moderator→Head of School.

With best wishes,

Professor Reid Mortensen
Head of School