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 Withdrawing from a program or course


Timelines

Prior to the date on which your results are finalised for that course each semester, you can apply to withdraw without academic penalty from a course. 

NOTE: under the provisions of the Educational Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act, international students studying under a student visa are required to complete their program in minimum time so enrolment in 8 units (#8) each semester is usually required. Some exemptions apply and international students must seek advice from their faculty before reducing their study load. 

Before Census Date

You may withdraw without academic penalty or financial liability from a course via mySI-net on or before the Census Date, that is:

 The courses will be deleted from your studies report and official academic record.

After Census Date

  • If you withdraw from a course via mySI-net after the Census Date and on or before the dates set out below, you will automatically be permitted to withdraw without academic penalty.  A result of ‘W’ will be applied to the course and this will be listed on your studies report only. A 'W' does not contribute to your grade point average. However, you will retain financial liability for the course.  If you have special circumstances that might warrant the removal of that financial liability, you can make a separate application accordingly.

    The relevant dates are:

  • You may withdraw with academic penalty from a course via mySI-net after 1 May and 1 October (and after the Summer Semester Census Date or Teaching Period Census Date) and before the examination period begins.  A result of ‘K’ (withdrawal with academic penalty) will be applied and this will be listed on your studies report and your official academic transcript.  In this case, you will retain financial liability for the course. For the purposes of calculating grade point average, a ‘K’ is a zero.

     
  • If you believe you have grounds to withdraw without academic penalty after 1 May and 1 October (and after the Summer Semester Census Date or Teaching Period Census Date) and before your results are finalised for the semester, for example because of  the onset of serious illness or other special circumstances, you may make application in writing to your faculty, requesting withdrawal. Such applications must include supporting documentation to substantiate the grounds for your request.

    Applications made on medical grounds must be accompanied by a medical certificate signed by a medical practitioner who is not a near relative or close associate. (Examples of near relatives are partner, child, brother, sister, or parent. Examples of close associates are close friends, neighbours and partners or children of colleagues.)
    • If your application is granted, you will receive a result of ‘W’. However, you will retain financial liability for the course. If you have special circumstances that might warrant the removal of that financial liability, you can make a separate application accordingly.
    • If your application is refused, you will receive a result of ‘K’ on your studies report and your official academic transcript, provided you have already dropped your course through mySI-net. If you have not dropped your course through mySI-net and your request for withdrawal is refused, you will be awarded a grade at the end of the semester, based upon the assessment you have submitted. You will retain financial liability for the course.

    How to apply to withdraw
    If you need to apply in writing to your faculty to withdraw without academic penalty, you must use the Application for Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty Form (PDF).  This form and any supporting documentation can be lodged with your faculty or at the Student Centre on your campus for referral to your faculty.

After finalisation of results

  • If you believe you have grounds to withdraw without academic penalty after results are finalised for the semester, you will be required to address a letter to the President of the Academic Board who has the power to change finalised results under very limited circumstances only. These are listed in the General Award Rules. For information about the limited provisions for a change to final results, please see the Guidelines for applying for a change to final result due to special circumstances page.

     
  • IMPORTANT NOTE:  Students should act promptly to seek withdrawal as soon as it becomes apparent that their circumstances are having a negative impact on their studies to the extent that they are unlikely to be able to successfully complete the course.  Please be aware that the criteria that must be met to approve withdrawal without academic penalty become much more stringent as soon as results have been finalised. That is because the finalised results are the University’s official record of your studies and, as such, are a formal legal record that should be changed only in exceptional circumstances.

     
  • Example: Kate has been ill late in semester and she believes her performance in assessment has suffered accordingly. If she feels the impact has been so significant that it is likely to have caused her to fail the course, she should make application to the faculty for withdrawal before the results are finalised and released.  If she waits until after the results have been released, just in case she passes even though she knew she was ill during semester, she faces the very real prospect that her request will not be approved because she could have acted earlier to seek withdrawal.  The very limited opportunities that the rules allow for changes to finalised results are not intended to be used as an ‘insurance policy’ that students ‘cash in’ if they do eventually fail the course.  The rule is intended to be used only where students had no option to act at an earlier time.

Appeals

Students are advised that there is no fee for lodging appeals.

If a request for withdrawal without academic penalty is refused by a faculty, the students may decide to appeal that decision to the Senate Student Appeals Committee.

If you have sought a change to a finalised result under the very limited provision of the General Award Rule, and the President of the Academic Board refuses that request, you may appeal that decision to Senate Student Appeals Committee in accordance with the University’s policy Student Grievance Resolution.

Student Help on Campus (SHOC) has experience advising students on the processes mentioned above and can advise students about how to prepare their applications.

Important information

  • Commonwealth Supported Students
    If you are a Commonwealth Supported student (domestic undergraduate), you should consult Admissions before withdrawing from your program.
     
  • Austudy or Youth Allowance Implications
    If you receive Austudy, Youth Allowance or other payments from Centrelink, you should consult Centrelink before withdrawing from courses or your program.
     
  • International Students
    If you intend to withdraw from your program, you should complete an International Students Application to Withdraw form (pdf:59KB). For more details on UQ's refund guidelines for international students, please refer to the page Refunds for international students. The University is required by law to notify the Department of Immigration and Border Protection of international students who withdraw from their studies.
     
  • Research Higher Degree Students (PhD, MPhil)
    If you are a research higher degree student withdrawing from your program, you will find information on the Graduate School website.