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cpt_helps

Discontinue a unit

Note: This article is about changes to University policy, which come into effect on 1 January 2022. If you are planning to apply to discontinue a unit, we recommend that you wait until after 1 January 2022, so that you will be covered by the new policy.

From 1 January 2022, the University is introducing changes to the processes, and strict deadlines, for withdrawing or discontinuing a unit of study. If you drop a unit before or on the census date, it is called a withdrawal, and your transcript will show a grade of WD. It is very important to drop units before the census date to avoid financial liability and having the grade counted towards your Weighted Average Mark (WAM) and progression.

Sometimes you may not be able to drop a unit until after the census date. In this case, you may have one of the following options.

Apply for a Discontinue Fail (DF) result

If you apply to discontinue a unit after the census date but before the last date to discontinue in a teaching block, for any reason, you will receive a DF grade. This means you are liable for tuition fees, and while the grade is not counted towards your WAM, it is counted as a fail when calculating your progression.

Apply for a Discontinue not to count as Failure (DC) result

If you apply to discontinue a unit after the census date and you had special circumstances that impacted your studies after the census date, you can apply for a DC grade. This grade means you are not liable for fees and the grade is not counted towards your WAM or progression. You have 12 months from the date you discontinued the unit to apply for a DC grade.

Special circumstances are defined as circumstances that:

  • were beyond your control
  • did not make the full impact on you until on or after the census date of the unit, and
  • made it impracticable for you to complete the unit.

Examples of special circumstances may include:

  • illness or a worsening, or changing, medical condition
  • the death of a family member
  • a family member suffered from a serious medical condition
  • financial difficulties experienced by you or your family
  • changes to your employment
  • changes the University made that disadvantaged you
  • a natural disaster or other emergency in Australia.

DC grades are administrative decisions that are reviewed by Student Administrative Services. If your application is approved, you will automatically be given a fee refund. You do not need to take any further steps to receive your fee refund. If your application is declined, you can request an administrative review of the decision.

All other discontinuations from a unit will result in financial liability and the result will count towards your WAM and progression. Your transcript will show either an Absent Fail (AF) or Fail (FA) result. We recommend you seek advice from one our caseworkers in these circumstances.

For more information on discontinuing a unit before the census date or on how to discontinue a unit after the census date, read the information on the University website.

Need more help?

Our  casework and legal services are here for you.

Postgraduate Advocacy Service

Postgraduate Advocacy and Policy Officers can help with any problems you face while you study at Usyd, from academic appeals to renting.

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SUPRA Legal Service employs solicitors who can assist with a wide range of legal issues, including visas and migration law.