Find out how to apply for a leave of absence or how to defer your studies as a current student.

Deferral and leave of absence

There is a difference between a deferral and a leave of absence:

  • Deferral is when you delay the start of your degree after you receive your offer. See details on how to defer your degree.
  • Leave of absence is a break in study and occurs during your degree.

Leave of absence

How to take a leave of absence

Thinking of taking some time away from study? Contact a Student Advisor to discuss your options. Student Advisors are available in each Student Hub and via email: studentadvice@newcastle.edu.au. Otherwise, make sure you withdraw from your course enrolment prior to the relevant term Census date. Students from the Faculty of Health and Medicine need to lodge a written request for a leave of absence by e-mailing enrolments.

After a year, UoN will contact you to do one of the following:

  1. Enrol for the next semester or trimester; OR
  2. Apply for another year of leave; OR
  3. Discontinue your degree by not enrolling for the next semester or trimester. If you want to re-commence your degree after this stage, you'll need to re-apply for admission through UAC.

Commencing students

If you are starting a new degree, you are generally not allowed to apply for a leave of absence, unless you have special circumstances (compassionate or compelling), in which case you need to email enrolments to explain your situation.

You may postpone your enrolment until the next semester or trimester (if it doesn't impact on your progression), but if you don't study at all in the first 12 months, your place in the program will be cancelled. You'll need to re-apply for admission through UAC.

Continuing students

Undergraduate or postgraduate students that have commenced studies in their degree will be eligible for leave of absence upon the completion of at least 10 units towards their current degree. You may take up to one academic year leave of absence by simply not enrolling, except for those in programs that need written approval. Check your degree for the maximum time you have to complete it.

Students may be permitted to take an additional leave of absence from their program upon lodging an application for consideration. Please complete the Leave of Absence (2nd Year Approval) form prior to the completion of your first year of leave.

International students

International students may apply for leave of absence that will be assessed on a term by term basis. Students must be able to demonstrate compassionate or compelling circumstances to receive an approved Leave of Absence and the maximum allowable time is one academic year.

To apply, a clear explanation outlining your compassionate or compelling circumstances must be emailed to Student Advice along with your supporting documentation. All documentation must be in English. We require supporting documentation from a health professional confirming your circumstances and how these circumstances have impact on your ability to complete studies within a particular term. Contact studentadvice@newcastle.edu.au to apply or for more information.

PhD and Research Masters degree students

Students can request leave of absence after one full-time or two part-time years of study.


For more details on deferral and leave of absence, see the Rules Governing Awards and Programs Policy or the Admission and Enrolment Procedure Manual - Coursework Programs.