Deferral and leave of absence

The difference between a Deferral and Leave of Absence (LOA) relates to whether or not you have already commenced study at the University. If you have failed a course, or you have withdrawn from the course after the census date, you are considered to have completed 10 units of study and can consider a Leave of Absence rather than a Deferral.

Commencing students

If you have not yet commenced your program of study you can defer admission to the program for a period of up to one year. You can defer your offer online by entering your UAC application number and date of birth, and following the prompts. There is a deadline for deferments, which will be advised upon offer. A limited number of deferments will be allowed within the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Medical Science/Doctor of Medicine and the Bachelor of Midwifery.

Deferral is not available in the following programs:

  • End-on honours programs
  • Graduate Diploma of Psychology
  • Master of Clinical Psychology

Students wishing to delay commencing study within any of the above listed programs will need to re-apply for admission.

Continuing students

Leave of Absence

The University may allow students to take a leave of absence from their program of study.

If you have already completed 10 units or more of study in your program and are considering taking some time away from study you may be eligible to take a leave of absence. Contact a Student Advisor to discuss your options, email

Domestic and Off-Shore Students

All students enrolled in an eligible program may apply for a one year Leave of Absence through myHub. At the end of the year of leave the University will contact you about re-enrolling, discontinuing or applying for approval for a second year of Leave of Absence.

A number of programs cannot guarantee a Leave of Absence due to progression requirements, accreditation restrictions or discontinuation of the program. If you are enrolled in a program that is in teach out; is an end-on honours program; or is offered by the Faculty of Health and Medicine you will need to seek approval to take a leave of absence by completing the Application for Leave of Absence. A full list of restricted programs can be found in the Leave of Absence section of the Admission and Enrolment Policy and Procedure Manual.

To seek approval to take a second year LOA complete the Application for Leave of Absence.

International students

To be eligible for a Leave of Absence you must have compassionate or compelling grounds (eg: personal, medical, death in the family or course availability) that are affecting your ability to study in a term.

If medical issues like illness or injury have affected your ability to study in a term we require your Health Practitioner to complete the external Practitioner Treatment Form. This form assists the support staff at the University of the Newcastle to make an informed decision regarding your request for a Leave of Absence whilst ensuring you have a treatment plan to manage your medical condition and study commitments.

Once you and your Health Practitioner have completed the form, you can return it to Student Advice with confirmation of how long you are seeking to have leave. Student Advice will assess your request. Email or make an appointment at any of the Student Central locations.

Please note: If you choose to visit a UON Counsellor or a UON on-campus Doctor you are not required to complete the form. To find out more information about the support services UON provides, check out our health, counselling and wellbeing resources.

If personal issues like death in the family or a major cultural event has affected your ability to study in a term please email a statement explaining what is affecting your ability to study and your supporting documentation to Student Advice with confirmation of how long you are seeking leave. Student Advice will assess your request.

If you do not have compassionate or compelling issues you must voluntarily discontinue your student visa by contacting the Department of Home Affairs. You will need to notify Student Advice so we can cancel your CoE and you will need to reapply for a CoE to lodge an offshore visa application to return to studies.

Please note: If you are Under 18 and wish to seek an approved Leave of Absence, please contact International Student Engagement on for further advice.

Higher Degree by Research Candidates

Candidates for Higher Degrees by Research may request a Leave of Absence after completion of one full-time or two part-time years. Application forms are available at Research Higher Degree forms.