Withdrawals, Discontinue not fail (DNF) and suspension

Withdrawal from a unit of study

If you drop a unit of study before the census date it is considered a withdrawal.

You will not be liable to HECS/CSP payment or fees for such units of study, and it is not considered in WAM or progression calculations.

A withdrawal is not listed on your formal transcript.

Discontinue not fail (DNF) & Discontinue fail (DF)

If you drop a subject after the census date, but before week 7 of the semester it is considered as DNF (discontinue not fail).

Units with a grade of DNF is not considered in WAM or progression calculations.

A DNF is listed on your official transcript.

You are still liable to HECS/CSP payment or fees for such units of study. In very unique circumstances, a student may be eligible for a fee refund or cancellation of CSP/HECS for units awarded DNF. The academic decision to award a DNF does not imply the administrative decision to give a refund will be granted. Information is available from the Student Centre.

If you drop a subject after week 7 of the semester it is considered as DF (discontinue fail).

You are still liable to HECS/CSP payment or fees for such units of study, and it is considered in WAM or progression calculations.

Discontinue not fail (DNF) - Applying for a late change of grade

In exceptional circumstances, the Faculty can award a grade of DNF after week 7 of a semester. This is usually only considered in cases of serious illness or misadventure beyond your reasonable control where it is impossible to complete the unit.

In such cases, you are required to apply in writing to the faculty. When considering submissions, the faculty uses the following criteria:

  1. Well documented by a registered medical practitioner or counsellor (or other as applicable) that verifies the extent of the impact and the period of impact on the student?; and
  2. Demonstrates the student was unable to complete the unit of study; and
  3. Any pre-existing condition or issue significantly deteriorated after week 7; and
  4. That it was beyond the control of the student to withdraw/discontinue from the unit by the relevant date; and
  5. The student was unable, for reasons beyond the student’s control, to apply for special consideration at the time.

We also consider the following:

  1. Previous record - are the results comparable with similar units of study in the past?
  2. Concurrent records - how has the student performed in other units of study for the semester in question.

Note that applying for DNF does not guarantee that the request will be granted. If you are applying during the semester, and the request is not granted, you can either continue in the unit and obtain a mark/grade based on whatever work you have done, or receive a DF - discontinue fail.

Requests are to be submitted either in person to the Engineering faculty office in the PNR Building, or via email to (for undergraduate students) or (for postgraduate students)

Suspension of candidature

Suspension of study is covered by the Coursework Rule.

Students are permitted to suspend their study (leave of absence) for 1 or 2 semesters during their degree. Students are required to inform us of suspension, and permission is automatic.

The dean (or his/her delegate in such matters) can approve an additional suspension of 1 or 2 semesters. You may be asked for a valid reason and evidence when seeking such an extended suspension.

Students should apply for suspension of studies online under the My studies tab and select Course details in Sydney Student.

If you are on Stage 3 of the academic progression process and have been asked to show good cause, you are still obliged to respond to the show good cause request even if you are also applying for suspension of candidature.

Discontinuation of studies

Discontinuation of studies means leaving your degree completely.

Discontinuation of study is covered by the Coursework Rule.

Students should apply for discontinuation of studies online under the My studies tab and select Course details in Sydney Student.

If you are on Stage 3 of the academic progression process and have been asked to show good cause, if you voluntarily decide to discontinue your degree before the due date of your show good cause response then no possible exclusion will be recorded on your academic record.