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Discontinue a unit of study

If you decide to drop a unit of study, it’s important to be aware of the relevant deadlines.

Discontinuing a unit of study before the census date for that session is called a withdrawal. The unit will not appear on your transcript and there is no academic or financial penalty.

If you discontinue a unit after the relevant census date you will be given a grade of Discontinued not to count as failure (DC) or Discontinue fail (DF), depending on the date and your circumstances. You may receive an academic and/or financial penalty.

Discontinued not to count as failure

If you discontinue a unit of study after the relevant census date but before the DC deadline, you will be financially liable for the unit but it will not count as a fail on your transcript and does not affect your Weighted Average Mark (WAM).

The DC deadline is the end of Week 7 in Semesters 1 and 2, or before half of the unit of study has run in other sessions.

A DC grade may also be used if you’re unable to reasonably complete your studies due to serious illness or misadventure that occurred or became worse after the DC deadline. You’ll need to provide supporting documents to show that before the DC deadline you had reasonable prospects of completing the unit(s) of study.

DC grades can’t be granted for periods of short term illness or misadventure lasting up to 20 working days. These circumstances need to be addressed through Special consideration.

Before the DC deadline

How to apply

To discontinue a unit after the census date but before the DC deadline, log in to Sydney Student (go to ‘My studies’, ‘Units of study’, ‘Other options’, then ‘Discontinue from a unit of study’).

If you’re an international student, you need to apply to the faculty or school. You also need to provide supporting documents to show you have compassionate or compelling circumstances that require a reduced semester load. Contact the international compliance officers for advice.

Bachelor of Laws and Juris Doctor

If you’re a domestic student studying full time and the award of the DC grade will result in an enrolment of less than 18 credit points, you need to apply via email to the Associate Dean (Professional Law Programs) to have this reduced study load approved.

Masters and Graduate Diplomas

If you are an international student and the award of the DC grade will result in an enrolment of less than 24 credit points, you need to apply via email to the Law Postgraduate Team at law.postgraduate@sydney.edu.au to have this reduced study load approved.

After the DC deadline

Eligibility

You may be eligible to apply for a DC grade after the DC deadline if:

  • you were not able to meet the unit of study requirements for unforeseeable reasons, such as unexpected, serious and long-term illness or misadventure
  • circumstances beyond your control prevented you from withdrawing from/discontinuing the unit by the DC deadline
  • circumstances beyond your control prevented you from using special consideration.

Supporting documents

You will need to provide a statement and (original or certified) documentation completed by a registered medical practitioner or counsellor (or other professional as applicable) which demonstrates that you meet the eligibility criteria and:

  • specifies the extent and period of impact on your ability to study
  • shows, in cases where a you are seeking a DC grade for particular units rather than all units in a semester, that there is a specific, documented impact in relation to the specific unit(s).

In the case of illness, you need to provide a Professional Practitioner Certificate (PPC) (pdf, 313KB).

When assessing DC applications, the faculty takes into account your academic record and any special consideration claims you have lodged throughout the semester.

If you are registered with Disability Services, any reasonable adjustments are also taken into consideration. You will need to notify your faculty or school that you are registered with Disability Services if you want this information to be taken into account.

Note that your faculty or school may have additional requirements around eligibility and supporting documents.

How to apply

If you’re applying for a DC after the DC deadline, you will need to apply directly to your faculty or school.

Submit an Application for Discontinued not to count as failure (DC) (doc, 73KB) due to serious illness, injury or misadventure to the school’s Student Administration Centre in the Wilkinson Building, Darlington Campus.

Refer to the Discontinued not to count as failure (DC) application form for more information on submitting an application.

  1. Complete and sign the Discontinued not to count as failure (DC) application form (doc, 270KB) or Discontinued not to count as failure (DC) application form (pdf, 213KB).
  2. Attach your supporting documents.
  3. Submit your application to fass.appeals@sydney.edu.au from your University student email account before release of results for the relevant semester.

If you want to apply after this deadline, you need permission to submit a late application. Email fass.appeals@sydney.edu.au with a statement explaining the reason for your delay submitting an application and attach relevant supporting documents.

Submit your written statement and supporting documents either in person at the faculty office in the Peter Nicol Russell Building or via email to the Engineering Progression and Appeals Officer at engineering.progression@sydney.edu.au.

Submit your detailed statement to fhs.academicrecords@sydney.edu.au from your University student email account. You are required to demonstrate how your application fits the stated eligibility criteria and attach supporting documents. 

If you’re a master’s or graduate diploma student, submit the postgraduate Law DC application form (doc, 94KB) to the Sydney Law School.

If you are undertaking the Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor, email the Professional Law Programs at law.professional@sydney.edu.au from your University student email account and attach your supporting documents.

Note the following.

  • You need to apply before the final assessment for the unit commences or is due.
  • If you make a late application, you need to provide supporting documents that show it was beyond your control to apply by the deadline.
  • A late application may also be considered if you have successfully applied for special consideration but because of continuing illness or misadventure you are unable to sit the replacement exam.
  • A DC grade will not be granted after you have attempted the final assessment task in a unit of study.
  • After an application for a DC grade has been approved, it cannot be withdrawn.

If you’re studying in the University of Sydney Medical School, except Sydney Medical Program students, you'll need to read the process for applying for a DC grade after the DC deadline (pdf, 384KB) and submit an Application for a discontinued not to count as failure (DC) grade (pdf, 287KB).

If you’re enrolled in the Sydney Medical Program (MD or MBBS), contact smp.assessment@sydney.edu.au for information on applying for a DC grade.

Refer to the Discontinued not to count as failure (DC) application form for more information on submitting an application.

  1. Complete and sign the Discontinued not to count as failure (DC) application form (doc, 270KB) or Discontinued not to count as failure (DC) application form (pdf, 213KB).
  2. Attach your supporting documents.
  3. Submit your application to fass.appeals@sydney.edu.au from your University student email account before release of results for the relevant semester.

If you want to apply after this deadline, you need permission to submit a late application. Email fass.appeals@sydney.edu.au with a statement explaining the reason for your delay submitting an application and attach relevant supporting documents.

For Summer or Winter School units of study, you'll need to follow the same faculty process above.

Applying for a refund of fees

Under some circumstances, if you are granted a grade of DC you may be eligible for a refund of fees or re-credit of a HELP balance.

Discontinue fail

If you withdraw from a unit of study between the DC and DF deadlines, you'll receive a grade of DF. This means you are financially liable for the unit and will receive a grade of zero. It will count as a fail on your transcript but does not affect your Weighted Average Mark (WAM).

The DF deadline for a unit of study is the end of classes for that unit.

To discontinue a unit up until the DF deadline, log in to Sydney Student (go to ‘My studies’, ‘Units of study’, ‘Other options’, then ‘Discontinue from a unit of study’).

If you’re an international student, you need to provide supporting documents to apply for a DF grade.

A DF grade can be a trigger for academic progression, so you may receive a warning that you haven’t made satisfactory progress in your degree. 

If you experience severe and unexpected illness or misadventure after the DC date you can lodge an application for a Discontinue not to count as failure.

If you receive a DF grade, it’s considered that you have made an unsuccessful attempt at the unit. This is taken into account regarding progression, exclusion and calculating your WAM for graduation ranking.

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Level 3, Jane Foss Russell Building, Darlington Campus
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Last updated: 14 August 2017

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