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.
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.
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.
You may be eligible to apply for a DC grade after the DC deadline if:
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:
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org from your University student email account and attach your supporting documents.
Note the following.
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 email@example.com for information on applying for a DC grade.
For Summer or Winter School units of study, you'll need to follow the same faculty process above.
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.
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.