Taking leave or withdrawing from study

Time for a change? What to do when you are thinking of taking leave or withdrawing from study

There are many reasons why you might feel like making changes to your studies. Before you make any changes, it is important that you know all the options available to you. These include:

Academic support and assistance

The transition into university study can be challenging. Everyone at FedUni is passionate about making education accessible and we want to see all students succeed, so we've put together a range of resources to support you in navigating the academic world. These cover everything from academic writing and reading to referencing and general study skills. We also have support programs and staff – these are listed below, and are free to students:

  • FedReady – pre-semester academic training in all core academic skills
  • Mentors – all commencing undergraduate students have a mentor at the start of semester to give them advice. Got a mentor? Make contact with them to get some support
  • PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) – intensive, fun group study to help coursework make sense.
  • YourTutor – on demand after hours one-on-one academic help with a real tutor
  • ASKService – Student Academic Leaders available in person, by phone, email, Facebook and Twitter to answer any general or academic questions you might have
  • Learning Skills Advisors (LSA) – one-on-one, in person, phone or skype appointments to work intensively on specific study skills you want to build. LSAs can help you with everything from building a study plan to understanding referencing

If you don't know where to start, you can contact the ASK Service on (03) 5327 6422 or ask.sal@federation.edu.au and they can help you figure out which support option will give you the best academic help. Select the links above for more information on each.

Welfare, financial and other support services

Not all problems are academic problems – there are a number of other issues which can impact on your ability and/or desire to continue your studies. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Whatever the problem might be, the University can offer assistance.

  • Careers and employment: We help students to plan for their career, get part-time work whilst studying, and get that all-important graduate position.
  • Counselling: We provide counselling by appointment for personal, academic and financial/welfare issues for all of our students.
  • Disability support: It is our role to negotiate tailored services to meet the individual needs of students with a disability.
  • FedUni Living: We offer accommodation support to students, as well as support services and programs to residents aimed at maintaining a balanced living and learning lifestyle.
  • Financial support and scholarships: We can assist you to manage the financial demands of university life.
  • International student support: We provide specific assistance to students who have moved to Australia to study.
  • Scholarships, bursaries and grants: We are committed to providing assistance to students via the allocation of bursaries and grants to remove, as much as possible, the financial constraints students face to achieve their study goals.
  • Student Advisory Service: We aim to inform, educate, and support students in relation to their rights and responsibilities as students of the university.

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Reducing your study load

Many students don't realise that full-time is not the only study option available – many of our courses can be undertaken on a part-time basis. This can be an option when you aren't sure that what you are studying is right for you, when it becomes difficult to combine study with family, work and other commitments or when you just want to ease up the pressure a little for now.

If you wish to study part-time, the first thing you need to do is to talk to your Course Co-ordinator. This is the person who will be able to advise which courses you should continue studying, and which courses you will be able to pick up at a later date. Once you know what courses you are going to continue in, make sure you change your enrolment to reflect your new study load. This can be done through my Student Centre. To avoid incurring a debt for the courses you aren't going to be studying, you need to drop these courses by the census date for that teaching period.

Reducing your study load can impact on your eligibility to continue to receive Centrelink benefits while you study. To be considered as a full-time student you must be studying at least 75% of a full-time load - 45 credit points or 0.375 EFTSLin a semester (100% full-time load is 60 credit points or 0.500 EFTSLin in a semester). As a general rule, reducing your enrolment from four classes to three classes will mean no change to your current benefits.

International students

If you are an international student, the above information does not apply to you.
You are required to complete your studies within the expected duration of your signed International Student Offer and Acceptance Agreement and your student visa. You can only reduce your load due to being at risk of not meeting academic progress or you have a compassionate or compelling circumstance that prevents you from enrolling in a full load. If you wish to reduce your study load, you should speak to your Course Coordinator ad the International Student Support Officer on campus or the Student Support Officer at your teaching location, as reducing your load may affect your student visa.

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Taking leave from studies

Sometimes a break from studies can help to clarify the direction you want to take in the future or give you the chance deal with personal hurdles. This can be achieved by applying for 'Leave from Studies'. Taking leave provides you with the opportunity to take time out from your studies without losing your place in your program of study – you will still be able to return to your program of study at the end of your period of leave. Periods of leave are generally for either a semester or a year. Leave is a great option in many circumstances including, but not limited to, health issues, surgery, travel, pregnancy, personal loss, recovering from natural disasters, moving house and so on. If your current life circumstances need to take priority, leave is a great option.

If coming back to study after a period of leave sounds daunting, help is available. Our FedReady program runs before classes start, and offers assistance and support to prepare you for everything from academic writing, essay structure, referencing and oral presentations, to just finding your way around. More information is available on the FedReady website. If, at the end of your period of leave, you still aren't sure about returning to study, you can apply for additional leave (which will be considered depending on your circumstances) or you can consider other options such as transferring to another FedUni program, or withdrawing from your studies completely.

To apply for leave from studies you will need to fill out the Application for Leave from Studies (218kb, pdf) form, and return it to your faculty for approval. The best time to consider taking leave from studies is prior to the teaching period census date - students who commence a period of leave after the census date of a teaching period incur a debt for all courses enrolled in for that teaching period.

International students

FedUni can only grant leave from studies for International students who have a compassionate or compelling circumstance for wishing to take leave from studies. If you wish to take leave, you should refer to the Deferment, Suspension of Cancellation of a Student's Enrolment (ESOS Specific) Procedure and speak to the International Student Support Officer on campus or the Student Support Officer at your teaching location, as taking leave from your studies may affect your student visa.

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Changing your program of study

Changing to a new program of study might be an option for you if, for example, you find that the program you have enrolled in is not what you thought it would be. Perhaps you really enjoy the electives you are doing from another area? Or you have heard about a program that you really think would suit you better.

If you think you are in the wrong program for you, and you know of another program or area that interests you, the first thing you need to do is to talk to the Course Co-ordinator of your preferred program of study. Changing programs of study is not an automatic process, and you will need to have the support of the Course Co-ordinator of the program to which you would like to switch, to make this change. You should also speak with the Course Co-ordinator of your current program, who will be able to give you advice regarding your current program and may be able to suggest other study options to you.

Once you have approval from the new Course Co-ordinator to transfer to that program you will need to complete an Internal Program Transfer (148kb, pdf) form. Requests to change programs of study must be submitted prior to the census date of the teaching period for which the program change is requested.

If you'd like to change your program of study, and you're not sure where to start, contact our Customer Service Team on 1800 333 864 or e-mail info@federation.edu.au and they will be able to help you further.

International students

If you are studying at a Ballarat campus and would like to change your program, you must speak to the staff in the International Admissions Office prior to speaking to the Course Coordinator. If you are studying at the Gippsland Campus, you must speak to staff in Student Connect prior to speaking to your Course Coordinator. If you are studying at a partner teaching location, you should speak to the Student Academic Support staff at your teaching location, as changing your program may affect your student visa.

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Withdrawing from all studies

Withdrawing from all studies is very final, as it means that you lose your place in your program of study and you may have incurred costs (this will depend on when you withdraw and how much study you have already completed). Before taking this big step, we encourage you to talk through your reasons for wanting to withdraw with your Course Co-ordinator, to ensure that complete program withdrawal is the right step for you.

Once withdrawing from your program has been confirmed as the right thing for you to do, you will need to complete the Withdrawal from all Studies (478kb, pdf) form and submit it to Student Administration for processing.The best time to consider withdrawing from all studies is prior to the teaching period census date - students who withdraw from their studies after the census date of a teaching period incur a debt for all courses enrolled in for that teaching period.

International students

If you are studying at Mt Helen or Gippsland, you must speak to the International Student Support staff on campus prior to lodging your Withdrawal from all Studies (478kb, pdf) form. If you are studying at a partner teaching location, you should speak to the student academic support staff at your teaching location, as withdrawing from studies may affect your student visa.

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Studying a FedUni program at a partner institution?

Talk to the academic support staff at your partner institution about the support services they are able to provide, so you can complete your studies.

Note: If you are looking at taking leave, reducing your study load or withdrawing, this will need to be facilitated via the administration staff at your partner institution.

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