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 different options and support available to you.

TAFE students will need to discuss their options directly with their teaching staff. They will provide guidance on your options and the process you need to follow.

Higher education students should explore the different options detailed below:

Changing how you study

We offer online learning and flexible delivery options as well as on-campus study modes; there may be a better way to help study fit in with your life. Check out federation.edu.au/studymodes to find out all the options available and explore what these mean for you.

Reducing your study load

Many students don't realise that full-time is not the only study option available – many of our programs can be undertaken on a part-time basis. This can be an option when it becomes difficult to combine study with family, work and other commitments.

If you wish to study part-time, the first thing to do is to talk to your program coordinator. The program coordinator 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. You can then amend your enrolment through my Student Centre to reflect your new study load. To avoid incurring a debt you need to drop these courses by the census date for that teaching period.

Please note: 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 EFTSL in a semester (100% full-time load is 60 credit points or 0.500 EFTSL in a semester). Reducing your enrolment from four classes to three classes will usually mean no change to your current benefits.

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Taking leave from studies

Taking leave provides you with the opportunity to take time out from your studies without losing your place in your program; you simply continue with your studies 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, travel, pregnancy, personal loss, changes to your employment and so on. If your current life circumstances need to take priority, leave from studies 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 Federation University program or withdrawing from your studies completely.

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.

To apply for leave from studies, complete an ‘Amend your Program Status form’ online via your MySC account. Step by step guidelines are provided; click the appropriate link below:

If you are not able to access your ‘my Student Centre account, you will need to lodge a completed Amend your Program Status form (pdf, 616kb). Please note that being a manual process, this will take longer to process and finalise.

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Changing your program of study

Many students change the program they are studying at Uni, and this might be the right option for you. Perhaps your current program is not what you thought it would be. Do you really enjoy the electives you are doing from another area? Have heard about a program that you 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 speak with someone. The program coordinator of your preferred program of study will be able to give insight into what the new program entails. You should also speak with the program coordinator for advice regarding your current program and the other study options available to you.

You will also need to complete an Internal Program Transfer (261, pdf) application. Requests to change programs of study must be submitted prior to the start 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 us at Student HQ on 1800 333 864 and we will be able to help you further.

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Returning to study

Welcome back. Have you previously been enrolled in a program, withdrawn, and now wish to return to study to study, either into your old program, or perhaps something new?

To return to your previous program, advise us of your intentions and we will reactivate your place where possible, or investigate your options and advise you of the best possible path.

To start something new, you can find the right program in our Course Finder, and then complete a new application.

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Withdrawing from all studies

Before deciding to withdraw from studies, we encourage you to talk through your reasons for wanting to withdraw with your Program Coordinator or Student HQ support staff. There are many alternative options, such as leave from studies, which you should explore.

If you decide that withdrawing from your program is the right thing for you, you will need to lodge a completed ‘Amend your Program Status’ form. To avoid incurring a debt for the courses you are enrolled in for that teaching period, you should lodge this before the census date.

To withdraw from all studies, complete an ‘Amend your Program Status form’ online via your MySC account. Step by step guidelines are provided; click the appropriate link below:

If you are not able to access your ‘my Student Centre account, you will need to lodge a completed Amend your Program Status form (pdf, 616kb). Please note that being a manual process, this will take longer to process and finalise.

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Academic support and assistance

Federation University 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 receive a mentor at the start of semester to assist their transition to University; make sure you take advantage of this wonderful resource.
  • PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) – intensive, fun group study to help coursework make sense.
  • After hours tutoring (Studiosity) – 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 further information.

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Wellbeing, 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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International students

If you are an international student, only the support services information here applies to you, as changes may affect your student visa. You are required to complete your studies on campus within the expected duration of your signed International Student Offer and Acceptance Agreement and your student visa.

You can only reduce your study load when you have an approved intervention plan in place or you have a compassionate or compelling circumstance that prevents you from enrolling in a full load.

Federation University 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.

Any changes to your program, study load or status must be discussed with, and approved by, the International Compliance staff on campus.

If you are studying with one of our partner institutions, please speak with the academic support staff at that location about the support services they provide to assist you in completing your studies, and the procedures you are required to follow.

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