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Discontinue a unit of study

If you drop a unit of study, this means you’re removing yourself from all classes for that particular unit. Depending on when you drop a unit, you may face financial or academic penalties.

Drop a unit of study

How you drop a unit of study, and the implications for doing so, will depend on when you decide to drop the unit.

If you drop a unit of study before the census date for that session, it is called a withdrawal. You withdraw from a unit by selecting the rubbish bin on the unit of study selection screen in Sydney Student (go to ‘My studies’, ‘Units of study’, then ‘Change your units of study’). You'll need to select 'Continue' and then 'Confirm' on the confirmation screen to finalise your change.

If you withdraw before census there will be no academic penalties, and the unit won’t appear on your transcript. If you're a domestic student there will be no financial penalties.

After census dropping a unit will have different implications.

  • If it is before the DC deadline, you will receive a grade of Discontinued not to count as failure (DC).
  • If it is after the DC deadline and before the DF deadline, you will receive a grade of Discontinue fail (DF).
  • If you do not discontinue by the DF deadline you will no longer be able to drop the unit and will receive a grade for the unit.

You will not receive credit points for units of study that receive a DC or DF grade. You may need to make up credit points in another session and your academic progression for your course may be affected.

Check the census, DC and DF deadlines for your session before dropping a unit. DC, DF and Absent fail (AF) grades have different academic and financial consequences to be aware of.

It is important for you to make any necessary changes to your study as early as possible. If you’re receiving government payments you also need to tell the Australian Government about any changes to your study.

International students

If you're an international student on a student visa, you are required to undertake a full-time study load of 24 credit points each semester. If you want to discontinue a unit of study, you'll need to apply for a reduced study load to drop below the required 24 credit points.

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Last updated: 07 October 2021

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