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Selecting units in Sydney Student

Departmental permission

Some units of study require faculty or school approval. This could be for a number of reasons, for example if it’s an advanced unit, a clinical placement, an offshore unit, an internship or if there are limited places available.

Your handbook will indicate if a unit of study requires departmental permission.

How to apply

You'll be prompted to apply for departmental permission when you select your units of study in the enrolment task in Sydney Student. If you have also submitted any enrolment exception requests, you won’t be prompted to complete your departmental permission applications until after you’ve received outcomes for your enrolment exception requests.

You can nominate an alternative unit of study that you'd like to be enrolled in if your application is unsuccessful. You need to make sure you're eligible for the unit and it still meets the requirements of your course.

If you're a student visa holder, it is mandatory that you select an alternative unit.

You can attach supporting documents to your application. Make sure you check the faculty information below for any specific supporting document requirements. If we require additional documents we will email you.

If you are applying for a unit where you will have a supervising academic, include the name of your supervisor in your departmental permission request. Upload permission from your Supervisor and Program Director where possible.

If you are applying for a 'general elective’ shell unit, include the lead unit of study academic and name of the unit of study (for example, Venice Travelling Studio) and upload a copy of permission for the unit.

If you are applying for departmental permission into:

  • pre-honours units of study - it is recommended you attach written approval from the honours coordinator or school/department of the specific subject area
  • dissertation/research units of study - you need to attach a copy of your research proposal for review
  • an internship unit of study (such as FASS3000) - you need to attach an approval letter from the relevant school or department
  • an OLE In-Country Experience unit of study - you need to attach an approval letter from the School of Languages and Cultures, after applying for the unit through the Global Mobility Database.

If you are applying for a Major Industry Placement Scholarship (MIPS) or Sydney Industrial Project Placement Scholarship (SIPPS) program, make sure you have an academic supervisor. Log on to Canvas to fill out the SIPPS enrolment form and upload this document to your departmental permission request.

If you’re applying for units in the Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Laws programs, please visit the Law Student Portal on Canvas for a list of all units requiring Departmental Permission and instructions on how to apply. 

If you’re a student enrolled in the Law Masters and Graduate Diploma programs, please visit Your Studies of the Law Student Portal.

If you are applying for departmental permission for:

  • units of study that require an audition - you should upload permission or evidence of successful completion of your audition
  • units of study that are associated with an internship or placement - you should provide further details of the internship/placement with your application
  • an industry and community placement unit (ICPU) - you need to attach a copy of your deed poll.

If you're applying for departmental permission for advanced junior science units, you need to upload evidence of your HSC (or equivalent study).

If after Week 2 of semester you want to change from an advanced unit of study to a mainstream unit or from a mainstream unit of study to a fundamental stream unit covering the same material, you will need to submit a Unit of study downgrade request (pdf, 133KB). You need to submit this before the census date.

What happens next

We will send you an email confirming your application has been submitted. If you don't receive an email, log in and check your units in Sydney Student ('My studies', then 'Units of study').

Your application will be assessed by your faculty or school. If we require additional supporting documents, we will email you. We won’t be able to assess your application until you have provided the necessary documents.

We will email you with the outcome of your request. If your application is approved, you'll automatically be enrolled in the unit of study you requested.

If your application is unsuccessful, we will provide you with the reason for this decision and may enrol you in your alternative unit of study. If you didn't provide an alternative unit of study, you will need to amend your unit of study selections in Sydney Student. Your fees will be adjusted as necessary to reflect your change in unit of study.

Student Centre



1800 SYD UNI (1800 793 864)
or +61 2 8627 1444 (outside Australia)

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Last updated: 13 March 2024

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