Course Withdrawal & Important Dates

Census dates are changing!

What does this mean for you?


Withdrawal Without Penalty

In 2019 UNSW moved to annual enrolment which allows students to choose courses for the entire academic year. Planning a year in advance might make you feel super organised but a lot can happen in a year. Plans change and you may face circumstances that are out of your control meaning you might need to chop and change some courses as each new Term starts.

Under the previous rules, students had until either 31 March (Semester 1) or 31 August (Semester 2) to withdraw from particular courses without incurring course fees or academic penalty (i.e., the course won’t show up on your transcript and you don’t have to pay for it).

But each term will now have a census date at the end of Week 4 (11.59pm Sunday)– so if you’re not sure you want to stay enrolled in a particular class, you need to act quickly.

The 2020 census dates for terms 1, 2 and 3 are:

  • Term 1 – 15 March 2020
  • Term 2 – 28 June 2020
  • Term 3 – 11 October 2020

You also only have until the relevant census date to apply for program leave or withdraw from your degree without incurring any fees.

Note: These dates do not apply to students at UNSW Canberra which still uses the old census dates.

Other Important Dates...

Academic Withdrawal

After the census date, you will still have an opportunity to drop courses without academic penalty but will retain financial liability. The course grade (NF = No Fail) will not appear on your transcript and will not affect academic standing or WAM.

The Academic Withdrawal dates for 2019 for terms 1, 2 and 3 are:

  • Term 1 – 29 March 2020
  • Term 2 – 12 July 2020
  • Term 3 – 25 October 2020

Late Academic Withdrawal

Withdrawing before the last day of teaching will result in an AW grade which will be recorded on your academic transcript. Withdrawal from a course at this stage is included when calculating academic standing but will not affect WAM.

Late Academic Withdrawal dates for terms 1, 2 and 3 are:

  • Term 1 – 28 April 2020
  • Term 2 – 10 August 2020
  • Term 3 – 23 November 2020

Permitted Withdrawal & Fee Remission

Students who fail courses due to special circumstances can apply for Withdrawal with Permission (including Fee Remission) up to 12 months after enrollment, subject to satisfying the eligibility criteria.

If successful, a grade of PW (Permitted Withdrawal) is awarded and the course fee paid will be refunded. Permitted withdrawal from a course is included when calculating academic standing but will not affect WAM.

PW will appear on your transcript where the course was undertaken prior to 2019. Withdrawals from courses enrolled from 2019 will not appear on your transcript.