Census Dates & Appeals

Get to know your way around UNSW census dates and get in touch if you're having trouble.

Withdrawal Without Penalty

UNSW has an annual enrolment system 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.

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 – 14 March 2021
  • Term 2 – 27 June 2021
  • Term 3 – 10 October 2021

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 2021 for terms 1, 2 and 3 are:

  • Term 1 – 28 March 2021
  • Term 2 – 11 July 2021
  • Term 3 – 24 October 2021

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 – 23 April 2021
  • Term 2 – 6 August 2021
  • Term 3 – 19 November 2021

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 recorded and the course fee paid will be refunded. Permitted withdrawal from a course is included when calculating academic standing but will not affect WAM.

Permitted withdrawals do not appear on your transcript.  

More Help

Legal & Advocacy Online Service

Make a booking online to speak with our team about an issue that is causing you strife.

Read More

Special Consideration

You have 3 days to lodge a special considerations appeal on an assignment or exams. Make sure you have all the info you need.

Read More

Education Collective

If you're unhappy with how UNSW is managing your education, hit up the Education Collective who can advocate on your behalf.

Read More


More helpful resources and advice are just a click away.

Read More

Get in touch

Legal & Advocacy

P:(02) 9065 0900


H:10AM - 5PM