Withdrawing without penalty
If you've experienced unavoidable disruption to your studies you may apply to withdraw from units without academic and/or financial penalty.
Unavoidable disruption criteria
Macquarie University defines unavoidable disruption as an event or circumstance that meet the following criteria:
- Could not have reasonably been anticipated, avoided or guarded against by the student, and
- Was beyond the student's control, and
- Caused substantial disruption to the student's capacity for effective study and/or the completion of required work, and
- Occurred during an event critical study period and was at least three consecutive days in duration, and/or
- Prevented completion of a final examination.
Circumstances often encountered by students that are unacceptable grounds for claiming unavoidable disruption to studies include:
- Routine demands of employment
- Routine family problems such as domestic tension with or between parents, spouses and other people closely involved with the student
- Difficulties adjusting to University life and the demands of academic work
- Routine need for financial support
- Demands of sport, clubs and social or extracurricular activities
More information can be found regarding Macquarie's withdrawal policy and procedures in Rules and policies .
Local students who have experienced unavoidable disruption may use this application to request:
- Refund or remission of fees due to withdrawing after census date
- Withdrawal without academic penalty due to withdrawing after the last day to withdraw without academic penalty
International students who have experienced unavoidable disruption may use this application to request:
- Withdrawal without academic penalty due to withdrawing after the last day
Students who should use this form are:
- All undergraduate and postgraduate (coursework) North Ryde students
- Open Universities Australia (OUA) students
- Non-Award or Next Step students
- Macquarie University International College (MUIC) students
Please do not complete this application if you are:
- An international student seeking a refund of fees only – international students seeking refund of fees must apply to Office of Financial Services and meet the guidelines for international fee refunds
- Studying at Macquarie as a Study Abroad student – contact your Study Abroad advisor
- A postgraduate applied finance student – email email@example.com
- A research student with the higher degree research office – call +61 2 9850 7987
- Studying at Macquarie Graduate School of Management – lodge your application via students.mgsm.edu.au/forms
If your special circumstances do not meet the criteria listed earlier but you feel that they should be considered, please lodge an enquiry . When submitting your enquiry, please ensure your subject line is 'unit withdrawal after census date'.
How to apply
You will first be assessed for academic penalty. Once your application has been finalised it will then be forwarded to a different department for assessment for financial penalty.
If you are an OUA student, please ensure you have first received the outcome of your financial penalty assessment prior to submitting this form.
To make an application to withdraw without academic and/or financial penalty:
- Check that your circumstances meet the definition of unavoidable disruption
- Prepare the supporting documentation for your application (please contact Student Advocacy if you require assistance)
- Fill out the online withdrawal without penalty application form.
If you are unable to complete this online form, please contact Student Connect (Ph: +61 2 9850 6410) to discuss alternative submission methods
- Include a detailed statement explaining how your circumstances meet each of the four criteria for unavoidable disruption
- Attach independent supporting documentation:
- All supporting documentation needs to be submitted at the time of application – it can't be added afterwards. If you are waiting on documents to become available, you will need to wait until you have them all before you apply
You must include independent documentation to support the circumstances you are claiming. Examples of documents that are accepted can be found in the Supporting Evidence Schedule and include:
- Detailed statement from medical practitioner/s (i.e., general practitioner, psychologist, counsellor or specialist)
- Detailed statement from your employer
- Detailed statements from your faculty/department
- Statutory declaration (only in conjunction with independent supporting documentation)
Support for students
Campus Wellbeing offers support and assistance to students through their medical, counselling, disability and welfare services. Students feeling in need of support are encouraged to seek assistance through these services.
Students who require assistance in preparing their application should not hesitate to contact Student Advocacy and Support Services for assistance.
How to appeal a decision
You may appeal the decision not to grant Withdrawal without Academic Penalty on one or both following grounds:
- University policy and procedures were not correctly followed (appeal must address how they were not correctly followed)
- Supporting material was not available (or provided) at the time of the original decision and is now available that may bear on the original decision.
Any appeal must be submitted by letter within 14 working days of the date of this correspondence and be addressed to:
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students & Registrar)
c/o Current Students Team
Building C7A, Level 2 MUSE
18 Wally's Walk
Macquarie University NSW 2109
Appeals sent by email will not be considered.
In reviewing the appeal, consultation may occur with the relevant stakeholders of the University and a decision will be made against the criteria of unavoidable disruption.
Please note that students are permitted to appeal an unsuccessful withdrawal without academic penalty request only once.