Leave of absence - Section contents

Unexpected things sometimes happen in life or maybe you even have an itch to travel and see the world before knuckling down. If you wish to take time off from the course you're currently enrolled in, you may be able to apply for a leave of absence.

As a student you may request a Leave of Absence (LOA) for up to 12 months. This will mean that your course is put on hold for you to complete after you've returned from your leave. However, you are not permitted to take this leave during the first six months of your course or the final month of your course.

As a student of the University, you are required to remain enrolled in at least one subject in each of Semester 1 (and/or first half of the year) and Semester 2 (and/or second half of the year) throughout the duration of your course, unless you have been granted a leave of absence. If you wish to take time off from your course but are ineligible for leave, contact Stop 1 to discuss your options.

Failure to remain enrolled in subject/s in each semester or half year, or, failure to apply for leave of absence for any semester in which you do not intend to study, may result in the cancellation of your enrolment. If this happens, you may have to re-apply for admission to your course.

Make sure you apply before the census dates of any of your currently enrolled subjects to ensure you are not financially liable for the subjects if you want to go on leave for the current study period.

Undergraduate and coursework students

  1. Log in to my.unimelb
  2. Click on 'Student Admin' tab
  3. Click on the 'Enrolment' tab
  4. Under 'Managing My Current Enrolment' click on 'View My Leave(s) of Absence / Submit an Application'.

International students

If you are an international student with a student visa, you will be subject to student visa conditions and ESOS requirements. You will need to complete a Leave of Absence Declaration Form and provide supporting documents.

To apply for a leave of absence:

  1. Follow the steps above
  2. Complete the Leave of Absence Declaration Form
  3. Return the form and supporting documents using Submit an Enquiry via ask.unimelb or lodge hard copies at Stop 1.

Refer to the Student Support International Students page for more information.

Graduate researchers

Check the Graduate Research Hub for instructions on Taking leave.

No. Your leave application will be assessed before it is approved. You will remain enrolled in subjects until you receive an email confirming the outcome of your application.

Note: If you intend to study at another institution during your leave, your Leave of Absence application will not be approved.

Undergraduate and coursework students

If you would like to request additional leave beyond the standard one-year period or two semesters, this is called "extra leave". Extra leave is only approved in exceptional circumstances, such as documented ongoing illness, and approval from Stop 1 is required.

To apply for extra leave:

  1. Submit an Enquiry via ask.unimelb
  2. Under Topic, choose Manage my admin > Other enquiry
  3. Attach any supporting documentation and submit your enquiry.

Graduate researchers

Graduate researchers can submit applications for consecutive leave which totals more than 12 months. Only in compelling or compassionate circumstances may a total accumulated leave of more than 24 months be approved.

To apply for additional leave, submit a new application via my.unimelb.

To cancel an application for Leave of Absence:

  1. Submit an Enquiry via ask.unimelb
  2. Under Topic, choose Manage my admin > Other enquiry
  3. Include the details for your request and submit your enquiry.

Undergraduate and coursework students

If you are an undergraduate or coursework student and returning to your studies as scheduled, you are not required to submit a request. If you would like to return early from your leave of absence, please contact Stop 1.

While on a Leave of Absence, you are still considered a current student and will need to complete your re-enrolment in October and November for study in the following year, or your enrolment may be terminated.  While on leave, you are required to check your student email, which is the way the University will communicate with you.

Before returning to study you must be enrolled in subjects for your returning semester. Ensure you carefully plan your subjects for your return, particularly if you are requesting leave for one semester only, as some subjects are sequential and only offered in one semester each year. Please consult the Handbook for subject availabilities.

Graduate researchers

Check the Graduate Research Hub for instructions on Returning from leave.

Check your email while you're on leave

While on leave you must frequently check your University email account to ensure important University information isn't missed, including information on re-enrolment.