Defer my offer

If you need to start your studies later than originally planned, you may be eligible to defer commencement of your offered course for up to one year.

Can I defer my offer?

Refer to the relevant section below for eligibility details and deferral request deadlines specific to you and the course that you have been offered.

  • Domestic undergraduate students
    Deferral deadline

    If your course does not have a specific deferral deadline, the latest you can apply for a deferral is up to the earliest census date for any of your subjects. After the first census date has passed you cannot defer your offer – instead you will have to withdraw from your subjects if you wish to discontinue or take a break from your studies.

    Deferral eligibility

    Not all undergraduate courses have the option to defer and deferrals are not automatically granted. If your request to defer is approved, you are not permitted to undertake any other tertiary study during your deferral period.

    Deferral is possible in many of the undergraduate courses commencing in Semester 1 (start year intake) and Semester 2 (mid-year intake). Refer to the list below to confirm if the course that you have been offered is one that allows deferral.

    You must submit your request to defer online.

    Apply to defer

    You will be notified of the outcome of your deferral request by email – usually within 10 business days of submission.

    Please note: If your deferral request is not approved, you will either need to commence studying during the intake that you have been offered, or you will need to reapply for the course in a future intake (once you are ready to commence studying).

    Course

    Deferral possible in Semester 1, 2021 (start-year intake)?

    Deferral possible in Semester 2, 2021 (mid-year intake)?

    Agriculture

    Agriculture (Graduate Degree Packages)

    Yes

    Yes

    Arts

    Arts (Graduate Degree Packages)

    Arts (Chancellor’s Scholars Program)

    Yes

    Yes

    Arts (Extended)

    Yes

    Yes

    Biomedicine

    Biomedicine (Graduate Degree Packages)

    Biomedicine (Chancellor’s Scholars Program)

    Yes (Reviewed on a case by case basis. Deferral requests should include as much detail as possible about compassionate or compelling reasons to defer)Yes (Reviewed on a case by case basis. Deferral requests should include as much detail as possible about compassionate or compelling reasons to defer)

    Commerce

    Commerce (Graduate Degree Packages)

    Commerce (Chancellor’s Scholars Program)

    Yes

    Yes

    Design

    Design (Graduate Degree Packages)

    Design (Chancellor’s Scholars Program)

    Yes

    Yes

    Fine Arts (all streams)

    No

    Not applicable at mid-year

    Diploma in General Studies

    Yes

    Yes

    Music

    Music (Graduate Degree Packages)

    Music (Chancellor’s Scholars Program)

    Yes, for six months only (Only for the Performance/Composition/Musicology/ Ethnomusicology Specialisation)
    Yes, for 6 months only (To commence in Semester 1, 2022)

    Oral Health

    No

    Not applicable at mid-year

    Science

    Science (Graduate Degree Packages)

    Science (Chancellor’s Scholars Program)

    Yes

    Yes

    Science (Extended)

    Yes

    Not applicable at mid-year
  • International undergraduate students
    Deferral deadline

    If your course does not have a specific deferral deadline, the latest you can apply for a deferral is up to the earliest census date for any of your subjects. After the first census date has passed you cannot defer your offer – instead you will have to withdraw from your subjects if you wish to discontinue or take a break from your studies.

    Deferral eligibility

    Not all undergraduate courses have the option to defer and deferrals are not automatically granted. If your request to defer is approved, you are not permitted to undertake other tertiary study during your deferral period.

    For international undergraduate students all deferral requests are considered individually, on the basis of information provided in your deferral request and the status of your course application/course acceptance at the time of your deferral request:

    • If you currently have a Conditional course offer, your request to defer will be considered on the basis of the information that you provide in the deferral application – please click the ‘Apply to defer’ link below to submit your online deferral request.
    • If you currently have an Unconditional course offer, your deferral request will be considered on the basis of the information that you provide in your deferral request and on the status of your course application/your progression through the acceptance and enrolment process:
      • If you have already accepted your Unconditional offer, received your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE), and applied for/received your student visa, a deferral can only be approved if you demonstrate that there are compassionate or compelling reasons to defer commencement of your studies. For more information, refer to the University’s webpage about compassionate or compelling circumstances.
      • If you have applied for/received your student visa and feel that your reasons for requesting a deferral are compassionate or compelling, please click the ‘Apply to defer’ link below to submit your online deferral request, noting that supporting documentation may be required.
      • If your application for deferral is granted, your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) will be updated to reflect your new commencement date after you have accepted your new offer. For more information, please refer to the ‘Will I receive a new offer letter or a new Confirmation of Enrolment?' frequently asked question (FAQ) below.

    You must submit your request to defer online.

    Apply to defer

    You will be notified of the outcome of your deferral request by email – usually within 10 business days of submission.

    Please note: If your deferral request is not approved, you will either need to commence studying during the intake that you have been offered, or you will need to reapply for the course in a future intake (once you are ready to commence studying).

  • Graduate coursework - domestic students
    Deferral deadline

    All deferral requests for domestic graduate coursework students are assessed by the relevant graduate school. Some graduate schools require that you apply for a deferral before the offer lapse date indicated in your course offer letter. Other graduate schools allow you to request a deferral at any time before the earliest census date for any of your first semester’s subjects.

    Note that the latest you can apply for a deferral is up to the first census date – once the first census date has passed you will have to withdraw from your subjects if you wish to discontinue your studies.

    Deferral eligibility

    Not all graduate courses have the option to defer and deferrals are not automatically granted. If your deferral application is approved, you are not permitted to undertake other tertiary study during your deferral period.

    All domestic graduate coursework deferral requests are assessed by the relevant graduate school – commencing students who are considering a course deferral are advised to contact admissions staff at the relevant graduate school to discuss the possibility of deferral.

    Please note:

    • Some graduate coursework programs such as the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine do not offer deferral options at all, unless evidence of compassionate or compelling circumstances is provided.
    • If you defer commencement of a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) in a graduate course, it is not guaranteed that this fee type will be rolled over to your deferred place in a future intake. Deferral of CSPs is at the discretion of the relevant graduate school and is impacted by the availability of CSPs in future intakes.


    You must submit your request to defer online.

    Apply to defer

    You will be notified of the outcome of your deferral request by email – usually within 10 business days of submission.

    Please note: If your deferral request is not approved, you will either need to commence studying during the intake that you have been offered, or you will need to reapply for the course in a future intake (once you are ready to commence studying).

  • Graduate coursework - international students
    Deferral deadline

    If your course does not have a specific deferral deadline, the latest you can apply for a deferral is up to the earliest census date for any of your first semester’s subjects. After the first census date has passed you cannot defer your offer – instead you will have to withdraw from your subjects if you wish to discontinue or take a break from your studies.

    Deferral eligibility

    Not all graduate courses have the option to defer and deferrals are not automatically granted. If your deferral application is approved, you are not permitted to undertake other tertiary study during your deferral period.

    For international graduate students all deferral requests are considered individually, on the basis of information provided in your deferral request and the status of your course application/course acceptance at the time of your deferral request:

    • If you currently have a Conditional course offer, your request to defer will be considered on the basis of the information that you provide in the deferral application – please click the ‘Apply to defer’ link below to submit your online deferral request.
    • If you currently have an Unconditional course offer, your deferral request will be considered on the basis of the information that you provide in your deferral request and on the status of your course application/your progression through the acceptance and enrolment process:
      • If you have already accepted your Unconditional offer, received your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE), and applied for/received your student visa, a deferral can only be approved if you demonstrate that there are compassionate or compelling reasons to defer commencement of your studies. For more information, refer to the University’s webpage about compassionate or compelling circumstances.
      • If you have applied for/received your student visa and feel that your reasons for requesting a deferral are compassionate or compelling, please click the ‘Apply to defer’ link below to submit your online deferral request, noting that supporting documentation may be required.
      • If your application for deferral is granted, your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) will be updated to reflect your new commencement date after you have accepted your new offer. For more information, please refer to the ‘Will I receive a new offer letter or a new Confirmation of Enrolment?' frequently asked question (FAQ) below.

    You must submit your request to defer online.

    Apply to defer

    You will be notified of the outcome of your deferral request by email – usually within 10 business days of submission.

    Please note: If your deferral request is not approved, you will either need to commence studying during the intake that you have been offered, or you will need to reapply for the course in a future intake (once you are ready to commence studying).

  • Graduate Researchers

    If you are a graduate research candidate who wishes to discuss options for deferring the commencement of your candidature, please contact the graduate research administrator for your graduate school or faculty.

    Please note:

    • Requests for deferral due to COVID-19 restrictions will be considered sympathetically where possible.
    • For international graduate research candidates all deferral requests are considered individually, on the basis of information provided in your deferral request and the status of your course application/course acceptance at the time of your deferral request:
      • If you currently have a Conditional course offer, your request to defer will be considered on the basis of the information that you provide in the deferral application – please click the ‘Apply to defer’ link below to submit your online deferral request.
      • If you currently have an Unconditional course offer, your deferral request will be considered on the basis of the information that you provide in your deferral request and on the status of your course application/your progression through the acceptance and enrolment process:
        • If you have already accepted your Unconditional offer, received your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE), and applied for/received your student visa, a deferral can only be approved if you demonstrate that there are compassionate or compelling reasons to defer commencement of your studies. For more information, refer to the University’s webpage about compassionate or compelling circumstances.
        • If you have applied for/received your student visa and feel that your reasons for requesting a deferral are compassionate or compelling, please click the ‘Apply to defer’ link below to submit your online deferral request, noting that supporting documentation may be required.
        • If your application for deferral is granted, your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) will be updated to reflect your new commencement date after you have accepted your new offer. For more information, please refer to the ‘Will I receive a new offer letter or a new Confirmation of Enrolment?' frequently asked question (FAQ) below.

    You must submit your request to defer online.

    Apply to defer

    You will be notified of the outcome of your deferral request by email.

Frequently asked questions

  • Will my deferral application be approved?

    All deferral applications are considered individually – please refer to the information above, as relevant to your citizenship type and study level.

    Domestic students: If your request to defer is approved, you will be advised by email. You will not be required to complete your administrative or subject enrolment until you return from your period of approved deferral.

    International students: See the ‘Will I receive a new offer letter or a new Confirmation of Enrolment?’ FAQ below.

    If your deferral request is not approved, you will need to either commence studying on the original start date that you have been offered, or reapply at a later stage when you are ready to commence your studies.

  • What is the definition of compassionate or compelling circumstances?

    The University defines compassionate or compelling reasons as circumstances that are generally beyond your control, and which have had an impact upon your course progress or wellbeing.

    For more information, refer to the University’s webpage about compassionate or compelling circumstances.

  • How do I prepare to return from deferral?

    If your request to defer commencement of your studies is successful, you will be contacted by email prior to your new start date with information about accepting your deferred offer and commencing your studies. International students: See the ‘Will I receive a new offer letter or a new Confirmation of Enrolment?’ FAQ below.

  • Can I defer after the census date?

    No. After the first subject census date for any of your subjects in your first semester of study has passed, you will no longer be eligible to apply to defer. Refer to the subject withdrawal page for information if you wish to discontinue your studies after the first subject census date, during the current study period.

  • When will I be contacted about my return from deferral? (Domestic students)
    • If you have deferred commencement until the Semester 1 (start year) intake: You will be contacted by the end of November in the preceding year.
    • If you have deferred commencement until the Semester 2 (mid-year) intake: You will be contacted by the end of May.

    To avoid missing important emails, please ensure that your email address is current. We advise you to use a personal email account (for example, Gmail) and not a high school or work email account.

    How do I check and update my email address?

    You can check and update your email address via my.unimelb. For more information, see our ‘how do I update my contact details?’ FAQ.

    If you need assistance please call Stop 1 @ 13 MELB (13 6352) and select option 2.

  • Can I extend my deferral period?

    If you have been made an offer for a place at the University of Melbourne, you can request to defer commencement of your course for up to 12 months. Once your deferral period has ended you may have the opportunity to apply to extend the deferral period as appropriate.

    If you're a domestic undergraduate student and have deferred your studies to work towards gaining independent status under Youth Allowance eligibility criteria, you may be permitted to extend a deferral period by six months or 12 months. The period of extension will depend on your preference and the structure of the course that you hold an offer for.

  • Will I receive a new offer letter or a new Confirmation of Enrolment? (International students)

    If your request to defer is approved and you are an international student:

    Offer Offer letter issued by email

    Unconditional

    You will receive a new unconditional offer letter listing your new start date

    Conditional

    You will need to meet the conditions of your offer in order to be issued with a new offer letter with your new start date

    Conditional (sponsorship/other purposes)

    If you require a new conditional offer for sponsorship purposes or for a package of courses, please contact Admissions:

    Undergraduate: undergrad-admissions@unimelb.edu.au

    Graduate: grad-admissions@unimelb.edu.au

    If your request to defer the commencement of your studies is approved for reasons not considered compassionate or compelling, and you have already been issued a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE), your CoE will be cancelled and re-issued to reflect your new commencement date. You will need to submit your new acceptance agreement before your CoE is re-issued. Please note that if you are currently residing in Australia on a student visa and not continuing studies at the University of Melbourne, you will need to depart Australia or make other visa arrangements with the Department of Home Affairs within 28 days of the cancellation of your CoE, or by your visa expiry date (whichever date is earliest). For information about your visa options please contact Home Affairs on 131 881 or visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

    Where your deferral is deemed as being due to compassionate or compelling reasons, we will record this on your existing CoE and provide you with an updated CoE with new start and end dates after you have submitted your new acceptance agreement. If you have already been granted a student visa, your visa will remain valid during your period of deferral, and you may remain in Australia.

  • Will I receive a new offer letter? (Domestic students)

    If your request to defer the commencement of your studies is approved, you will be sent updated offer information – together with instructions about accepting your offer and commencing your enrolment – ahead of the intake that you will now commence studying in. Please refer to the ‘When will I be contacted about my return from deferral?’ FAQ above.

  • What happens if I undertake other tertiary study while on deferral?

    You are not permitted to undertake other tertiary study during your deferral period. If you do so, your offer will be reassessed and this may impact your eligibility. This may result in your offer being rescinded.

    If your offer is deemed valid, no credit will be granted for study done whilst on deferral, as per section 4.17 d) of the University of Melbourne’s Credit, Advanced Standing and Accelerated Entry Policy (MPF1293).

  • What happens to my scholarship offer if I defer my course?

    Check your scholarship offer letter for deferral details, or submit an enquiry if you require assistance.