Defer my offer

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

Can I defer my offer?

Deadline

You must apply before the earliest census date for any of your first semester’s subjects. After this, you cannot defer your offer, and will have to withdraw from your subjects if you wish to discontinue or take a break from your studies.

Eligibility

Not all 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. See below sections for eligibility details specific to you.

Domestic undergraduate students

  • Semester 1

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

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

    If your deferral application is not approved, you will need to either commence during the intake that you have been offered or reapply at a later stage when you are ready to commence study.

    Course

    Deferral possible in Semester 1, 2020 (start-year intake)?

    Agriculture

    Agriculture (Graduate Degree Packages)

    Yes

    Arts

    Arts (Graduate Degree Packages)

    Arts (Chancellor’s Scholars Program)

    Yes

    Arts (Extended)

    No

    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).

    Commerce

    Commerce (Graduate Degree Packages)

    Commerce (Chancellor’s Scholars Program)

    Yes

    Design

    Design (Graduate Degree Packages)

    Design (Chancellor’s Scholars Program)

    Yes

    Fine Arts (all streams)

    No

    Diploma in General Studies

    No

    Music

    Music (Graduate Degree Packages)

    Music (Chancellor’s Scholars Program)

    Yes, for six months only (only for the Performance/Composition/Musicology/Ethnomusicology Specialisation).

    Oral Health

    No

    Science

    Science (Graduate Degree Packages)

    Science (Chancellor’s Scholars Program)

    Yes

    Science (Extended)

    No

  • Semester 2

    Deferral is possible in select courses commencing in Semester 2, 2020 (mid-year intake). Refer to the list below to confirm if the course that you have been offered is one that allows deferral.

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

    If your deferral application is not approved, you will need to either commence during the intake that you have been offered or reapply at a later stage when you are ready to commence study.

    Course

    Deferral possible in Semester 2, 2020 (mid-year intake)?

    Agriculture

    Agriculture (Graduate Degree Packages)

    Yes

    Arts

    Arts (Graduate Degree Packages)

    Arts (Chancellor’s Scholars Program)

    Yes

    Arts (Extended)

    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).

    Commerce

    Commerce (Graduate Degree Packages)

    Commerce (Chancellor’s Scholars Program)

    Yes

    Design

    Design (Graduate Degree Packages)

    Design (Chancellor’s Scholars Program)

    TBC

    Diploma in General Studies

    Yes

    Music

    Music (Graduate Degree Packages)

    Music (Chancellor’s Scholars Program)

    Yes, for 6 months only (to commence in Semester 1, 2021).

    Science

    Science (Graduate Degree Packages)

    Science (Chancellor’s Scholars Program)

    TBC

International undergraduate students

All deferral applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of the faculty, on the basis of the information provided in your application. If your application for deferral is granted, your Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) will be reissued to reflect your new commencement date. For more information, please refer to the ‘Will I receive a new offer letter or a new Confirmation of Enrolment?' FAQ below.

Graduate coursework students

All deferral application assessments are made at the graduate school level. Commencing students who are considering course deferrals are advised to contact admissions staff at the relevant graduate school for deferral possibilities.

Please note:

  • Some graduate coursework programs like the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine do not offer deferral options at all unless evidence of extenuating circumstances is provided.
  • Deferrals for Commonwealth Supported Places are not guaranteed to be rolled over for the new deferred intake, as it will be based on the relevant graduate school’s discretion and availability of places.
  • If you are an international student and your application for deferral is granted, your Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) will be reissued to reflect your new commencement date. For more information, please refer to the ‘Will I receive a new offer letter or a new Confirmation of Enrolment?’ FAQ below.

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:

  • Deferring to the following year is not usually permitted. You can apply to defer your commencement from Semester 1 to Semester 2 of the same year.
  • If you are an international student and your application for deferral is granted, your Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) will be reissued to reflect your new commencement date. For more information, please refer to the ‘Will I receive a new offer letter or a new Confirmation of Enrolment?’ FAQ below.

How to defer

You can apply to defer online.

Apply to defer

Returning from deferral

If you defer your course, 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.

  • When will I be contacted?
    • Semester 1 intake: you will be contacted by the end of November.
    • Semester 2 intake: you will be contacted by the end of May.

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

Frequently asked questions

  • Will my deferral application be approved?

    All deferral applications are considered on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the faculty, on the basis of the information provided in the deferral application.

    If your application for deferral 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 deferral.

    If your deferral is not approved, you will need to either commence on the original start date or reapply at a later stage when you are ready to commence study.

  • Can I defer after the census date?

    No. Once the first subject census date for your subjects has passed you are no longer eligible to apply to defer. See the subject withdrawal page for information on options if you wish to discontinue your studies during the current study period.

  • Can I extend my deferral period?

    If you have been made an offer for a place at the University of Melbourne you can apply to defer your course for up to 12 months. Once your deferral period has ended you will 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 extend your deferral period of six months to 12 months. The period of extension will depend on your preference and the structure of the course you have received an offer for.

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

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

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

    If your deferral application is successful and you are also an international student:

    Offer Offer letter issued by email

    Unconditional

    You will receive a new offer letter with 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: ia-accept@unimelb.edu.au

    If you defer the commencement of your study, 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.

  • 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 reconsidered 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 Credit, Advanced Standing and Accelerated Entry Policy (MPF1293).