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Leave from Candidature

What is Leave from Candidature?

Leave from candidature is the approved suspension of studies in the form of an intermission; sick leave; parental leave or compelling or compassionate leave.  During the period of leave, the day count or EFTD (Equivalent Full-time Day count) is stopped.

What are the different types of leave available to HDR students?

Intermission: Is the voluntary suspension of studies for a minimum period of six months (one semester) during candidature (a maximum of 12 months during candidature). You must complete one semester of enrolment in a research degree before being eligible for intermission. While on Intermission, your day count is stopped and you are not enrolled in your degree.

Sick Leave: An Application for Sick Leave is required only if leave is taken for more than 10 working days at a time. Whilst on Sick Leave your day count is stopped but you are still enrolled in your degree.

Parental Leave: An Application for Parental Leave must be made before the leave is taken. This leave is only applicable to candidates who are primary carers with an entitlement of a maximum of 60 working days. Whilst on Parental Leave your day count is stopped but you are still enrolled in your degree.

Compelling and Compassionate Leave:An Application for Compelling and Compassionate Leave should be made where compassionate or compelling circumstances exist. Refer to the HDR Enrolment and Changes to Candidature Policy

How do I apply for Leave from Candidature?

An application for leave from candidature will not be approved once a candidate has exceeded their maximum period of candidature outlined in clauses 9.1 and 10.1 of the HDR Enrolment and Changes to Candidature Policy.

  • An application for leave must be made using The 'Application of Leave from Candidature form' which is available in the HDR forms page.
  • This form is for use for both scholarship and non-scholarship holders. Application of Leave from Candidature must be approved by –
    • the Primary Supervisor,
    • Faculty ADR or Director of the Research Institute, and
    • the Office of International Compliance (applicable to International students only).
  • An application for leave must be made prior to taking leave except in circumstances where leave is unplanned in which case the application must be submitted within 30 days of the event.

Depending on the leave, medical documents/ evidence will be required to process the leave application.

What do International Students need to know when taking leave? 

Under the ESOS Act 2000 and international student visa conditions, international students are permitted to take leave only in exceptional circumstance as outlined in the Deferring, Suspending or Cancelling an International Student's Enrolment: Policy and Procedures. If international candidates are granted approved leave from candidature they will be notified in writing by the International Compliance Office, and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) will be notified.


International research candidates should also note that it is their responsibility to notify their Department or Faculty as well as the HDR Support team about their intention to apply for Leave from Candidature as soon as possible. The University is required by law to report to DIBP any event affecting the enrolment of an overseas student (international candidate) within 14 days.

What do Scholarship holders need to know when taking leave?

Scholarship holders should check their conditions of award before applying for any Leave of Absence. Scholarship holders may take Leave of Absence and suspend their scholarship for the same period of time. There are no other forms required from scholarship holders.

What do fee-paying students need to know when taking leave?

Fee-paying students are not liable for tuition fees during periods of leave. If you have already been charged fees for the Semester, then your account will be credited with the amount for the period of leave. A period equivalent to the length of leave taken will be added to the end of your candidature and Fee-paying students will be liable for tuition Fees for that period (at the end of the candidature).

What do Sponsored students need to know when taking leave?

Sponsors are not liable for tuition fees during periods of leave (if fees have already been paid for that semester, the sponsor account will be credited with the amount for the period of leave). A period equivalent to the length of leave taken will be added to the end of your candidature and the Sponsor will be liable for tuition fees for that period (at the end of the candidature).

While the total length of the candidature and tuition fee liability remains the same, the candidature is effectively extended to a later end-date.  The sponsored student must have the approval of the Sponsor prior to taking Leave (evidence of approval via email will suffice).

How long does it take to process the Application of leave?

Once the form (with all the approvals) is submitted to the HDR Support team, it will be processed within 10 working days. 

What do I need to do when returning from leave?

On return from intermission you will need to contact the IT Service Desk or (02) 6201 5500 and request a new password to gain access to MyUC. You will be required to enrol by completing your Annual Progress Report in September or by completing the Unit Registration form.

On return from Sick leave, Parental leave and leave for Compassionate and Compelling circumstances, you will need to inform the HDR Support team (email: hdrsupport@canberra.edu.au) to resume your day count.

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