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Managing your studies at UC

Here you will find information for international students managing their studies at UC. If you have any further questions or would like more information, please email our International Student Support Service.

If you are an international student who needs to extend your student visa (or wishes to apply for a student visa and currently holds an alternate Australian visa - e.g. diplomatic or temporary etc.) to complete your study in Australia, you will need to apply for a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) extension.

To apply for a CoE extension you must:

  • complete the online Application for Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for Student Visa Application Extensions
  • attach proof of Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of your visa. Your OSHC should be valid for approximately 3 months after your expected course end date (until the 31 August for those students completing in Semester 1, and the 31 March for students completing at the end of Semester 2 of a respective year & 6 months on top of the submission date for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students )
  • attach an approved study plan from your Faculty
  • enrol into the units stated on your approved study plan in the current or upcoming Semester or Term

In addition to that outlined above, HDR students will also need to attach a Intention to Submit Thesis for Examination form confirming your new completion date.

Acceptable reasons for requiring a CoE extension are:

  • intervention strategy in place
  • approved intermission
  • change of course
  • changing to a student visa
  • compassionate or compelling circumstances
  • previous failures
  • course structure (e.g. pre-requisite units not available)
  • require extra time to complete thesis for submission and examination

How to apply for a student visa extension

You may apply to extend your student visa within 4 (four) months of your current student visa expiring. It is important to be aware of the expiry date of your student visa, and that you must apply for a new visa before your current visa expires.

The International Student Support Service (ISSS) encourages all students to apply for a new visa onshore, i.e. in Australia. Applying offshore may result in delays and prevent you from returning to Australia in time to recommence your studies.

A student visa application can be lodged online via your ImmiAccount. Further information about applying for a new student visa can be found on DHA's website.

An intermission is when you take an approved break from your study for a designated period of time.

International student visa holders can only take intermission under approved compassionate or compelling circumstances. To apply for intermission you must:

If you are granted intermission, UC will notify the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) of the change to your enrolment.

What are compassionate or compelling circumstances?

Compassionate or compelling circumstances that may impact your ability to study include, but are not limited to:

  • serious illness or injury supported by a medical certificate
  • serious illness or bereavement of a family member
  • course structure or unit availability
  • involvement or being witness to a traumatic experience
  • being the victim of or witness to a serious crime
  • major political upheaval in your home country requiring emergency travel
  • a major natural disaster in your home country requiring emergency travel

What if i am not approved for intermission?

If you do not meet the requirements to have intermission approved, you are advised to either continue in your studies or discontinue from your course and reapply when you are ready to return to study. You will be reassessed for entry to your course once you reapply.

Where can i find the policy that relates to international student and taking an intermission?

The University's Enrolment Policy, as well as the Deferring, Suspending or Cancelling an International Student's Enrolment Policy outline the terms and conditions of intermission.

The University does not approve intermission for more than one (1) year, unless extenuating circumstances exist.

DHA reserves the right to cancel your student visa if your intermission was based on counterfeit or disingenuous evidence or leave reasons.

International students who are studying in Australia on a student visa are required to complete their course by the end date reflected on their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).

This generally requires a student to enrol in 12 credit points per Semester or Term.

If you have compassionate or compelling circumstances that require you to study less than 12 credit points in a compulsory teaching period, you must apply for a study load variation. Your request will be assessed by the International Student Support Service. You cannot study less than a standard load until your application has been approved.

For detailed information on whether you should apply for a study load variation, please see the information below.

To apply, you must submit an online Application for Study Load Variation form.

When do i need to apply for a study load variation?

Students can only apply for reduced study load where there are compassionate or compelling circumstances that are supported with appropriate documentation. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical - an illness, injury, bereavement, or other traumatic experience impacts your ability to study a full time study load (must provide evidence of condition, and if appropriate, an adjustment letter from the Inclusion and Engagement team - confirming your condition means that you must take a reduced study load).
  • Unit availability - the course structure, unit availability or pre-requisite(s) not met; due to which a full load cannot be taken (must provide study plan approved from your Faculty).
  • Intervention Strategy - currently on an academic probation and a reduced study load is recommended via a Intervention Strategy by the Faculty and approved by the ISSS (must provide evidence of Intervention Strategy).

Note: a signed study plan or previous failures do not constitute approval for reduced study load.

UC coursework students may have the option of enrolling in one or more units in the Winter Term or Summer Semester, depending on availability. This allows a student to study less than 12 credit points in a compulsory teaching period. If you are planning on doing this, you must first consult with your Faculty to confirm that the units you wish to study in the Winter Term or Summer Semester are available and to receive an updated study plan.

When don't i need to apply for a study load variation?

You do not need to apply for reduced load variation, if you:

  • are in your final semester or term of study and studying less than 12 credit points; or
  • have an approved study plan from a Faculty or UCC delegate to spread your study load (where appropriate, spreading study load evenly) across 2 or more teaching periods, which enables you to complete by your CoE end date.

Important: If you have an approved study plan that outlines you need to extend your CoE to complete, you must submit a CoE extension request to reflect your new study plan.

How many online units can i study?

International student visa holders must not exceed one third of their total enrolment in a course via online or distance learning, and must always be enrolled in at least one on-campus unit each compulsory study Semester or Term.

If you are an international student who wants to change your course at UC or move to a different education provider, you will need to read the information below carefully for detailed instructions.

Changing your course at UC?

International students who wish to change to a different course at UC must submit an online Current Student Change of Course Form - International.

The application will be assessed against all of the entry requirements. If you are successful, you will be sent a new offer letter. You will need to sign and return the Acceptance Declaration on your offer letter by email to the Admissions Office before you can enrol into your new course.

Once your acceptance has been approved, you will be sent a new Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). The University will notify the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) of the changes to your enrolment.

Changing to a different education provider?

Internationals students who wish to transfer to a different education provider need to meet specific criteria to be eligible.

  • If you have completed 6 or more months of your principal course at UC, you do not need a release letter to move to another education provider
  • If you have studied less than 6 months of your principal course at UC, you will need to apply for a Release Letter before you can move to another education provider

To apply for a Release Letter you must submit:

  • an online Release Letter Request Form; and
  • a copy of an offer letter from another registered provider at the same or higher Australian Qualification Level (AQF); and
  • a statement of reasons, outlining why you are seeking release from your principal UC course, and any relevant certified documentation substantiating your reasoning

Student visa conditions (visa condition 8516) require international students to continue to have sufficient financial capacity to support their study and stay in Australia.

In limited circumstances, the University of Canberra (UC) and University of Canberra College (UCC) may offer an option for an international student to finalise their tuition fees by instalments through an approved payment plan. This option is only available on a short-term basis (for 1 or 2 teaching periods only).

Who can apply for a Payment Plan?

  • Applications for payment plans are only available to UC and UCC students who are on an international student visa;
  • International students who are in genuine need of short-term financial support;
  • International students who have a good payment record with UC and UCC.

What information do i need to include in my application?

  • A statement of reasons giving a full explanation of the financial issue;
  • Evidence of the circumstance that necessitates the application for a payment plan. This could include, but are not limited to:
    • Medical certificates indicating an illness or death of the sponsoring family member
    • An Affidavit from both parents in the case of parental separation;
    • Official notice where there has been a payment transaction delay by the bank or money transferring agency;
    • In the case of a natural disaster or civil unrest, evidence of the family's residential address in the affected area;
    • Any other certified documentation that can verify your reasons.

How can i apply for a Payment Plan?

  • International students can access the payment plan application form through their MyUC account, located within the Fees & Payment tab;
  • Payment plan applications must be received by Midnight Thursday, 2 August 2018 for the current teaching period. All students will receive an outcome within 5 working days.

Contact information for Payment Plans

Enquiries related to the Payment Plan should be directed as follows:

UCC Students

Enquiries related to payment plans should be directed to UCC reception.

Office hours: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm

Location: Building 5, Level B

Telephone: +61 2 6201 2961 or email:

UC Students

Enquiries related to payment plans should be directed to the University of Canberra Student Centre (UCSC). The UCSC is the 'one-stop-shop' for all students' general administrative needs.

Office hours: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9am-5pm, Wednesday 10am-5pm and Friday 9am-4:30pm.

Location: Student Central, Building 1, Level B.

Telephone: 1300 301 727 or email:

Unfortunately, most students will have a student visa that expires before the UC Graduation ceremonies.

If you wish to stay onshore to attend the UC Graduation ceremonies, please use your course completion letter to apply for a visa that may allow you to stay onshore. Information on how to do so is available at Department of Home Affairs' (DHA) website.