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 apply for a new student visa to extend your stay onshore to complete your study in Australia, you will need to apply for a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) extension.
Please note: this request also applies to current students who wish to apply for a student visa and currently hold an alternate visa, e.g. a diplomatic or temporary visa.
To apply for a CoE extension, please:
- extend your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). Your new OSHC policy must cover the duration of your expected new visa length. Generally, this means that your cover should extend three months after your expected course completion date (i.e. until 31 August for those completing after Semester one, 15 March for those completing after Semester two, 31 October for those completing in Winter Term of a respective year & six months on top of the submission date for a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) student); and
- have an approved & current study plan. If not, request your Faculty to provide one; and
- make sure your enrolment reflects your approved study plan; and
- finalise all outstanding tuition fees by Friday of Week one; and
- complete the online Application for Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for Student Visa Application Extensions
Acceptable reasons for requiring a CoE extension are:
- complying with an intervention strategy (please see below)
- changing to a student visa
- compassionate or compelling circumstances
- course structure (e.g. pre-requisite units not available)
- require extra time to complete thesis for submission and examination
If your request for a CoE extension relates to poor progression in your current course, the University may only approve this extension on the basis of an Intervention Strategy being implemented. In short, an Intervention Strategy is intended to assist you meeting your course progress requirements by participating actively and positively in support services offered by the University.
How to apply for a student visa extension
You may apply to extend your student visa within four months of your current visa expiring. It is important to always be aware of the expiry date of your visa, and that you must apply for a new visa before your current visa expires.
UC 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 the Department of Home Affairs' (Immigration & Citizenship) website.
An intermission, also known as a 'leave of absence' 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.
What are compassionate or compelling circumstances?
Compassionate or compelling circumstances are generally those beyond a student's control and which have an impact upon a student’s course progress or wellbeing. These could include, but are not limited to:
- serious illness or injury, where a medical certificate states that a student was unable to attend classes;
- bereavement of close family members such as parents or grandparents (where possible a death certificate should be provided);
- major political upheaval or natural disaster in the home country requiring emergency travel and this has impacted on a student’s studies;
- a traumatic experience, which could include:
- involvement in, or witnessing of a serious accident; or
- witnessing or being the victim of a serious crime, and this has impacted on a student (these cases should be supported by police or psychologists’ reports)
- where the University was unable to offer a pre-requisite unit, or a student has failed a prerequisite unit and therefore faces a shortage of relevant units for which they are eligible to enrol.
Please note, these are only some examples of what may be considered compassionate or compelling circumstances.
To apply for intermission, please complete an online Intermission Request and be sure to provide all supporting evidence to substantiate your request.
If you are granted intermission, the University will notify the Department of Home Affairs (Immigration and citizenship) of the change to your enrolment.
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 Procedure sets out the requirements for commencing and continuing students wishing to enrol in University of Canberra units - as well as assessing, approving and recording the deferring, suspending or cancelling of an international student’s enrolment.
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 over a six month period - a standard full time load.
If you have compassionate or compelling circumstances that require you to study less than 12 credit points over a 6 month period, you must apply for a study load variation. Your request will be assessed by the International Student Support Service (ISSS). You cannot study less than a standard full time 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 or compelling grounds - an illness, injury, bereavement, or other traumatic experience impacts your ability to study a standard full time load (must provide documented evidence confirming why your circumstances requires a reduced study load).
- Unit availability - the course structure, unit availability or pre-requisite(s) not met; due to which a standard full time load cannot be taken (must provide a study plan approved from your Faculty).
- Intervention Strategy - currently on an academic probation and a reduced study load is recommended via an Intervention Strategy by the Faculty and approved by 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; 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, please 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 in 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 apply via the UC online application portal.
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
In some circumstances, the University can offer international students the option of paying their tuition fees in instalments through a payment plan.
Payment plans are offered to international students that are experiencing financial difficulties due to exceptional circumstances and are in genuine need of assistance.
Payment plans are available on a short-term basis only as part of student visa conditions is that students continue to have sufficient financial capacity to support their studies and stay in Australia.
Payment plans are available for Semester 1 and Semester 2 only.
Who can apply for a Payment Plan
You can apply for a payment plan if you:
- Are experiencing financial difficulties and are in genuine need of short-term financial support
- Have a good payment record with the University
How to apply?
Payment plan applications will open one month prior to the start of teaching and will close at 5:00pm Thursday prior to week one of the relevant teaching period.
To apply for a payment plan, complete the payment plan application form and attach the following to support your 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. Examples of evidence that we accept are:
- A medical certificate confirming illness or death of the sponsoring family member;
- An Affidavit from both parents in the case of parental separation;
- An official notice from your financial institution where there has been a payment transaction delay;
- In the case of a natural disaster or civil unrest, documentation confirming your family’s residential address;
- Any other certified documentation that can support your application.
- For students enrolled in less than a standard full-time load (12 credit points), evidence of an approved Study Load Variation.
We will notify you of the outcome of your application within 5 working days.
Contact information for Payment Plans
Enquiries related to payment plans should be directed to the University of Canberra Student Centre.
The Student Centre 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: Student.Centre@canberra.edu.au
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.