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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 team.

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:
1. Extend your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

Contact your current or an alternate Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) Provider (UC's preferred healthcare provider is Allianz Care Australia - to arrange your OSHC with Allianz Care Australia click here) to obtain a new OSHC policy to match the length of your anticipated visa. If the duration of your new course is less than 10 months, add one extra month to OSHC. If your course is more than 10 months, add two months extra OSHC. If the course is more than 10 months and finishes at the end of the academic year in November/December, OSHC should be provided to 15 March the following year. Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students should extend six months on top of their submission date.

2. Have an approved & current study plan

Access this through MyUC or reach out to your Faculty. Contact information can be found in MyUC.

3. Make sure your enrolment reflects your approved study plan
4. Finalise all outstanding tuition fees by Friday of Week 1
5. Complete this online form

HDR students will also need to attach an Intention to Submit Thesis for Examination form confirming your new completion date.

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

Intervention Strategy

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

UC encourages students to start the process of extending 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.

All students are encouraged to apply for a new Student 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.

Form 1545

UC will assess the completion of Form 1545, supporting a COVID-19 impacted student who is:

  • eligible for a nil visa application charge for a new Student (Subclass 500) visa application if they are unable to complete their approved course of study within the original visa validity due to COVID-19, or
  • seeking to have online study undertaken outside Australia as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions counted towards the Australian Study Requirement.

Information on eligibility is available from the Department of Home Affairs' website

To request UC assesses your eligibility for Form 1545, please contact directly.

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 Student Wellbeing and Support. 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 students must continue to have sufficient financial capacity to support their studies and stay in Australia - a condition of their Student visa.

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 plans are now closed for Semester 2 2023.

Payment plan applications will open one month prior to the start of teaching and will close at 5:00pm Friday of Week 1 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 Student Centre. The Student Centre is the 'one-stop-shop' for all students' general administrative needs.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm.

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.

These circumstances will be considered for any applications to change your study including study load variation, intermission, release or discontinuation.

Evidence needs to be provided for any reason that you are applying for.



1. Medical conditions – a new or changed medical condition or diagnosis that impacts the student’s ability to engage in their study as per their study plan

Example: A new medical condition occurs after you have commenced study, and continues for several weeks, affecting your ability to engage in your study as per your study plan.

OR A pre-existing medical condition flares up or is exacerbated after you have commenced study, preventing you from continuing your study as per your study plan.

Supporting evidence includes:

  • Medical certificate with dates of condition/exacerbation, from doctor/counsellor; or
  • hospital paperwork, including any future treatment plans; or
  • letter from social worker.
2. Family conditions – member/s of the student’s family died or has been impacted by a serious medical or personal condition and it is unreasonable to expect the student to have completed the requirements of study, as per the study plan.

Example: After commencing study, a close relative is impacted by a serious medical condition or passes away and you are unable to continue study.

Supporting evidence includes:

  • Death Certificate; or
  • Statutory Declaration with date of death or details of medical condition (with a Medical certificate) and relationship to the student; and/or
  • Letter of support from UC Wellbeing.
3. Unit Changes – Changes made in relation to the unit by the provider disadvantaged the student; or the student’s study plan has changed due to failing a unit previously and having the fail grade waived.

Example: You are unable to find a placement/ or your placement is cancelled

OR You have previously failed a unit but have had this waived in accordance with the enrolment amendment process

Supporting evidence includes:

  • Updated Study plan, Including comments from faculty staff confirming reasons for the reduced load/intermission and
  • Emails with dates of changes; or
  • Letter of support from Unit Convenor; or
  • Evidence of EAF approval.
4. Unexpected, or unpredicted changes in personal situation – due to factors outside the student’s control, factors have impacted their ability to continue to study with the original study plan.

Example: You have been impacted by unexpected incidents, including but not limited to, natural disasters, conflict, political changes, family changes, or displacement etc.

Supporting evidence includes:

  • Documents with dates of changes – evidence of media articles, correspondence from family – and a signed statutory declaration; or
  • Medical certificate from doctor/counsellor; and/or
  • Letter of support from UC Wellbeing.
5. Additional personal factors – this may include military service in student’s home country, parental leave (for the birth and primary care of a child)

Examples: Parental leave: One Semester (or applicable 6-month teaching period), where the due date falls in or around the start date or end date of a teaching period – (Additional time will only be considered where there are complications or associated medical condition(s) making you unfit to study). Caring for a newborn or children is not considered grounds for additional leave. Necessary arrangements will need to be made.

Military service in your home country requires you to change your study plan.

Supporting evidence includes:

Parental Leave:

  • Medical certificate from doctor/counsellor; or
  • Letter of support from UC Wellbeing.

Military Service

  • Military service notice from home country


The following will not be considered as reasons for compelling and/or compassionate consideration.

We have a wide range of support services for students and we encourage you to connect with the Student Wellbeing and Support team, or other support services at UC, to explore the support available to you.

  • Wellbeing concerns – this includes concerns about housing/accommodation, experiences of isolation or loneliness or other factors impacting a students’ wellbeing. We encourage you in the first instance to connect with our support services and explore existing programs and initiatives. Connect with our team
  • Financial concerns – UC will offer support with exploring financial assistance. Find out more.
  • External or known factors i.e. climate of this region, location of Canberra etc
  • Employment changes – Careers UC is a comprehensive careers service supporting students to obtain employment throughout their study, placement opportunities and graduate employment
  • Enrolment changes – this includes wanting to under-enrol to improve grades, difficulty with English language proficiency, timetable clashes. Contact our team in the first instance for support with any of these matters.
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