Deferment

What do we mean by deferment?

If you receive an offer to study at UNSW but cannot start straight away, you can defer or delay starting your degree for up to 2 years (and up to 12 months for UNSW Online programs).

Who can defer?

If you receive an offer to study at UNSW and you haven’t been given a deferment for the same (or a similar) degree before, then you can defer your offer. Some exceptions are:

  • Co-op programs
  • 1-year Honours programs, including Education (Secondary), Music and Psychological Science
  • Master of Psychology programs
  • Graduate Diploma of Mine Geotechnical Engineering
  • Graduate Diploma in Aviation (Flying)
  • UNSW Canberra Defence sponsored students (ADFA Trainee Officers, Current serving ADF members and DCUS students)

For Higher Degree Research (HDR) programs, please contact the following offices for information:

How do I defer?

This depends on where you are up to in the offer acceptance process:

1. You haven’t yet logged in to Accept Online to accept or defer your offer

You simply defer your offer through the Accept Online process. Follow the instructions for accepting your offer - Deferment is one of the options in ‘Accept Online’.

When you request deferment online you can save or print the screen for your records. Once your deferment has been processed by Admissions Office you will be emailed a Deferment Confirmation letter with information on how to take up your deferred place in a future term. If you haven't received your Deferment Confirmation letter within two weeks of deferring your offer, call the UNSW Admissions Office on +61 (2) 9385 3656 or make an enquiry at enquiry.unsw.edu.au

2. You have accepted your offer via Accept Online but have not enrolled in any courses

If you have already accepted your offer and then decide before you enrol in any courses that you want to defer you will need to contact the Admissions Office via enquiry.unsw.edu.au and request a deferment. You must apply to defer no later than the census date

3. You have accepted your offer via Accept Online and are enrolled in at least one course

If you have already accepted your offer and enrolled in at least one course and then decide that you want to defer you can request a deferment via myUNSW’s online Program Leave/Discontinuation service. Log in to myUNSW and go to My Student Profile tab > My Student Services channel > Online Services > Program Leave/Discontinuation. Complete the online form and choose 'Program Deferral’ as your category. When your deferment is processed you will be dropped from any courses you’ve enrolled in. You will be emailed a Deferment Confirmation letter with information on how to take up your deferred place in a future term. If you haven't received a Deferment Confirmation letter within two weeks of deferring your offer, you can call the UNSW Admissions Office on +61 (2) 9385 3656 or make an enquiry at enquiry.unsw.edu.au. You must apply to defer no later than the census date

When is the last day to defer my offer?

You need to defer your offer by the deadline specified in Accept Online. Requests submitted after this date will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may result in your offer lapsing.

Can I defer and start my degree later in the year?

The flexibility we provide at UNSW means that most programs can be deferred to start in either Term 1, Term 2 or Term 3. Please note that not all programs are available to commence in Term 2 and Term 3. For some programs the full range of courses offered in Term 1 may not be offered in Term 2 and Term 3. Depending on your choice of courses, you may need to wait until Term 1 of the following year to enrol in some courses. For further information in relation to restrictions on enrolment, contact your Faculty Office. 

Do I have to pay to defer?

No. It does not cost anything to defer your degree. 

Can my deferment lapse?

For undergraduate degrees, if you undertake study at AQF Diploma level or higher during your deferment, your deferment will lapse. To be considered for admission to UNSW you will need to reapply and declare all your studies. 

How do I take up my deferred place?

Later in the year you simply log in to UNSW’s Accept Online facility and you can accept your deferred offer and enrol. Information on when and how to do this will be included in your Confirmation of Deferment letter which will be emailed to you when you defer.

Further information


See next

Domestic students

Information for local students: Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or New Zealand citizens.

How to get started at UNSW

International students

Information for international students on getting started and settling in to life at UNSW Sydney, Australia.

How to get started at UNSW
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