Taking time off from study – local students
This page is for local students, research students and Open Universities Australia students. If you are an international student studying on campus, please refer to the taking time off for international students page.
You can apply for a leave of absence if you want to take time off from study. If you have not already accepted your offer into a Swinburne degree, you can also take time off at the beginning of your course (defer) when you accept your offer.
Leave of absence is usually permitted up to 12 months in total for the duration of your degree. If you wish to take further time off your course or wish to extend your current leave of absence, you will need to submit a leave of absence application. Please note that this may not be approved.
Failure to remain enrolled in subject/s in each semester, or failure to apply for a leave of absence for any semester in which you do not intend to study, may result in the cancellation of your degree admission. If this happens, you may have to re-apply for admission to your course.
How to apply
For most students, the easiest way to apply for a leave of absence is online using My Enrolment. If you are a PAVE, OUA or Research student, please refer to the How to apply if you are a PAVE, OUA or Research student heading lower down.
For more information about taking time off, download our help guide My Enrolment: How to apply for a Leave of Absence online [PDF 250KB].
Apply via My Enrolment
- Log in to My Enrolment using your SIMS username (student ID) and password.
- Select 'Leave of absence' from the left-hand navigation.
- Complete the application and select confirm to submit.
Checking your application status
- Log into My Enrolment using your SIMS username (student ID) and password
- Select 'Leave of Absence' from the left-hand navigation menu. Your application status will be displayed underneath the 'Approved' column (including the date when the application was accepted or declined).
How to apply if you are a PAVE, OUA or Research Student
The following students don't use My Enrolment to apply for leave of absence.
Vocational education students
If you can’t log into My Enrolment, you need to apply using the leave of absence application.
Open Universities Australia (OUA) students
If you are a postgraduate or full-fee paying OUA student, you can apply for a leave of absence using My Enrolment.
If you are an undergraduate Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) OUA student, you can apply for a leave of absence using My Enrolment or directly with OUA. In both cases, your application will be assessed by Swinburne.
We encourage you to discuss your plans with your supervisor first. Then submit the leave of absence form online (login required).
Avoiding fees and penalties
Try to get your application for a leave of absence in before the census date. You’ll be liable for fees after this date. If you’re a Higher Education student you will also incur an Academic Penalty (fail) if you take a leave of absence after the academic penalty date.
To check the census date and academic penalty dates for your units, view your current enrolment online in My Enrolment.
Also see key dates for more information about general cut-off dates.
What you need to know
There are some things you need to know if you're applying for a leave of absence.
- If you're a current student, you must enrol as normal before applying for a leave of absence. A leave of absence is not granted automatically.
- We email application outcome notifications to your Swinburne student email address only.
- You may be able to extend your leave of absence. Make sure you submit your extension for approval before your first leave of absence ends. Swinburne usually grants leave of absence for a maximum of one year in total for the life of your degree admission unless there are extenuating circumstances.
- Make sure your application is complete. Swinburne will not consider it otherwise.
- You must give us a reason when you apply for a leave of absence. Common reasons include illness, financial issues, family, friend or workplace issues or planned work or leisure time abroad.
- Failure to remain enrolled in subject/s in each semester or half year, or failure to apply for and be approved for an official Leave of Absence for any semester in which you do not intend to study, may result in cancellation of your course. If this happens, you will need to re-apply for admission into the current version of the course. Please note, if the course structure has changed since your original course admission, some of the units you have completed may not be included in the new course structure.
Checking your application status
- log in to My Enrolment using your SIMS username (Student ID) and password
- select 'Leave of Absence' from the left-hand navigation
- your application status will be displayed underneath the 'Approved' column (including the date when the application was accepted or declined).