Post-census remission of debt

Generally, unit revisions are not available after census dates. However, in certain circumstances domestic students may be eligible for a unit revision after the census date. This is known as a post-census remission of debt (PCRD).

Domestic Commonwealth supported / Full fee paying students who couldn’t finish a unit/s within the teaching period due to special circumstances may be eligible for a PCRD to remit the financial and academic penalties for the applicable unit/s.


  • Students cannot apply for a PCRD if they have passed the unit. Students can only apply if special circumstances prevent them from successfully completing the unit.

What special circumstances apply?

Only in all of the following circumstances could a student meet the eligibility to receive a PCRD, i.e. that the circumstances a student has encountered are unforeseeable and:

  • Are beyond the student’s control, and
  • Do not make their full impact on the student until on or after the census date for the unit, and
  • Make it impracticable for the student to complete the requirements for the unit in the study period.

They can include:

  • illness (e.g. illness occurring or worsening on or after census unit date)
  • family reasons (e.g. death, illness, sudden financial stress)
  • employment related reasons (e.g. sudden transfer, significant change in hours outside of a student’s control).

They do not include:

  • students not knowing unit/course requirements or their responsibilities as a student
  • inability to repay a HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan
  • delays with the processing of a submitted enrolment change
  • incorrect enrolment
  • Experiencing symptoms of a long standing or pre-existing medical condition (except in cases where a student can show their condition has unexpectedly worsened post census)

Who can apply?

Students can apply for a PCRD after the census date if they are:

  • a domestic student wishing to apply for a remission of debt due to special circumstances beyond their control
  • a domestic Open Universities Australia (OUA) student admitted into a Swinburne degree under a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP).

What documents do I need to provide?

Students will need to provide a medical certificate/documentation including:

  • the patient's name
  • the name and address of the doctor or healthcare provider and the doctor’s Medicare Provider number
  • the date the examination/s took place and date the medical certificate was issued
  • the date(s) during which you/the patient were affected and confirmation you were unable to study
  • the duration of the illness
  • signature

or, where relevant:

  • death certificate – this applies to the death of a parent, grandparent, sibling, child or spouse
  • proof of your relationship to the deceased (e.g. birth or marriage certificate) or
  • a letter from your employer detailing the changes to your employment, including when you were notified of the changes. Letters must be on company letterhead and detail the commencement date and duration of the changes.

Any applications that contain statements or supporting evidence that cannot have their authenticity verified and/or are deemed suspicious, may be referred to the Department of Education and Training for further investigation.

Note: All documents must be originals or certified copies. Where document scans or images are supplied (for submitting online) originals may later need to be seen.


When to apply

The following time frames apply to PCRDs:

  • you must apply within 12 months of your withdrawal date
  • if you failed but did not formally withdraw, you must apply within 12 months of the last teaching day of the unit/s
  • applications outside the 12-month period will only be considered at the University’s discretion in accordance with the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

Note: It can take 21 working days for the university to assess a PCRD. There may be delays during peak times of the academic year. Incomplete applications can delay the outcome to your application.

How to apply

Understanding the University’s definitions of special circumstances and the conditions for applying for a PCRD form part of the application requirements.

You can apply online now, but you must first confirm you have read and understood these conditions: