Thinking of changing or leaving your program?

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Thinking of changing or leaving your program?

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Feeling unsure about continuing your study? Not sure if you’re in the right degree? 

Sometimes life can present challenges that make studying or attending university difficult. Perhaps you're experiencing personal difficulties, having concerns about money, feeling stressed or homesick. Whatever your concern, you’re not alone in feeling this way.

At USC we are here to support you and help you to access all the options available to you before making your final decision.

If you are considering changing your degree visit How to change your program for information and important dates.

While cancelling your study may seem like a quick and easy solution, it is important to understand your alternatives and the implications of leaving your study at this time.

Refer to the information below to identify how we can assist you.

Need to talk?

If you have concerns about a course or assessment, contact your tutor or the course co-ordinator to seek help. They are there to assist you to succeed in your studies and can discuss steps to help you complete your course.

The contact details for your course co-ordinator will be on your Course Outline.

Heavy study load?

For help to manage your study load or study support, you can speak with a member of the Student Success Team.

Visit Student Support for more information about support services and resources.

Thinking of reducing your study load?

Each study period, students at USC can change their study load between full-time (3-4 courses) and part-time (1-2 courses) to suit their lifestyle needs, except if they are an International Student Visa holder.

Speak to a Program Progression Advisor at your Student Central for advice on how changes will affect your study program. Studying less than four courses per study period will extend the duration of your degree.

If you are currently receiving Centrelink benefits, this may be impacted by changing your enrolment.

Please note: International Student Visa holders must remain enrolled full-time in four courses to meet their visa requirements unless they are able to demonstrate compassionate or compelling circumstances. For further advice about Visa conditions, consult with USC International Student Services.

Unsure if you're in the right degree?

If you feel that you are interested in a different degree or career, it is possible to change your study area.

Before making the switch, our Career Development Team recommends volunteering with a company in your preferred study area to get a feel for what it's like to work in that industry.

A free appointment with a career advisor at Career Development may help find the right study or career path for you.

Discuss a change of program with your faculty to ensure that you are eligible.

Want to take a leave of absence?

Domestic students have the option to take up to four semesters leave of absence before re-enrolling in their study.

New students can defer for up to two years before taking up their place.

You may not want to change or leave your course, but just need some time out for any number of reasons. This is often possible, and may benefit your career prospects in the longer term.

Reasons for Taking A Break:

  • Health/Emotional
    • If you've been ill or other personal circumstances are affecting your studies, it may be an option to take some time out to recover and regain your strength. Taking time off may be better than trying to struggle on with the course and finding that you're not able to give 100%. Make sure that you're using the support services available within USC and get additional support if you need it once you're back at home or out of the university environment. Student Central and Student Wellbeing provide services to advise, support and help make appropriate referrals for you.
  • Not the right degree
    • There are many different degrees available. It’s often very hard to decide which is best for you. If you’re not enjoying the degree or course you’ve chosen to study, or it’s not meeting your expectations, it may be that the degree is not for you.
  • Finances
    • Studying full time is a big financial commitment and with student loans and living expenses it all mounts up. It may be that financial problems are affecting your studies and time off may be necessary to put yourself in a more stable financial situation before study can be resumed. Remember however, that HECS HELP Loans are available. You may also be eligible for a scholarship.
  • In need of a change
    • Going straight from school into further study can be a strain on many students. If you find it hard to get motivated, this in turn will start to affect your course work. Sometimes a change of scenery or a chance to try something different may be the answer. It’s a chance for you to build up new skills and try new things but, most importantly, it will allow you to see what else is out there. Once you do decide to go back to study, you’ll be refreshed and ready for the challenge.
  • Work experience
    • Not all courses offer a chance to get paid work experience. Organising work experience for yourself will impress employers, but it will also allow you to enhance your qualification with some valuable experience. It may also open up careers/jobs that you didn’t know existed.

Life can present challenges which may make continuing in your program difficult. Sometimes personal difficulties, family concerns, life balance or serious illness can make you reconsider your study.

Want to talk?

You can make a free appointment with trained counsellors for help with any concerns you’re facing. They can offer you a range of alternatives to consider, enabling you to continue on your chosen path.

Refer to the support services available at Student Wellbeing.

Feeling isolated?

Making friends and developing new interests can be an enjoyable aspect of university life, but taking those first steps can be daunting.

If you’re feeling a bit isolated or homesick, you may find new friends or students with a common interest by joining in the Student Groups and social activities at USC.

Looking for childcare?

If finding care for your children is a concern, a childcare centre is located on the USC Sippy Downs Campus. Refer to Childcare to find a local centre in your area.

Having trouble getting to classes?

If getting to and from the USC campus is difficult, consider if the transport options at Sustainable Transport could help. These include bus services, car pooling and cycle access.

The university also has a daily express shuttle bus for students from Gympie (via Cooroy) and North Lakes (via Caboolture) during semester.

If financial issues are affecting your opportunity to study at USC, you may want to investigate all your options.

Looking for help?

Have you contacted Centrelink or visited Study Assist to determine if you are receiving all the study assistance you are entitled to?

This might be a good time to talk to Student Wellbeing about help with budgeting or gaining a short-term student loan.

The USC Student Guild at the UniClub may also be able to offer help.

Seeking a scholarship?

USC grants hundreds of scholarships and bursaries each year. You don’t need to be a high achiever to be eligible. Other criteria, like relocating to study or financial hardship are also considered.

Use the scholarship search tool to find out what scholarships may be available to assist you.

Looking for a job?

If finding suitable work is your goal, visit the university’s Student Hub where a range of work opportunities for students are advertised.

Withdrawing from University

If, after exploring the options above, you have decided that withdrawing from university is the path you will take, please contact Student Central about this process.

It is also recommended to speak to a Program Progression Advisor in Student Central for advice regarding future pathways of coming back to university should you wish in the future. Another option is to speak with a member of the Student Success Team.

International Students must contact USC International for advice about how this will affect your student visa.

Impact on financial support

You are also advised to contact Centrelink if withdrawing from study will impact on any support you currently receive.

Impact on student record

Withdrawing from University may have implications to your grades and student fees.

Depending on when you withdraw in USC Central will determine what grades you receive and fees you may be liable for.

Refer to the USC Academic Calendar and Critical dates for withdrawing in the Enrolments and Graduation - Procedures (Section 3.4).

Domestic students who withdraw prior to Census Date will not be liable for fees in that Study period or receive a grade for those subjects.

If you withdraw after Census Date, there may be consideration of your individual circumstances for academic and financial concessions, provided specific conditions are met as detailed in Admissions, Enrolments and Graduation - Academic Policy.

Access to USC

After withdrawing from your study, you still have access to your student email. However you need to return your Student ID card to Student Central, as you will no longer have access to other facilities.

Returning to USC

It can be helpful to talk to Student Central about the option of returning to USC in the future. Your student records are kept on file, should you decide to return to study.

If you decide to return to your program or another program after you withdraw you will need to re-apply to USC via the appropriate method.

You may receive credit for past study or need to repeat certain courses in your chosen program when you return.

Contact Student Central to discuss your plans to return to USC.

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