What are census dates and teaching periods?

Teaching periods

There are two main teaching periods called semester one and two. Some units have teaching periods called terms, trimesters, summer semester etc. You can add or discontinue a unit, without penalty, up to the census date for most teaching periods. Some have a 'withdrawn no load' period before the census date. If you drop a unit during this time, your academic record will record it as withdrawn.

Census date and financial penalties

The census date is when the University finalises your enrolment. If you discontinue a unit after census date, you have to pay fees or, if you have a HELP loan, you incur a debt.

For domestic students who have government support, the census date is also:

  • the last day you can make up-front fee payments
  • the last day you can apply for HECS-HELP and/or FEE-HELP loans
  • when you become liable for HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP debts.

Check the census dates and teaching periods for your units to avoid academic and financial penalties.

Research students

If you discontinue before the census date, you pay fees for the time enrolled. See chapters one and three of the Handbook of Doctoral and MPhil Degrees.

Academic penalties

Academic record

For changes affecting academic penalties for semester two 2020, see exceptions to dates for discontinuing units.

For semester one, the census date is normally the last day you can discontinue without the unit appearing on your academic record. In 2020, different arrangements apply.

For semester two, the last day is normally four weeks after the start of semester. Dropping a unit between this date and the census date will normally result in 'withdrawn no load'. In 2020, different arrangements apply.

Usually, discontinuing after the census date, but before the 'withdrawn fail' date, means your record will show the unit result as 'withdrawn'. If you discontinue after the 'withdrawn fail' date, your record will show the unit result as 'withdrawn fail'. This will affect your grade point average. In 2020, different arrangements apply to some teaching periods. As arrangements are finalised, we'll update the census dates and teaching periods

Exceptions

The last date to discontinue from a unit may differ if you are studying a unit taught:

Check dates and penalties

Check the census dates and teaching periods for your units to avoid academic and financial penalties.

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