News Article

Discontinue Not Fail (DC)

If you are unable to complete a unit of study you may be able to withdraw during semester for a Discontinue Fail (DF) grade.


Sometimes, life brings unexpected circumstances that completely impact our ability to study or complete assessments. If you are unable to complete a unit of study you may be able to withdraw during semester for a Discontinue Fail (DF) grade. If special circumstances exist you can try applying for a Discontinue Not Fail (DC) grade.

A DF will affect your progression status, the same as any other fail grade, but does not affect your WAM. It is a good idea to check this with your faculty before applying for a DF. The DC (discontinue not fail) grade is for subjects you cannot complete due to “special circumstances”. This process is referred to as ‘late discontinuation under special circumstances’. It does not affect your WAM or your progression status (show good cause) and will get you a refund of your HECS/fees. If you had a serious illness, injury, or misadventure that was out of your control, that began or became worse after the census date (31 March for semester 1 and 31 August for semester 2) and severely impacted your ability to study, you can apply for a late discontinuation under special circumstances (DC). You will need to show that you were engaging with the subject, e.g., attending classes and submitting assessments, before you became sick or had the misadventure. If you missed any assessments, you will need to show that you applied for special consideration. In your application explain how your illness or misadventure impacted on your study, e.g., you couldn’t attend class or complete an assessment, and provide formal, third-party supporting documentation (e.g., a Professional Practitioner’s Certificate) from a GP, counsellor or other relevant professional. Ask them to focus on how you were impacted, rather than an actual diagnosis. The dates that you were impacted need to be from the date the illness, injury or misadventure began (or worsened) during semester. You need to demonstrate the circumstances weren’t known, or fully impacting on your studies until after census date. It needs to cover the period up until the date you applied. The severity of the impact needs to show that you were “very severely affected” or “totally unable to study”. There are only a few, very limited, situations where you can use a Statutory Declaration or Student Declaration in lieu of a professional’s documentation. If you are seeking a DC from only some of your subjects, your application and supporting documents will also need to explain why you couldn’t complete these subjects but could complete the others. It is harder to get a DC if you apply after results are published, so apply as soon as possible. If your DC is approved, you will automatically receive a refund of your HECs/fees. A DC grade does not affect your progression status or your WAM. A DF will affect your status and may but will not affect your WAM. Domestic students who started their course after 1 January 2022 are subject to the rules of the Job Ready Graduate Package, where failure to achieve satisfactory progress may lead to being removed from your Commonwealth supported place, that is, kicked off HECS. Reducing your study load either through a DF or a DC may also have consequences for international students or students on Centrelink payments. Becoming a part-time student will also mean you cannot use a concession Opal card. The application process for a DC is complex and nuanced, so we encourage all applicants to check their draft application with an SRC Caseworker.

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