Take leave of absence

If you are enrolled in an award course and need time away from your studies, you have the option to apply for a leave of absence (LOA) if you want to keep your place in the course.

Leave of absence is generally for higher education students only.

International TAFE students may be eligible to take leave from their VE course of study with recommendation from the relevant trades department.

Taking leave

A leave of absence (LOA), for students enrolled in an award course, is usually granted for a maximum of 12 months, based on assessment of your circumstance and the study sequence of your course units.

LOA is normally not permitted until at least six months (or equivalent) of study is completed, unless exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated.

LOA can be taken for a number of reasons, for example:

  • if there are no units available for you to select in a current study period, or
  • you need to take time off to reprioritise your current life circumstances.

If you need more time away, you will need to consult with your college.

Other than in exceptional circumstances, LOA can only be granted prior to census date. Applications that are submitted after census date, which don't meet the exceptional circumstances criteria, will be subject to academic and financial penalties.

Before your LOA has expired, you will be contacted by the University with instructions on how and when to re-enrol. Therefore it is important that your contact details are up to date on MyVU. If you do not enrol by the deadline you may lose your place in the course and may incur a late enrolment fee.

Should you decide not to return to study after your LOA, or go on an unauthorised LOA, your enrolment will lapse. This means that should you wish to continue your course at a later stage, you will need to re-apply and be subject to course entry requirements at the point of application.

Deadlines to apply for leave (all students)

These deadlines apply to both domestic and international students intending to take leave:

  • Semester 1 (including blocks): 10 March 2024
  • Semester 2 (including blocks): 23 August 2024
  • Postgraduate trimester 1 & 8-week blocks 1-2: 4 March 2024
  • Postgraduate trimester 2 & 8-week blocks 3-5: 12 August 2024

Domestic students (apply for leave)

Higher education students

Apply online to take a leave of absence via MyVU.

If you experience any difficulties applying, please contact us by phone, chat, or in person at VUHQ.

Research students

Complete the leave of absence application (research) A52 form and submit to the Graduate Research Centre via [email protected] .

International students (apply for leave)

International students on a student visa must complete their course within the expected course duration as specified on their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and are subject to student-specific visa conditions and ESOS requirements.

For any short term leave of absence of up to 10 days, the student needs to consult their college prior to leaving. The college will evaluate if the leave will have an impact on the study progress or group work for that study period. No application is required for a short-term LOA of up to 10 days.

LOA for a whole study period or a year will impact the course duration and can have implications on the student visa. For this reason, LOA can only be granted on compassionate or compelling grounds that are beyond the student’s control.

If the deadline to apply for leave has passed, you may be eligible to apply for a Reduced Study Load on compassionate or compelling grounds.

Returning to study after a period of leave

Before your LOA expires, you will receive a letter and/or email advising you of re-enrolment and deadlines.

After the LOA has expired, you are expected to return to study and commence in the next mandatory study period.

If you don’t wish to continue with your studies, you must officially withdraw from your course.

It is important to note that if you do not enrol in compulsory study periods, or do not return from an agreed study break, the university can cancel your enrolment and CoE on grounds of inactivity. This means that, by not re-enrolling when you are required to do so, you do not want to study with us anymore. If you are cancelled for inactivity, you cannot appeal the decision.