Need to take a break from studying? Approved leave puts your place at Murdoch on hold, so you don’t need to re-apply for admission when you resume your studies.

When you take approved leave, all completed units will stay on your academic record. The maximum period of leave you can take depends on where, and what level course, you are studying:

  • Undergraduate students can take approved leave for a maximum of two years (four semesters or six trimesters).
  • Postgraduate and honours students can take approved leave for a maximum of one year (two semesters or three trimesters).

Student visa holders can only be granted approved leave for compassionate and compelling circumstances.

During leave

You will not have access to the library or other university facilities while you are on approved leave.

When you resume your studies, your fee status and course requirements remain the same as before you left, unless you change your course or major. You will need to enrol in your units before the enrolment deadline.

Applying for approved leave

Before applying, the University encourages you to seek advice on your options:

If you apply after the census date due to circumstances beyond your control, you may be eligible to apply for retrospective withdrawal.

You can apply for approved leave by completing a leave form.

Approved leave form

International students requesting approved leave

You can apply to take a break from your studies due to compassionate or compelling circumstances. Such circumstances are beyond your control and affect your course progress or wellbeing. These may include:

  • serious illness or injury where you have a medical certificate stating you couldn’t attend classes
  • bereavement of close family members such as parents or grandparents – where possible, a death certificate should be provided
  • major political upheaval or natural disaster in your home country requiring emergency travel
  • a traumatic experience such as involvement in, or witnessing of, a serious accident; or witnessing or being the victim of a serious crime – these cases should be supported by police and/or a psychologist report
  • where Murdoch was unable to offer a pre-requisite unit, or you are unable to begin studying on the course commence date due to a delay in receiving a student visa
  • where you are required to undertake military service in your home country.

The University is obligated to inform the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) of any changes in enrolments for all international students. Once you have received confirmation that your approved leave has been reported to DHA, you must contact DHA immediately to seek advice on the impacts on your student visa. The DHA expects students on approved leave to return to their home country during that period, although exceptions can be made in certain cases.

Approved leave may also have implications to your Overseas Student Health Cover, tuition fees and Confirmation of Enrolment.

You must meet with a member of the Student Support Team before submitting an application. Your application can’t be granted without completing this step.

You can apply for approved leave by completing the approved leave form.

We will keep a record of any decisions regarding Approved Leave. This includes records of who made the decision to approve or deny leave, the grounds for that decision, the length and dates of Approved Leave, and the date when the decision was made.

Paying fees when on approved leave

If you are still enrolled in units after the census date, you will need to pay the full amount for those units and the student services and amenities fee.

Taking leave without approval can have significant financial implications. If you have borrowed funds under the US Federal Aid (Title IV aid) scheme through Murdoch or another institution, and part of the loan is unpaid, you must contact the Financial Aid Administrator at to discuss your application before applying for leave.

Get advice

You can get specific advice regarding your enrolment during Orientation Week.

If you can’t attend your orientation session, you can seek help from myMurdoch Advice student success advisors, or by contacting your academic chair.

Singapore and Dubai students can apply for up to one year of approved leave for each application.

New to Murdoch?

If you've received an offer to study at Murdoch but haven't accepted it, you can apply for deferred leave.

If you've accepted your offer and subsequently decided not to study in the period you were to commence, you need to apply for approved leave.