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Curtin University

Enrolment and study load

Changing courses

Whether or not you can change from one course to another and keep your scholarship will depend on the scholarship you hold, so please refer to the Terms and Conditions of the relevant scholarship.

For example, if your scholarship was intended for a specific Engineering course and you wanted to switch to Nursing, you would not be able to retain your scholarship.

Please contact the Scholarships Office with initial enquiries.

Commonwealth Scholarships are normally transferable between undergraduate award courses. Most Commonwealth Scholarships are awarded for a maximum period of four years, so if you change course and your study goes beyond that period your scholarship will end. Please inform the Scholarships Office of any changes.

Leave of absence

In addition to getting approval from your Faculty, if you intend to take a leave of absence during your course, you must also apply in writing and seek approval from the Scholarships Office to suspend your scholarship for the specified period of the leave.

  • Curtin funded Scholarships - most Scholarships allow up to a 12 month leave of absence (LOA) from your scholarship.
  • Commonwealth Scholarships - if you want to take a leave of absence (LOA) during your studies, you can. Providing that you have already received at least one scholarship payment, you are able to take an LOA from your CS under exceptional circumstances for up to 12 months.
  • Externally funded Scholarships are assessed on a case by case basis. The decision to grant approval will be made in conjunction with the funder. To take a leave of absence from your scholarship, an application must be submitted to the Scholarships Office outlining the reasons for your request. Any documentation supporting your claim must be included with your request.

Maintaining a full-time study load

For most Curtin and externally funded scholarships, students must maintain a full-time study load of 100 credits per semester, except under exceptional circumstances. For Commonwealth Scholarships 75 credits per semester is considered a full-time load.

Exceptional circumstances are decided at the discretion of the Scholarships Office.

If you withdraw or are terminated from your course of study, you will become ineligible for continuation of the scholarship.

Contact the Scholarships Office with regard to any changes to your study load.

Studying part-time

Curtin University may approve a part-time scholarship where you are able to demonstrate heavy carer commitments or a medical condition precluding full-time study. Circumstances include:

  • Carer responsibilities for a pre-school child
  • Carer responsibilities for school-aged children as a sole parent with limited access to outside support
  • Carer responsibilities for an invalid or disabled spouse, child or parent
  • A medical condition, which limits the capacity to undertake full-time study (supported by medical certification)

In approving a part-time award, the University must be satisfied that your circumstances are such that it would not be reasonable to expect you to study on a full-time basis.

Part-time awards are not available to applicants seeking to undertake paid employment on a full-time or substantial part-time basis, and recipients are subject to the same restrictions on employment as full-time scholarship holders. Please refer to the Employment section of your Conditions of Award. Stipends for part-time scholarships are not tax-exempt.

A part-time scholarship holder is expected to progress at half the rate of a full-time scholarship holder. Scholarship holders approved to study part-time may revert to full-time study at any time with the permission of the University.

Please refer to your relevant Conditions of award for Part-Time conditions.

Leave of absence

Please check your relevant Conditions of award for your Leave Entitlements. Most scholarships offer Recreation, Sick and Maternity Leave. If you wish to take this leave, you will need to contact the Manager, Scholarships, Office of Research and Development to advise the dates that you wish to access this leave.

In addition may be required to submit an Application for leave of absence for the same period, please contact the Manager, Scholarships, Office of Research and Development, for further information.

Suspending your scholarship

If you are unable to pursue your degree, you must seek approval in the first instance from your Supervisor and Head of academic unit for a period of suspension. Usually, scholarship holders may apply for a suspension of up to twelve months. Please check your Conditions of Award for your Suspension conditions.

The approval of suspensions will be at the discretion of Curtin University. In order to apply for the suspension, please complete and submit an Application for Leave of Absence.

Please note: International Students must contact the International Office for advice on visa issues while on Leave of Absence.

Please advise the Scholarships Office of the dates of your suspension. This will ensure your scholarship payments are suspended in adequate time to avoid an overpayment.

In exceptional circumstances, students may apply for suspension beyond twelve months. Any suspensions to postgraduate scholarships beyond twelve months must be approved by the Dean, Graduate Studies, subject to it being satisfied that the exceptional circumstances are beyond your control and warrant a further suspension of the scholarship.

In order to apply for a suspension beyond 12 months, please provide, in writing, the reasons you are unable to resume full time study at the completion of your suspension to Manager, Scholarships, Office of Research and Development.

Please note: periods of study undertaken towards the degree during suspension of the scholarship must be deducted from the maximum period of its tenure.

Please refer to the Forms, Policies and Procedures section of the Graduate Studies website for further details.

Extending your postgraduate scholarship

In order to apply for an extension to your scholarship, you must provide the Manager of Scholarships, Office of Research and Development with:

  • a letter detailing the delays you have experienced in your research. These must be related to your research rather than of a personal nature; and
  • a supporting letter from your supervisor confirming the delays and satisfactory progress during periods outside the periods of delays.

All documents will be processed and submitted to the Dean, Graduate Studies for consideration. Once a decision has been made, a letter will be sent to you advising you of the outcome. If necessary, Staff Services will also be advised to adjust your payments accordingly.

Please refer to the Tenure or Duration of Award section of your Conditions of Award for Extension information, as this will advise you of the length of extension you can apply for.

In order to ensure there is no disruption to your pay, please submit your application for extension no less than 2 weeks prior to your scholarship end date.

Advice of returning from leave/suspension

Please be aware that your payments will not automatically commence on your return. We advise you contact the Manager, Scholarships, Office of Research and Development, ten days prior to your return to avoid any delay in your payments recommencing.