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Withdrawal under exceptional circumstances


Withdrawal under exceptional circumstances, which may be applied for after the normal deadlines for deletion and withdrawal, is primarily intended for unanticipated circumstances which prevent a student from successfully completing a paper or papers. Such circumstances include:

  • serious illness or accident
  • bereavement
  • sporting/cultural commitments (you must be representing New Zealand, or trialling for New Zealand representation)
  • service in the New Zealand Armed Forces, or
  • other special circumstances beyond your control.

If approved, withdrawal will normally be actioned from the date your application was received. However, if your circumstances have clearly prevented you from applying in a timely manner (e.g. hospitalisation), you may be able to apply for a backdated withdrawal date (note that this may have implications for Student Allowances and other entitlements e.g. funding received after the withdrawal date may need to be repaid).

  • If the withdrawal date is before the last day to delete the paper, this will result in the paper being removed from your academic record and a full refund of tuition fees.
  • If the withdrawal date is after the last day to delete the paper, the paper will be notated as ‘Withdrawn Exceptional’ on your academic record.

Deleting or withdrawing from papers has implications for your fees, StudyLink loans and allowances and academic record. It may also affect the immigration status of international students.

Applying for withdrawal under exceptional circumstances

To apply for withdrawal from a paper or papers under exceptional circumstances you should complete an Application for Withdrawal Under Exceptional Circumstances form. Supporting evidence (e.g. a medical certificate) must be provided either with the form or subsequently.

Applications can be lodged:

  • by post, to the Manager, Admissions and Enrolment, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054
  • via email to, or
  • in person, to the University Information Centre in the ISB Building (next to the Central Library).

Correspondence about your application will be sent to your student email address.

Applications for withdrawal under exceptional circumstances will not usually be considered:

  • more than one week after the last day of classes for the paper concerned, or if you have sat the final examination or completed all the assessment requirements for the paper concerned
  • if you have received a decision on a Special Consideration in a Final Examination application for the paper concerned, or
  • after final results for the paper concerned are formally released.

Note that application for withdrawal under exceptional circumstances should only if be made if it is too late to delete the paper in question (otherwise standard deletion can be applied for).

Support for students with impairments impacting study

Before applying for withdrawal from a paper or paper(s), it is strongly recommended that you check the University’s provisions and support for students with impairments to see if these may assist you in completing your papers successfully.

This includes Special Consideration in Final Exams, which is the process by which the university determines a fair academic outcome in cases where a student is seriously impaired in an assessment activity such as a final examination.

Information for Health Sciences First Year students

There is an additional processes for Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) students who withdraw under exceptional circumstances, but who wish to re-enter HSFY at a later time. See the HSFY website for more information.

It's your course

Through eVision you can check the papers you are enrolled for and whether or not any requested changes have been processed. It is your responsibility, and in your own best interests, to ensure that your course of study is in accordance with the relevant regulations in the University Calendar and that your enrolment correctly records the papers you are taking.

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