Extensions, suspensions, deletions and withdrawals

What to do when exceptional circumstances impact your postgraduate studies.

At a postgraduate level, programmes have stricter requirements than at undergraduate. However, we understand that students will at times face exceptional circumstances that will impact their studies.

In cases like this, it is important that you speak with your Postgraduate Adviser, Student Support Adviser and the team at the Science Student Centre as soon as possible. They can ensure that all the options available to you are clear and accessible, and let you know any relevant deadlines.

Extensions

In exceptional circumstances it may be possible for you to be granted an extension of time towards your dissertation or thesis.

Extensions of time are awarded two months at a time. The maximum extension that can be signed off by the faculty for a dissertation is two months and for a thesis it is four months. Extension requests for longer than the above limits need ultimate approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies. There are extra fees associated with an extension.

If you require an extension of time for one of your taught courses, you will need to talk to your course convener.

To apply for a formal extension of time you will need to complete the AS-503 Application for Senate Approval of Extension of Time form with support from the department. Once you have completed this please send it to pgscience@auckland.ac.nz along with:

  • A brief explanation of the exceptional circumstances which justify the extension
  • A timeline for completion during the period of the extension
  • Independent evidence which verifies your exceptional circumstances (e.g. a medical certificate, or letter from your employer)
  • Statement of support from your supervisor acknowledging the above points

Suspensions

Postgraduate enrolment must usually be continuous. If you are unable to study in a particular semester you may need to apply for a suspension of time, depending on your degree.

Suspensions of time are awarded by semester for taught programmes and by month for research programmes. In both cases the maximum that can be awarded by the faculty is 12 months (2 semesters). Suspension requests for longer than 12 months need ultimate approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

If you have any questions about whether you are able to apply for a suspension, please email the Science Student Centre team at pgscience@auckland.ac.nz to discuss your situation and the options available to you.

If you decide to apply for a suspension of time, you will need to complete the AS-502 Application for Senate Approval of Suspension from Enrolment with support from the department. Once you have completed this please send it to pgscience@auckland.ac.nz along with:

  • A brief explanation of the exceptional circumstances which justify the suspension of time
  • Independent evidence which verifies your exceptional circumstances (e.g. a medical certificate, or letter from your employer)
  • Statement of support from your supervisor acknowledging the above points

Late deletion

Late Deletion is available to students who are unable to continue with their study because of exceptional circumstances such as illness, injury or events beyond their control. Applications must include independent evidence to verify the circumstances.

The following circumstances would not normally qualify for late deletion:

  • Situations known at the point of enrolling
  • Situations due to personal choice (eg financial circumstances, accepting a job offer, accepting the offer to attend another University, taking on additional work hours)
  • Financial and work related issues such as increase in workload GPA concerns
  • Needing a reduction in workload requested in the last fortnight of lectures
Find out more about Applying for Late Deletion

Withdrawals

If you need to drop a course and you are not eligible for a Late Deletion, you will need to Withdraw from the course by visiting the Science Student Centre and completing an AS-70 Course Alteration Form. You must do so within the deadlines.

Withdrawing from a course is different from Late Deletion because:

  • Withdrawing will place a W (Withdrew) on your transcript
  • Withdrawing from a course counts as a fail for your Grade Point Average (GPA) calculations
  • You will still be liable to pay the fees for the withdrawn course there is no potential for a partial refund or credit available
  • The points for the withdrawn course will still count towards your total for your postgraduate qualification. You will need to check that the Withdrawal does not put you at risk of exceeding the required number of points for your programme.
  • Please note that if withdrawing from an A/B course, you must withdraw from both components.

Find out more about Late enrolment or withdrawal or Applying to withdraw from courses.