After commencing your program, you might want to take a temporary break. Officially, this is called 'interrupting studies'.

If you want to take an interruption, the first thing to do is find out is if your program rules specify 'continuous enrolment':

  1. Use the program and course catalogue to search for your program.
  2. Click on 'Program requirements for the... (program name)'.
  3. Click the 'Program Rules' link.

What you do next depends on if you're a domestic student or an international student. Click one of the below to find out more:

Domestic students

My program rules do not mention continuous enrolment

You can take an interruption by simply not enrolling in any courses next semester. You don't have to notify the University, or formally tell anyone. While you don't need permission, it's a good idea to discuss your plans withy your faculty.

If semester has started and you no longer wish to continue studying, please note that academic or financial penalties can apply if you withdraw from your courses in order to take an interruption.

When you are ready to return to study, please follow the instructions on the Returning to Study page. 


My program rules mention continuous enrolment

If your program rules specify “continuous enrolment”, you will need to request special permission to take an interruption.

Complete the online form below to apply for an interruption. The form will be assessed by your faculty's Executive Dean.

If semester has started and you no longer wish to continue studying, please note that academic or financial penalties can apply if you withdraw from your courses in order to take an interruption. 

Apply to interrupt studies

For more information about interrupting studies, speak to an advisor in your faculty.


Request now

International students

My program rules do not mention continuous enrolment

Before you apply for an interruption, talk to an advisor in your faculty. We also strongly recommend contacting the Department of Home Affairs. Taking an interruption can affect your student visa.

Once you've spoken to your faculty and you intend to apply for an interruption, first:

You will have to attach documents to support your request.

If semester has started and you no longer wish to continue studying, please note that academic or financial penalties can apply if you withdraw from your courses in order to take an interruption.


My program rules mention continuous enrolment

Before you apply for an interruption, talk to an advisor in your faculty. We also strongly recommend contacting the Department of Home Affairs. Taking an interruption can affect your student visa.

Once you've spoken to your faculty and you intend to apply for an interruption, first:

You will have to attach documents to support your request.

If semester has started and you no longer wish to continue studying, please note that academic or financial penalties can apply if you withdraw from your courses in order to take an interruption.

Impact on your visa

If you are studying at UQ on a student visa, we will not cancel your Confirmation of Enrolment if you apply for an interruption because of compassionate or compelling reasons.

According to the Australian Government’s ESOS National Code, compassionate or compelling reasons might include:

Serious illness or injury
You must provide a medical certificate to support your claim. The medical certificate must state that you were unable to attend university classes.


Death of a close family member (e.g. parents, grandparents)
Where possible, please provide a death certificate.


Major political upheaval, or a natural disaster in your home country
These events must have required emergency travel that impacted your studies.


Serious personal trauma (e.g. a serious accident or crime that jeopardised your ability to study)
Please provide police reports, or reports from a psychologist or counsellor.


UQ was unable to offer a prerequisite course
You must show supporting evidence from your school or faculty.


There may be other circumstances that qualify as compassionate or compelling reasons. We assess each case on its individual merits.

If you need to take a break for other reasons – or if you want to withdraw from your program – your Confirmation of Enrolment will be cancelled.

We are required by law to notify the Department of Home Affairs when an international student interrupts their studies. You may have to return to your home country for the period of the interruption, or you may be allowed to remain – this is at the discretion of the department.

HDR students

Information on this page is for coursework students only. There's a separate page for HDR students.

Learn how to apply for an interruption