When you defer your studies you are either delaying the start date of your course or taking a break before finishing your course.
This means you can accept a place at uni or TAFE without starting straight away or defer one or two semesters of your course once you’re already enrolled.
Why might I need to defer?
There are lots of reasons you might choose to defer your studies.
- You might want to take a gap year after you finish school
- You could have been offered a job that’s too good to pass up
- There might be another course you’d like to study (some course providers might not accept your application for deferment if you plan to study overseas)
- You might want to travel
- You might want to work and save money to pay for your course
- You could be suffering illness or injury
- You could be caring for a friend or family member
How can I defer?
Each uni and TAFE has its own policy for deferral. Usually you have to fill out a deferral application form.
Be aware that, depending on the course you’re studying and the circumstances you’re in, some courses may not allow you to defer.
To find out more about the deferral process you need to go through, check out your TAFE or uni website or give them a call and contact their Office for Prospective Students.
Other people’s stories
Here are some stories about people who have deferred their studies.
Matt - a new life experience
When Matt finished school he felt like he needed some time off but didn’t want to waste a year. He deferred his place in the Public Relations course at RMIT University and signed up for a project with GAP Australia.
Matt taught English in rural southwest China for six months and then travelled through Vietnam. When he returned home he felt he could get settled and looked forward to starting uni the following year.
Steph - a job opportunity too good to pass up
Steph had been studying arts at uni for two years and was actively involved in student politics. She was offered a full-time job with her student union and so deferred the third year of her course.
By the start of the next year Steph had gained enough experience to work part-time with her chosen political party and could continue her studies part-time.
Fleur - a different course half-way through
Straight out of high school, Fleur wasn't offered a place in her number one preferred course so she enrolled in the next one on her list.
She stayed for one semester and then deferred. Six months later, after a bit of working and travelling, Fleur was able to transfer to the course she really wanted to do. Check out our page on Transferring for more information on this.
For more personal stories, including one about taking a gap year to travel oversesas, check out our Personal stories section.