Deferring your studies

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By the time you've finished your VCE studies and received an offer from a TAFE or university course, you may be feeling a bit exhausted. You might not be sure that more study is what you want to do right away.

Deferring your course might be an option to consider.

What is deferring?

Deferring a course means that you have accepted the offer of a place in that course, but that you don't plan on starting straight away. Normally people defer so that they can start studying a year after they receive their offer, but it is also possible to defer a single semester of your studies.

Deferring is an option to consider if you think there's something else you want to do before starting your course. People defer for all sorts of reasons, including:

  • Not getting into the course they really wanted to
  • Travel
  • Illness
  • Saving money to pay for their course
  • Helping out a friend or family member
  • Taking advantage of job opportunities

How to defer

Usually all you have to do to defer is fill out a deferral application form from the TAFE or uni that has offered you a place.

Each TAFE and university has its own policy about deferral. Some courses may not allow you to defer at all.

To find out what your deferral options are, visit the TAFE or university's website, or call their Office of Prospective Students.

Other people's stories

Here are some stories about people who have decided not to go on to further studies straight after VCE.

Matt - teaching English overseas

Matt finished school, deferred uni and joined GAP Australia. He went to teach English in rural southwest China for six months.

He spent a couple of months travelling and saw a bit of Vietnam. After returning hom he started studying Public Relations at RMIT University and kept himself busy with community projects and the performing arts.

Fatma - travelling in Turkey

After not quite getting the VCE results she wanted, Fatma went to live in Turkey in her first year out of school.

She stayed with family, saw the sights and studied hard for university entrance exams. But she didn't get in.

Fatma had no regrets because she learned so much in that one year out in the world. After coming back to Australia she was offered a university place and began studying to become a plant ecologist. She planned to travel the world after finishing her studies, doing research to protect the environment.

Fleur - a different course

Straight out of high school, Fleur wasn't offered a place in her number one preferred course, so she tried a different one.

She deferred semester two so that she could travel, and after doing a bit of growing up overseas, she was able to transfer to the course she'd worked so hard for back in year 12.

Deferring was the right decision for Fleur, because she needed a break from studying before she could really get back into it for second year.