Retrospective Withdrawal

Retrospective Withdrawal allows students to withdraw from a unit up to 12 months after the unit finished, potentially having their tuition fees refunded and/or a fail grade replaced with a withdrawn grade.

A student should consider applying for retrospective withdrawal after the census date if they have not met the unit requirements – either failing or voluntarily withdrawing. A student must have exceptional circumstances to justify the retrospective withdrawal. A retrospective withdrawal is strongly advised if a student has already deferred the final assessment twice.

Exceptional Circumstances

  1. Are beyond the student’s control.
  2. Do not make their full impact on the student until on, or after, the census date.
    • This includes circumstances that begin before the census date but become worse after the census date.
  3. Make it impractical to complete the unit requirements.

Examples might include serious ongoing illness, death of an immediate family member, sudden housing insecurity, employer reassigning student to a major project, abruptly having to move interstate etc.

How to apply

  1. You must apply within 12 months of the last day in which you were enrolled in the unit, be it the day you withdrew or the day you were granted a deferred assessment to. The Student Records Manager has discretion to waive this requirement if they are satisfied that the application could not be made within the time limit.
  2. Download the Retrospective Withdrawal Application form.
  3. Compose a personal statement outlining the nature of your exceptional circumstance, the timing of events in relation to you study and their impact.
  4. Attach documentation of your personal statements and claims.
    • Depending on the nature of the special circumstances, supporting documentation can include medical certificates, statements from employers, ransom letters, obituaries, statutory declarations, statements from counselors etc.
  5. Submit your form through either “Ask a Question” on MyAnswers or via email to If you prefer, a hard copy application may be submitted in person at The Student Centre.


This information is for reference purposes only. The Murdoch University Policy and Procedure Manager (PPM) should be consulted for full and up to date policy information.

For further information contact Student Assist

Domestic Undergraduate Student Assist Officer: Hazel 9360 7350 /
International Student Assist Officer: Malena 9360 6419 /
Postgraduate Student Assist Officer: Rachel 9360 6585 /