Deferring your studies usually means either

  • Putting off starting your course for a year
  • Taking a break before finishing your course

Note that not all courses will let you defer. Some courses might also have rules and restrictions about who can defer, and when. 

Why do people defer?

There are lots of reasons you might choose to defer your studies.

How can I defer?

Each uni and TAFE has its own deferral policy that usually involves filling out a deferral application form.

To find out more about the process you need to go through, check out your TAFE or uni website or give them a call to discuss your deferral options.

Other people’s deferral stories

Here are some stories about people who have deferred their studies.

Matt - Looking for 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 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 she 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 - Changing course halfway 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 to Another Course for more information on how you can do this).

More study stories

For more personal stories about people's paths through education, including stories about taking a gap year, check out our Personal Stories section.