Academic Standing for Postgraduates

This page explains academic standing for postgraduate students. Academic standing indicates your current progress toward completion of your program.

Because postgraduate students are already experienced in university study and postgraduate coursework programs are also normally shorter than undergraduate programs, UNSW expects postgraduate students to complete program requirements with very few failures.

Term 1 - Rule change due to COVID-19

Given the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 global pandemic, any course failed in Term 1 of 2020:

  • will not be recorded on your transcript,
  • will not affect your WAM
  • and will not be included in the calculation of your academic standing.

Academic standing for Term 1 will be calculated but no student will move to Suspension or Exclusion.

What about results from Summer Term? Results from Summer Term are included in the calculation of your academic standing for Term 1. If you did not perform well in Summer Term, it is possible you will be assigned an academic standing level of Provisional Suspension or Provisional Exclusion. If you are assigned a Provisional standing level, further poor performance may result in Suspension or Exclusion.

If you are returning from Suspension in Term 1 of 2020 and do not have enrolment which can be calculated for academic standing purposes (due to the rule outlined above), you will be assigned a standing level of Provisional Suspension.

Term 2 - Rule change due to COVID-19

 

For Term 2 2020, failed courses will appear on your official UNSW transcript and be included in the calculation of both your WAM and academic standing, in line with standard practice.

However, given the continuing uncertainty, students will not be academically suspended or excluded at the end of Term 2.  Students whose T2 results would normally have placed them on academic Suspension or Exclusion will instead, be given an academic standing level of Provisional Suspension or Provisional Exclusion.

If you have an academic standing level of provisional suspension or provisional exclusion, you are permitted to continue studying in Term 3 but must seek academic advice, as further fails in Term 3 may result in you being suspended or excluded.


How is postgraduate academic standing calculated?

  • If you pass all units of credit attempted in the current term/semester, you are assigned an academic standing level of Good.
  • If you don't pass all units of credit, your academic standing is calculated on the basis of the total number of units failed in all terms/semesters, up to and including the current term/semester as outlined below in the levels section.
  • Summer Term/Semester results will be included in the calculation of your Semester 1 or Term 1 academic standing (whichever is applicable).
  • PW (Permitted Withdrawal) and AW (Academic Withdrawal) grades are treated as fail grades when calculating academic standing

Quick reference guide

This is a quick reference guide to the rules for postgraduate academic standing. For a detailed description of your academic standing level, as well as the implications involved, see Guide to Your Academic Standing (Postgraduates).

Rules for UNSW Sydney

Cumulative (Total Number) UOC failed during entire postgraduate career Academic standing level assignedImplications
Fewer than 12GoodNone
12 to 18 (inclusive)ProbationYou are required to consult your Academic Advisor to discuss your progress, plan for improving results, and seek approval for future enrolment.
More than 18ExclusionYou are excluded from the University for two academic years and you must re-apply for re-admission.

Example: If you have failed more than 18 (UOC) units of credit during your entire postgraduate career, then your academic standing level will be 'Exclusion'.

Rules for Semester 1 for UNSW Canberra

Cumulative (Total Number) UOC failed during entire postgraduate career Academic standing level assignedImplications
Fewer than 12GoodNone
12 to 18 (inclusive)ProbationYou are required to consult your Academic Advisor to discuss your progress, plan for improving results, and seek approval for future enrolment
More than 18Provisional ExclusionYou are permitted to continue in your program but must consult your Academic Advisor to discuss your progress, plan for improving results, and seek approval for future enrolment. Further unsatisfactory progress will result in Exclusion.

Example: If you have failed between 12 and 18 (UOC) units of credit during your entire postgraduate career, then your academic standing level will be 'Probation'.

Rules for Semester 2 for UNSW Canberra

Cumulative (Total Number) UOC failed during entire postgraduate career Academic standing level assignedImplications
Fewer than 12GoodNone
12 to 18 (inclusive)ProbationYou are required to consult your Academic Advisor to discuss your progress, plan for improving results, and seek approval for future enrolment.
More than 18ExclusionUsed for Semester 2 Academic Standing only. You are excluded from the University for two academic years (four standard semesters) and you must re-apply for re-admission.

Example: If you have failed more than 18 (UOC) units of credit during your entire postgraduate career, then your academic standing level in Semester 2 will be 'Exclusion'.