Academic Standing for Postgraduates

Please note: The rules on this page apply from 2021 onwards (including Summer Term of 2021).

The rules for 2020 are available on the pre-2021 rules page.

This page explains the academic standing rules for postgraduate students. Academic standing is the key mechanism by which a student’s progress in their program is monitored at the conclusion of each term or semester.

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.

Academic standing is calculated based on the number of cumulative fails across all of your postgraduate studies at UNSW (not your program). 

With effect from 2021, if you attempted postgraduate study in a different program at UNSW (more than 2 years prior to the start of your current program), then any failed courses from your previous (different) postgraduate program will not be included in the calculation of your academic standing for your current postgraduate program.

Term 2, 2021 – Rule change due to Greater Sydney Lockdown and COVID-19

For Term 2 2021, failed courses will appear on your official UNSW transcript and will 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, Excluded or Terminated at the end of Term 2 2021.  Students whose Term 2 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 2021, however you must seek academic advice as further fails in Term 3 2021 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 table below.
  • Summer Term/Semester results will be included in the calculation of your Semester 1 or Term 1 academic standing (whichever is applicable).
  • AW (Academic Withdrawal) grades are treated as fail grades when calculating academic standing.
  • You can see how grades of PW (Permitted Withdrawal) are treated here.

Quick reference guide

Below is a quick reference guide to the rules for postgraduate academic standing.

For more explanation of your academic standing level, as well as the implications involved, see this Guide to understanding your academic standing.

POSTGRADUATE ACADEMIC STANDING RULES
Cumulative (Total Number) UOC failed during entire postgraduate career Academic standing levelImplications
Fewer than 12GoodNone
Between 12 and 18 uoc failedPostgraduate Academic Risk (was Probation)UNSW is very concerned about your progress and believes that unless you address the issues that are affecting your progress, you will be facing academic suspension. You must meet with your Academic Advisor, before finalising your enrolment for next term, to discuss your progress and plan for improving your results and seek approval for your enrolment.
Between 19 and 35 uocSuspensionYou are suspended from your studies for one academic year with automatic right of readmission to your program of study.
Between 20 and 35 uoc and have previously been SuspendedPostgraduate Exclusion RiskUNSW is extremely concerned about your progress because following a period of academic suspension, you have failed at least one more course. UNSW believes that unless you address the issues that are affecting your progress, you will be excluded from UNSW and be unable to complete your program. You must meet with your Academic Advisor, before finalising your enrolment for next term, to discuss your progress and plan for improving your results and seek approval for your enrolment.
36 uoc or more and have previously been SuspendedExclusionYou are excluded from the University for two academic years and you must re-apply for re-admission.

 

For a more detailed description of your academic standing level, as well as the implications involved, see this Guide to understanding your academic standing.