Information for Students

Arrangements for Students

All lectures in Term 3 will be online. However, many other classes such as tutorials and practicals are being offered face-to-face, with online provisions made for students unable to attend or who are apprehensive about returning to campus. In some cases, it may be necessary to direct students to alternative courses so they can continue to progress with their degrees. You can find all current courses offerings in the UNSW class timetable. Read our Safe Return to Campus Guidance and FAQs for further information. 

  • You should access online teaching material remotely and participate by remote means. This is achievable for lectures and for many tutorials and discussions.
  • You can visit the IT website  or the transitioning to online learning website for more information on what programs to use and how to get set up for remote study. The IT website also hosts tips on how to set yourself up for online success.
  • If you do not have the technology needed to complete your classes online please contact the UNSW student and staff hotline - +61 2 9385 8500.
  • You must participate in your class at the specified time (Australian Eastern Standard Time – AEST) unless your Course Authority has advised that a class is not compulsory or has been recorded.  

  • Special Consideration will not be awarded on the grounds that you are in different time zone. 

Recognition of online studies by the Chinese Government

Chinese Government officials have confirmed that UNSW online courses will be recognised by the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE) if a student's study plan has been disrupted by COVID-19 and associated travel restrictions.

Recognition of online studies by the Indian Government

The Indian Ministry of Human Resources Development is yet to make a final decision on recognition of online studies via foreign higher education providers. The Australian Government is continuing to make representations to their Indian counterparts and the UNSW India Centre is similarly making representations to relevant agencies in New Delhi.

  • Affected students may defer or take program leave until Term 1 2021 depending on the availability of relevant programs and subjects. 

You may choose to defer the start of your study until 2021. 

Your COE will be cancelled and you will need to accept your new offer. Once you accept your new offer a new COE will be issued. 

You need both a valid COE and visa to enter Australia. Your student visa should stay in place.

Please check the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system for your visa end date, updated details and conditions.

Program leave is for continuing students.  

Program leave will be granted as compassionate and compelling so there should be no impact on your student visa. Your current Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) will be cancelled but a new one will be issued straight away. You can check your visa status through Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).  

We recommend that you also notify the Department of Home Affairs.

If you have questions about program leave and your COE and visa, please

You can find all current courses offerings in the UNSW Class Timetable.

The Class Timetable will be updated if a course is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. If you are registered for that class you will be notified automatically.

Yes – You will be asked for the details of your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) if you attend a doctor, medical centre or hospital.

Go here for more information on OSHC.

UNSW’s preferred OSHC provider is Medibank.

Visit our new UNSW Student Life Hub to stay connected and for further information on where to go for support and assistance. You can also contact our Student Support Advisors or International Student Advisors.

Arrangements for Higher Degree Research Candidates

Campus-dependent HDR research candidates can seek permission to be on-campus to continue their work via their Supervisor. Their supervisor will be required to make a formal request. More information on the process, guidance and mandatory training for being on-campus is here.

  • If you are a new candidate you may be able to defer your UNSW admission and scholarship (if applicable) offer to 2021. Please refer to the HDR calendar for term start dates and contact the Admissions & Scholarships Team  at or
  • If you are a current candidate, please contact the Candidature Management Officer for your Faculty to discuss circumstances.

If you wish to defer your scholarship offer to 2021, you will need to be considered in the November 2020 release scholarship round. Please contact the Admissions & Scholarships Team at or 

Term 3 enrolment begins as early as 3 August 2020, right up until 11 October 2020. More information about Term dates can be found here

If you are unable to conduct your research due to the current restrictions and travel bans, you should discuss the following with your supervisor: 

  • Is there any work that can continue while these restrictions are in place?  
  • Can the planned work be modified? 
  • Can the planned work be delayed? 
  • Is it possible to focus on writing? 

If you are unable to continue or modify your work, you should consider taking program leave. Alternatively, if you can continue at a reduced capacity, part time enrolment could be an option. Please see below for details on how to apply. 

Make sure that you document any ways that COVID-19 has impacted your progress, as this can be taken into account at a later stage when needed.  

If you wish to apply for Program Leave in Term 3 2020 you can do so via GRIS. The deadline to apply for program leave for Term 3 is 11 October 2020. For more information on Term dates, please visit the HDR Academic Calendar.  

Please be aware that your scholarship will be suspended while you’re on leave and you should not be working on your research during that time. If you have any questions about program leave, please contact the Candidature Management Officer for your Faculty

  • If you are a continuing candidate and you decide to take program leave, your Confirmation of Enrolment will remain active, which means there will be no impact on your student visa. You can check your visa status through Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).  
  • If you are currently located in Australia, it may be possible to remain in the country while on program leave for Term 1 2020. 
  • If you have questions about program leave and your Confirmation of Enrolment, please contact the Candidature Management Officer for your Faculty. 

If you are a domestic research candidate, you can apply for a change to part-time enrolment using GRIS. Student Visa Holders must be enrolled full-time.

However, under exceptional demonstrable circumstances such as serious medical issues or other situations beyond their control, an international candidate may be given approval to change to part-time attendance.  

Please note that if you are a scholarship holder, a change to part-time enrolment will have an impact on your stipend. Please contact your Candidature Management Officer for more information. 

Research Progress Reviews will be conducted online. More information will be provided to candidates with an upcoming review. Please contact your Postgraduate Coordinator to discuss the options available.  

COVID-19 Financial Relief for Students

UNSW understands that the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 has resulted in many of our students experiencing continued financial hardship. In response, we will be providing limited additional Financial Relief for Term 3 of up to $500 for those students impacted by the pandemic.

You should first complete and submit the online application form here. A student advisor will contact you within 14 working days after applications close (5pm Monday 9 November 2020). International Students must be in Australia to be eligible for COVID-19 Financial Relief.

Before starting your application, please ensure you have supporting documentation ready to submit. Any documentation provided will act as supporting evidence for what has been mentioned in your personal statement. This will need to include current bank statements showing all income and expenditure for the past 3 months, pay slips, termination of employment notices and/or rental receipts. The document/s you provide must clearly show your full name and where possible be from official sources.

If you have further questions or require other support you can contact


Financial Relief is available to students experiencing continued financial hardship as a result of the impacts of COVID-19. Term 3 applications close at 5pm on Monday 9 November 2020.

All applications will be assessed once applications have closed (5pm Monday 9 November 2020).

Application outcomes will be released between Monday 16 November and Friday 20 November 2020.

No. There is no obligation for you to repay any monies received under the COVID-19 Financial Relief program. 

You should check if you qualify for any government support that is available to students at this time. You will find information on the Services Australia website.

All current UNSW Students who reside in Australia are eligible to apply for Term 3 COVID-19 Financial Relief.

UNSW is providing one-off COVID-19 Financial Relief up to $500 to students who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If your application is successful, the actual amount you receive will be based on the financial need demonstrated in your application.

If you have further questions or require other support you can contact

Information for Future Students

While this is an uncertain time for us all, UNSW remains operational and dedicated to providing a world-class education for all our students.

We’ve transitioned all courses to online teaching and have migrated as many aspects of our campus community as possible into the virtual space.

Our plan is for all lectures to remain online for Term 3. Many other classes such as tutorials and practicals are being offered face-to-face in Term 3, with online provisions continuing to made for students who are unable to attend or who are apprehensive about returning to campus.

As a potential applicant or offer holder, this means you can commence your studies with us no matter where you are in the world and then join us on campus again when you are able to do so.

Take advantage of this time to get a head start on your studies – apply or accept your offer today.

We remain committed to enabling the best possible educational experience the circumstances allow and look forward to welcoming you into our amazing community soon.

For information on our plans to re-commence our campus activity visit our Safe Return to Campus page.

HSC exams are still going ahead as confirmed by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). The Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) have also confirmed that the ATAR will be calculated as usual this year. UNSW will proceed continue to admit students on the basis of their ATAR, UNSW provides a range of alternative admission pathways that students should consider if they believe that they may not achieve the ATAR for their dream degree. We will endeavor to continue providing support for students and parents over the coming months and should any changes be made to our admission requirements these will be communicated prior to the admissions period.

We understand many have been affected by the COVID-19 on different levels. In response to this, UAC has announced new Educational Access Scheme (EAS) disadvantage categories. Please visit the UAC website for more information on EAS categories of disadvantage and required documents.

Other adjustment factor schemes, such as HSC Plus, Gateway Scheme and Elite Athlete, Performers and Leaders program (EAPL) are still running so please review these as they may be relevant to you depending on what degree(s) you are applying for.

UNSW will be updating our EAPL Guide in the future to note changes in any changes in the assessment for activities that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A popular question has been in regard to an inability to complete the Gold Award in the Duke of Edinburgh. It has been approved that we will now be awarding 2 points for students who have completed the Silver Award and are currently taking the Gold Award but have been unable to finish this level due to COVID-19. Additionally, you may also be eligible for these points if you have completed 3 sections (Physical Recreation, Skills and Voluntary Service) of the Gold Award but could not complete the Gold Award in 2020 due to COVID19. In your EAPL application you will need to submit a written statement outlining how COVID-19 has impacted your ability to complete the activities involved the Gold Award and so forth.