young man with dreadlocks sitting in front of a roller door

Application for Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty

Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty can also be called ‘Backdated Withdrawal’ and a topic we get asked about a lot, so let’s jump into the details!

This is not to be confused with the ‘Last day to withdraw without academic penalty’ date that you will find on the calendar. This date is your last chance to drop a unit without it resulting in a Fail grade. You find all the important dates for the trimester here.

If your application for Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty is approved, you will receive a Withdrawn (W) grade on your transcript instead of a Fail grade.

When Can You Apply?

If you withdrew after the academic penalty date and received an academic penalty, or you did not withdraw but still received an academic penalty, for example, a Fail Incomplete, you may be able to apply.

Your application must be based on a situation that was beyond your control, or unavoidable that affected your performance in your unit.

How To Apply

Unlike Remission of Fees there is no deadline to apply for a Backdated Withdrawal. You submit your application via AskUNE with the subject ‘Application for Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty’.

Your application needs to include:

  • A personal statement
  • Documentation

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should explain your special circumstances and how they affected your ability to complete the unit.

Special circumstances are those which are medical or health-related, personal or familial, or employment- or work-related. For detailed examples of special circumstances please check this out.


Your application requires documentation to be assessed. The documentation should directly relate to your personal statement. The documentation needed will depend on your individual circumstances.

Independent documentation, like a doctor’s certificate, is preferred and helps verify your circumstances. However, if you are unable to provide any independent documentation you can supply a statutory declaration.

We know that this can be a little overwhelming, however, we have Specialist Education Advocates who have experience helping students present the best case for Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty – so if you need, please reach out! 

If you need help writing your application or understanding what documentation may be useful,
please contact our team.