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Deferral Undergraduate

Making the decision to defer your course is an important one. To ensure that you are fully informed about your decision, all students are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the information here, in the deferral policy or to contact a member the Retention & Student Engagement team before formalising their decision.

There are many reasons why students may need or wish to take time away from the Institute. There may be personal or medical issues interfering with their studies; opportunities for professional experience; family commitments; or the desire to just take a break.

The Team are available to talk with you about your situation, and to guide you through the process of taking time away/deferring your place, and returning. Before leaving the Institute, you should have a clear understanding of what is required before returning and of the financial implications (fee and grant implications) there may be from deferring your place. 

If you are in recipt of a grant and you decide to defer you must notify SUSI of your decision. 

Applying for a deferral

You must formally apply to defer your place by filling out and returning the deferral form below.
Comprehensive information about Deferral & Deregistration can be found in the undergraduate policy for deregistration and deferral link below.

 DA1 Deferral Application Form 2018-19  

  Undergraduate Policy for Deregistration and Deferral (page 26)

Please return completed forms to:

By post: Registration, WIT, Cork Road, Waterford

By e-mail to [email protected] 

In person: Reception 

We advise that you keep a copy of your application form and supporting documentation for your records. 

Deferral means that a student applies to defer or postpone his/her programme or an element of it. Deferrals may be applied for as follows:

1. Deferring a 1st year place (CAO):

A place may be deferred prior to the beiginning of a course, when a student is offered a place on a 1st  year programme through the CAO, but is not in a position to take the place due to unforeseen and exceptional medical, financial, or family reasons. Deferral of a 1st year place through CAO is ordinarily only valid for one year, after which time a new application must be made through the CAO.

2. Deferring a continuing or add-on year:

A student may apply to defer prior to the beginning of a continuing or add on year of a programme if at the start of continuing year a student finds that he/she is unable to continue his/her studies for the same reasons outlined above. Consecutive deferral of a continuing or add-on year may only occur for three years subject to meeting the requirements of the Deferral policy. This ruling may not apply to deferral applicants in the Nursing Department as there is a maximum time in which all Nursing Programmes must be completed, please see Nursing course documents for complete guidelines.

3. Deferring an examination/s (Mitigating Circumstances):

This occurs when a student is unable to complete an examination/s during the course of an exam session due to mitigating circumstances. A student will only be able to claim mitigating circumstances if he/she submits the relevant documentary evidence (e.g. medical certificate) through their relevant School Office to the Examination Board for the particular examination session in which the circumstances apply.

Claims submitted after the Examination Board has met and after the results have been published will not be considered. The decision on this deferral lies with the Examination Board. It applies to the deferral of exams only. It can postpone the opportunity to sit the exam. It is not an entitlement to re-attend and avail of tuition free of charge in the following academic year. Students in this category cannot apply for a fee review as outlined under compassionate and compelling circumstances. This is not a means of avoiding the payment of fees.

4. Deferral of a place during an academic year:

When a student at some point during the academic year finds that he/she is unable to continue his/her studies due to unforeseen circumstances an application in writing to the Registrar requesting to defer a place must be made. The letter must outline the reasons for this request. In addition the student must complete the application form, Form DA1, available from Reception, the Retention & Student Engagement Office, or on-line.

  • A student must apply in writing for a deferral of a place to the Registrar stating reasons for the request, and complete the deferral application form, Form DA1, available from Registry.

  • A student has not withdrawn or deferred their place on a programme in WIT until all related processes as outlined below have been completed. It is important to note that discussion with a member of academic staff is not sufficient/or the equivalent of deferring your place.

  • The student is notified of the outcome in writing by Registry (registration section) and advised that a fee will be incurred on return to college. The student will also be notified of the option to apply for a review of this fee in the case of compassionate and compelling circumstances and are advised to inform the grant authority if they are in receipt of a maintenance grant.

  • Application forms for a fee review in compassionate and compelling circumstances, Form FR1, are available from the Registry.

  • Notification of deferrals are sent to relevant heads of department, the International Office where relevant and the Immigration Authorities.

  • The student must return the application form within a month. The application must include supporting evidence. No applications will be considered after April 30th in year of application.

  • If additional information to support the application is required the student is contacted by the Academic Affairs section of the Registry.

  • A relevant history is printed from the student record system by Academic Affairs -previous examination results, grant information, current fee status and registration information.

  • The Deferral Review Committee meets in June to review applications and evidence and a recommendation is made. It may be necessary for a student to be interviewed by representatives of this committee.

  • This committee also recommends the appropriate fee and registration codes to be applied to the student record for the current and returning academic year. All decisions are recorded on Form FR1.

  • Notification of the Committee’s decision in order to amend the student record is sent by academic affairs to the registration section in Registry. The audit section of Form FR1 must be completed.

  • The student is notified of the decision in writing by Registry and the student record is amended.

Ordinarily students are responsible for the payment of fees following a deferral, including the payment of any outstanding balance the student may have. However in some instances a student defers a place due to unforeseen circumstances. These compassionate and compelling circumstances are circumstances which are generally beyond the control of the student and have had an impact on the student’s academic progress and/or wellbeing.

Compelling Circumstances could include:

i.   Serious medical condition or injury

ii.  Bereavement of close family members such as parents or siblings or guardians

iii. A traumatic experience which could include but is not limited to:

a) Personal involvement in or witnessing of a serious accident or crime
b) A serious crime committed against the person

When a deferral is granted students will be liable for full or partial fees when they return to their programme. An application for a fee review is made independent of the deferral application. In the cases of 1, 2 and 4 under "Guidelines" the student receives written confirmation by the Registrar of the deferral. However, in the case of deferral of a place during an academic year,  the letter also informs the student of the process of making an application for a fee review under compassionate and compelling circumstances.

Applications made under compassionate and compelling circumstances are reviewed by the Deferral Review Committee consisting of nominees from Registry and the Finance Office.

For making such an application Form FR1 will be enclosed with the confirmation of deferral letter. The student establishes compelling and compassionate circumstances by attaching evidence of them to this form.

For example:

i. Medical certificates provided as evidence must:

a) Must be issued by a registered consultant;
b) State that the student has “a medical condition and is unfit for class”;
c) State the length of time the student is unfit for class;
d) Include the doctor’s contact details.

ii. Death and birth certificates included must be certified.

iii. Evidence of a traumatic incident must include a police report, or a psychologist’s letter/report, or a report/letter issued by a suitably qualified professional. The psychologist’s report/letter must:

a) Be issued by a registered psychologist;
b) Include the psychologist’s contact details;
c) All certified evidence must be translated into English by a certified translator.

Decisions can only be made when all documentation has been reviewed. A student who defers a place on a programme is not entitled to a refund for that year and will be liable for any increase in fee the following year.

Normally, deferrals are not available to taught Postgraduate students. Please see the Deregistration and Deferral Policy for Postgraduate students below.

Ordinarily a student who withdraws from a programme is liable for fees. Fees are incurred on the student’s return following a deferral of a programme or any element of it, which was granted during the previous academic year.

The fees incurred relate to the student having received tuition, having had access to Institute facilities and whether the Institute has already drawn down tuition funding from the Higher Education Authority (HEA).

In the case of International students who are in WIT on a study visa, via the International Office, if a student has applied for a deferral, the student must satisfy the requirements of the Immigration Authorities in Ireland as outlined by the Waterford Immigration Office.

The granting of a deferral is an academic issue subject to academic regulations. These matters are the responsibility of the Registrar.

  De-registration and Deferral Policy for Postgraduate (page 27)