Frequently asked questions

CECS students impacted by COVID-19 travel restriction FAQs

My COMP/ENGN Course is listed on ISIS as "in-person". Does this mean I can participate remotely?

CECS Courses will still be listed as ‘In Person’ on ISIS as the College is not creating separate instances of courses for student participating remotely during the travel ban. This means that you simply need to enrol in the course on ISIS as you normally would. 

We understand that some other Colleges (e.g. CBE) divided their courses into ‘online’ and ‘in person’ but this is not the case for most of the other Colleges. All CECS courses will remain as ‘in-person’.

Once the travel ban has been lifted you will be expected to return to the ANU to continue your semester on campus.


I am impacted by the Travel Restrictions and can't return to Australia in time for my Deferred/Supplementary Exam. What Should I do?

Students who have a deferred or supplementary exam that they are unable to attend will need to advise their CESC Case Manager as soon as possible. You will also need to let us know as so as you return to Australia.

For students who have one or more supplementary/deferred exams outcomes that are impacting your eligibility to graduate immediately, the College will work with you directly to try to facilitate alternate examination arrangements for COMP and ENGN Courses, where possible. Unfortunately exams for courses offered outside of CECS are at the discretion of the other College owners and therefore may not be able to be accommodated.

For students who are able to return to Australia during Semester 1, your CECS Case Manager will work with you and your Convener to facilitate a reschedule exam for you. This will likely be in Week 1 of Semester 2, 2020. 

There is no need for you to apply for a deferred exam. You have already been listed as a student who is affected by the travel ban. Once you are able to return to the ANU we can assist you with rescheduling.

My internet connection in my home country is not reliable and/or I cannot access ISIS/WATTLE/ANU Pages from home. Can I still participate remotely in my courses?

Unfortunately, remote participation in your ANU courses will require reliable internet speeds of at least 10 megabits/second and your will need to be able to access the university's Teaching and Learning platforms daily. If you believe your internet connection is not going to be suitable, the only remaining solution will be to defer your studies for a semester and return to campus in Semester 2, 2020. We understand that this is disappointing news for some students; however, it is not worth risking your academic performance if you are unable to access your course materials or participate in the online components of your course.

My internet connection meets the minimum 10 megabit/second connection requirement, but I need to be able to access the ANU system via a VPN. Where can I find more information on this?

You will be contacted by the university as soon as more information is available with regard to a VPN. Unfortunately, at this stage, the College does not have any further information on this.

I was removed from a COMP/ENGN Course that is not offered in the remote participation mode and have enrolled into an approved substitute but I'm hoping to be back on campus before the 10 March Deadline. Will I be able to re-enrol into my preferred course if I am back on campus in time?

Yes - If you are back on campus by the deadline, you will need to attend CECS Student Services in-person and we will manually amend your enrolment for you on the spot. You Convener will then assist you in catching up with content that you have missed. 
If you are back in Canberra after the deadline, unfortunately you will not be able to be transferred into the on-campus only course. 

What is the difference between "deferring/ program leave" and a Reduced Study Load?

If you defer your commencement (new students to the ANU) or take program leave (continuing students), you are effectively delaying your commencement/return by one semester. You will not have any course enrolment while you're on leave and you'll be returning to your studies in Semester 2, 2020. If you wish to apply to defer your commencement at ANU, please email If you decide to take program leave, please complete the ANU eForm on ISIS>Manage My Degree -

A Reduced Study Load is a process whereby an international student is approved to enrol in less that 24 units in a study period, due to exceptional, compassionate and compelling circumstances. If you are outside of Australia due to the travel restrictions, you will be approved to be enrolled in a reduced study load for Semester 1, 2020 - you simply need to contact your CECS Case Manager directly and advise that you wish to be approved for a Reduced Study Load. 
For international students who are already on-campus and wish to apply for a Reduced Study Load, you will need to follow the standard process of requesting this by completing the online request -


I planned to enrol into/complete my Computer Science Project course in Semester 1, 2020 but I am impacted by the travel restrictions and am unlikely to be able to return to Canberra until Semester 2. What are my options?

Please read through the very detailed information available on the CECS website and contact your CECS Case Manager directly -

I need to complete my Research Project, but I haven't been able to find a supervisor. What should I do?

It is your responsibility as an CECS student to identify a supervisor before you enrol into/ commence your project. If you've left it until the beginning of the Semester to identify a supervisor, this could impact on your ability to finalise project supervision before the Monday Week 2 deadline. To identify potential supervisors, you should review the CECS Research section of the website ( and search the Research Groups by the discipline that you're interested in to identify academic members of staff who are active in the area of research that you're hoping to complete a project in. You will need to contact these academic members of staff directly with a copy of your academic record and a brief introduction and project proposal and request a time to meet with them in person (or via Skype/Zoom) to discuss your project ideas and how this might align with the reasearch they are conducting. Keep in mind that the beginning of the Semester is an extremely busy time of year for academic staff, so you may not receive an immediate reply. If you have not heard back in 2-3 business days, you can follow up with another email or a phone call. 

General Student Services and experience FAQ's

What is an academic consultation?

An academic consultation is a one-on-one meeting with a CECS Student Adviser to provide assistance with:

  • Academic and/or personal support.
  • Advice on your current or future enrolments (including major/minor/specialisations).
  • Study/coping issues or if you are at risk of failing your current enrolments.
  • Advice on applying for a deferred or special examination.
  • Enrolling into a course for a second/third time.
  • Dropping a course after the census date.
  • Advice on Program Leave or Program Withdrawal.
  • Advice on transferring degrees into a CECS program. 
  • Advice on cross-institutional study (for instance, studying at another Australian university and counting the results towards your ANU program).


How can I book an academic consultation?

Students can book an appointment to meet with a CECS Academic Adviser through our online booking system. Please note that Student Services is typically booked out in Orientation Week and Week 1 of the semester, due to student induction activities and events.

Alternatively, if you would like us to confirm that you are on track with your enrolments and graduation you can complete an online CECS degree health check request. 


When is CECS Student Services open?

We are open Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm (excluding public holidays).

The CECS Student Services office counter is located at: Level 2, CSIT Building #108, North Road.

What are the important Semester Dates I need to be aware of?

Last day to enrol in a course - Monday of Week 2
Census Date: 31 March (Semester 1) or 31 August (Semester 2) - Drop courses without academic or financial penalty
Last day to drop courses without academic penalty - Friday 10 May (Semester 1) or Friday 4 October (Semester 2)
Exam Periods: Thursday 6 June - Saturday 22 June (inclusive) and Thursday 31 October - Saturday 16 November (inclusive)

For more key dates, please see the University Calendar.
How do I get a permission code for a course?

Students are required to complete our online Permission Code request form in order to be considered for permission to enrol in a course without meeting the prerequisite. We process all requests in date order and endeavour to provide outcomes to students within 5 business days via email. Please do not send multiple forms for the same course or follow up via email before 5 business days have lapsed - answering these enquiries impacts on our ability to quickly assess and provide decisions to our students. 
How to I check my class times for the semester?
Check the ANU Timetable for more information: ANU timetabling
Where can I find information about applying for course credit for exemption? 
If you have previous studies or professional experience that is relevant to your degree, you can request to receive course credit or exemption based on your prior learning.

For important information, deadlines and application requirements visit: Claiming course credit or exemption

I'd like to complete some courses outside of ANU towards my ANU Degree. Can I apply for Cross-Institutional Study?

Cross Institutional Study is where a student undertakes a course (or courses) at one institute (the host provider) while formally enrolled for an award at another institution as part of a program of that institution (the home provider) with an arrangement for recognition of study by both institutions. CECS has very strict criteria that students must address and satisfy before they will be approved to take a course offered by another institution and count it towards their ANU Program. Please read the information on the CECS website about cross-institutional study carefully before submitting your request, as incomplete requests will be automatically rejected. 
I've been approved for Exchange! How do I get my course selection approved by CECS?

In the semester before your departure for exchange, you will need to identify a range of courses offered by your host university and have them approved by CECS (and/or your other ANU College, if you're in a double degree). Please ensure you leave at least 4 weeks for the College to review your course requests to ensure you do not miss any hard deadlines enforced by the ANU Global Programs Team. If you do not leave enough time for course approvals, you may miss out on going on exchange. 
When requesting approval of your courses, please follow the steps below to finalise your exchange:

  1. Draft a Study Plan for the remainder of your degree. The study plan will need to show how you intend to incorporate your exchange courses into your ANU Program requirements.
  2. Email your intended Host University courses to us. In this email, please include your exchange course codes, units/credit/ECTS, links to the online course outline and also indicate how you would like this counted towards your degree (e.g. ME313 to count towards ENGN3212). We strongly encourage students to select more courses than required for up-front approval so you've got back-up options if you get to your host university and find some courses are already full. 

Please ensure you are aware of the agreed credit equivalencies with the Host University and ANU. This information can be found by searching for the Host University here: Once your courses are approved, you will be sent an official CECS Exchange Approval Letter.

For the double degree students, please follow step 2 if you are considering counting some of your exchange study towards your CECS degree. If you do not intend to do any CECS courses, we still encourage you to prepare a CECS courses list as a back-up plan for any expected enrolment issue with the host university.

  1. Complete an Enrolment Change Form (attached) for COMP5920 or ENGN5920. This allows us to manually enrol you in ENGN5920/COMP5920 Exchange Program for Engineering/Computer Science. 
When are Semester One results released?

Semester One results are released to students, via ISIS, at the end of June (note that the date changes slightly from year to year).  To ensure you are able to see your results when they are released, please ensure any outstanding fees and charges (e.g. SAF Fees, library fines, parking fines, etc.) have been paid.


When will Semester One supplementary and deferred exams be held?

Deferred and Supplementary exams are scheduled to be held in the first week of Semester 2. Students with a result of PX or DA are eligible to sit a supplementary or deferred examination.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are back on campus by no later than Monday of Week 1 to sit your supplementary exams. Holiday/travel plans are not considered by the university as grounds for a Deferred or Special exam request.

More information: Exams and assessment


I failed a course this semester, what should I do?

Please make an appointment with Student Services to see a Student Adviser to discuss your options.

More information: I have failed a course


How do I appeal a final grade?

You should approach your course convener if you have queries or concerns regarding your result in a course. If you believe there may have been an error in the calculation of your final result or you are requesting a re-mark of your final exam, you will need to submit the request in writing to the Convener (email is sufficient) and clearly outline the grounds for the request. If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome, you may lodge a formal appeal to be considered by the Associate Dean of the College where the course is taught. 

For more information please see: Assessment appeals 


Can I arrange to view my exam paper?
You will need to contact your Course Conveners directly for information on their exam paper review schedule. Reviewing your exams paper is an opportunity to check what you got right but also where there is room for improvement. You are not permitted to take notes or photos while viewing the exam paper.

More information: Exams and assessment


Am I eligible to graduate this semester?

Visit the Graduation Office website for more information: Eligibility to graduate

If you would like Student Services to review your eligibility to graduate in your final year, please complete the CECS Degree health check request


I need a Completion Letter. Where can I get one?
If you require proof that you have completed your award prior to graduation, you can request a letter of completion from CECS Student Services. Please note however, that these letters may take up to 5 business days to complete. You will need to provide us with your ANU Student Id, an explanation of why this document is required and any specific details you need the letter to cover (e.g. you were the recipient of X Scholarship between 2015-2017, etc.). Letters can be sent to you via email or can be collected from the Student Services Office.


HDR travel exemption FAQ


Under what circumstances will the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs grant travel exemptions to HDR students?

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force has released guidelines on decision making about individual exemptions from Australia's inwards travel restriction policy, available on the Department of Home Affiars website.

Specific reference to students is made in items 1.2 and 1.4:

1.2 Students who are in their final two years of study of a medical, dental, nursing or Allied Health Profession university degree, where they have evidence of a confirmed placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice which commences within the next two months.

1.4 People who are enrolled in an Australian education institution as a PhD research student, regardless of the visa type held. Any request from a PhD research student should include evidence of support from a relevant Government agency outlining why the research is considered essential and in Australia’s national interest and how their role is critical to the research.

What documents are required to apply for a travel exemption to the Department of Home Affairs?

To complete a travel exemption request the applicants should hold a visa, or have applied for a visa, and provide information and documents to support your request. Requests may be finalised without further consideration if insufficient evidence is provided. This may include the following:

  • proof of identity.
  • evidence that you hold a valid visa.
  • travel itinerary.
  • marriage, birth, death certificate/s.
  • proof of relationship or residence (such as a shared tenancy agreement, joint bank account etc.).
  • letter from a doctor or hospital, indicating why travel is necessary.
  • letter from an employer indicating why travel is necessary.
  • supporting letter from a business or government agency, advising why your skills are critical.
  • statutory declaration to support your claims.

Obtaining a travel exemption does not guarantee you will be able to get a flight to Australia at this time.

Make only one request per person. Duplicate requests will delay assessment.

How will ANU support students who choose to apply for an exemption?

ANU is not a government agency.

Candidates seeking an exemption will need to seek support from an Australian government agency (for example, Australian Research Council (ARC)). Candidates should seek a letter of support from the government agency directly - except for ARC and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Candidates must contact their local Research Management team to request a letter of support on their behalf. 

Candidates must seek support from an Australian government agency before applying to the ANU for a letter of support.

Candidates (or supervisors) should then forward the following information and documents to the Office of the Dean HDR for approval: 

  • candidate's name and ANUID
  • letter of support from the local area (School / College) indicating:
    1. the nature of research
    2. why it is of national interest, and
    3. why the PhD candidates' role is essential.
  • letter of support from Government Agency.

Enquiries and letter of support requests should be directed in the first instance to the Dean HDR at

How do I obtain a letter of support from the local area (School / College)?

Candidates seeking a letter of support from CECS should contact their Primary Supervisor.

Primary Supervisors should complete and forward the CECS letter of support for travel exemption template (PDF) to the relevant School Director for consideration. The School Director will make an assessment, and if applicable, provide a letter of support to the Primary Supervisor and candidate.

When should students apply for a travel exemption?

Candidates need to apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than two months, before the planned travel.

How long does it take to receive an outcome for a travel exemption request?

The Department of Home Affairs advises that most travel exemption requests are finalised within seven (7) days. Complex requests may take longer. Make only one request per person. Duplicate requests will delay assessment.

Where do I find more information about travel restrictions and exemptions, including how to apply?


Updated:  10 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing