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Athabasca University


Due to Covid-19, Athabasca University has temporarily changed some student processes. Please refer to the Covid Q&A page for any updates and current steps that may be different from our regular practices.

3.6.6 Grouped Study Courses

Grouped study courses are those courses taken by students together in either a classroom (usually at a collaborating institution) or in an online environment with common deadlines for completion of course activities. Students progress through the course at the same pace. Because grouped study courses follow a set time frame, extensions are not allowed.

Not all courses identified as grouped study in the syllabi are available every year. It is important that you check to confirm the course is available at a specific location.

To determine whether there is a grouped study course available to you, or for more information about partnership courses, degrees, and transfer credit, please refer to the following websites: Maximum Course Load

Students may be actively registered in one to six courses at a time. To ensure that you do not overburden yourself, AU limits your course load to a maximum of six active registrations at a time. Collaborating institutions may have additional limits to course load that you must also follow. Registration Process – Grouped Study

Once you are admitted to AU and you have received your student ID number, you may register in courses. When you have selected a grouped study course, ensure that it is available in grouped study, by viewing the available delivery modes in the online course syllabus, or by visiting the Classroom-based Study (Grouped Study) page. Also ensure you have the required prerequisites.

You will register in person at the partner institution that offers the AU course or use the grouped study course registration form specific to the institution at which the course is being offered. Registration Deadlines

Year-round registration is not available for grouped study courses. Because of scheduling restrictions, the courses are generally offered at selected sites and times. Course availability is dependent upon the number of registrations. Courses offered at another institution may have different fees and regulations. Please consult the collaborating institution that offers the course. Grouped Study Contract Periods/Dates

Each grouped study course has a specific course contract start date and end date. The contract period is usually two, four, or six months in length and is determined before the beginning of the course. The exam date is shared with students within the first week of classes. Course extensions are not available for grouped study courses. Course Materials

The payment of course registration fees entitles you to receive most of your grouped study course materials. Course materials include, but are not limited to, textbooks, student manuals, study guides, instructor assistance where provided, access to online materials and other instructional materials required to complete the course for the period of active registration. Additional lab fees may be required for some Faculty of Science courses. You may be required to pay for additional small items such as binders, calculators, home lab materials and so on.

Some AU courses introduce students to a more specialized course in the same field. These courses often reference the same textbook. Please retain the textbook from the previous course as a duplicate textbook will not be distributed.

Your course package will include various course materials that are identified in the online course syllabus. In some courses, the course materials are available entirely online. In others, the resources may be a combination of offline materials such as hard copy textbook(s), CDs, and/or DVDs, and the balance of the course is accessed online. And in others, the entire course materials package is print-based and in provided to grouped study students on the first day of class. Course Extensions – Grouped Study

Students registered in grouped study courses are not eligible to extend their original course contract period. Course Withdrawal – Grouped Study

You may withdraw from a grouped study course before your course contract period expires. In order to meet specific academic record and refund criteria, however, you must adhere to specific timelines described in this section. You cannot withdraw from a grouped study course after your contract end date, once the final exam has been written (or if all course work has been submitted for marking, for courses that do not have a final exam requirement), or during disciplinary proceedings. If that the conclusion of the proceedings it has been decided not to proceed with a charge of Academic Misconduct or Non-Academic Misconduct, and the student wishes to withdraw from a course or program, the withdrawal may be backdated to the date the proceedings were initiated, at the request of the student.

a. Impact of Course Withdrawal

Withdrawal time frames have an impact on your academic record. If you withdraw:

  1. prior to and up to 15 days after the course contract start date: The course will not appear on the transcript. You will receive a refund of course fees paid, less the Course Withdrawal Processing Fee and the Course Materials Fee (unless the materials are returned as per the Course Materials Returns and Refund Policy).
  2. after 15 days and on or before the course contract end date: Your transcript will indicate a “W” (Withdrawal) and credit will not be awarded for the course. No refunds will be given.
  3. after the course contract end date: You cannot withdraw after the course contract end date. If no course work has been completed, a grade of “F” (Failure) will be assigned and recorded on the transcript. No refunds will be given.

Nursing students: Students in a Nursing Practicum course are allowed to withdraw during the theory component of their professional practice course provided they have not started their clinical placement. Normally no refunds will be given to students for Nursing Practicum courses. Withdrawal requests during the clinical placement are not allowed unless approved by the Faculty of Health Disciplines Program Director, Undergraduate Programs.

  1. prior to the first scheduled clinical day: Your transcript will indicate "W" (Withdrawal) and no credit will be awarded for the course. No refunds will be given.
  2. on or after the first clinical day: You must first discuss your withdrawal request with the Program Director, Undergraduate Programs. If the withdrawal request is accepted, typically a grade of "U" (Fail in a pass/fail grade mode) will be assigned and noted on the transcript and no credit will be awarded for the course. No refunds will be given.

b. Procedure

All requests to withdraw from a grouped study course must be made by completing and submitting Grouped Study Course Withdrawal Request Form in writing to the Office of the Registrar, unless withdrawing from a Nursing Practicum Course, which is outline below.

The date you withdraw from your course will be the postmark on the envelope, the date the emailed submission is received, or the University date stamp if the form is hand-delivered or faxed (780.675.6174).

Withdrawal from a Nursing Practicum course:

Students must submit the Grouped Study Course Withdrawal Request Form to the Faculty of Health Disciplines Program Director, Undergraduate Programs, and discuss the reasons for requesting the withdrawal.

The Program Director will notify the student in writing of the centre's decision regarding the registration status and grade to be assigned.

In instances of disciplinary proceedings, withdrawal requests will only be accepted and processed as allowed under the Student Academic Misconduct Policy and the Non-Academic Misconduct Policy.


All appeals to undergraduate course withdrawals and refunds must be made using the Office of the Registrar Online Appeals Form. The Appeals Officer, designated by the Registrar, has the final decision-making authority on all appeals to this policy.

If the Appeals Officer has received an appeal in error, it will be redirected accordingly. All decisions will be communicated in writing to the appellant. Re-Registration – Grouped Study

At Athabasca University, students are permitted one registration and one re-registration in each course. You may re-register in an undergraduate course provided you are eligible to register in the current revision of the course and that you have not previously re-registered in the course. You cannot re-register in a course that has been temporarily or permanently closed.

Students in grouped study courses cannot carry forward coursework when they are re-registering.

a. Procedure

  1. You must re-register in the current revision of the course. Contact AU and determine whether the current revision of the course has changed since your original registration. If the current revision has changed from your original registration, you will be required to pay the course materials fee.
  2. Complete the undergraduate course registration process using one of the following methods:
    • online (also available via print PDF)
    • complete and submit the Undergraduate Course Registration Form. Fax: 1.780.675.6174 or mail.
    • c. in person at the Athabasca, Edmonton, or Calgary offices.


Information effective Sept. 1, 2020 to Aug. 31, 2021.

Updated April 08 2021 by laurab

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