Your study, your way

Take advantage of the different options available to fit study in with your life and other commitments.

Regardless of whether you’re an undergraduate or postgraduate student, studying full-time or part-time, online or on campus, you’re in charge of how you study.

Study full-time or part-time

Course completion is on a credit point basis and units generally have a value of 3 credit points.

Your full-time or part-time study options will depend on the course you’re studying, prerequisites and unit availability. It’s important to check the teaching timetable when planning your unit enrolment.


A full-time study load is the quickest way to finish your degree. A standard full-time study load is normally 12 credit points in each semester (or 24 credit points in each academic year) and the average workload is 40 hours per week. This includes any lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes, as well as personal reading and assessments required for the unit.


Need more flexibility? Part-time study might be an option. You may also be able to change between full-time and part-time study during your course if your circumstances change.


External agencies such as Centrelink and Transperth have their own definitions of full and part-time. If your enrolment is below 9 credit points at any stage in the semester, you might not be eligible for Centrelink or Transperth concessions.

International students

If you’re studying under a student visa, you need to complete your course within the Confirmation of Enrolment and visa length. To be classed as full-time, you must be enrolled in at least 12 credit points in a semester.

If your enrolment is below 12 credit points you must contact Student Central as you might not be satisfying the conditions in your student visa. You can only apply for approved reduced study in certain circumstances.

Study online

Many courses give you the option to do some of your study online using materials such as lecture recordings. If coming onto campus isn’t always convenient for you, you can complete some units and even some whole degrees online. Learn more about our flexible attendance modes.

Semesters and trimesters

The academic year is usually divided into two halves (called semesters) for most of our courses:

  • Semester One: beginning mid-February
  • Semester Two: beginning late-July.

Some units may also be available in the summer and winter semester breaks. This means you could study all year round to complete your degree sooner.

For selected courses, the teaching year is split into three parts (called trimesters), allowing you to compete more units over the course of the year:

  • Trimester One: beginning mid-January
  • Trimester Two: beginning mid-May
  • Trimester Three: beginner late-August.

Courses with a trimester teaching calendar can usually be completed in two years, rather than three.

Search the course finder to see when your course runs.

Postgraduate students

In addition to part-time and online study options, you can take your postgraduate study at a pace that suits you. If you don’t want to complete a full masters or PhD qualification straightaway, you can earn a series of industry-recognised qualifications, such as a certificate or diploma, along the way.

Intensive contact periods can be another option available to you as a postgraduate student. These units run over a standard teaching period, such as a semester or trimester, but the contact hours are concentrated into an intensive window such as a weekend or condensed into several days. They give you the benefit of on-campus interaction with other students from your class, while having less contact days.