Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find answers to frequently asked questions about the new UNSW3+ Academic Calendar.

When will I know what my 2019 will look like?

Course information can be found in the UNSW Handbook

How many courses can I take per term?

Students can take up to three courses per term. Students wishing to complete more than three courses in a term must apply to their program authority to overload. Standard overloading rules apply. 

What study load will give me full-time status?

In 2019, the normal study load will be 8 courses spread over three terms, with an option of completing 9 courses (three per term).

Domestic students wishing to be considered full-time need to enrol in a minimum of 12 Units of Credit (UoC) each term, or 36 UoC across three standard terms with at least one course enrolment in each term. The three terms must be standard terms (not summer), and one course enrolment must be at least one UoC. A number of course combinations will enable you to remain eligible to retain full-time status for the duration of the year or only in certain terms if you need more time for internships, volunteering or other extra-curricular activities. Further information and a full time status tool an be found here.

How is enrolment changing?

UNSW has moved to annual enrolment which allows students to select their courses for the academic year ahead. The selection of class times will open approximately 10 weeks before each term for students to confirm their class selection. It is possible for students to change the details of their course enrolment before the teaching session starts, so students should enrol in a full year of courses even if they aren't sure about their schedule.  

Will UNSW3+ delay my degree completion?

Depending on the number of courses that you need to complete in 2019, degree completion may be delayed by one term. We will be looking at how courses can be delivered (online/intensive/Summer Term) to ensure that the number of students impacted will be kept to a minimum.

Will UNSW3+ delay my graduation ceremony?

No. The UNSW3+ academic calendar will allow for three graduation periods per year reducing the time to graduate. Graduations will be held in:

  • Term 1: 13 weeks from last exam to graduation ceremony
  • Term 2: 13 weeks from last exam to graduation ceremony
  • Term 3: 20 weeks from last exam to graduation ceremony

What is happening with courses?

Academics across UNSW are reallocating the content of their courses into the new 10-week terms. Courses are currently being audited to ensure learning outcomes are achieved within the 10-week teaching term. In parallel with the new calendar a number of innovative on-line courses are being developed through the Inspired Learning Initiative to provide even greater flexibility and personalisation of learning.

How will exams work?

There will be a two-week exam period per term. However, students will be sitting a maximum of three exams, compared to four under the current two semester calendar. 

Will my fees increase?

Course fees will not change due to UNSW3+.

Am I still eligible for my benefits?

It will not be more difficult to access Centrelink under the new calendar.

To retain full-time student status for the purposes of Centrelink, Austudy or other government support, students would need to be enrolled in at least six subjects per year, as is the case under the current semester calendar. Students would need to enrol in at least one subject in each of the three normal term.

Will my support payments from Centrelink change?

Students will receive exactly the same amount of support from Centrelink as they currently do to support their purchase of resources. Payments will however still be made twice a year so students will be required to budget across the course requirements of the new calendar.

Will I still be able to get an Opal concession?

Students' eligibility for transport concessions will remain the same and be based on their status as a full-time or part-time student. 

When are the breaks?

The length of the summer holiday for students will be 9 weeks.  Mid-year breaks will be two blocks of two weeks at the end of each term. 

When will summer 2018-2019 term course information be available?

Course offerings for summer 2018-2019 will be released mid-August and can be found at

Are my internship opportunities affected because of the shorter Summer? 

Students who choose to take up to nine courses per year will create space in their degree to use a term for an internship without delaying graduation. Students would complete a preparatory course, short intensive course or online course during this term and hence be able to retain their student benefits.

Students taking an internship during Term 1, Term 2 or Term 3 will face less competition for internship places against other Australian university students who don’t have the flexibility to take an internship outside of summer.

Part of our two year rollout is to talk with employers about having internships at other times of the year, i.e. not over Christmas when Australian based business are very quiet for a month. Initial discussions have been very positive.

Will the new calendar negatively affect those students who have a disability or mental health issues? 

The new calendar will enable many areas within the university to better adapt to the needs of disadvantaged groups.

The success of UNSW depends on the health and wellbeing of our students and staff. As such we will continue to actively support a healthy work-life balance, and are committed to the ongoing promotion of good health and wellbeing of the University community.

Am I going to feel more stressed under the new calendar?

Courses will be adjusted to fit 10 teaching-week terms, with a similar number of contact hours for each course over the term as there is currently. However with a maximum of three courses to study each term instead of four, students will have more time to devote to each course, improving the depth of understanding and learning.

The new calendar will give students the flexibility to spread their study load over more of the year and the opportunity to achieve a better study/life balance.

What do you need to do?

If you have any questions about UNSW3+ or the next steps you need to take please contact us


Further questions?

If you have further questions please contact us.