Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

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

How can you fit 12 weeks of content into 10?

We are reviewing and revising the entire curriculum. The intention is that all the best courses will be reconfigured and upgraded to fit in the 10 week terms. If necessary, new courses will be created and some obsolete courses will be discontinued. In parallel with the new calendar a number of innovative on-line courses are being developed through the Inspired Learning initiative to UNSW3+ provide even greater flexibility and personalisation of learning.

When will I know what my 2019 will look like?

The UNSW3+ academic calendar will commence in 2019. The processes and procedures needed to implement the change will need to be worked through in the 2017 and 2018. The groundwork for implementation of UNSW3+ will begin in 2017. For students who will still be studying in 2019, transition plans will be provided before 2018 enrolment.

Will UNSW3+ delay my degree completion?

Depending on number of courses that you need to complete in 2019, degree completion may be delayed by 10 weeks. 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. Current calendar - Finishes in:

  • Semester 1: 20 weeks from last exam to graduation ceremony
  • Semester 2: 25 weeks from last exam to graduation ceremony


  • 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*

Number of weeks correct as of February 2017.

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 calendar. Examinations are being reassessed. Faculty academics are looking at types of assessment, marking timeframes, etc.

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.

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 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.

Is UNSW3+ the same as the new UTS calendar?

The UTS Model is eight courses over two normal terms of 11 weeks each, with an extended, optional 11 week Summer term that runs over the Christmas period. UNSW3+ is eight courses over three normal ten-week terms, where students can vary the number of courses they take over the three terms – for example, a student may want to do three courses in each term, or they may only want to do two (or one) in term three – this is where the UNSW3+ model is flexible. But a ‘normal’ load remains eight subjects a year as it is now.


Further questions?

If you have further questions please contact us.