To complete an award course, you need to pass the right number of units for your course structure – and gain the credits points needed for your course completion requirements.

Your study load is determined by your total unit credit points. Most courses require you to take a certain number of subjects every semester to make up your designated full-time or part-time study load.

You can apply to change your study load for either of the following:

  • reduce your load (International students only)
  • increase your load (called 'overload').

Applications will only be granted in some circumstances.

Equivalent full-time study load (EFTSL) & credit points

Equivalent full-time study load (EFTSL) is one of the measurements used to calculate your student contribution.

At Victoria University, 0.125 EFTSL is equivalent to 12 Credit Points (CP).

The normal full-time study load for undergraduate and postgraduate courses is the equivalent of 48 CP or 0.5 EFTSL in each half year (first half-year is January to June; second half-year is July to December), or a maximum of 96 CP/1 EFTSL per year.

Most units of study are calculated at 12CP – but in some disciplines, a unit of study can be greater, e.g. 24 CP, or 36 CP or even 48 CP.

To complete your course, you need to pass a set number of credit points. Check your course outline for more information.

Study load requirements

Domestic students

Domestic students on Austudy and/or Youth Allowance must maintain a full study load.

In most cases, you must be enrolled in an equivalent full time study load of 0.375 EFTSL / (36 Credit Points) or higher to be eligible for payment.

Check out the Department of Human Services website for more detailed information on what is considered a full-time study load.

International students

International students on student visas are required to complete their course by the end date of their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). To achieve this, a standard study load of 48 credit points must be maintained in each half year.

A reduced study load application will only be approved in exceptional circumstances, where you:

  • meet the acceptable RSL reason criteria
  • seek authorisation/signature from your College (recommending the RSL)
  • submit a completed and signed Reduced Study Load Application form, and attach:
    • a new Study Plan
    • copies or originals of official evidence to support your application.

Students who don't maintain a full-time study load and haven't been granted a reduced study load will not be approved for a CoE extension.

Reduce your study load (International students)

A reduced study load is any load with less than 48 CP per half-year or 96 CP per year (including compulsory and voluntary study periods).

There are some acceptable reasons for reducing the study load during your studies.

  • You have failed a pre- or co-requisite unit and cannot enrol in the required 48 CP in the current study period, or have repeatedly failed a unit(s) and it is disrupting your study plan progress; or
  • The College has decided not to run certain units; or
  • You have changed your major and not all units are available in a particular study period; or
  • Limited core units are available in your major area of study

Evidence required: Letter or email from the College.

The University has identified you as making unsatisfactory academic progress.

Your progress is unsatisfactory if you:

  • fail 50% or more of the units you were enrolled in for the study period
  • fail the same unit more than once.

If you have been identified as making unsatisfactory progress, you need to meet with your Student Advisor and develop a personalised academic action plan. As part of the plan, it may be suggested that you reduce your study load for a set period of time.

Evidence Required: Copy of the signed Academic Action Plan and recommendation from the Student Advisor.

Compassionate or compelling circumstances are situations that are beyond your control and which affect your wellbeing and course progress in the current study period.

All claims must be evidenced by relevant official documentation and translated in English.

Reasons and evidence may include, but are not limited to:

  • serious illness or injury – Evidence: detailed medical certificate outlining severity of illness
  • bereavement of a close family member (Parent, Sibling, Spouse, or Child) – Evidence: death certificate
  • involvement in a traumatic experience (e.g being a victim, or witnessed a serious crime or critical incident) – Evidence: Police report
  • political upheaval or natural disaster in home country requiring emergency travel – Evidence: Notification from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Airline Ticket.

Invalid reasons to apply for a reduced study load include, but are not limited to:

  • timetable clashes
  • experiencing financial hardship
  • intentionally under-loading because you feel you can still complete the course on time
  • dislike of the available unit(s) on offer, including major electives
  • employment reasons
  • failure of non-requisite units
  • dislike of students or study group you are working with (group work)
  • missing classes or not submitting assignments on time (for non-compassionate or compelling reasons)
  • unavailability of elective units (you are expected to enrol in available elective units that form part of your study plan).

Please note that if you are in your final study period and the remaining units do not calculate to the maximum required 48CP, you do not have to apply for a reduced load.

Apply to reduce your study load

To reduce your study load, complete and submit the  Reduced Study Load form either in person at VUHQ or by email to the Enrolments team via AskVU.

What to do while your application is assessed

Until your application has been assessed and approved, you must:

  • remain enrolled for the relevant study period
  • pay your fees by the payment due date
  • attend all classes
  • participate in class/external group work
  • submit all assignments
  • complete all online quizzes, tests and exams.

Overload (increase your study load)

An Overload is when you wish to enrol in more than 48 CP (0.5 EFTSL) in a study period (semester or trimester). This is an option if you would like to catch up or fast track throughout your course.

Both Domestic and International students need to get approval for an overload from the Course and Unit Advisor. Permission to overload may not be granted if the university believes it will have a negative impact on your academic progress. Please note: applications cannot be approved for block units.

To apply, you need to complete and submit the Enrolment Overload Variation form via AskVU or at VUHQ Service Centre by the last day to add units for the relevant study period.