Change your study load

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.


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.

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.