Skip to main content

Change your study load

For coursework students, the number of credit points you are enrolled in determines your study load. If your circumstances change, you may be able to change your study load – depending on your course.

Your study load


Research students
If you're a research student wanting to change, you should read our Change your mode of attendance page.

Domestic students

You will generally be considered full time if you are undertaking 18 credit points or more each semester as a domestic student. Most full-time students will complete 24 credit points each semester, which forms the standard course duration outlined in your faculty or school handbook.

If you are studying part time, you will have a reduced study load of less than 18 credit points. Generally there is no minimum number of credit points you can study as long as you meet the requirements of your course.

All courses will let you enrol in up to 32 credit points during each Teaching period (Teaching period 1: 1 January to 30 June and Teaching period 2: 1 July to 31 December). This allows for situations where you may need to select an OLE unit or an intensive unit that falls outside of the semester. We recommend you don't complete more than 24 credit points during the standard semester.

International students

If you’re a student visa holder, it’s a requirement of your visa that you are enrolled in a full-time study load in the following credit points:

  • For Semester 1, you need to enrol in a minimum of 24 credit points during Teaching period 1 (from January to June). At least 18 credit points need to be completed in the Semester 1 session, or sessions other than Intensive January, Intensive February or Intensive June.
  • For Semester 2, you need to enrol in a minimum of 24 credit points during Teaching period 2 (from July to December). At least 18 credit points need to be completed in the Semester 2 session, or sessions other than Intensive July or Intensive December.

Changing your mode of attendance

Changing your mode of attendance means changing from a full to part time load or vice versa. You should first check Find a course or the course rules in your handbook to see if your degree offers part-time study. It is important for you to make any necessary changes to your study as early as possible. If you’re receiving government payments you also need to tell the Australian Government about any changes to your study.

Eligibility and how to change your attendance

International students

If you’re an international student on a student visa, you’ll only be able to reduce down from a full time study load in certain circumstances. You’ll need to find out if you’re eligible and apply to reduce your load.

If you’re an international student, you can also speak with a compliance officer at


If you’re thinking of reducing down to part time you should be aware of the following:

  • If your course has a set program or you are undertaking honours, there may be limitations on studying part time. Contact your course coordinator or honours supervisor to discuss your options.
  • reducing your enrolment load can affect your eligibility for government assistance such as Youth Allowance, Austudy, Abstudy and travel concessions.
  • If you’re a research student, your supervisor and faculty or school will need to approve your change.
  • be aware of the time limits for completing your course requirements. Generally, you’ll need to complete your course requirements within 10 years, however for some courses you may have a shorter time period. This information is outlined in the Coursework Rule (pdf, 484KB).

Exceeding 32 credit points is not recommended. Depending on the structure and rules of your course it may be possible with approval from the Associate Dean. Find out more about eligibility to overload and submitting an enrolment exception request.

Bachelor of Laws

If you’re undertaking the Bachelor of Laws, you need to be enrolled full time. In special circumstances the Associate Dean (Professional Law Programs) may approve a temporary reduced load for one semester.

Juris Doctor

Changes to study load can only be approved for continuing students who have completed full-time study of the degree for one year or part-time study for two years.

Students seeking to take more or less than a standard load or to vary their progression requirements must have the approval of the Associate Dean.

Full time

All full-time JD students are expected to enrol in a standard full-time load of 24 credit points per semester.

If you’re in your first year, you need to enrol in 24 credit points per semester in order to meet the requirements for progression to Year 2.

If there is a temporary change to your circumstances, you can apply to reduce your study load for one semester. If there is a permanent change, you can apply for a route change from full-time to part-time study.

Part time

All part-time JD students are required to enrol in a standard part-time load of 12 credit points per semester.

Students who experience a change in their personal circumstances over a short-term period may be permitted to undertake a reduced load in one semester only.

A route change from part-time to full-time study will not normally be granted until Year 3.

How to change your mode of attendance

In most cases you can change between full time and part time simply by adding or dropping units of study in Sydney Student (go to ‘My studies’, ‘Units of study’, then ‘Change your units of study’).

Be aware of deadlines for adding and discontinuing units of study to avoid academic and/or financial penalties.

Student Centre



1800 SYD UNI (1800 793 864)
or +61 2 8627 1444 (outside Australia)

Find out more about how we can help

Last updated: 27 October 2023

Website feedback

Tell us if you’ve spotted a typo or something else wrong with this page.

Thank you

Your feedback has been sent.

Sorry there was a problem sending your feedback. Please try again

You should only use this form to send feedback about the content on this webpage – we will not respond to other enquiries made through this form. If you have an enquiry or need help with something else such as your enrolment, course etc you can contact the Student Centre.