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Change your study load

  1. Your study load
  2. Exceed credit point limits

Exceed credit point limits

Most courses have a limit of 24 credit points per semester. Exceeding this limit is generally not recommended, however in some situations you can take up to 32 credit points.

For example, you may be able to increase your study load if it means you will be able to complete your course requirements that semester or if the additional unit of study is a prerequisite you need to have completed for the following semester.


Faculties and schools can have different eligibility criteria and processes for overloading. If you’re an undergraduate student in the Faculty of Science, for example, you can automatically enrol in 32 credit points. In other faculties, such as the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, you will need to request permission.

Check the limits and rules around overloading in the course and faculty or school resolutions in your handbook.

If you’re an international student on a student visa, due to your visa requirements overloading is only allowed in exceptional circumstances. Overloading will affect the duration of your studies and may cause a reduced enrolment load later in your course.

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

You may be eligible to exceed the junior, semester or course credit point limits in the following circumstances.

  • You can apply to exceed the junior credit point limit if you have already completed at least two semesters and the unit is a compulsory core unit for the degree, or you commenced study mid year and were unable to begin language studies in your first semester.
  • You can apply to exceed the semester credit point limit of 32 if you’re in your final semester and have a distinction average, with no recorded fail grades.
  • You can apply to exceed the overall credit point limit by one core unit of study if you’re in your final semester and have not met the core requirements of your course.

Applications to exceed credit point limits will not be approved when the units of study can be taken by varying your enrolment.

If you’re undertaking the Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor, you should exceed the semester credit point limit only in your final year. You may then be eligible to enrol in up to 32 credit points in a semester if you have made satisfactory academic progress and overloading will allow you to meet your course requirements.

How to apply

Before you apply to increase your study load, you should seek academic advice to make sure you’ll be able to stay on top of your studies and get the most out of your course.

If you decide to apply to overload, you need to use the Special permission process.

We’ll email you the outcome of your application within 10 working days.

Student Centre



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

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Last updated: 09 February 2024

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