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Studying in an intensive session

There are a range of sessions throughout the year, during which units of study are held.

The academic year consists of two teaching periods (Teaching period 1 is from January to June and Teaching period 2 is from July to December).

For the majority of students, most of your units of study will fall into Semester 1 (during Teaching period 1) and Semester 2 (during Teaching period 2). However, there are some units run in other sessions, such as intensive sessions.

Taking units during these other sessions can give you the opportunity to complete study in addition to units you take during Semester 1 or Semester 2, for example if you are looking to accelerate your course, catch up on a failed unit of study or balance your timetable.

When do the sessions run?

You can find the teaching dates for all sessions outlined on our study dates page. Using the filters on the left, select from the ‘Sessions – other’ category to select the intensive sessions you’re interested in. December, January or February intensives are generally held over the summer break while July intensive generally falls over the winter break. A calendar view of key dates for each session is also available on our session calendars page.

Each session has its own census date and deadlines, outlined on our study dates page.

Units of study held during intensive sessions are delivered in an intensive format, running for six weeks or in some cases less.

What to consider before studying during these sessions

In some cases, your course might require you to study in sessions other than the semesters, such as if you’re completing a placement or industry project.


Make sure you’re meeting your course requirements

If you’re choosing to complete a unit in a session other than Semester 1 or 2, you need to make sure it meets your course requirements and you have satisfied the prerequisites so it counts toward your degree. Check your course rules and unit of study requirements in your handbook.

You also need to make sure you have space in your course. Most full-time students will complete 24 credit points each semester. All courses will let you enrol in up to 32 credit points during each teaching period, so that you can complete an intensive unit that falls outside of the main semesters.


Check timing

January, February and June intensives fall within Teaching period 1 (January to June). July and December intensives fall within Teaching period 2 (July to December).



It’s important to be aware that you will usually need to wait until the end of the current semester to receive your results for an intensive unit. Find out more about when results are released.


Considering suspending?

Be aware that if you have suspended your studies for the semester, you won’t be able to enrol in an intensive session held during the remainder of that teaching period.


Visa requirements

If you’re an international student on a student visa, you need to have an active eCoE and visa that covers any period that you're studying in. This means you can’t select units held in an intensive session before the commencement date outlined on your offer letter. If you were approved for a suspension in your first semester of study, you can't select units held in an intensive session before the start date of the standard semester. If you are considering studying an intensive unit, you need to make sure you are enrolled in a full time study load, where at least 18 credit points is completed during the standard semester. Find out more about your study load requirements.

What units are available?

Your faculty or school will determine what units are available during each session.

  1. Check your handbook for your course rules and unit of study requirements. In some cases, your handbook will also outline the sessions when each unit will be available.
  2. Sometimes your faculty or school may add additional units that are not outlined in your handbook. Log in to Sydney Student to view all of the units that are available and the sessions when they are held.
    • You will be able to view and select units for all sessions when completing your unit of study selection during enrolment.
    • If you have already completed your enrolment, you can view and change your units (go to ‘My studies’, ‘Units of study’, then ‘Change your units of study’).

The session code will be outlined next to each unit in your unit of study selection screen. S1CIJA for example is an intensive January unit. Session codes are provided on our study dates page.

Units of study are subject to change. If a unit is cancelled, you will need to contact your faculty of school for more information.

Selecting these units

You select intensive units in the same way that you do units in the semesters, through Sydney Student. You can select intensive units once enrolment opens for Semester 1 of the corresponding academic year (if you are a continuing student, this is after results are released). Check our study dates page for enrolment dates.

As with other units, you’ll need to select the unit before the last day to add for that session. Check our study dates page for these deadlines.

To make sure you are enrolling in an intensive session, you will need to select the correct session code.


Tuition fees for units taken in intensives are calculated at the same rate as the same units in Semester 1 or 2. As with each semester, your fees will depend on what type of student you are and the course you are studying. Find out more about tuition fees.

If eligible, you may be able to apply for HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP to assist with these fees.

Intensive units have their own fee due date, which differs from Semester 1 and Semester 2. These are outlined on our payment dates page. The units you’ve enrolled in will be added to your Student Financial Statement in Sydney Student. As with other units, you'll need to pay your fees by the due date on your statement.

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Last updated: 06 June 2022

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