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Credit for previous study

Credit previous study or work experience towards your degree
If you have already completed university-level subjects or have relevant work experience, you may be eligible for credit so that you can graduate sooner.

When your faculty or school assess your application for credit, they will be looking for study or practical experience equivalent to the skills, knowledge and understanding you’d otherwise get during your degree.


What you can apply for:

  • Units of study taken at another university or higher education institution.
  • Qualifications from a higher education institution or vocational education and training institution (including TAFE and private providers).
  • Relevant work experience (only available in certain postgraduate degrees).

Study completed as part of a graduate certificate or graduate diploma can be counted towards a master’s qualification. You can also start a master’s degree and exit early with a graduate certificate or graduate diploma.

Credit will not granted for:

  • study completed more than 10 years ago (for some courses this time limit is reduced to three or five years)
  • undergraduate units, if you’re enrolling in a postgraduate degree
  • units of study with concessional pass grades
  • units of study that are prerequisites for the course you are currently in, or applying for
  • units of study you have attempted and failed in your course
  • studies completed at another tertiary institution that you were excluded from.

When to apply

It depends on whether your application to study at the University of Sydney is being made through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC), or directly to the University when you are applying.

  • UAC applicants: apply for credit after your have accepted your offer.
  • Direct applicants (including transfers): apply for credit as part of your course application.

Types of credit

This is credit granted for a specific unit of study when you’ve previously undertaken its exact equivalent at another institution.

You can apply for specific credit if you are applying for or currently enrolled in a bachelor’s degree, graduate certificate, graduate diploma or master’s course.

This is credit granted towards a subject area when there is no equivalent unit of study here. Credit will be for a certain number of credit points at a specific level.

You can apply for non-specific credit if you are applying for or currently enrolled in a bachelor’s degree, graduate certificate, graduate diploma or master’s course.

This is a form of credit that some master’s courses use to reduce the number of credit points needed to complete the course.

You can apply for RVL if you are applying for or currently enrolled in a master’s course at the University and have completed a bachelor’s degree, graduate certificate or graduate diploma in a relevant subject area, or have relevant work experience.

A waiver might be granted if the unit you’ve completed is substantially similar to a University of Sydney unit, but credit cannot be given. Unlike credit and RVL, waivers don’t reduce the duration of your award course and you’ll need to complete another unit in its place.

Impact to visa duration, financial assistance and concession benefits

Accepting credit can change your study load, fees or course duration. This may also affect your government assistance eligibility and full-time concession benefits.

International students who are required to maintain a full-time study load at all times, need to be aware that accepting credit could reduce the duration of their student visa.

Credit transfer from Singapore Polytechnics

If you studied at Nanyang, Ngee Ann, Republic, Singapore or Temasek Polytechnics, please read the Admission and credit guide (pdf, 44KB) for specific admission and credit information. 

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