COVID-19 course and subject information

Find out how COVID-19 may affect your studies.

Last updated: 02.59pm, 25 November 2020

Teaching and Learning in First Half Year 2021

We’re planning a mixed mode of teaching and learning delivery for First Half Year 2021 (including Summer Term and Semester 1), with some subjects being campus-based (for essential in-person activities), some a combination of both online and on campus in-person (dual-delivery) and some subjects to be delivered fully online. This is to cater for students who may not be able to travel to Melbourne for classes, and to provide a COVID-safe campus with reduced capacities and physical distancing in place in line with government advice and public health directives.

On 23 November, the Handbook will be updated with the subjects offered in 2021. Subject entries in the Handbook will provide information on their delivery modes - starting with First Half Year from 23 November and progressively updated with Second Half Year delivery modes once these have been confirmed in 2021. Visit the subject information page for information on subject delivery modes for 2021 and the Return to Campus page for information on our plans for a gradual and safe return to campus in 2021.

Subject delivery in 2021

In First Half Year 2021, including Summer Term and Semester 1 2021, there will be three delivery modes for your subjects – Dual-Delivery, Online and Campus-based (in person). Visit the subject delivery modes page for more information on how our subjects will be delivered in 2021.

For key University dates relating to your course or the academic calendar, visit our key dates page which will be updated regularly as dates are confirmed.

Weighted Average Mark (WAM) calculation for 2021

Academic Board has confirmed that the normal WAM calculation as per the Assessment and Results policy will be applied in 2021. Visit the WAM page for more information on WAM calculations, or read about the WAM changes that were in place in 2020.

Assessments in First Half Year 2021

Most assessments in Summer Term and Semester 1 will remain online. Visit the changes to exams, special consideration and your Weighted Average Mark (WAM) for more information about which assessments will be delivered in person and online.

Honours and Masters by Coursework (with a Minor Thesis) programs

If you are planning to commence an Honours or Masters by Coursework (with a Minor Thesis) program in 2021, you will be able to do so.  However, if you are not able to travel to Melbourne for the beginning of the academic year, you must discuss your minor thesis topics and research activities with your prospective supervisor before enrolling.  Some programs may require you to attend on campus (in-person) activities or subjects, or require access to certain research infrastructure. Therefore, you should check in with your prospective supervisor to see what your options are. This might include determining whether any essential in-person activities could be phased across the year to facilitate attendance on campus if possible or required, or whether you should commence your studies in Semester 2, 2021 instead.

Support for online learning

To help you make the most of studying online, we’ve put together some resources and programs that you can access to stay engaged with your studies and your university experience. We also encourage you to read our guide explaining what practices and behaviours are expected of you and your peers while online.

Teaching and Learning adjustments that were put in place in 2020

For most of 2020, we delivered classes, services and events online, with only a small number of subjects being taught in-person when government restrictions allowed.

Census dates and last dates to withdraw

Census dates and last dates to withdraw without fail were extended by two weeks for standard Semester 2, Semester 2 Early Start, and Semester 2 Extended subjects. This allowed extra time to decide on subjects and study load. Key dates for non-standard subjects that started in the second half of the year were also reviewed and extended where appropriate.

Specialist and practical classes

Specific arrangements for specialist classes, practical classes, performances and design studios delivered online will vary from subject to subject. Check the LMS for details.


Your University supervisor will work with your supervisors in your clinical or work-based environment to decide whether your placement can still go ahead.  If you can’t complete your placement as anticipated, alternative arrangements will be made wherever possible.

The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences is working closely with its partners to deliver student clinical placements in line with current health advice. Students who are closest to graduation are being prioritised for placement where possible. For the latest information, contact your discipline placement coordinator.

Where possible, Education placements are planned to go ahead, subject to Government restrictions. Check your subject entry in the LMS for more information.

Online subject participation requirements

There may be different participation requirements for online and in-person activities in Semester 2. Check the LMS subject page for information, and ask your subject coordinator if you are unclear about the participation requirement for your subjects in Semester 2.

If you are waiting for a COVID-19 test result or have tested positive for COVID-19 and you are not well enough to continue classes for a period of time, you will be automatically considered for Special Consideration once we receive supporting documentation.

  • Asynchronous activities with flexible participation (not at a set time)

    Online subjects might have asynchronous (not at a set time) activities that you need to participate in or engage with. This means that there might be lectures, tutorials or other online activities that you need to attend or complete, but not at the time they’re held in Australia. Asynchronous activities allow you to be flexible with when you participate with your activity, no matter the time zone you’re in, or whether you have any technical difficulties.

  • Synchronous activities (at a set time)

    Your subject might have synchronous (at a set time) activities, like a lecture, tutorial or other online activities that you are required to participate in at the time that they’re held in Australia. Contact your subject coordinator if you’re concerned that you will not be able to participate in your synchronous activity at the time that it’s held, and they will help you with what to do next.

  • Attendance expectations for subjects with in-person activities

    Subjects which have in-person activities will have clear expectations around attendance as these are essential specialist or practical activities which must be delivered in-person.

    If you are enrolled in a subject with essential in-person activities and you can’t attend the activities because of health or personal reasons, you should contact your subject coordinator.  If you are waiting for a COVID-19 test result or have tested positive for COVID-19 and you are not well enough to continue classes for a period of time, you will be automatically considered for Special Consideration once we receive supporting documentation.

    If your course plan includes subjects with in-person activities but you can’t attend campus due to travel restrictions, health or personal reasons, please book a course planning appointment to discuss your study plan options.

COVID-19 and your fees

Tuition fees for 2021 will remain the same as 2020 tuition fees. Updated subject fee schedules have now been published online. For more information on your 2021 fees, visit the COVID-19 and your fees page.

Privacy online

As a result of our move to a fully virtual campus, tutorials and other classes may be recorded and uploaded to the LMS. We record your classes so that you can use the recordings to revise your subject material for assessments and exams. We don’t use the recordings for any other purpose. If you do not want your image to be recorded during one of these classes, you should let your lecturer or tutor know you can turn off your video camera. However, as it is expected that you will actively participate in your classes, it is not be possible to exclude your voice from any recording.  For further information, please see the LMS Privacy Collection Notice.

Please review our guide to good practices and appropriate online behaviours while studying online to help you ensure that all students and staff are treated with respect online.