Reduced study load

An approved Reduced Study Load allows you to take a study load of less than 50 points in a half-year period.

International students are normally required to enrol in at least 50 points in each half-year period. You may reduce your study load if you have compassionate or compelling circumstances. As COVID-19 has affected some students’ ability to study full-time, international students are not required to enrol in a full study load for Second Half Year 2020.

If you have reduced your study load in Second Half Year 2020, you will be able to request an extended Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) if you are unable to complete your course by your CoE end date and need to renew your student visa.

As a student visa holder, you are required to complete your course by the end date in your Confirmation of Enrolment (COE). This requires you maintain a standard study load of 50 points in each half-year period.

Exceptions to this requirement are:

If you have not maintained a standard study load for reasons other than those listed above, a sanction will be placed on your record.

Valid reasons to apply for a Reduced Study Load

Compassionate or compelling circumstances

These may include:

  • serious medical reasons
  • bereavement or trauma
  • upheaval in your home country.

If you're approved for Reduced Study Load because of compassionate or compelling circumstances, you must maintain a study load of 25 credit points. If you wish to enrol in less than 25 credit points, consider applying for a Leave of Absence instead.

Course structure requirements

Course structure reasons for requiring a Reduced Study Load may include:

  • You have failed a prerequisite subject and cannot select 50 credit points to enrol into.
  • You have changed your major and not all subjects are available in the current semester. (If you have changed your major, this must be actioned in your study plan prior to applying for Reduced Study Load).
  • There is limited core subject availability in your major area.
  • You have repeatedly failed a subject(s) that disrupts the progress of your study plan. This must be confirmed by a course planning adviser.

Unavailability of major elective subjects is not grounds to request a reduced study load. You are expected to enrol in available subjects.

Unsatisfactory Progress

If you have been identified by a Course Academic Progress Committee (CAPC) as making unsatisfactory progress, you will also be expected to abide by any further outcomes from the CAPC meeting.

Students who have been restricted to 25 or 37.5 points per semester as an outcome of a CAPC meeting do not need to request Reduced Study Load.

Invalid reasons to apply for a Reduced Study Load

The following reasons are not eligible for Reduced Study Load:

  • experiencing financial hardship
  • dislike of the available elective subjects, including major electives
  • planning to make up the points in the future
  • intentionally under-loading, as you feel you can still complete on time
  • studying fewer topics to improve your Weighted Average Mark
  • timetable clashes
  • failing a non-requisite subject
  • employment reasons.

How to apply

To apply for a Reduced Study Load, submit a request to reduce study load application with:

You must remain enrolled in a full-time study load until you receive a response to your application.

All applications must include up-to-date supporting documentation, which must be in English. Without this, your application will be delayed or refused.

If you need to reduce your load due to subject availability, course structure, or unsatisfactory progress, we also recommend making a course planning appointment at Stop 1.

Apply for a Reduced Study Load

Student visa implications

As a student visa holder, you are required to have a CoE that covers the duration of your course. We can only extend your course duration and issue a new CoE for reasons that the Department of Home Affairs considers compassionate or compelling circumstances (see above).

If you extend the duration of your course for other or unapproved reasons, we will not be permitted to issue you a new CoE, and you may not be able to complete your course in Australia.

If your course duration has been extended for approved reasons, you should obtain a new CoE and renew your student visa before it expires.

To meet your visa obligations, you must be enrolled in at least one subject that is delivered on-campus when your Reduced Study Load is approved. Otherwise you will need to apply for a Leave of Absence.

Online study

To meet your visa obligations, you must be enrolled in at least one subject that is delivered on-campus when your Reduced Study Load is approved. While in Australia, you are eligible to undertake online subjects only where the number of online subjects doesn’t exceed one of third of the total course. The only exception is where you are taking the online subject in your final semester. Otherwise you will need to apply for a Leave of Absence.