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Reduced study load

To satisfy your student visa conditions you must be enrolled as a full-time student.

This means you must successfully pass 8 credit points each year in order to complete your course by the date specified in your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). In special circumstances you can apply for a reduced study load.

How do I apply for a reduced study load?

Contact Student Central to discuss a reduced study load application. Your application will need to be based on compassionate and compelling grounds, which could include, but are not limited to:

  • serious illness or injury, where a medical certificate states that it is impracticable for you to complete the unit or course requirements
  • bereavement of a close family member such as a parent or grandparent (where possible a death certificate should be provided)
  • major political upheaval or natural disaster in your home country requiring emergency travel, which impacted your studies
  • a traumatic experience, which could include involvement in, or witnessing of a serious accident; or witnessing or being the victim of a serious crime, where this has impacted on you. (These cases should be supported by police or psychologist reports.)

You must also provide evidence of how your circumstances have affected, or will affect, your academic performance if you undertake a full-time study load. In order to assess these circumstances, please complete the Reduced Study Load form [PDF,295KB] and return it to Student Central. This form must be submitted as a digital and editable PDF.

  • Sections A and B are for applications based on medical and/or psychological grounds (section B is to be completed by a medical or health professional).
  • Sections A and C are for applications based on non-medical grounds (additional supporting documentation/evidence of situation and impact will also need to be submitted).

If your issue is ongoing, we encourage you to contact  our  Disability  Resource  Centre for more specific arrangements and support.

A reduced study load application does not guarantee approval. You must maintain your enrolment and continue participating with your studies, where possible, until an outcome is provided.

Can I reduce my study load in Trimester 3?

You can spread your units during three trimesters subject to availability of units, but you need to follow the course plan provided by your student adviser. Trimester 3 is usually not compulsory unless it is a specified requirement of your degree, or it’s your commencing trimester.

If you commenced your course in Trimester 3, this is a compulsory trimester for you. For continuing international students, usually Trimester 3 is not a compulsory study period unless it is required under your course structure.

If you wish to reduce your study load, you must first discuss your plan with a student adviser at Student Central where you can also obtain a new course plan.

Do I have to apply for intermission if I am not studying in Trimester 3?

Continuing international students are required to apply for an intermission in Trimester 3 if:

  • Trimester 3 is a compulsory requirement of your course structure
  • you commenced your course in Trimester 3, which makes it a compulsory trimester.

Your intermission will only be approved if there are compassionate and compelling circumstances, beyond your control. If you want to apply for intermission, you should discuss your request with a student adviser at Student Central.

Further information and how to apply for intermission

I am not on a student visa but on a different type of temporary resident visa. Can I reduce my study load?

If you are on a Temporary Resident (TR) visa such as a Temporary Graduate visa, you do not have the same study restrictions as a student on a student visa (subclass 500).

You are considered an international student for fee purposes only and you can reduce your study load in all three trimesters. Please keep in mind, reducing your study load may result in you taking longer to complete your course.

You should always ensure you meet the visa conditions outlined in your visa grant notice at all times. Check your visa conditions on your VEVO account or by downloading the myVEVO app.

More information at Visa FAQs.

Need help?

Our student advisers are here to help you with course advice, enrolment and general enquiries.