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Monash University

Monash University Handbook

Glossary of terms used

Course requirements

Each course offered by Monash University has an associated set of formal ‘course requirements’. These requirements are stated in this handbook under the ‘course requirements’ subheading for the course.

Students will not have completed the course until they have successfully completed all the units and other requirements that are stated in the handbook entry for that course in the year in which they commenced their studies, or in any subsequent year where permitted. It is the students’ responsibility to satisfy themselves, in consultation with the relevant faculty, that they are undertaking the appropriate units in order to complete all of the requirements for their course of study.

Courses and degrees

A course is the overall program of study in which a student will enrol to complete a qualification at Monash University. For example, the qualification may be a bachelors degree or a graduate diploma. Normally, students are only enrolled in one course at any time.

A degree is an individual qualification. For example, a student in a double-degree course will be undertaking a single program of study as defined in the associated course requirements and will be enrolled under a single ‘course code’, but will qualify for two degrees upon graduation, at the completion of the course.

Credit points

Courses and units at Monash University are described in terms of ‘credit points’, or ‘points’ for short. The normal full-time study load for most courses is 48 points per academic year, or 24 points in each of the first and second semesters. Most units are 6 points in value, although there are some exceptions.

Full-time and part-time study

The normal enrolment for students undertaking full-time study is 24 points in both first and second semesters. Full-time students must enrol in at least 36 points of units in any academic year, although international students are normally required to enrol in 24 points in each semester (in accordance with their visa obligations). Students who enrol in units offered in the summer semester should not undertake more than 18 points of studies over that period. Where permitted, students are strongly advised to adjust the number of units undertaken in any semester according to their individual needs and circumstances.

Most courses at Monash University can be undertaken by either full-time or part-time study, or a combination of both. Where this does not apply, it will be indicated in the course entry in the handbook by the qualifier ‘F/T only’ or ‘P/T only’.


The academic year at Monash University is divided into three semesters. Most students undertake their studies during the first and second semester. These are each 13 weeks in duration, and in general they run from late February to late May and mid July to mid October respectively (principal dates for each year are available online). In addition, new-to-Monash students are required to attend Orientation Week in semester one. The summer semester takes several forms, depending on the unit being offered, but typically it is taught within the period from December to February.

Study modes

Monash University offers courses in a variety of study modes. These include ‘on-campus’ group teaching and a variety of forms of ‘off-campus’ delivery. Studies undertaken in ‘multimode’ combine these two approaches. These modes are designed to provide some flexibility for students with different needs and expectations. The study modes available are listed in the course and unit entries in the handbooks.


A unit is the basic component in which a student will enrol to undertake study in a particular discipline. Most courses expect that full-time students will enrol in eight 6-point units per academic year, although there are exceptions. Typically, a 6-point unit requires an average total study workload (including classes, assigned work and private study) of 12 hours per week for 13 weeks, or 156 hours in total.

Responsibility for unit choice

Students are advised that, while the course advisers will endeavour to give every possible assistance and advice concerning unit choice, the onus is on students to ensure that units selected meet degree regulations and requirements. This is not the faculty's responsibility and the faculty takes no responsibility for error in unit selection.