University of Technology Sydney

Course duration and attendance

Teaching periods

There are three primary teaching sessions in the UTS academic year: Autumn, Spring and Summer. 

Some subjects are offered in block or intensive mode in the shorter teaching periods (e.g. February session).

See important dates, academic year dates and principal dates for full details.

Standard duration

The standard course duration is listed within the detailed entry for each course. Course duration may vary depending on attendance pattern, student load and the timetabling of chosen elective subjects.

Master's degrees by research take a maximum of two years of full-time (four years part-time) research and writing to complete.

Doctorates take a maximum of four years of full-time (eight years part-time) research and writing to complete.

Study load

Full-time students typically undertake 24 credit points a session. Part-time students have a reduced session load. Students are not normally permitted to take more than 30 credit points a session, but there is no lower limit apart from those dictated by the maximum time and leave of absence rules.

Some courses are offered in such a way as to support part-time attendance through the scheduling of classes in the evening. Others are primarily designed for full-time students. Information on modes of study is provided in the detailed entry for each course.

More information on study load can be found at Study Load.

Enrolment restrictions

The only restrictions on subject enrolment are that the subject requisites are met, the subject has not reached its enrolment quota and that the subject is a valid component of the student's study plan.

Note: Entry into preferred subjects is not guaranteed.

Attendance modes

For each specific subject, teaching session and location, one or more attendance modes are available: standard, block, distance (off-campus), online, and mixed.

Standard attendance mode involves attendance at weekly, on-campus classes over a session.

Block mode involves an intensive period of study in classes scheduled over one or more weeks of the teaching session.

In distance (off-campus) mode, students are provided with materials that they work through in their own time, supported by online and print materials, and possibly one or two face-to-face sessions.

Online mode means that the subject is taught fully online and no on-campus attendance is required.

Mixed mode attendance combines on-campus, distance and block study.

Students undertaking a master's (research) or doctoral degree are, in general, not required to attend classes. However, regular contact is maintained with the student's supervisor(s) throughout enrolment.

More information on attendance modes can be found at Managing Your Study.

Class attendance

On-campus classes may be timetabled between 8am and 9pm. Not all subjects are available in the evenings. Evening classes can start as early as 5pm. Part-time students may need to attend some day classes and full-time students may need to attend some evening classes.

Regular attendance at classes is a requirement of the university. It is the student's responsibility to attend lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions, and carry out all assignment and examination work in every subject in which she or he is enrolled. Students are issued with a subject outline for each of their subjects that includes further details of specific attendance requirements.

International students

International students studying on student visas (subclass 500) are subject to specific enrolment requirements under the Australian Government's Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000. These requirements do not apply to international students studying on other visa types.

Credit point load and course duration

International students studying on student visas must ensure that they complete their courses within the expected duration. This normally equates to the completion of 48 credit points a year. Hence, by default, international students must enrol in a 100 per cent load each session. The exceptions are:

  • if they have formal faculty approval to reduce their load
  • if there are compassionate or compelling circumstances that requires the course duration to be extended
  • if they are in the final session of their course

Australian Government legislation prevents UTS from granting extensions to international students' courses except in limited circumstances. Failure to follow the above requirements may therefore mean that an international student is unable to extend their student visa to complete their course.

Further information on study load is available from Permission to reduce study load.

Online (Distance) learning

International students may enrol in online (distance) learning, subject to faculty approval. However, students studying on student visas must enrol in at least one face to face subject each compulsory teaching session, unless the student is completing the last unit of their course. International student can study a maximum of one third of their total course online.

Further information on studying online (distance) learning is available from Studying distance mode subjects.