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Procedure: Student academic study load and progression (coursework)


This procedure covers the eight key areas associated with coursework student academic workload:

  • Full-time and Part-time status;
  • Concurrent studies;
  • Overloading;
  • Maximum Degree completion time-limits;
  • Course Requisites;
  • Non-enrolment in an academic year;
  • Transfers; and
  • Identification of ‘at-risk’ students


  1. ANU student academic workload activities:
  1. align with the strategic directions of the University;
  2. align with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards; and
  3. are consistent with the Australian Qualifications Framework and the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards).

Full-time and part-time load

  1. Full-time and part-time status is generated automatically in the Student Administration Enterprise System based on the load undertaken by a student in a study period or trimester as defined in the Glossary: student policies and procedures. This status is available in reports from the Student System.
  2. Students on an International Student Visa who are not able to complete their program within the expected duration of their Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) on the grounds of compelling or compassionate circumstances or as part of Academic progress procedures request an extension of the eCoE via the approved University proforma.

Concurrent studies

  1. Students indicate as part of their application for admission if their intention is to undertake concurrent enrolment.
  2. Approval from the respective Delegated Authorities is required for each program for concurrent enrolment in two programs as part of the admissions process.
  3. Students who are currently enrolled in a program at ANU and intend to concurrently enrol at another institution, separate to a joint or dual Award that is covered by a formal agreement, submit a request, in writing, to their respective College Student Administration. This request addresses why the student should be permitted to remain enrolled at ANU whilst studying at the other institution.
  4. If approved, this is recorded by the College as a comment in the student system under “SPRG Student Program” and comment category ‘CONC Concurrent Studies’. The student is informed of the outcome by the College.
  5. Students concurrently enrolled only have their ANU enrolment used to calculate full-time or part-time status unless their enrolment is part of a joint or dual Award that is covered by a formal agreement.


  1. Students apply for an overload on the approved University proforma and submit it to their College office for consideration.
  2. Where the student’s record meets the criteria specified in the Student Academic Study Load and Progression Policy, the College overrides unit limits (Max Total Units) on Term Activation > Enrolment Limit in HRSA to the approved unit limit.
  3. If approved Colleges record this in the student administration system. This generates an email to students indicating that they may enrol on ISIS in their requested course.
  4. Students not approved for overload are emailed by their College and advised of the reason(s). No comment is added for students who are not approved to overload.
  5. Where a student is unable to enrol on ISIS due to enrolment deadlines having passed, the College enrols the student into the requested and approved course.

Maximum degree completion time-limits

  1. A time-limit report is run annually and circulated to Colleges.
  2. Colleges contact students who are approaching their maximum degree completion time-limit.
  3. If required, students request an extension in writing to the maximum degree completion time-limit from the Delegated Authority with a proposal for completion within the shortest period possible. If a student is undertaking a double degree, approval is required from both program owners.
  4. Students are advised in writing of the agreed plan for completion and the revised end date is recorded on the unofficial student transcript as a comment.
  5. If no application is received, or the application for extension is not approved, students are discontinued at the end of the calendar year. The Division of Student Administration notify the students who have been cancelled.

Course requisites

  1. Students who do not have the requisites for a course:
  1. Complete the enrolment change form;
  2. Have the form endorsed by the Course Convenor; amd
  3. Submit the form to the College office that administers the course.
  1. Students are advised by the College of the outcome. If approved by the Delegated Authority a permission code is provided to the student and the student enrols in their course on ISIS.
  2. Where a student is unable to enrol on ISIS due to enrolment deadlines being passed, the College enrols the student.
  3. Students who are enrolled in a course on the assumption that they will pass the requisite course before commencement but then fail the requisite are notified automatically and the course dropped and are required to:
  1. Add an alternate course where they satisfy the requisite; or
  2. Apply to the Delegated Authority for approval to undertake the course.

Non-enrolment in an academic year

  1. If a student does not have an active enrolment in at least one course in two calendar years and has not formally notified the University that they have deferred or are on program leave, their program is discontinued. This is determined on an annual basis by Student Administration and Records (STAR).
  2. To re-enrol, a student is required to re-apply to the University through the appropriate application process as a new student.
  3. Students who successfully re-apply have any relevant credit from their previous degree applied automatically as part of the admissions process subject to the relevant Awards Rules.


  1. A student may not transfer between awards at different career levels [e.g. Master of Psychology and Doctor of Psychology or Bachelor of Laws and Juris Doctor] unless they are enrolled in a vertical double degree. Movement across careers requires a new application for admission. Students apply to the University through the appropriate application process as a new student.

Academic progress

Monitoring and early intervention

  1. Student academic progress is monitored by the Division of Student Life (DSL) each semester, using a range of risk indicators, to implement early intervention strategies for students who fail one or more courses in the previous study period or trimester and up to but not more than 50% of enrolment.
  2. Early intervention strategies will include at least one of the following:
  1. Email contact early in the semester;
  2. Telephone follow-up;
  3. Referral to a course advisor in the relevant College or specialist Student Services area to develop a personalised program of support.

Unsatisfactory progress

  1. Students who fail more than 50% of their courses in a given study period or trimester but are not on Show Cause are contacted by the College(s) that own the program in which the student is enrolled and are asked to make an appointment with an academic advisor to discuss their progress. This communication is based on templates provided by DSL.
  2. The meeting with the academic advisor will touch upon both academic advisement issues and personal study issues and will be guided by information provided by DSS.
  3. Students who fail more than 50% of their courses and are placed on Academic Probation are required to reduce their study load, if recommended by the Delegated Authority, to:
  1. A maximum of 18 units in the next study period for programs taught in semesters and non-standard sessions; or
  2. A maximum or 12 units in the next trimester for programs taught in trimesters.
  1. Students are informed that their study load will be reduced and a record of this decision is given to the student and kept on the student record.
  2. As a minimum requirement, students who fail a coursework course in any award program for a second time are contacted by the College(s) that own the program in which the student is enrolled and are asked to make an appointment with an academic adviser to discuss their progress.

Unsatisfactory progress: Show cause

  1. Students on Show Cause follow the recommendations of the Academic Progress Committee.

Record keeping and communications

  1. A record of meetings with students are emailed to students using base templates that can have information deleted and then be emailed. The templates are provided by DSL.
  2. A record of meetings with students by Colleges will be recorded in HRSA under the Administrative Function "SPRG Student Program" and Comment Category "EAIN Early Intervention"
  3. A record where students who have not attended meetings as detailed in this section, after they have been requested to, is recorded in the student administration system.


  1. Students may appeal to the Associate Dean (Education) of the relevant College if any of the above procedures have been incorrectly applied.
  2. Where the Associate Dean (Education) was involved in the original decision, the appeal is considered by the Dean of the relevant College.
  3. Appeals against clause 33 may only be made under the Academic Progress Rules and may not be made to the Associate Dean (Education).


Printable version (PDF)
Title Student academic study load and progression
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_006805
Version 9
Purpose This procedure covers the eight key areas associated with coursework student academic workload
Audience Students
Category Academic
Topic/ SubTopic Students - Assessment, Academic Progress & Appeals
Effective Date 11 May 2016
Review Date 11 May 2019
Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration
Approved By: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Contact Area Division of Student Administration and Academic Services
Authority Coursework Awards Rule 2016 (No. 2)
Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000