Research study load

Research students are expected to pursue their program for 48 weeks of the year. A full-time unit load for a research student is one unit per week of enrolment, while a part-time load is one unit per two weeks of enrolment.

While international students are required to maintain a 100 per cent load, enrolment in the commencing semester may be less than that depending on the time of commencement. Similarly, enrolment in the final semester may be less depending on the date of thesis submission. However, the approved study load will show 'full-time'.

Full-time research students may transfer to part-time status with the approval of their Delegated Authority. Commonly a transfer to part-time status is sought for health, carer responsibility or employment reasons. See below for information on how to change from full-time to part-time or vice versa.

Step 1
Advisor appointment

Make an appointment with your supervisor to discuss your research and reasons for requiring a change to your study load. 

Step 2
Seek advice from ASQO

International students on a student visa must maintain 100 per cent load, except in compassionate and compelling circumstances which must be approved.  You will need to seek advice from the Academic Standards & Quality Office (ASQO) if you are considering part-time enrolment.

Step 3
Check scholarship

If you are a scholarship holder, you should carefully check the relevant Conditions of Award to determine whether it would be possible to retain the scholarship as a part-time student. Circumstances under which you would be able to retain the scholarship are limited and relate to personal health issues or primary carer responsibilities.

Part-time scholarships are taxable. Scholars who are enrolled in an approved program of concurrent study, for example, MBBS/PhD (where the overall load is full-time) may retain the PhD scholarship on a part-time basis - in this case, the scholarship is not taxable.  

Step 4
Complete application

You can apply to change your study load using the Manage My Degree eForm, via ISIS

If the reason for studying part-time was based on medical grounds, your application will need to include medical certification indicating that you are now fit to study full-time.  

If your application is approved, you will be advised in writing of your new program end date, which you will be able to view in ISIS.

You will be advised if your application is rejected.

Step 5
Apply for a fee refund

If you have successfully applied for reduced study load you may be eligible for a refund of your tuition fees and/or Services & Amenities (SA) Fee.  You can check the balance of your student account on ISIS.  If your account is in credit you can apply for a fee refund.

Advice to help

Fee refunds