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Enrolments - Maximum Course Duration (HE) Procedure

Section 1 - Summary

(1) This Procedure outlines the maximum periods of study duration for Higher Education (HE) courses.

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Section 2 - HESF/ ASQA/ ESOS Alignment

(2) HESF: Standard 1.1 Admissions; 1.3.4 Orientation and Progression

(3) National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (Cth): Standard 3; 8 and 9.

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This Procedure applies to:

  1. All HE students; 
  2. Any staff in roles related to enrolment and the counselling and monitoring of academic progress.

(5) This Procedure does not apply to Foundation students.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(6) Full-time Study

(7) Part-time Study

(8) Study Period

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Section 5 - Policy Statement

(9) See Enrolments Policy.

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Section 6 - Procedures

(10) Where full-time study is required due to visa requirements or as a condition of enrolment the maximum completion time is the normal full-time duration plus 50% of the normal full-time duration, to a maximum of 10 years.

  1. For international students on student visas, a course duration may only be extended if a Confirmation of Enrolment is extended due to academic intervention and/or the availability of required units.

(11) For all other students, the maximum completion times are as follows:

  1. In an undergraduate coursework program (excluding the HE Diploma) the maximum time is the normal part-time duration plus 50% of the normal part-time duration, to a maximum of 10 years (based on a two-semester or an eight-block academic year).
  2. In a postgraduate coursework program the maximum time is twice the normal part-time duration. 

(12) Regarding time periods:

  1. The time of duration begins on the first day of the first study period in which the student is enrolled in the program, and is measured separately for each award undertaken.
  2. Work experience/placements that are part of the award structure are included within the duration.
  3. Students who transition to a new version of an award are considered to have started their course duration on the first day of the initial award. If students transition to a new award, the count of enrolled time begins on the first day of the new award.
  4. When it is evident that a student cannot complete the course in the maximum time, they may be identified as making unsatisfactory progress.

(13) The following periods of time are excluded from the total time enrolled:

  1. Periods of intermission/leave of absence and deferral, including those relating to academic intervention.
  2. Periods of suspension as per the Exclusion for Safety Reasons Procedure.

(14) Students eligible for Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY must complete their award within the allowable time for their course in order to remain eligible for payments. Further information can be found at Centrelink.

(15) Full-time duration and maximum time (where full-time study is required):


Normal duration

Maximum time


Higher education diploma 1 1.5
Associate degree 2 3
Three year bachelor degree 3 4.5
Four year bachelor degree 4 6
Five year bachelor degree 5 7.5
One year honours degree 1 1.5


Graduate certificate 0.5 1
Graduate diploma 1 1.5
Masters by coursework 2 3

(16) Part-time duration and maximum time (where full-time study is not a condition of enrolment):

Type of program

Normal duration

Maximum time


Higher education diploma (96 credit points) 2 3
Associate degree 2 6
Three year bachelor degree 3 9
Four year bachelor degree 4 10
Five year bachelor degree 5 10
One year honours degree 1 3


Graduate certificate 0.5 2
Graduate diploma 1 4
Masters by coursework 2 8

(17) A student’s enrolment may be discontinued if they do not complete their course within the required time periods, at the discretion of the Director, Admissions, Enrolments, and Graduations. 

(18) Students may request an extension of their maximum course duration if they have exceptional circumstances, such as illness. Students must submit a Request to Extend Course Duration form within ten working days of receiving the notification. 

(19) The Director, Admissions, Enrolments, and Graduations, will review and determine outcomes for extension requests. The determination by the Director, Admissions, Enrolments, and Graduations is final. 

Part A - Summary of Roles and Responsibilities



Director, Admissions, Enrolments, and Graduations Authorises enrolment cancellations for students who have exceeded maximum course durations. 
Reviews and determines outcomes for extension requests from students. 
Student and course advisors Provides advice to students about maximum course duration limits in accordance with this Procedure.
Enrolment Team, Student administration
Identifies and communicates with students who are nearing, or who have exceeded, their maximum course duration.
Actions enrolment cancellations.