Planning your study overseas subjects

Please access our online application system to apply for semester exchange, study abroad, and short course programs.

Planning your study overseas subjects and credit

You will be enrolled in a full-time program of study at your host university. You can choose to complete subjects to fulfil the requirements of your major and/or electives. Almost all fields can be studied while on exchange. One of the advantages of the program is being able to broaden your degree by taking subjects that may not be available, are more specialised or more advanced than those offered at UOW.

You will receive credit towards your degree for subjects completed at your host university. For this to happen, you must have your proposed subject selections and the transfer of credit approved by your UOW Faculty (Head of School and Head of Students).

Types of credit

You can receive credit towards your UOW degree in one of two ways:

  1. 'Specified credit' is given when a subject offered by the host university is substantially the same as a subject offered by the University of Wollongong.

    For example, there is a psychology subject at the host university that is substantially the same as 'PSYC231: Personality' at the University of Wollongong. You would receive credit towards your UOW degree for PSYC231 (6 credit points) after successfully completing the equivalent subject at the host university.

  2. 'Unspecified credit' is given when a subject offered by the host university does not correspond with any subjects offered by the University of Wollongong, but is still relevant to your UOW degree. Unspecified credit is granted at a particular level (e.g. 100, 200, 300 level etc) for a certain number of credit points (e.g. 6 credit points, 8 credit points etc).

How to prepare a program of study

  1. Write down the subjects you would need to complete if you were remaining in Wollongong.

    These may include core and/or elective subjects. Please refer to your Course Handbook for this information. You may also wish to meet with an Academic Advisor in your faculty to confirm which UOW subjects you should be completing in your semester of exchange.

  2. Look for equivalent subjects at your host university.

    You will be required to nominate three host university preferences in your online exchange application. You can find subject descriptions and academic information in a host university's course handbook (this may also be known as a course catalogue or database). In most cases, a version of this will be available on the host university's website. If you can not find the course catalogue for a host university please contact our office.

  3. Prepare a short-list of potential subjects for each host university preferences.

    Add these to your Study Plan Proposal within your online exchange application.You should identify a minimum of five subjects for each of your three preferences.

    Please note: Your Study Plan is not a formal approval and is only an outline of what you may potentially study if you are offered an exchange at a particular host university. At this stage, you
    do not need to provide supporting documentation for your subject choices.

  4. Submit your online application with your Study Plan Proposal

    Your Faculty will review your Study Plan Proposal and may return the plan to you if they think a university is not a good match for you. If your Study Plan Proposal meets the faculty’s expectations, they will approve this online, however, they may still provide you with a comment to assist you later in the process. You can view faculty feedback by logging back into your online application via the Student Mobility Online (SMO) portal

  5. Accept your offer letter for the UOW Exchange Program

    After you attend your interview and if your application is successful, you will be issued with an offer letter into the UOW Exchange Program and be notified of which host university you have been nominated to. Accept this by following the instructions in the letter.

  6. Submit your Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) application via SMO

    Now that you know which host university you have been nominated to, you can finalise the subjects you plan to take overseas by submitting a Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) application. To do this, log back into the Student Mobility Online (SMO) portal and return to your exchange application. Select the 'Other' tab and go to the 'Credit for Prior Learning' section. Using your original Study Plan Proposal as a starting point, enter a list of subjects for which you would like to seek credit approval along with supporting documentation (such as subject descriptions). 

    At this stage, you may need to do further research to narrow down your subject selections. Your Faculty Central Office can provide you with advice about your subject selections, and determine how the credit for your exchange studies will be transferred to your UOW degree. Your final list will be reviewed by your faculty and it is up to their sole discretion whether subjects are approved for credit or not.

    Your CPL should reflect a full-time workload at your host university, however, we strongly recommend adding additional subjects in case there are any late changes to the subjects on offer when you arrive. Always have more subjects approved than you think you will need!

    Please note: you will be charged for 24 credit points for each semester of exchange. The maximum credit points that can be transferred for your semester exchange is 32 credit points. 

  7. Attend the pre-departure sessions and plan the rest of your adventure!

    We will provide detailed instructions on preparing subjects for Credit for Prior Learning at your pre-departure sessions, so don't worry if you still have more questions!

    Remember that you can always log into your online application via SMO at any time and submit more Credit for Prior Learning subjects. This can be before you go, whilst you’re on exchange, or even once you’ve returned. It’s normal for CPL to take at least a few hours of research and a couple of tries before it’s ready for your exchange...but we like to think it’s all worth it in the end!

    If at any time you have questions please contact our team and we will be happy to help guide you through the process!