Planning your academic program

Program of study

Study Abroad/Exchange students enrol for one or two sessions as a non-award student at UOW.

The UOW academic year is broken into two sessions (semesters), with students commencing in Session 1 (February) or Session 2 (July). For students studying a postgraduate business program either in Sydney or Wollongong, sessions are broken into trimesters commencing in February, May and August.

You will be required to submit a UOW Study Plan as part of your online application. Once your application has been submitted, your proposed subjects will be assessed based on your academic background prior to your arrival. This will ensure that your enrolment at UOW is an approved program. Whilst every effort is made to obtain approval of selected subjects, this is not guaranteed. Students should be flexible with subject selection, and come prepared with additional subjects they can study while at UOW. Academic advice on your program of study can be obtained from faculty staff during orientation week. We strongly advise that you bring an up-to-date copy of your transcript or academic records from your home university or college, as well as subject outlines, with subject descriptions. It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure that the proposed program will earn the credits needed to satisfy the authorities at their home university or college.

Choosing subjects

Courses (called ‘subjects’ at UOW) can be chosen from the full range of degree programs offered by the University, and studies can be undertaken across disciplines.

Subjects are taught as a mix of lectures, tutorials or seminars, laboratory work where appropriate, and individual study. As a Study Abroad or Exchange student you will be assessed in the same way as Australian students.

Subject database

A full list of UOW subjects are available in the Subject Database. Subjects are listed in alphabetical order by subject area. The session each subject is offered is identified as well as the credit point value. Check for prerequisites as some subjects require that you have taken an equivalent subject or number of credits from your home university. This subject information should be used as a guide only as subjects are not offered every year. 

Subject Levels

Undergraduate students choose subject codes between 100–400 (i.e. 1st - 4th year subjects). Postgraduate students choose subject codes between 800–900.

  • 100 level: Usually introductory level
  • 200 level: Normally requires some background knowledge of the subject area
  • 300 level: Advanced level undergraduate, should only be taken if student has already studied at least 4-5 subjects in the relevant study area
  • 800 and 900 level: These are for postgraduate students only 


Generally, Study Abroad and Exchange students enrol in three or four subjects per session. To give yourself some flexibility with timetabling during enrolment, you should obtain approval in advance for five or six subjects per session. In determining your individual program, you should note that:

  • Subjects are offered on a credit point basis
  • Most subjects are worth 6 or 8 credit points
  • Normal full-time course load is 48 credit points over two sessions, or 24 credit points for one session (in either February or July session).

One credit point has an implied workload of two hours per week. Six credit points represents a minimum of 12 hours of work: this may be 3 hours of lectures, 4 hours of reading and 5 hours of personal study or essay writing. Many students will spend fewer than 15 hours a week in contact with lecturers or tutors but will be expected to prepare for these classes with reading and tutorial preparation. Australian students are required to be self-directed in their study and to submit a considerable amount of written work in assignments and seminar or tutorial papers.

PLEASE NOTE: Some faculties have restricted/closed subjects for study abroad and exchange students. Please refer to the Study Plan Guidelines and Restrictions for detailed information. Availability of subjects can be subject to change up until the first two weeks of session. Please ensure you have sufficient subject options in the event that one or more of your subjects are not available.


The assessment details for each subject are available under “Subject Information” in the online student calendar. Go to Course Handbook and select Subject Descriptions. A comprehensive syllabus outlining assessment and other expectations is provided to students in the first lecture of each subject.

The Grading System

  • High Distinction (HD): 85–100%
  • Distinction (D): 75–84%
  • Credit (C): 65–74%
  • Pass (P): 50–64%
  • Fail (F): 0–49%
  • Technical Fail (TF): 0

The transfer of grades to your Home University varies for each college and institution.


Transcripts will be issued either digitally via My eQuals or in hardcopy mailed to your home university/sending agent (or directly to you depending on the arrangement with your home university). You should expect to receive it approximately 2-3 weeks after the release of results. You are eligible to receive one official copy from UOW. Additional copies must be requested and paid for (see below). You can find out more about My eQuals online.