Flexible learning options

We offer a range of different structures and options so you can make study work for your life.

Study full-time or part-time

Course completion is on a credit points basis and units generally have a value of 3 credit points. A 3 credit point unit requires a quarter of a full-time study workload. This includes lectures, tutorials and / or laboratory classes, personal reading and assessments required for the unit. 


A standard full-time study load is normally 12 credit points in each semester or 24 credit points in each academic year. A study load of 12 credit points requires an average student workload of 40 hours per week. This allows you to finish your degree in the shortest time possible.

External agencies such as Centrelink and Transperth have their own definitions of full and part time. Students whose enrolment is below 9 credit points at any stage in the semester may no longer be eligible for Centrelink support or Transperth concessions.

For Centrelink purposes units are normally either in Semester 1, which includes all units with a census date between 1 January and 30 June, or in Semester 2, which includes all units with census dates between 1 July and 31 December. The only exceptions are full-year (Semester 1 followed by Semester 2) and straddle (Semester 2 followed by Semester 1) units, which are split equally between the two semesters. If you’re receiving Centrelink support, please check with Centrelink directly as the rules governing eligibility can change.


If you would like more flexibility, you may be able to study part-time. You may also be able to change between full-time and part-time study during your course if your circumstances change.

Your full-time or part-time study options will depend on the course you’re studying, prerequisites and unit availability. It’s important to check the teaching timetable when planning your unit enrolment.

International students

If you’re studying under a Student Visa, you are required to complete your course within the Confirmation of Enrolment and visa length. To be regarded as full-time, you must be enrolled in at least 12 credit points in a semester. If your enrolment is below 12 credit points you must contact The Student Centre as you may not be satisfying the conditions prescribed in your student visa. You can apply for approved reduced study only in certain circumstances.

Study online

With many courses, you'll have the option of studying externally using online materials such as lecture recordings. Online study allows you to complete units and even whole degrees without being on campus.

Find out more about studying online

Semesters and trimesters

For the majority of Murdoch's courses, the year is divided into two semesters:

  • Semester One, beginning mid-February
  • Semester Two, beginning late July

Some units may also be available in the summer and winter semester breaks. This means you could study all year round and complete your degree sooner.

For some courses, the teaching year is split into three trimesters, allowing you to complete more units over the course of the year. Trimester study fast tracks your program, so you can complete your degree sooner.

Search the course finder to see when your preferred course runs.