Planning your studies

Planning your studies

What is the workload for university study?

To estimate the time required to attend lectures and tutorials (or listen to recorded lectures on Echo360), research at the Library and to complete assignments; you should multiply each credit point of your enrolment by three (3) hours. Therefore for one 3 credit-point unit you should expect to commit nine (9) hours of your time per week to your studies.

At Macquarie University, a 9 or 12 credit-point workload is considered to be full time for one session. There are 3 credit-points to each unit/subject, therefore equating to 3 or 4 units per session.

Recommended study load for pathway students

All Next Step students are strongly recommended to undertake a part-time study load, that is, only attempting to complete 6 credit-points (i.e. 2 units) per session. Adjusting to university life and tertiary study can be quite challenging and studying full-time in your first session may be overwhelming.

Our experience has shown that students who attempt 12 credit points (i.e. 4 units) in a single session experience difficulties with a heavy workload, and you should be aware that a Next Step student who fails two units will be excluded from all future Next Step study at Macquarie University.

Please keep in mind that every Next Step student has the opportunity to accelerate into their chosen degree after completing six (6) credit-points of study if they achieve an overall GPA of 3.0. Therefore, please do not feel as though you need to complete all 12 credit-points in the one (1) session.

You should remember that the units you are applying for are from the University's Schedule of Units, so they are at tertiary level. To estimate the time required to attend lectures and tutorials (or listen to recorded lectures), to research at the Library and to complete assignments, you should multiply each credit point of your enrolment by three (3) hours. Therefore, for one 3-credit-point unit, you should expect to commit nine (9) hours of your time per week to your studies for that unit. If you enrol in two (2) three-credit-point units, you should expect to commit 18 hours per week to your studies.

Students considering a full time study load

For students considering a full-time study load (i.e. 3 or more units in a single session), an informal interview with a staff will be required before your application will be processed. Please complete the application with the units you would like to study and submit it in the onlione application - you will then be contacted to arrange an interview time. 

Failure to attend the interview will result in your application being rejected unless a part-time study load has been nominated instead.

Youth Allowance, Austudy or Abstudy

If you are planning to apply for financial assistance, you will need to check the Centrelink requirements for payment of Youth Allowance, Austudy or Abstudy.

Please note: you should ensure that your workload each session meets the eligibility criteria for the benefit you are seeking to receive. If you are unsure of your status, please contact your nearest Centrelink office.

Centrelink is required to look at your workload on a per session basis. A student who enrols in nine (9) or more credit points in a session is considered to have a full-time study load for that session. If you enrol in six (6) credit points, as strongly advised by the Centre for Open Education (for academic reasons), you will have a part-time study load.

Full information about eligibility is available from Centrelink Offices, or from the Centrelink website.

You can also telephone to find out more:

  • Youth Allowance and Austudy - 13 24 90
  • Abstudy - 13 23 17

You should take particular care to ensure that your program of study satisfies Centrelink's requirements, as changes to your program of study may affect your eligibility for benefits. Payment of benefits may be refused, or benefits already paid may need to be refunded if your program does not conform to the specifications laid down by Centrelink.

If you are in any doubt, please check with Centrelink.

Tuition fees - how much will it cost?

The Next Step Pathway is paid for by up-front tuition fees, and is charged per band. Different departments charge different fees, but if you are a student enrolling in 12 credit points to gain entry to a degree, you should expect to pay approximately $5000 - $8000 for 12 credit points (or 4 units worth 3 credit points each).

Please note that your fees must be paid up-front and in full before classes start each session. They cannot be deferred or paid in instalments.

Find out more information at Tuition Fees

Which units are available for the Next Step pathway?

A list of units available to Next Step students is listed in the 2016 Next Step Handbook on pages 28 - 43.

Please note that the pathway into some degrees requires the completion of specific unit choices in order to be considered for the specific degree. For example, the Bachelor of Business Administration requires students to undertake specific units in the Next Step program. The unit choices available are ACBE100, and either ACST100 or ACCG106, BBA102 or MKTG101, STAT170 or ECON111. Therefore the student decides to undertake ACBE100, ACCG106, MKTG101 and STAT170.

Please see Degrees and Entry Requirements for more information.

Exclusion Policy

Students who accumulate two or more failures in the Next Step pathway will not be permitted to continue their studies within the pathway and will be excluded from the pathway. Students will still be eligible to apply for other alternative pathways offered by Macquarie University.

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