Planning your study

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Planning your study

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Planning your study will help you choose your courses and ensure you are on track to complete the correct courses and the required unit value to graduate from your degree.

You need to refer to your program structure and recommended study sequence on the What will I study tab on your program page, then:

  • select your study location
  • select your starting semester
  • select your year of commencement
Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the Download PDF button. Print or Save as a PDF, then Save again as a Word document (*.docx). Keep this to plan your studies.
What is a program structure?

Your program structure shows the courses and TOTAL UNIT VALUE you must complete to be eligible to graduate from your program, including any mandatory majors and/or minors. You must pass these courses and meet the program requirements to be eligible to graduate. Remember to apply to register your majors and minors.

Use the program structure for your commencing year and semester for the remainder of your program unless you receive advice from the Program Progression Advisers in Student Central.

What is a recommended study sequence?

The recommended study sequence displayed with your program structure shows you:

  • the recommended order in which you should complete the courses in your program, whether you wish to study full time or part time
  • course offerings (when the course is offered)
  • course requisites (restrict the order in which you complete courses)
  • how to complete your degree in the minimum duration

The displayed recommended study sequence ONLY shows the CURRENT program structure but can be used by all students to plan their study as follows:

  • use the displayed recommended study sequence to guide the order in which you should complete your remaining courses
  • for courses in your version of the program structure that are not in the current recommended study sequence, search for the course code on the USC website to view the current offerings and requisites.
  • review the recommended study sequence each semester as requisites and semester of offer are subject to change.

You will also need to access your Unofficial Academic Transcript as you progress through your degree to see which courses you have successfully completed. Use the Printed or Saved (Word *.docx) version of the Downloaded PDF of your commencing program structure and recommended study sequence to cross the courses off as you successfully complete them.

If you are unsure of the terminology used, go to Key terms or search askUSC for definitions.

Use the Study Planner (PDF 105KB) to plan your remaining courses. As you plan, check each of your courses to ensure that you meet the requisites and that the course is offered in the semester you plan to study it.

As a full-time student, you should enrol in 48 units (4 courses) each study period and follow the recommended study sequence to complete your program in the minimum duration.

Refer to the 'What will I study?' tab on your program page for your program structure and recommended study sequence. Select you Location, Starting Year and Starting Semester.

Scroll to the bottom of this page and select the Download PDF button. Print or Save as a PDF, then Save again as a Word document (*.docx).

Use the program structure to view your required courses, total unit value, program requirements and program notes.

Use the printed/saved document with your  Unofficial Academic Transcript to cross courses off the program structure list as you successfully complete them. Each semester, calculate how many units you have left to complete before you can graduate.

Use the current recommended study sequence to guide the order in which to complete your remaining courses. To view courses in your commencing structure no longer in the current structure, search for the course code on the USC website to view current offerings and requisites.

Use the Study Planner (PDF 105B) to map your remaining courses if you are no longer able to follow the recommended study sequence. As you plan, check each of your courses to ensure that you meet the requisites and that the course is offered in the semester you plan to study it.

Add the unit value of your planned courses to the unit value of successfully completed courses to ensure you will meet the required number of units to be eligible to graduate.

When you study part-time, you need to be aware of course availability, requisites and any special instructions on your program page.

Refer to the 'What will I study?' tab on your program page. Select the Location, Starting Year and Starting Semester.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the Download PDF button. Print or Save as a PDF, then Save again as a Word document (*.docx).

Use the program structure to view your required courses, total unit value, program requirements and program notes.

Use the printed/saved document with your  Unofficial Academic Transcript  to cross courses off the program structure list as you successfully complete them. Each semester calculate how many units you have left to complete before you can graduate.

Use the current recommended study sequence to guide the order in which to complete your remaining courses. To view courses in your commencing structure no longer in the current structure, search for the course code on the USC website to view current offerings and requisites.

Use the Study Planner (PDF 105B) to map your progression through your degree. As you plan, check each of your courses to ensure that you meet the requisites and that the course is offered in the semester you plan to study it.

Add the unit value of your planned courses to the unit value of successfully completed courses to ensure you will meet the required number of units to be eligible to graduate.

If you have been granted credit for prior studies or changed programs, you will already have completed some of the courses in your program structure.

Refer to the 'What will I study?' tab on your program page. Select the Location, Starting Year and Starting Semester.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the Download PDF button. Print or Save as a PDF, then Save again as a Word document (*.docx).

Use the program structure to view your required courses, total unit value, program requirements and program notes.

Use the printed/saved document with your Unofficial Academic Transcript  to cross courses off the program structure list that you have had awarded as credit and then as you successfully complete a course. Each semester calculate how many units you have left to complete before you can graduate.

Cross courses you have had awarded as credit off the printed/saved recommended study sequence. Courses from future semesters may be brought forward to fill the ‘gaps’ created by credits being granted only if requisites will have been met when you plan to study the course.

Use the Study Planner (PDF 105B) to map your remaining courses. As you plan, check each of your courses to ensure that you meet the requisites and that the course is offered in the semester you plan to study it.

Sometimes recommended study sequences cannot be rearranged due to the strict order in which courses must be completed; e.g. programs that have a strict course progression due to requisites, and there may be semesters where you have a reduced course load.

It’s important to remember that being granted academic credit may not shorten the duration of your studies.

To view courses in your commencing structure no longer in the current structure, search for the course code on the USC website to view current offerings and requisites.

Add the unit value of your planned courses to the unit value of successfully completed courses to ensure you will meet the required number of units to be eligible to graduate.


If the course you fail is a requirement for your program, you must successfully complete it before you can become eligible to graduate or you will not meet your required unit value or program requirements.

If the course you fail is an elective and you do not want to repeat it, you can choose a different course to contribute to your required unit value.

Refer to the 'What will I study?' tab on your program page. Select the Location, Starting Year and Starting Semester.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the Download PDF button. Print or Save as a PDF, then Save again as a Word document (*.docx).

Use the program structure to view your required courses, total unit value, program requirements and program notes.

Use the printed/saved document with your Unofficial Academic Transcript  to cross courses off the program structure list as you successfully complete them. Each semester calculate how many units you have left to complete before you can graduate.

Use the current recommended study sequence to guide the order in which to complete your remaining courses. To view courses in your commencing structure no longer in the current structure, search for the course code on the USC website to view current offerings and requisites.

Use the Study Planner (PDF 105B) to map your progression through your degree. As you plan, check each of your courses to ensure that you meet the requisites and that the course is offered in the semester you plan to study it.

Add the unit value of your planned courses to the unit value of successfully completed courses to ensure you will meet the required number of units to be eligible to graduate.

Contact Student Central if you need assistance.

Key terms

  • Program - A program is the complete degree with which a student graduates (e.g. Bachelor of Arts).
  • Course - A course (commonly known as a subject) is a component of a degree that is normally one semester in length. Each course is generally 12 units in value. Introductory courses are 100 coded e.g. COR109. Advanced courses are 200 or 300 coded e.g. BUS211 and NUR300.
  • Credit - Courses awarded from previous study to count towards a USC program. Credit can be awarded for specific USC course codes e.g. COR109 or elective courses e.g. Introductory level elective GEN199 or advanced level elective BUS299 and SCN399
  • Full-time - A full-time student studies at least 3 courses per semester. The standard full-time workload is 4 courses per semester and allows completion within the degree’s minimum duration.
  • Part-time - A part-time student studies either 1 or 2 courses per semester. Part-time study extends the minimum duration of the degree program.
  • Major - A major is a sequence of 8 courses from one particular area of study - usually the main area of interest for a student’s degree.
  • Extended major - A sequence of 12 courses from one particular area of study.
  • Minor - A minor is a sequence of 4 courses from one particular area of study.
  • Elective - Many programs include elective courses, where students have the flexibility to study courses of their own choice within program requirements that count towards their degree. You will find electives for each Faculty at:
  • Undergraduate courses in the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law and the Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering.
  • Postgraduate courses in the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law and the Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering.
  • Requisites:
    • Pre-requisite - Specific course that is needed prior to enrolling in the nominated course.
    • Co-requisite - Specific course/s that must be completed prior to or at the same time as the nominated course. When completing at the same time you MUST enrol into the co-requisite course FIRST in USC Central to meet the requisite requirement for the nominated course.
    • Anti-requisite - Course/s too similar in content. It is not in the student’s best interest to complete both courses.
  • Equivalent course - Only one of the 2 courses should be completed and count towards a student’s degree.
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