Understanding units

A course is made up of a number of units of study and most units are worth 10 credit points. Macquarie's courses allow you to select your units so you can schedule your time around uni and other commitments.

Unit load

Domestic students

Full-time domestic undergraduate and postgraduate students at Macquarie can study 30 or 40 credit points per session:

  • three units = 30 credit points
  • four units = 40 credit points

30 credit points are accepted as the minimum full-time load per session and 40 credit points are the maximum that domestic students can study per session. If you wish to study more than 40 credit points, see the section below "Credit overload".

International students

International students are required to take four units (40 credit points) in each compulsory study period. This is because student visa holders are required to complete their course within a set period of time, indicated by your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). The course duration is based on a full-time study load.

If you experience academic difficulties or situations which are considered to be compassionate or compelling, then you may be eligible to reduce your study load.  If you wish to request to reduce your study load submit a "Reduce study load" form via AskMQ.

Unit levels

Generally, our unit levels are:

  • Undergraduate level = 1000 level (1st year)
  • Undergraduate level = 2000 level (2nd year)
  • Undergraduate level = 3000 level (3rd year)
  • Postgraduate level = 6000 level (foundation units) or 9000 level

Choosing units

Visit the Handbook to view the full list of units.

Consider the following when choosing units:

  • Some units may only be available once a year, whereas others will give you a choice of when you can study them and where you can study them (on-campus, external or online). Refer to the handbook for unit availability.
  • Review the prerequisite requirements of the units within your course. You may find that you will need to complete specific units in your first session or year before you can enrol in some of your higher-level units.


An offering is composed of a study period, an attendance pattern, and a location of attendance. For example:

Boxes showing examples of Study Period, Attendance Pattern and Location

Attendance Patterns

Internal modes
Weekday attendance: Predominantly delivered face-to-face on a regular weekday basis over the duration of the study period.
Weekend attendance: Predominantly delivered face-to-face on a regular weekend basis over the duration of the study period.
Intensive attendance: Predominantly delivered face-to-face in an intensive mode in a sequence of days that may include weekends.
Special circumstances attendance: Unit content has been modified to be delivered face-to-face or online for students who choose to study online due to Covid-19. Unit will appear as "Day" in eStudent.
External modes
Infrequent attendance: Predominantly delivered online but with occasional attendance required.
Fully online/virtual: All unit requirements (including assessments) can be completed without in-person attendance. No on-campus attendance is required.
Attendance for exam only: As for fully online/virtual, but in-person attendance is required for the examination. This may be at North Ryde campus, or at an exam centre within Australia.  

Online Units – Session 2 2021

We have adjusted the delivery of our units to cater for students who are unable to attend campus due to COVID-19. Refer to the list of units which will be delivered fully online for Session 2 2021.

Unit waiver or special approval

If you can demonstrate that you have sufficient prior knowledge to successfully complete a unit without meeting the prerequisites, you may be eligible to apply for a waiver.

Credit overload

Credit overload allows you to study more than the standard number of credit points per study period. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you will be able to study more than the standardÔÇ»number of credit points.

Contact us

Got questions? Contact Student Connect via one of the following methods:

  • Chat, found in the far-right corner of this page during business hours.
  • AskMQ
  • Phone on +61 (2) 9850 6410
  • In person at Level 2 MUSE, 18 Wally's Walk.