Concurrent degrees

Concurrent degrees

Concurrent degrees will not be available from Session 2 2019 onwards.

Macquarie University will be offering double degrees in 2020 where students can customise their own degrees similar to a concurrent degree. Please refer to the Double Degree website for more information.

The information below is for existing concurrent degree students

What is a concurrent degree?

A Concurrent degree is a second undergraduate degree that students commence while still studying their currently admitted undergraduate degree. This process allows domestic students to create their own combination of bachelor degrees where the University does not already offer this combination.

Concurrent degrees are not available for international students.

How do concurrent degrees work?

The aim of a concurrent degree is to study as many units as possible required for your second degree as part of your first degree. You can then transfer these units to your second degree according to the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy (subject to limitation).

The units you undertake within your first degree are potentially eligible to be transferred towards your second degree as foundation/ required units (specified credit) or electives (unspecified credits). You can include your PACE units among the units you transfer, as long as it is eligible for both degrees. See the Handbook archive for these requirements.

Planning your course of study

How long will it take to complete my concurrent degrees?

It will take a minimum of four years to complete both degrees. The duration of both degrees will also depend on unit availability and/or how you plan your studies. You must complete at least the minimum number of credit points within your concurrent (second) degree, as shown in the table below:

Duration of second degree

Total credit points

Minimum cp to be completed in second degree

Maximum allowable RPL to transfer from first degree (cp) if applicable

3 years full time


24 (1 year full time)


3 years full time


24 (1 year full time)


4 years full time


36 (1.5 years full time)


5 years full time


48 (2 years full time)


Please note that the maximum amounts of allowable Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) listed in the above table are a guide only. The applicable number of credit points that are transferable from your first degree to your second degree depends on the degree combination you have chosen and how you structure your study plans. Note; the credit transferred to your second degree may include a mixture of specified (required units undertaken within the first course) and unspecified credit (general credit applied to elective space).

Example 1: A concurrent degree combination of Bachelor of Chiropractic Science and Bachelor of Commerce – Professional Accounting, has very prescribed units with minimal units common to both degrees. In such instances, you may not be eligible for any RPL at all.

Example 2: A concurrent degree combination of a Bachelor of Commerce with a Bachelor of Applied Finance has many units common to both degrees. A Bachelor of Applied Finance has a minimum credit point requirement of 69 credit points. Therefore a maximum of 45 credit points can potentially be transferred from the Bachelor of Commerce to the Bachelor of Applied Finance according to the “Maximum allowable RPL to transfer from first degree (cp) if applicable” (seen in the table above). A 69 credit point degree means that you must complete a minimum of 24 credit points in the second degree.

Credit is usually transferred once you have completed your first degree, but you can request this to be done earlier if you wish. When determining your credit allowance, please remember that only 6cp of the allowable RPL can be granted at 300 level or higher. The majority of the higher level units in the second degree must be completed in that degree.

IMPORTANT: The above RPL rules only apply to students commencing a concurrent degree from 2015. Students who commenced a concurrent degree in 2014 or earlier are subject to the previous credit for previous studies rules (eligible for a maximum of 18cp at 100 level and 12cp at 200 level if applicable towards the course).

How many units should I be studying per session in both my degrees?

Macquarie University considers a minimum of 9 credit points or a maximum of 12 credit points within one degree to be full time for one session. Most units are made up of 3 credit points each, therefore equating to 3 or 4 units per session. Students enrolled in concurrent degrees should complete a maximum of 4 units (12 cp) across the 2 courses in each Session (ie Session 1 and Session 2 would total a maximum of 24cp).  Students can complete a maximum of 6 credit points total across both courses in Session 3.

Students who attempt more than 12cp in Session 1 or Session 2 within one degree or across both degrees could potentially be at academic risk and will need approval via the credit overload procedure from the relevant faculty. It is strongly recommended that you seek Academic Advice prior to enrolling into more than 12cp per session across both degrees for Session 1 and Session 2.

If your study load is relevant to your Centrelink payments, please refer to the ‘Centrelink - Youth Allowance, Austudy or Abstudy’ section below.

Can I take a break from studies from one or both my degrees?

Whilst you can take a break from your studies in one or both degrees, it is important to note that if you take a break for  a period greater than 24 consecutive months for either degree, your degree(s) will be discontinued. This means that you will not be able to enrol into your (discontinued) degree and will need to submit a new application to continue your studies. If you are in this situation, please submit an AskMQ enquiry titled ‘Concurrent degree – discontinued’ and we will advise you of your options. Please note: From Session 1, 2018 Domestic students with a course status of ‘Not Continued’ and are seeking to return to their incomplete course of study at Macquarie University must reapply as a new applicant either through UAC or directly to Macquarie.

Returning to Studies After Absence

Terms of application and enrolment

Important information regarding concurrent degrees:

  • Students can only undertake Concurrent Degrees where they are currently admitted into a single Bachelor degree and wish to undertake a second single Bachelor degree.
  • You must start your concurrent (second) degree in the Session for which you apply. You cannot defer. Your offer will be rescinded if you do not commence studies for the session in which you apply.
  • You cannot retrospectively transfer units from the second degree back to the first degree. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can only be applied from the first degree to the second degree.
  • You cannot simultaneously apply for course transfer and concurrent degrees in the same session.
  • If you are an existing concurrent degree student and would like to change your course combination or major, you may be required to submit a Course Transfer application into the new 2020 curriculum double degree course.
  • Units currently enrolled into (and for the rest of the year) and completed units will need to be taken into consideration when degree planning for both degrees.
  • Once accepted as a concurrent degree student, your unit selection ability in eStudent will be disabled for both courses. As unit changes can have serious impact upon concurrent degree progression, any amendments to your originally approved study plan may require you to seek Academic Advice and resubmission of a new approved study plan. Your eStudent study plan will then be updated accordingly.
  • You may experience difficulties enrolling in units where the prerequisite/corequisite requirements are completed in your other degree. Please submit an enquiry on ASK MQ with the title “ATTN: Current Students Team – Concurrent Degree.
  • Students enrolled into winter vacation units will not be eligible to apply for Session 2, 2018 commencement.
  • You will have a separate grading for each degree. For students who commenced a concurrent degree from 1 January 2017, your GPA for your concurrent degree will be calculated on a 7.0 point scale. Note: if you commenced your first degree prior to 2017, your GPA for your first degree will still be calculated on a 4.0 point scale.
  • Academic Standing is determined on the basis of the credit load passed in the current study period, together with the Academic Standing at the end of the previous study period. As a concurrent degree student, you will have one Academic Status for both degrees. The Status will be applied across both courses based on you unit enrolment load across both degrees.
  • You will receive a separate testamur for each completed degree.
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