Plan your degree
Before you enrol you need to plan for your degree. This will help you to know which courses to study and to draft your timetable. This section will walk you through each step and includes important information about your degree and course selection.
Make sure you have:
- Accepted your offer
- Activated your student account
- Have your log in details ready
Program + Course
Program refers to the degree in which you are enrolled. For example, the Bachelor of Science is a program.
Course is a subject. For example, BIOL1002 is a course in the Bachelor of Science program.
Program Handbook + Program Plan
Your Program Handbook details the rules and structure of your program, including the number and type of courses you need to complete, and the maximum amount of time allowed to complete your program.
Your Program Plan details the structure of the program and provides you with a recommended enrolment plan. We recommend you use this to help record your progress and ensure you stay on-track to meet the requirements for your degree.
Every course is given a code, made up of four letters and four numbers .
The letters are an abbreviation of the subject area, and the four numbers are used to uniquely identify the course and the course level.
For example: BIOL1002 – ‘BIOL’ is an abbreviation of Biological Sciences, ‘1001’ is a unique identifier and because it starts with a ‘1’ we know that it is a first level course.
The first number in a course code indicates the course level and how difficult the course might be.
Generally, first-year undergraduate students enrol in courses that begin with a ‘1’, and postgraduate students enrol in courses that begin with ‘6’.
1000 – First level undergraduate (introductory)
2000 – Second level undergraduate (intermediate)
3000 – Third level undergraduate (senior)
4000 – Fourth level undergraduate or honours (advanced)
5000 – Fifth level undergraduate or honours (advanced)
6000 – Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or Masters
It is not unusual to enrol in a mixture of levels at some point during your studies. For example: you might decide to enrol in a 1000 level elective in your third year of study.
Full time or part time
The number of units you enrol in each term determines whether you are full-time or part-time.
Most courses are 10 units each and the general guideline is that you will need to allow 10 hours per week for study (including class time) for each 10-unit course, but this may depend on the student and the course.
Full-time study load to complete in minimum duration
Full-time study load
Part-time study load
20 units or less
20 units (with a total of at least 60 units per year)
20 units or less (with a total of less than 60 units per year)
Summer or Winter term
10 units is considered full-time
International students with a student visa must study 100% full-study load and follow their Program Plan.
Additionally, some programs must be studied full-time, for example: Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours).
Key support staff
Program Convenor – your Program Convenor is an academic staff member with overall responsibility for the management and quality of your program. They’re a good person to contact for advice on academic matters, including career advice and course recommendations to suit your interests and study plans.
Academic Program Advisor – your Academic Program Advisor has detailed knowledge about the requirements of your program, and can help you with things like credit, cross-institutional study, and international student ESOS compliance obligations.
You can find out who your Program Convenor and Academic Progress Advisor is here.
Student Progress Advisor – your Student Progress Advisor will provide support and enrolment advice throughout your studies. They are here to assist you make the most out of the University’s free support with success planning and help you stay on track in your degree. If you'd like to speak with your Student Progress Advisor, you can book an appointment online.
Course Coordinator – Course Coordinators are responsible for designing, planning, and teaching a course.
To work out which courses to enrol in, you will need to find your program on our Degrees page.
After you have located your program, you will see your:
Program Handbook, which details the rules and structure of your program, and includes a list of all majors, minors, and courses offered in the program and their availability
Program Plan, which details the structure of your program and provides you with a recommended enrolment plan. We recommend you use this to help record your progress and ensure you stay on-track to meet the requirements for your degree.
Programs usually have courses you must complete as part of your degree or major, as well as elective courses. The amount of flexibility you have will depend on your program.
Core course - A program-level compulsory course (i.e. you must do this course as part of your program)
Compulsory course – a compulsory course for your major, minor, or specialisation
Directed course - a course chosen from a list of program, major, or minor courses
Elective – a course that can be chosen from all courses available at the University of Newcastle that do not have any other conditions (such as a program requisite*) applied to them
* A requisite (or prerequisite) is a criteria that must be met to enrol in a course. Learn more here.
Have you studied before? You may be eligible for credit or recognition of prior learning. Check out our dedicated Credit page for more information.
Plan your timetable
Before you plan your timetable, make sure you’ve looked at your Program Handbook and Program Plan and know which courses you need to enrol in for your first term of study
Complete your to do list
Before you enrol, you will need to log into myHub and complete your Mandatory To-Do List. This ensures important information like your contact details and HECS or FEE-HELP information is complete and up to date.