Credit for previous studies

When applying for a postgraduate research course, you may be eligible for ‘credit for previous studies’ – also called ‘transfer credit’ or ‘advanced standing’. This is when some of your previous credit is transferred towards your upcoming course, allowing you to take fewer units of study.

If you choose to apply for credit, your application will be considered by the relevant faculty you wish to enrol with. The faculty will consider the previous subjects you completed, and the results you received, and decide whether you are eligible for credit.

The faculty will also determine how much credit you can receive, and whether it will be granted for specified or unspecified units of study.

Specified versus unspecified credits

  • If you receive specified credits for core (compulsory) units of study, you won’t have to enrol for those specific subjects, and can make your own choice of elective (non-compulsory) subjects.
  • If you receive unspecified credits then you will still need to take any core units of study, but you can choose fewer elective units.

Course duration

Depending on the number of credits granted, you may find the length of your course at the University of Sydney is reduced. If you are planning to study here on a student visa, remember that you are usually required to maintain a full-time enrolment in all semesters.

How to apply for credit

For some courses, you will automatically be considered for credit if your previous studies include subjects relevant to the course you have applied for.

In all other circumstances, you should contact your Admissions Officer to request credit consideration. Their contact details will be sent to you shortly after your application has been received. The Admissions Officer will advise you on the documentation you need to supply in order to request consideration, which may include:

  • information about the previous subjects you completed, including detailed course outlines, the academic level of each subject
  • an explanation of the grading system used at your institution
  • completion requirements of your previous degree course.

Once you receive your formal offer of admission to a postgraduate course at the University of Sydney, you will then have the opportunity to accept or reject any credit you have been offered.