Credit for previous studies – for international undergraduate students

If you have previously completed other studies at tertiary level, 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 current course, allowing you to take fewer units of study.

Your application for credit will be considered by the relevant faculty you wish to enrol with. The faculty will look at the previous courses you completed and the results you received, and decide whether you are eligible for credit. It 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, then 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 you are awarded from previous study, 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

To apply for credit for previous tertiary studies at the University of Sydney, you need to submit certain documentation to the International Student Office at the same time as you put in your main application to the University. You need to provide all of the following:

  1. Detailed outlines of all the units of study (subjects) you previously completed, including their full names, subject codes, descriptions, methods of teaching and assessment, reading lists, number of teaching hours, and any other relevant information.
  2. The academic level of the units studied (for example First Year, Second Year).
  3. An explanation of the grading system used at your institution.
  4. Information on how many units of study (subjects) in total were required to complete the degree you were taking at the other university.

If you receive an offer of admission with credit to the University of Sydney, you will then have the opportunity to accept or reject the credit.

Special information on credit transfer from Singapore polytechnics