Study at Murdoch: a General Guide

This is a summary description for general guidance. Further guidance is included in subsections below, specifically relevant to bachelor studies, honours studies, and graduate coursework and research studies.

It is important that students also read the legislation relevant to their studies so that they are familiar with all of the requirements. For guidance refer to the University Regulation section of this Handbook.

Further information on all of these topics can be obtained from The Student Centre.

Internet Access Requirements

Murdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission are asked to provide evidence of their suitability to undertake a university education. In many cases this evidence will be based on previous performance at secondary or post-secondary level (for undergraduate studies). However, for those courses into which admission is competitive, there may be additional criteria and there may be limits on the number of places available.

As requirements for admission to graduate-level studies can vary greatly, applicants are advised to refer to the Graduate Courses section of this Handbook. The application process gives an applicant the opportunity to demonstrate suitability and to make the best possible case for admission.

Applicants are required to keep original or certified copies of all documents submitted in their application. These may be required at a later date.

All applicants need to prove their competency in English language:

More specific details on application processes can be found below.

Mid-Year Admission

Murdoch University’s largest intake of students occurs at the beginning of each year. However, many courses are also available for mid-year admission; these students commence their courses at the beginning of Semester 2.

Note that not all units are available in each semester. Mid-year admission may result in an extension to the recommended minimum duration of the course, based on unit availability.

Applications for mid-year admission should be directed to The Student Centre.

Special Requirements

A number of courses have special requirements, for example a National Criminal History Record Check or Working with Children Check. For details of such requirements, refer to the Courses section of this Handbook.

Special Requirements for Admission to Teacher Education Courses

The Western Australian Department of Education and the Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia (TRBWA) have the right to determine ‘fit and proper persons’ to enter and practice in schools in Western Australia. For the protection of students, education authorities have the legal right to exclude people from school premises. This power will be exercised in cases of serious or frequent criminal conviction, and may also be exercised in cases where children are thought to be at risk for any reason.

Therefore, all applicants offered a place in teacher education courses must obtain a National Criminal History Record Check through the WA Department of Education. Although a criminal record does not necessarily preclude an applicant from employment as a teacher, the WA Department of Education has advised that convictions:

  • of a violent or sexual nature; or
  • where the victim was under 18 years of age; or
  • for dealing in or trafficking illegal drugs

will almost certainly rule out the possibility of teaching in a school, regardless of when the offence(s) occurred.

Information about obtaining a National Criminal History Record Check will be sent by Murdoch University to all applicants offered a place in Education courses that require a current criminal history clearance for placement in the practicum component of the course. The University will require a successful applicant’s satisfactory mandatory check prior to the student commencing their first placement. There will be a cost to the student in obtaining the mandatory checks.

In particular, full-time Graduate Diploma or Bachelor of Education (Graduate) students should note that their placement in a school occurs in late January, and so they should apply for their Check immediately on receipt of an offer from the University. Applicants who wish to obtain an application form in advance of being made an offer may do so by contacting the University or the WA Department of Education.

Applicants should note that if they apply for a Check and do in fact have a conviction relating to offences such as those above, the WA Department of Education will place this information on a database and make it available to other authorities.

For further details about this requirement, on a confidential basis, applicants can contact the WA Department of Education:

Telephone (08) 9264 4391

In addition to a criminal record check, everyone applying to teach must have a Working with Children Check as part of the legislative requirements of the Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004. Application forms can be obtained from WA Post Offices or the School of Education Professional Experience Office (Room 2.002, Level 2, Education and Humanities Building).

Information on the Working with Children Check process is available at:

Further information on the Working with Children Act and Working with Children Checks is available at:

Advanced Standing

As part of the admissions process the University will consider previous post-secondary and tertiary studies for Advanced Standing, in accordance with relevant legislation. For more information, refer to the University Regulation section of the Handbook.

‘Credit’ refers to a reduction in the credit points required to complete a Murdoch course on the basis of Advanced Standing. It usually shortens the time required to complete the course.

An ‘Exemption’ removes the requirement for a particular unit to be taken; it recognises that a student has completed learning/study elsewhere that substantially duplicates the content of a Murdoch unit which is a requirement of their Murdoch course.

For further information on Advanced Standing, refer to:

The Credit Points System

Study at Murdoch is based on a system of credit points that are completed towards the requirements of the course. Units, generally, have a value of 3 or 4 credit points. The guideline adopted by the University in determining the number of credit points represented by each unit is that the full-time student load in a standard semester is 12 credit points. One credit point reflects an average student workload of 50 hours. Thus a unit with a value of 3 credit points should engage roughly a quarter of a full-time student’s available time and effort. This is an inclusive estimate, including all lectures, tutorials and/or laboratory classes, personal reading, and assignments required for the unit.

Full-time and Part-time Study

A full-time student normally enrols for 12 credit points in each semester, or 24 credit points in each academic year. Domestic students must be enrolled in at least 9 credit points in a semester to be regarded as full-timetime (by external agencies such as Centrelink); those whose enrolment is below 9 credit points at any stage in the semester may no longer be eligible for Centrelink support. For Centrelink purposes units are nominally either in Semester 1, which includes all units with a census date between 1 January and 30 June, or in Semester 2, which includes all units with census dates between 1 July and 31 December. The only exceptions are full-year and straddle units, which are split equally between the two semesters. Students in receipt of Centrelink support should check with Centrelink direct if they have concerns regarding eligibility for support, as the rules governing eligibility can change.

Students may enrol on a part-time basis. Be aware that there are difficulties in offering units involving laboratory sessions outside normal working hours. Students who foresee difficulty in attending units during normal working hours should consult the teaching timetable in planning their unit enrolment.

Full Degree International Students

International students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit points in a semester to be regarded as full-time. Those international students whose enrolment is below 12 credit points must contact The Student Centre, as they may not be satisfying the conditions prescribed for a student visa.

Not-for-Award Study Abroad International Students

Not-for-award Study Abroad and Exchange students transferring academic credit back to their home university must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 credit points and a maximum of 12 credit points in a semester to be regarded as full-time. Students taking more than 12 credit points must contact The Student Centre, as further charges will apply.


A Course is a coherent combination units approved by Academic Council that leads to a particular Award. Students must complete the requirements of the course and the requirements of the major in an undergraduate degree.

Australian Qualifications Framework

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is Australia’s national policy for regulated qualifications delivered in all education sectors. Murdoch University offers qualifications at AQF Levels 7 to 10.

Academic Chairs

An Academic Chair is a member of academic staff responsible for a course, major or minor. A student taking multiple courses/majors/minors may have to liaise with several Academic Chairs.

The Academic Chair is able to counsel students in any matter relating to the course, major or minor and their enrolment in it, including unit selections, academic progress and the possible consequences of taking Approved Leave.


It is students’ responsibility to enrol in accordance with the relevant regulations, requirements of their course/major and official deadlines.

Studying successfully at Murdoch requires that all students meet certain inherent requirements. These include compliance with University regulations, rules and policies, meeting the learning outcomes of the enrolled course and its units and participation in learning activities that demonstrate the achievement of learning outcomes. For students with a disability or medical condition, the University recognises that reasonable adjustments may be made to learning activities that enable those students to achieve the same learning outcomes. (Please also see the information on Students and Staff with Disabilities).

Students for whom the inherent requirements may pose a challenge are strongly advised to discuss this with the Disability Liaison Officer before enrolling or deciding not to enrol. The Disability Liaison Officer will be able to discuss the requirements and possible adjustments.

Disability Liaison Officer

Enrolment of New Students

Successful applicants for admission to Murdoch University will receive an offer letter that includes all of the information needed to be able to accept the offer online. Enrolment information is emailed to students upon acceptance and includes advice on how to complete an enrolment.

Applicants who are not immediately offered admission will be advised and invited to The Student Centre to discuss ways in which they may be admitted in the future.

Orientation Week and Enrolment Assistance Sessions

Orientation Week (O Week) is held in the week before the beginning of Semester and is an important part of a successful university life. The week is designed to assist students to prepare for their studies, as well as to introduce them to the sporting, cultural and social activities on offer at Murdoch University.

A series of lectures and workshops cover topics such as First Year Experience, Computer Usage on Campus, Learning Skills, Student Services and Supports, Planning Your Career, and Campus and Library tours. There is also a general advice session for external students.

Course and academic advice sessions are offered to all new undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students. The sessions commence in early February in what is referred to as Orientation Week (O Week). Students are encouraged to attend the School Welcome and Course Advice Session relevant to their intended course of study. If students are studying more than one degree it is highly recommended that they attend both course advice sessions. It is an opportunity to meet the academic staff in the course, and to hear about the enrolment options available at Murdoch.

School Welcome Orientation sessions are offered in Orientation Week to all new undergraduate and graduate coursework students. Students are encouraged to attend the School Welcome Orientation Session relevant to their intended major. If students are studying more than one major or a combined course it is highly recommended that they attend sessions for each. It is an opportunity to meet academic staff, ask specific questions about courses, majors and minors, and discuss unit selection.

Full details of the O Week program will be forwarded to new undergraduate students and made available at:

Re-Enrolment of Existing Students

Current students who intend to re-enrol for 2014 are required to complete their enrolment by 7 February 2014. There is no guarantee of re-enrolment for any students who seek to re-enrol after the deadline. A fee may be charged for late re-enrolments.

Students should enrol in all units they intend to study during the academic year. This will assist the University in timetabling and in providing sufficient teaching resources for students. Students who do not enrol in second semester units by the end of May could also be charged a late re-enrolment fee.

All students are expected to re-enrol through MyInfo, except for the following:

  • Students who are registered as having no access to the Internet are sent re-enrolment forms in November each year;
  • Honours students are re-enrolled by The Student Centre;
  • Research students will be re-enrolled by the Graduate Research Office on the basis of their Annual Progress Report;
  • Not-for-award students are required to re-apply for enrolment each year through The Student Centre.

MyInfo can be accessed via:

Courses Subject to Restriction

All graduate courses are restricted and no student is able to transfer into a graduate course without approval.

Restricted Majors

  • Bachelor of Science in Animal Science
  • Bachelor of Chiropractic; Bachelor of Science in Chiropractic
  • Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood and Primary Teaching; Bachelor of Education in Primary Teaching; Bachelor of Education in Primary, 1-10 Health and Physical Education; Bachelor of Education in Secondary Teaching; both four-year and their combined degrees
  • Bachelor of Laws and combined degrees with Law
  • Bachelor of Nursing
  • Bachelor of Arts in Photography
  • Bachelor of Psychology with Honours
  • Bachelor of Arts in Radio
  • Bachelor of Arts in Screen Production
  • Bachelor of Arts in Social and Developmental Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sound
  • Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Biology

Changing Enrolment in Majors and Minors

Students wishing to change their enrolment in majors and minors can lodge a request via MyAnswers at any time.

Where a major is subject to restriction, adding it as a second major is subject to permission being granted by the relevant Academic Chair; students seeking to add that major or transfer into it must apply via The Student Centre. Applications are considered at the end of each semester. Closing dates and application forms are available at:

Approved Leave

Students may apply for Approved Leave (intermission of enrolment) for a maximum total period of two years during any undergraduate course, or for a maximum total period of one year for Honours and graduate courses. Students granted Approved Leave are guaranteed a place in the University and in their course provided they resume studies at the end of the approved period.

An Approved Leave form, or a written application stating the grounds for seeking leave should be submitted via MyAnswers. The date this is received is the date of effect of the Approved Leave on the student’s enrolment record, unless the student requests it to take effect the following semester or trimester as relevant to the student’s course. The Approved Leave form is available at:

More detail on Approved Leave is available at:

Withdrawal of Enrolment

Domestic students may discontinue their studies by formally withdrawing from the University. This must be done through MyInfo (withdrawing from any enrolled units) and then by completing the Complete Withdrawal from Course form and submitting it via MyAnswers or to The Student Centre. Telephone advice to members of staff is not accepted as advice of withdrawal.

Re-admission is either via the Tertiary Institutions Service Centre (TISC) for undergraduate applications timed to commence at the start of the academic year:

or online for mid-year re-admission:

A student applying for re-admission after an unapproved break in studies of two or more semesters is required to meet the course and fee requirements in force at the time of re-admission, subject to those requirements being varied in individual cases by the Academic Chair and Manager, Student Registry respectively.

A student who has no substantive enrolment in an academic year will have their enrolment discontinued and be required to apply for re-admission.

Any student who is permitted to re-enrol after exceeding the maximum permissible period of enrolment may have conditions attached to their enrolment.

Unit Sets

A ‘Unit’ is the basic element of a course that delivers educational material prescribed in the curriculum.

‘Unit Sets’ are groups of related units used to define a path of study undertaken to ensure the satisfactory progression through and completion of a student’s course attempt. They can be majors, minors or other groups of units.

When a student enrols in a course, at least one primary unit set is applied to the course attempt to further define the student’s nominated path of study. If a student subsequently discontinues that primary unit set then they are also obliged to change their course.


  • Bachelor of Business (the course) with a major in Accounting (the major is the unit set)
  • Bachelor of Arts (the course) with a major in Criminology (the major is one unit set) and a minor in Management (the minor is another unit set)
  • Graduate Certificate in Energy Studies (the course) has a single unit set associated with it, also called Graduate Certificate in Energy Studies
  • Graduate Diploma in Energy and the Environment has a number of unit sets available, corresponding with the specialisations available in that course.

Unit set ‘rules’ typically require the completion of particular units or credit points at certain levels of study, and are used to verify a student’s progress. Similarly, course rules can require the completion of one or more particular unit sets.

Students will be able to amend their unit sets and add non-restricted unit sets by lodging a request through MyAnswers. Students who wish to add restricted unit sets are able to make application at the end of each semester as part of the course transfer process. Closing dates and application forms are available at:

Note that some courses will require completion of a particular unit set; in these cases the unit set will not be able to be removed. There are also limits on the number of unit sets that can be undertaken within the one course.


Unit Offerings

University study is based on enrolment in units taken in distinct unit offerings, or enrolment options. A unit offering has a Location (for example, Rockingham campus), a Teaching Period (for example, S1 (the standard Semester 1 teaching period)) and a Unit Class or mode of study (for example, D (internal)). Many unit offerings are for a standard semester or trimester, some offerings are over two semesters, and others are in non-standard teaching periods.

The offerings applicable to each unit are shown in the Units section of this Handbook.

Note that the University does change unit offerings in response to enrolment and administrative needs, and students should use the online Handbook to obtain the most up-to-date information.

Teaching Periods

A Teaching Period is the period of time spent in teaching and assessing a unit, lasting from the first day of instruction to the final day of assessment. Each teaching period is uniquely identified by a code.

Most unit offerings are in standard teaching periods, and there are also a number of non-standard teaching periods. All standard teaching periods are as follows:

Standard Semesters include 12 teaching weeks and a final two-week assessment period.

  • Semester 1: S1 (February to June)
  • Semester 2: S2 (July to November)

The standard Summer term includes six teaching weeks plus one week of assessment; the standard Winter term comprises four weeks including assessment.

  • Summer term: SUM (November/December of the preceding calendar year to January/February)
  • Winter term: W (June to July)

Standard Full/Straddle Years are two consecutive standard semesters.

  • Full Year: Y (S1 then S2)
  • Straddle Year: H (S2 then S1)

Standard Trimesters are 14 weeks long, with 12 teaching weeks, a one-week study break and the final week used for assessment.

  • Trimester 1: T1 (January to April)
  • Trimester 2: T2 (April/May to July/August)
  • Trimester 3: T3 (August to November)

Trimesters used at Dubai and Singapore locations are:

  • January Trimester: TJA, TJB, TJD (January to April)
  • May Trimester: TMA, TMB, TMD (May to August)
  • September Trimester: TSA, TSB, TSD (September to December)

A comprehensive list of teaching periods can be seen at the beginning of the Units section of this Handbook.


Some units assume a particular level of understanding before students can commence study; typically this is satisfied by completion of other (prerequisite) units. Where a unit has prerequisites, enrolment in the unit will require a student to have satisfied the prerequisites (or equivalents elsewhere) before commencing the unit. Students should consult the Unit Coordinator if they wish to seek a waiver of a prerequisite.

Internet access is required for students studying externally; in some cases exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis.


A student is not permitted to enrol in more than 14 credit points in a semester unless approval has been obtained via The Student Centre from the Academic Chair. Generally a student needs a good academic record to cope with an enrolment overload. The Overload application form is available at:

Late Enrolment

Internal Offerings

Students can enrol online in an internal offering of a unit up to the end of the second week of the teaching period. After the second week approval of the Unit Coordinator is required: students should contact The Student Centre for more information. The enrolment can be refused if the Unit Coordinator believes it will disrupt teaching in the unit, otherwise disadvantage other students already enrolled in the unit, or might be academically disadvantageous to the student. The Late Enrolment Internal application form is available at:

External Offerings

Students can enrol in an external offering of an S1, S2 or Y offering of a unit until 5.00pm on Friday of the first week of that teaching period; the deadline for all other teaching periods is the Friday before the teaching period starts. However, delays in receiving unit materials are likely to be experienced if a student enrols later than two weeks before the start of the teaching period. Changing enrolment from an internal offering to an external offering of the same unit is permitted until the end of the second week of the unit. Enrolment after the closing date requires special approval; students should contact The Student Centre for further information.

Repeating a Failed Unit

A student who has failed a unit normally may take it a second time. Third attempts require the approval of the Academic Chair of the course offering the unit. Special approval may be granted by the President of Academic Council for a student who has failed a unit three times to be permitted to enrol in it for a fourth and final time. Conditions may be attached to a third or fourth attempt including, in the case of a core unit failed twice, that a student must repeat the unit at the first available opportunity.

Units offered at Peel and Rockingham

Students enrolled at the South Street campus are permitted to enrol in units at the Peel and Rockingham campuses, where places are available.

Unit Availability

Core units are offered each year, and at least once during each course offering where courses are of less than one year’s duration. Elective units are offered at least each alternate year. A sufficient number of Specified Electives are offered in any course cycle to provide full-time students with a range of units from which to select.

Teaching Timetable

Murdoch University strives to offer a degree of flexibility in its courses, which is reflected in the timetable offered to students. Unfortunately, it may not be possible to schedule all possible combinations of units without clashes when constructing the timetable.

Core units and specified electives are a priority in the timetabling process and are timetabled to be as clash free as possible. Students selecting general electives are advised to ensure they fit with their core units’ timetable. If this is not possible, students may want to consider selecting electives that are available in external mode or, where lecture recordings can be accessed online, for which a clash affects only a portion of the total lecture time.

The teaching timetable is prepared in accordance with the Timetabling Policy with the aim of meeting the needs of students and academic staff. Standard teaching hours are between 8.30am and 8.30pm, Monday to Friday; in some cases classes will be scheduled outside of these hours to accommodate specific units.

Teaching timetables are published biannually for each of the Semesters, Summer, Winter and Trimesters.

Amendments after the timetables are published to students are kept to a minimum, as per the Timetabling Policy; changes may be made when, for example, a class size exceeds the capacity of the venue or a teaching staff member has changed.

Teaching timetables are available at:

The Timetabling Policy is available at:


‘Classes’ is the collective term used for all teaching activities, such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories, workshops, seminars etc. Before 2012 these were known as Unit Activities.

Students need to register for their classes through MyInfo once class sign-up is available. Classes for most units start in the first week of the teaching period.

Special Types of Unit

Foundation Units

Until 2014, students in a Bachelor Degree Course have been required to take a Foundation Unit normally in their first semester of enrolment. In 2014 Foundation Units will be taught only at Dubai, at Singapore for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Psychology/Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and through Open Universities Australia. Where Foundation Units are not available, students should enrol in the relevant Transition Unit.

The primary purpose of University Foundation Units is to enable students new to the University to develop a range of generic learning skills in a context that develops a broad perspective. These Units provide a foundation for subsequent university studies and a basis for the development of Murdoch University’s Graduate Attributes. For more information, refer to the section on Foundation and Transition Units in Bachelor Studies: A General Guide.

Transition Units

Students in a post-2014 Bachelor Degree Course are required to take a Transition Unit normally in their first semester of enrolment. A Transition Unit is a compulsory unit that introduces students to degree-specific skills that are necessary for success at university. For more information, refer to the section on Foundation and Transition Units in Bachelor Studies: A General Guide.

Breadth Units

A student enrolling in a post-2014 Bachelor Degree Course must enrol in a Breadth Unit. This is a specially designated Unit that provides students with interdisciplinary knowledge. 100-level Breadth Units are specified for each Degree Course. At 200 level and 300 level students may select from any appropriate level Breadth Unit offered.

Research Units

A student enrolling in a post-2014 Bachelor Degree Course must enrol in Research Units at 200 level and 300 level designed for single undergraduate degrees or for groups of cognate Majors supporting the development of research skills.

Skills Development Elective Units

Students in a Bachelor Degree Course may choose to enrol in a unit designed to develop their learning skills. Some students may be encouraged to enrol concurrently in a Foundation or Transition Unit and a Skills Development Elective Unit.

For more information, refer to the section on Skills Development Elective Units in Bachelor Studies: A General Guide.

Special Topics

Special Topic units comprise advanced study in particular areas, and the range of topics available (if any) varies from year to year. Details of topics on offer can be seen in the Units section of the online Handbook.

Independent Study Contracts

An Independent Study Contract (ISC) permits a student to study a topic or subject that is not available as a regularly-taught unit, under the supervision of an academic member of staff, and to obtain credit points for this. ISCs differ from formal units in that they are based on individual study rather than formal classes.

The student is responsible for the selection of the topic and for the organisation of the contract. The contract is a formal agreement between the student and the supervisor, specifying the material to be studied and the methods by which it will be assessed. A student undertaking a contract will be required to work closely with the supervisor.

Students must submit their applications via The Student Centre on the standard form. Applications should be submitted at latest by the first day of the teaching period in which the contract is to be undertaken, but it is preferable to apply at least several weeks in advance.

Not all students will be able to enrol in an ISC.

The Independent Study Contracts Policy is available at:

Change of Unit Enrolment, including Withdrawal

Most students (excluding honours, research and transnational students) are expected to change their unit enrolments through MyInfo:

MyInfo can be accessed via:

The IT Service Desk can help with any difficulty in working through MyInfo:

Telephone +61 8 9360 2000

Students who require assistance in unit selection or other academic issues should contact The Student Centre.

To change unit enrolments, honours students should contact The Student Centre for assistance. Research students should contact the Graduate Research Office.

For any other questions, students should access MyAnswers:

Withdrawal From Units

Withdrawals are recorded on the student’s academic transcript as follows:

  • Withdrawal on or before the census date; withdrawal is not formally recorded on the academic record and no fee is incurred. An administrative record is kept.
  • Withdrawal after the census date, but on or before the last date for withdrawal without penalty in the teaching period in which the unit is to be completed; withdrawal is recorded and fees incurred.
  • Withdrawals after the last date for withdrawal without penalty: fail recorded and fees incurred.

For units that are offered in other teaching periods, census and withdrawal dates will apply as relevant to the teaching period. Details of census and withdrawal dates for all units are made available on the University web site, and can be accessed from the online Handbook.

Australian students in receipt of Government support need to keep in mind their obligations to remain enrolled in at least the minimum number of required credit points.

International students must maintain a full-time enrolment at all times as a condition of their student visa. If an international student cannot enrol full-time, they must apply for permission from The Student Centre to under-load. Permission may be granted in exceptional circumstances.

Retrospective Withdrawal, and Re-crediting and Remission of HELP and Fees

Students can apply to have unit outcomes amended from Fail or Withdrawn to Withdrawn with or without Load and remission of their HELP or tuition fee liabilities.

A student can only be assessed for retrospective withdrawal and re-crediting and remission if they have:

  • not completed the requirements for the unit of study (i.e. have withdrawn from the unit, received a Fail grade, or been awarded Deferred Assessment and are subsequently unable to complete the unit);
  • applied in writing within the deadlines; and
  • met the exceptional circumstances requirements.

Exceptional circumstances:

  • are beyond the student’s control;
  • do not make their full impact on the student until on, or after, the census date; and
  • make it impracticable for the student to complete the requirements for the unit during the period in which the student undertook, or was to undertake, the unit. This includes any additional time that may be granted the student.

Exceptional circumstances might arise from medical, family, personal, employment or course-related reasons.

Application for retrospective withdrawal must be made in writing to the Manager, Student Registry via The Student Centre, within 12 months of the withdrawal date or, if the student has not withdrawn, within 12 months of the end of the period of study in which the unit was, or was to be, undertaken. Where a student has been granted permission to defer completion of their studies, the twelve-month period applies from the end of the extended period. The Manager, Student Registry has discretion to waive this requirement if he or she is satisfied that the application could not be made within the time limits.

The application should include independent supporting documentation to support the personal statements and claims. Depending on the nature of the special circumstances, the supporting documentation can include statements from doctors, counsellors, or employers. Supporting documentation should indicate:

  • that the student’s circumstances were beyond their control;
  • that the circumstances did not make their full impact on the student until on or after the census date for the unit;
  • when it became apparent after the census date that the student could not continue with their study;
  • or, how the student’s circumstances prevented them from withdrawing from their study before the census date.

Medical certificates or letters should include the medical provider number. Evidence of death can include death notice, newspaper extracts, or letters from counsellors, funeral directors and doctors.

Students will be asked to supply additional information if insufficient documentation is provided to allow a decision to be made. If a student does not respond to such requests in the time specified the application will be deemed to have lapsed.

Cross-Institutional Enrolments, or Unit Enrolment at Other Australian Universities

Students seeking to enrol in units at other universities for credit towards their Degree must obtain prior approval via The Student Centre. They must complete at least 50 percent of the Murdoch University Part II units from the requirements of the course and major or minor in which the student is graduating, or from related units as determined by the Academic Chair, and at least 20 such credit points for an honours bachelor’s degree.

In accordance with the Units Policy a cross-institutional enrolment allows Murdoch students to undertake a unit from another institution if an equivalent unit is not available at Murdoch.

The Cross-Institutional Enrolment application form is available at:

The Units Policy is available at:

Students must provide The Student Centre with evidence of their enrolment at the other university. Approval to enrol in the cross-institutional unit is normally required prior to enrolment; however, an Academic Chair has discretion to approve credit for cross-institutional enrolments where the student has already completed the unit.

As a condition of their student visa international students cannot study at another institution without permission from The Student Centre.

Cross-institutional enrolments for international students must be approved via The Student Centre as part of the compliance requirements under the ESOS Act, 2000; this must occur before the other institution processes the enrolment.

Normally recorded grades are Ungraded Pass (UP) or Fail (N) for cross-institutional units, however the grade achieved at the other institution is also shown on the academic transcript. Where the cross-institutional unit is a required unit and the other institution has the same grading schema as Murdoch, the grade achieved at the other institution is recorded in place of UP or N.

Unit Enrolment at Overseas Tertiary Institutions through the Exchange Program Study Abroad

Students enrolled in award courses may study for a semester, or an academic year, at a university overseas for credit towards their Murdoch University Degree. Limited opportunities are also available for graduate students.

Students are advised to begin planning for their Study Abroad experience during their first year of study. It is recommended that students complete General Electives while on exchange as these credits are easier to transfer towards their Murdoch University Degree. Students may also study Core Units and Specified Electives overseas. However, it is the student’s responsibility to research for appropriate substitutes or equivalents and have these approved by the Academic Chair.

To be eligible to study abroad, students should have completed at least one year of full-time study (or part-time equivalent) at a tertiary institution of which at least 12 credit points must be from Murdoch University, have a minimum of a Credit grade average and be good ambassadors for the University.

Several Study Abroad travel bursaries are available to assist successful candidates. Travel bursaries are awarded competitively, based on sound academic performance and the ability of candidates, in the opinion of the committee, to both represent and promote the Study Abroad program and Murdoch University overseas. Commonwealth-supported students may apply for an OS-LOAN of up to $5523 per six-month period (for a maximum of two periods). Further information is available from The Student Centre.

Further information on studying abroad is available at:

External Study

External units are designed for students to study on their own, generally without on-campus attendance. The University has a flexible unit offering model, using online technology in a complementary way to ensure that all students will be able to access the same unit package, whether they are studying in either internal or external mode.

Internet access is required for students studying externally; in some courses exceptions can be considered on a case-by-case basis.

External Courses

The lists of courses at the beginning of the Courses sections of this Handbook shows all courses offered in external mode.

External Units

All Murdoch units have an online presence in some capacity. Some units use only online resources whilst others may have some printed material that will be issued to external students. Whenever feasible, lectures are recorded and can be accessed online within 24 hours of delivery.

Students who cannot come onto campus may use the online order facilities of the University Bookshop to purchase required and recommended textbooks.

External students may use campus facilities such as the Library, or attend lectures if able to do so. Students who are enrolled in external mode for all units and who live more than 30 aerial kilometres from the South Street campus Library may borrow via the Library’s online lending service. Reciprocal borrowing arrangements with interstate libraries are available. Further information on library services for External students, and details of eligible libraries, is available at:

Contact with tutors varies from unit to unit and tutors will inform students how and when they may be contacted. Students are encouraged to establish regular contact with their tutors by telephone or email.

Enrolment in External Units

Unit offerings are shown in the Units section of this Handbook. A key to teaching periods appears at the beginning of the Units section of this Handbook.

External students need to consider their available study time when enrolling in units. Generally students should not enrol in a full-time external load unless they are able to devote approximately 40 hours per week to their study commitments.

For information concerning late enrolment in external offerings of units, refer to Late Enrolment under the Units heading above.

Students enrolled in an internal semester or year-long unit offering may change to the equivalent external offering of that unit only until the end of the second week of the teaching period. After that date, students must complete an application for Late Change from Internal to External Unit Offering if they have extenuating circumstances. This form is available at:

When enrolled in units that are available in both a one-semester and full-year/straddle offering which begin at the same time, students may change between the two offerings up until the end of week 2 of that semester.

International students have restrictions surrounding their ability to enrol in external units due to student visa conditions and/or sponsorship conditions. It is recommended that international students contact The Student Centre to discuss their eligibility if seeking enrolment in external units.

External Enrolment by Students Based Overseas

Students studying from overseas, particularly those in developing countries, need to make allowance for potential difficulties and delays, especially in communicating with the University. Australian Citizens are not able to hold a Commonwealth-supported place if they are residing overseas and do not undertake at least some units of their course whilst resident in Australia. Permanent resident visa holders who are residing overseas whilst studying are not able to hold a Commonwealth-supported place unless they are required to reside overseas as part of the course; otherwise, they will be domestic full fee-paying students.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that their computer resources and Internet access are sufficient to access the online resources required for effective study.

Examinations for External Units

Students enrolled in external offerings of units and living more than 100 kilometres from the campus at which they are enrolled are sent an email notice of examinations, where an examination is part of the unit’s assessment requirements. For further information on assessment, refer to the Rules for the Conduct of Examinations available at:

and relevant Assessment/Examination topics elsewhere in the Handbook.

Cancellation of Courses, Majors, Minors or Units

The University reserves the right to cancel, without notice, any course, major, minor or unit if the number of students enrolled falls below limits set by the University or in other unforeseen circumstances.

Assessment and Academic Progress

The Assessment Policy is available at:

Responsibilities of Students

The Assessment Policy specifically advises that students have the responsibility to:

  • Seek all information available well before assessments are due — this may be available online, or in printed material specified for the course
  • Submit assessed work by the due date and in the specified process
  • Work in a manner that does not constitute misconduct, dishonesty or plagiarism
  • Behave in a manner which does not interfere with other students’ rights
  • Seek advice and feedback at times specified by the Unit Coordinator
  • Consult appropriate Policies prior to lodging an appeal.

Students must include a completed cover sheet with each assessment submitted. A cover sheet form (Microsoft Word format) can be found at:

Assessment Methods

Methods of assessment vary between units. However, each unit is required to have more than one assessment method, at more than one point in time, and must ensure that the amount of work required is appropriate to the credit points value of the unit.

All students will be provided with a statement of the assessment requirements for each of their units, including assessment methods and weighting.


Usually all final examinations are held within the assessment period at the end of each semester or trimester. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they are available throughout this period and that any travel is scheduled outside this time.

Semester examinations commence on the first Saturday of the assessment period, and are generally held in daily sessions commencing at 9.30am, 2.00pm and 5.00pm. Students are required to show their Murdoch University Student Card at the examination venue. External students who do not have a Murdoch student card may use alternate photo identification such as a driver’s license or passport.

The examination timetable is published approximately five weeks prior to the assessment period and is available at:

Students who arrive no more than 30 minutes into the exam working time will be allowed to sit the examination, but will not be granted extra time. Those who arrive more than 30 minutes into the exam working time should report to the Examinations Office via The Student Centre. Students who miss an examination will not normally be allowed to sit the examination and will not be eligible to apply for deferred assessment.

The Rules for the Conduct of Examinations are available at:

Further information on exams is available at:

Grading System

Final Grades for units that award grades (most Murdoch units)

  • HD (High Distinction): 80-100%
  • D (Distinction): 70-79%
  • C (Credit): 60-69%
  • P (Pass): 50-59%
  • SP (Pass): pass grade awarded after supplementary assessment
  • N (Fail): below 50%
  • SN (Fail): fail grade awarded after supplementary assessment
  • DNS (Fail): the student failed to participate in assessment components that had a combined weighting of 50 percent or more of the final mark

Final Grades for units that only award Pass/Fail

  • UP (Ungraded Pass): 50% or above
  • N (Fail): below 50%
  • DNS (Fail): the student failed to participate in assessment components that had a combined weighting of 50 percent or more of the final mark

Interim Grades

  • G (Good Standing)
  • NA (Not Available)
  • Q (Deferred Assessment)
  • SA (Supplementary Assignment): 45-49%
  • SX (Supplementary Exam): 45-49%
  • The award of either Supplementary grade shall be at the discretion of the Unit Coordinator except where clause 11.1.1 of the Assessment Policy applies.

The Assessment Policy is available at:

Supplementary Assessment

A Unit Coordinator may, where appropriate and at their discretion, award an interim grade of SX (Supplementary Exam in the Supplementary/Deferred Exam Period) or SA (Other Supplementary Assessment). A supplementary grade may be reported where the student has a borderline fail grade (45 to 49 percent) in the unit, and the Unit Coordinator is able to arrange extra work and/or an examination to give the student a further opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the unit objectives.

The Unit Coordinator will notify the student in writing of the supplementary assessment arrangements, and, for the semester teaching period, the additional work must be completed within six weeks of the end of the main assessment period for the unit (for this purpose the two-week limited service period of the University will not be taken into account).

However, where a student achieves a mark of 50 percent or greater overall in the unit assessment, but fails because they do not achieve a pass or required minimum mark in one or more mandatory pass components, they must be awarded supplementary assessment, which shall normally be directed toward the area in which they have failed.

The only grades available after supplementary assessment are Supplementary Pass (SP) or Supplementary Fail (SN). An Ungraded Pass is not available. If supplementary assessment is not completed by the six-week deadline, a result of Fail will be recorded.

For those of its units that are offered on a full-year basis, the timetable for supplementary assessment may differ from that stated above. Students enrolled in affected courses will be informed of any variation.

Deferred Assessment

A student may be granted a deferral of assessment if an illness or other exceptional circumstance prevents them from sitting an exam or completing a piece of assessment work due in the last teaching week or later and it is possible for them to pass the unit.

Deferred assessment shall not be approved:

  • for illness or other circumstances occurring prior to the census date for the unit; instead, an extension should be requested from the Unit Coordinator;
  • for circumstances occurring after the census date and before the late withdrawal date for the unit and not continuing after then; instead, application should be made for retrospective withdrawal;
  • if the student has sat the exam or submitted the assessment piece;
  • if the student can’t sit because it is during their working hours, unless it is shown that the employer has refused them leave; or
  • if the student didn’t sit an exam because they misread the timetable, forgot the exam or slept in.

Applications forms must be submitted to The Student Centre within three (3) University working days for exams, or by the last week of teaching for other assessment pieces. Application forms are available from The Student Centre as well as at:

The application shall include a statement of the reasons for seeking deferment, and independent supporting evidence including a medical certificate if the application is on medical grounds.

Where an application is denied, the advice will include the reasons for the denial. The student may appeal to the Chair of the Student Appeals Committee within five (5) University working days of the date of the denial advice if the criteria in Section 10.4 of the Student Appeals Policy are met.

The Student Appeals Policy is available at:

For information on the Appeals process, refer to:

Deferred assessment is not available for units in which the student has been granted supplementary assessment. Under exceptional circumstances a student may apply to their Unit Coordinator to change the date of their supplementary assessment.

Notification of Assessment and Examination Results

Students are entitled to see their results in all assessment components of their unit, including raw marks for components and for the unit overall.

Examination results are released as follows:

  • for semester exams, on the fourth Monday after the end of each assessment period;
  • for trimester exams, on the second Friday after the end of each assessment period.

Note: For offshore teaching periods, this can be the third or fourth Friday after the end of each assessment period.

Results can be accessed via MyInfo:

The Assessment Policy states that students have a right to view and discuss assessment results with a member of teaching staff. Students are entitled to see their results in all assessment components of their unit, including raw marks for components and for the unit overall. Students may inspect their marked examination scripts and discuss the marking with the Unit Coordinator, or nominee, within fourteen days of the posting of results. Unit Coordinators may require reasonable notice or set aside specified times for this. Where a Unit Coordinator is away from campus in the two weeks following the posting of results, another member of academic staff is designated to handle enquiries and is provided with detailed assessment information to facilitate this. Unit Coordinators retain examination scripts for one year from the end of the appropriate standard teaching period.

Academic Transcript/Statement of Academic Record

A formal statement of academic record is available to students from The Student Centre, or can be ordered online, at a cost of $20. Normally one working day’s notice is required.

Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement

The Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS) is provided to graduating students on completion of their award. It includes a description of the nature, level, context and status of their studies. Its purpose is to assist in recognition of Australian qualifications and to promote international mobility and professional recognition of graduates.

Murdoch Academic Passport

Murdoch Academic Passport is a compulsory online module that provides an orientation to academic integrity at Murdoch University. All students are required to complete the module during their first teaching period as a condition of being able to re-enrol in the following teaching period.

Dishonesty in Assessment

Academic integrity is an adherence to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility in all work. Academic integrity is fundamental to the operation of all scholarship, whether it be original research or undergraduate assignments. It ensures that proper credit is given to those who do the work and that their intellectual contribution is acknowledged. It ensures that proper evaluation and feedback of performance can be given, and it buttresses the worth and reputation of academic awards on the basis they have been honestly earned. Murdoch University regards academic integrity as a fundamental value of student learning. It requires all students enrolled in the University to adhere to academic integrity in fulfilling each assessment task.

The University regards most seriously any acts of dishonesty relating to assessment of University courses and research. This includes plagiarism, ghostwriting, unauthorised collaboration, examination misconduct, theft of other students’ work and misconduct in research. Acting unfairly or dishonestly in assessment is defined as misconduct under University legislation.

Depending on the seriousness of the case, dishonesty in assessment can lead to a requirement to undertake additional work, failure in a unit or in a part of it, suspension from the University or even permanent expulsion from the University. The University regards any form of cheating as a serious matter of academic dishonesty that threatens the integrity of the assessment processes and awards of the University, to the detriment of all other students and graduates of the University.

Plagiarism constitutes using the work of another without indicating by referencing (and by quotation marks when exact phrases or passages are borrowed) that the ideas expressed are not one’s own. Students can use the ideas and information from other authors, but this use must be acknowledged. It is also not acceptable to submit an assignment that is simply a paraphrasing of extracts from other authors: the work submitted must include some intellectual contribution of the student’s own. The Foundation and Transition Units in particular assist students in identifying what is considered plagiarism at Murdoch University.

Re-submission of previously marked work, for example the submission of the same, or substantially the same, piece of work for assessment in two different units by the student author is not acceptable practice.

Unauthorised collaboration (‘collusion’) constitutes joint effort between students, or students and others, in preparing material submitted for assessment, except where this has been approved by the Unit Coordinator. Students are encouraged to discuss matters covered in units, but when writing an assignment, computer program, laboratory report or other piece of assessed work, the recording and treatment of data and the expression of ideas and argument must be the student’s own.

Purloining — copying the work of another without their knowledge — is not acceptable, neither is ghostwriting which is submitting the work of another person as your own.

Dishonesty in assessment applies to work in any medium (for example, written or audio text, film production, computer programs, etc.)

Student Discipline Regulations

Information regarding Academic Misconduct can be found in the Student Discipline Regulations and the Student Discipline Procedure available at:

Academic Progress

Students must complete successfully at least half of their enrolled credit points each academic period in order to make satisfactory academic progress.

Certain courses may have additional academic progress requirements; these will be recorded in the course’s entry in the Handbook.

Academic Progress is monitored under the Academic Progress Monitoring Procedure:

A student excluded from enrolment, in either a particular major/course or the University as a whole, may appeal this decision under the Student Appeals Policy:

Further information on academic progress can be found in the Coursework Regulations available at:

Student Appeals

Murdoch University encourages students to resolve issues initially and informally through their Unit Coordinator and/or appropriate staff member. In cases where this is not possible, the student appeals process provides a further opportunity for students to seek a final resolution. For further information on the various types of appeals and their relevant procedures, refer to the Appeals Procedure at:

The Student Appeals Policy is available at:

Student Complaints

Where a student is dissatisfied with a decision made that falls outside of the Student Appeals process, the Student Complaints process enables the provision of information on how to address any issues and/or concerns. For further information refer on complaints, refer to:

Student Communication

Students who change their home or postal address at any time during the year must notify the University through MyInfo. If MyInfo is not accessible, Change of Address forms are available from The Student Centre.

Official Communications Channel

Important messages regarding student enrolment and graduation are sent via the Official Communications Channel (OCC), which can be accessed at any time via MyMurdoch, the Student Portal:

Students should check the OCC regularly for new communications from the University.


The University will also correspond with students via email.

All students are provided by Murdoch with a student email account. Students with a non-Murdoch email account that they would prefer to use can override the address that the University provides.

New students can set their email address when accepting their offer (domestic students) or when activating their Murdoch account (international students).

Current students can maintain their email address through MyInfo.

Students without an external email account can use their Murdoch-provided account. These are automatically created for all new students, in the format

Students can access their Murdoch email account using a web-based email interface via:

To login, students will need their Murdoch Username (Student Number) and Murdoch Password, the same as is required for access to MyInfo.

Further information on email accounts is available at:

Extenuating Circumstances

External students who are unable to access computer facilities due to extenuating circumstances are able to apply to receive their University correspondence via hard copy. An application form is included in enrolment information sent to new students. Further information is available from The Student Centre.

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The University reserves the right to cancel, without notice, any course, major, minor or unit if the number of students enrolled falls below limits set by the University.

Regulations and Rules

Students should ensure they are familiar with the University's internal legislation, including provisions specifically relevant to their studies. See the University Regulation overview and view legislation online.