Policies and procedures

Policy No.
Student Administration
Authoring Organisational Unit
Academic Board
Date Approved
Next Review Date
Approving Body
Academic Council

The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Courses: Time limits (Coursework)

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

This policy deals with the time limits for completing courses.

The purpose of this policy is, within the context of maintaining standards at the highest international levels, to ­­-

  • ensure a consistent approach is adopted across the University in setting time limits;
  • provide a realistic timeframe for students, including where applicable part-time students, to complete their courses;
  • allow for interruptions to study caused by the impact of unforeseen or exceptional circumstances on students; and
  • take into account varying course requirements, teaching loads and logistical issues across schools and faculties.


In this policy and any related procedures ,

the University means The University of Western Australia

faculty or board means the faculty or board responsible for administering the course and includes a body or position to which responsibility for the function has been delegated

Policy statement:

1 Time limits

1.1 The overall time limits for completion of the following courses whether taken on a full-time or part-time basis are:

1.1.1 Bachelor's degrees (single degree courses)

144 points - 10 years

192 points - 10 years

240 points - 10 years

288 points - 12 years

end-on honours (48 points) - 2 years

1.1.2 Bachelor's degrees (combined courses)

equal to or greater than 192 but less than 288 points - 8 years

equal to or greater than 288 but less than 336 points - 9 years

equal to or greater than 336 points - 10 years

1.1.3 Undergraduate diplomas

48 points - 10 years

54 points - 10 years

1.1.4 Graduate certificates

24 points - 2 years

1.1.5 Graduate diplomas

24 points - 2 years

48 points - 4 years

1.1.6 Higher degree preliminary

2 years

1.1.7 Master's degrees by thesis and coursework

48 points - 4 years

1.1.8 Master's degrees by coursework or by coursework and dissertation

48 points - 4 years

72 points - 5 years

96 points - 5 years

1.1.9 Professional doctorates

144 points - 9 years

1.2 A faculty or board may extend a time limit by up to one year in exceptional circumstances.

1.3 Time limits for undergraduate courses except end-on honours courses include any periods of approved leave or of suspension following unsatisfactory progress.

1.4 Time limits for postgraduate courses and end-on honours courses exclude any periods of approved leave or of suspension following unsatisfactory progress.

2 Appeals

2.1 If a faculty or board refuses a request to extend a time limit under clause 1.2, a student may appeal the decision under the Student Complaints Resolution Policy ( link).

2.2 If a request for an extension of a time limit is outside the scope of the policy, a faculty or board may recommend to the Chair of the Academic Board through the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) that this policy be waived in the case of an individual student or group of students, in accordance with the University Policy on Waiver of Regulations, Rules and Policies applying to course requirements and admission to and progression through courses. ( link).

Related forms: (Link)

Policy No:


Approving body or position:

Academic Council

Date original policy approved:


Date this version of policy approved:


Date policy to be reviewed:


Date this version of procedures approved:


TRIM File No:


Contact position:

Academic Secretary

Related Policies or legislation:

Student Complaints Resolution Policy (UP07/98)

University Policy on Waiver of rules and policies applying to courses (UP14/9)

2011 University General Rule