What is UNSW 3+ (trimesters) & how does it benefit you?

UNSW 3+ has been uniquely designed to allow you to pack everything you want to achieve into your university experiences. The trimester structure gives you more flexibility to create a study plan that works for you throughout every stage of your degree and with changes to your commitments and priorities.

The UNSW 3+ calendar provides the opportunity for you to plan your whole year by enrolling annually, allowing you to take advantage of better alignment with northern hemisphere calendars for student exchange, internships and work-integrated learning and other extra-curricular activities or work.

Flexible study options

Leverage the flexibility to spread your study load across the year by studying fewer courses per term to enable more in-depth learning.

Industry opportunities

Get the most out of career-building opportunities like internships and practicums that easily integrate into your degree.

Globally connected

Study abroad without falling behind. We’re aligned to the Northern Hemisphere university calendars, so say hello to new global partners and more international opportunities.

Key dates of trimesters

UNSW 3+ has three terms each year, commencing in February, May and September, with an optional summer term each January. Each term in the UNSW 3+ calendar has ten teaching weeks. You only need to enrol once per year, which means you can plan your year using the dates below and make your calendar work to achieve your unique goals and ambitions.

Don't forget! O-Week starts one week before the beginning of each term. It's a week full of events, activities and sessions to help introduce you to campus if you're new or welcome you back if you're continuing.

If you're studying certain degrees, such as Medicine or at UNSW Canberra, you may follow specific calendars with term lengths that vary from the UNSW 3+ model. Learn more about teaching periods.

Term 1 2024
12 Feb - 9 May
Term 2 2024
27 May - 22 Aug
Term 3 2024
9 Sep - 5 Dec

Want to view the full academic calendar?

This includes dates for O-Week, exams, summer term and more!

Ready to get started?

Find out all the information you need to apply to UNSW, whether you're a domestic or international student interested in undergraduate or postgraduate study. 

How to build your timetable

Find examples below of how you can vary your study load throughout your degree to get the most from your UNSW experience.

Standard load option

The standard full-time study load is eight courses per year spread over three terms. It gives you the flexibility to balance your studies with extracurricular opportunities like clubs and societies, volunteering and sport.  

Early finish option

Overload with one extra course per year to finish one term early in September of Year 3 and dive into your career.

Experiences student option

Put your knowledge from the classroom into practice with the flexibility to undertake for-credit experiences such as exchange* and Work Integrated Learning (WIL)^ without extending your degree. 

Dynamic load option

You can flexibly change your enrolment throughout your degree to suit your changing needs, study part-time#, full-time or undertake for-credit experiences to compliment your studies. 

Lighter load option

Take a lighter load of two courses per term over 4 years to allow additional time for extracurricular activities, part-time work and other commitments.

“The flexibility of UNSW 3+ has allowed me to plan my year, designing my timetable with my two most challenging subjects in the reduced course term. The flexible term allows me to dedicate the time necessary to meet the academic demands but also support myself financially and represent UNSW at UniSport Nationals where I connected with students from across the country."

Daniel Bunker  |  Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Clinical Optometry

Things to consider when building your timetable

The above examples are based on a standard 3-year degree. The study options available may vary depending on undergraduate or postgraduate study and your specific degree requirements.

*To maintain full-time status at UNSW while on exchange, you need to transfer back 24 Units of Credit per half-year.

^The Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Experience Term enables you to undertake a real-world placement or project for credit toward your degree.

#To maintain eligibility for some Centrelink allowance schemes you must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 Units of Credit each term or 36 Units of Credit per year. Students are encouraged to contact Student Services before reducing their study load.


  • The UNSW 3+ academic calendar has three 10-week teaching terms plus an optional intensive five-week summer term. You only need to enrol once per year, which means you can plan your year to achieve your unique goals and ambitions.

    A full-time study load is considered eight courses per year with a standard load of three per term. By spreading your study load across three terms, you’ll have more time to balance all your commitments. The calendar allows you to have one term each year with two courses, rather than three, or the potential to complete an additional course to get ahead or catch up. This makes sure you get the most out of everything university has to offer, both inside and outside of the classroom. 

    O-Week commences one week before the start of each term to help introduce new students to campus and welcome returning students back to term with activities and events. At the end of each term, there is a one-week study period before a two-week exam period starts.

  • Each term in the UNSW 3+ calendar has 10 teaching weeks. At the end of each term, there's an additional study period week before exams take place over the duration of two weeks. There's an optional five-week summer term each year from January to February. 

    If you're studying certain degrees, such as Medicine or at UNSW Canberra, you may follow specific calendars with varying weeks per term. Learn more about teaching periods.

  • UNSW 3+ has three terms each year, commencing in February, May and September, with an optional summer term each January. You can find all the dates, including O-Week, teaching period, study week and exams below.

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