UWA 12 week semester model explained

Why does UWA have a 12-week semester model?

In 2015 UWA initiated a review of the structure of our Academic Year. The “University Academic Year Structure: Review of Principles” aimed to facilitate greater flexibility for students. As a result of the review, recommendations were made to establish more enrolment options over summer through the UWA Summer School. To facilitate this, changes to the semester-based teaching periods were needed to allow for assessment, graduations and non-teaching time for academics between teaching periods. 

Similar activities have been undertaken by universities across Australia over recent years and a large number of universities across the country now have a 12 week semester model for a range of reasons.

How was the decision made? 
Decisions to change the Academic Calendar are made by the Academic Board, the chief academic body of the University based upon proposals brought to their meetings. These proposals were developed through the “University Academic Year Structure: Review of Principles”. 

The Academic Board has a broad membership of staff (academic and professional) and students of the University.

Will the changes impact my workload?
The changes to the semester model commenced in semester two, 2018.  Academic staff regularly review and adapt their units to suit the 12 teaching weeks. In some cases, this means  tutorials, laboratories or workshops commencing in week one. Others re-map assessment across the changed timetable. 

If you're feeling concerned about managing your timetable, or with any other factors that might impact your studies ahead, STUDYSmarter can help you with strategies to manage time, plan assessment and broader study skills to help you achieve your academic goals.

Will there be any changes to fees?
Tuition fees are generated based upon the credit point value of the units you enrol in. The changes to the standard teaching weeks for a semester have not resulted in a change to the credit point value of a unit. This means there is no change to tuition fees and no changes to enrolment status (ie. full-time or part-time).

How can I plan for and enrol in UWA Summer School units?
The UWA Summer School can help you to get ahead in your studies, spread the load of your enrolment over more teaching periods, get back on track, or explore new experiences. Information on units available during the coming UWA Summer School will be available when the Handbook is released in November for the coming year.

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