Subjects &
Credit Transfer

Subjects and Credit Transfer

arrow  Choosing Subjects
arrow  Multiple Campus - Choose subjects based on campus of study
arrow  Possibilities for studying at multiple campus
arrow  Learning Environment
arrow  Credit Transfer and Consortia Agreements - Getting it right at your home school
arrow  Explanation of Grade
arrow  Who issues the Transcripts?

The My Study Australia website has been created for the Australian Education Connection (AEC program), with a view to providing students, parents and advisers information about semester abroad, year abroad, full degrees, transfer and internship programs to Australia.

Choosing Subjects

The process of choosing subjects takes place after you have applied to the AEC program and been accepted. When you are sent an acceptance letter, the AEC will remit you a set of attachments including the Subject Selection Form and instructions on how to choose subjects. This is when the process of choosing your subjects begins!
Important stuff you need to know:

  • The AEC will provide clear instructions with web links on how you go about choosing your subjects. If you require subject information before you apply to the program, you may CLICK on web links for all universities within the university profile pages.
  • The AEC will work with you and your Advisor to assist you get you into the classes  you need at the Host University. Remember Host Universities are not interested in having students `repeat’ subjects they have already undertaken at their Home Schools. They will therefore, do their utmost to work with the AEC to approve subjects.
  • As choosing subjects and having them pre-approved is a time consuming exercise both from the perspective of the Host University as well as the AEC, please be aware that the AEC will arrange to send your subject selection to the Host University for pre-approval only after you have applied and been accepted.
  • In rare cases, some Host Universities receive subject selection requests but may not pre-approve until your arrival; at other times you may be pre-approved but once in Australia, you may choose to make changes because a subject for which you have pre-approval, conflicts with the timetable of another subject for which you are also pre-approved. This also happens because at times when a student has applied to the AEC program, they are still taking classes at their home schools and often some of these classes are the pre-requisites required to take the next level of classes at the Host University. The only assurance the AEC can give you is that Host Universities understand the needs of students to undertake classes that transfer to their home school; however, where pre-requisites are required the university will require this either through information already on your transcript showing that you have had prior study in that field or additional info from your faculty. The AEC will work with you, your Adviser and the Host University to negotiate the best possible arrangement for you. Remember where a subject is not available to you, often there is an alternative because the Host University also does not want you in a course that will be 'repetitive' to the study already undertaken at your home school.
Multiple Campus – Choose subjects based on campus of study

Please be aware that some Host Universities have multiple campuses and the subjects you may be interested in are offered at a particular campus. When looking at the subject lists or visiting the Host University website, remember to check which campus you’ll be studying at before choosing subjects! Fortunately there aren’t too many Home Universities with multiple campuses!

Possibilities for studying at multiple campus

Some major Australian capital city universities also have campuses in regional centers. Do not exclude the possibility of studying at a regional campus which may be only within 30-45 minutes of a large city or even further - these smaller regional campuses are quite popular because often housing is abundantly available at very reasonable prices thereby, providing some savings options for students whilst still providing access to a large city. Additionally, smaller regional campuses also tend to have greater access to services because they have fewer students to look after! Public transport in most cities down under is fairly well networked so there should be little difficulty traveling into the main city when you need to.

Learning Environment

Don't be fooled by the fact that compared to the US, in Australia there are generally fewer classroom contact hours of study. University study in Australia is demanding and there is a general expectation that besides classroom contact hours, students would make use of independent study methods - library research, homework, etc. in order to meet their study requirements.

Classroom assignments will be marked on the basis of research, original thought and a thorough understanding of the subject.
Credit Transfer & Consortia Agreements – Getting it right at your home school

A full time study load at an Australian university generally equates to:

semester abroad = 12 - 16 credits
year abroad = 24 - 32 credits

Once you have accepted an offer of admission into an AEC Study Abroad Program at an Australian/NZ university, you will be provided with papers and guides to choose subjects which you would intend to undertake while studying in Australia. Usually, you are able to list any subject offered by the university within their undergraduate study programs provided you meet pre-requisites.

For example, if you have not previously undertaken economics, you could not expect to list a second or third year economics subject as your preference. It is quite important that before choosing your subjects, you speak to the Academic Adviser at your home school about your plan of study so he/she can determine whether you are following your home school's study path. In some cases where students undertake a semester or year abroad towards the end of their undergraduate study and have already taken all the electives at their home school, it is not possible to take electives while on a study abroad program.

These students must therefore, take subjects that conform to their major and/or minor so that they transfer readily to their home school transcripts. Discussing your options is therefore, very important.

The AEC will provide you the relevant information about subjects available. Click here for the map which lists Australian universities (you may then click the university of choice and read the profile page which gives you access to the university's program and subject selection.)

As part of your study and particularly if you are continuing with financial aid through your school whilst you are studying abroad, your home school may require a consortium agreement. Please request your Advisor to forward this to the AEC Program.

So how will your marks translate at the end of your study program? The AEC will arrange for your transcript to be sent to your home school adviser or Registrar (at your request - please ensure that you provide the AEC with a name and address). Your home school will usually translate the transcript to its own grading system. In some cases your home school transcript will simply show participation in the program and give you the relevant credits but not include the data for the purpose of recalculating your GPA. It all depends on individual schools and how they transfer the study abroad credit. The AEC provides your home school adviser with any support they might require in arranging this.

So how will your marks translate at the end of your study program? The AEC will arrange for your transcript to be sent to your home school adviser or Registrar (at your request - please ensure that you provide the AEC with contact details of where you would like your transcript sent). Your home school will usually translate the transcript to its own grading system. In some cases your home school transcript will simply show participation in the program and give you the relevant credits but not include the data for the purpose of recalculating your GPA. It all depends on individual schools and how they transfer the study abroad credit. The AEC provides your home school adviser with any support they might require in arranging this.

Explanation of Grades

Every Host University transcript will provide an explanation of grades. Usually a full time semester abroad load should translate into a full time semester load at a US school but there are different ways in which the schools may interpret grades. Generally however, an explanation of grades is sent to the Home School to explain grades.

The following are suggested grade equivalents

High Distinction HD 85-100 (this can equate to an A, A+)
Distinction D 75-84 (this can equate to A-, B+))
Credit C 65-74 (this can equate to B, B-)

Pass P 50-64 (this can equate to C, C+)

Pass Conceded PC 45-49 (this can equate to D+, D, D-)

Pass Restricted PR Fail F 0-44 (this can equate to F)

Whilst there may be slight variations in the way Australian universities grade students, a grade of Pass Conceded is usually considered as a borderline passing grade although credit points are awarded. A Pass Restricted result in a 'pre-requisite' subject means that a student cannot undertake the next level subject in that field (although this is not a matter for students participating in study abroad because generally it would be at the discretion of their home school whether to award the student a D or an F).

Once students commence their studies there are very strict guidelines about cut off dates for withdrawal. Late withdrawals result in a Fail on transcripts unless there are mitigating or medical reasons for the withdrawal.

The AEC understands that the issue of grade transfers rests with the home school i.e. once a student returns and the home school receives the Australian transcript from the Australian university through the Australian Education Connection (AEC) office (the student's program manager). As some home schools are not familiar with all Australian universities, arranging transfer of credits can be difficult. When this is the case, a simple way of understanding and transferring grades is as follows:

  • a full time student in Australia undertakes 2 semesters of study per year; there are no 'quarters' in the Australian system, (although there are a few Australian universities that have in recent years introduced a  'quarter' system through summer school but this is not common.
  • All students undertaking a semester abroad through the AEC take a full semester or a year abroad (two semesters) which is a full time load of study. There are no AEC students currently that undertake a 'quarter' load of study.

Therefore, the best way to calculate credits is that if the AEC and the Host University verify that the student has undertaken a FULL or a 75% LOAD of a complete semester abroad; advisors are encouraged to give equivalent credits of a US university. This means, if a US university's full time semester load equates to 16 credits then it is only fair that the study abroad student that undertook a full time load at the Australian university for one semester also receives 16 credits.

Acknowledgement: The AEC acknowledges that some of the information contained in this document has been based on credit transfer information available from Australian universities.

Who issues the Transcripts?/

The Australian Universities issue official transcripts.


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