Types of subjects

On the subject of subjects... here's everything you need to know about core subjects, electives, subject credit and substitution, and, non-course subjects you need to complete as part of your study,

Standard subjects

The standard subject you will study is an 8 point subject to be completed in one session. Some subjects may have a different value of points. Subject points is a numerical value assigned to each subject. It measures the size of the subject’s contribution to your course.

Subjects also have different levels. The first number in each subject code reflects the year level of the subject. For example, ABC123 is a first-year subject, ABC213 is a second-year subject, and so on.

It’s common to study subjects at a range of levels each year. However, you should try to complete as many of the earlier-year subjects (levels 1 and 2) as possible, before attempting the more advanced subjects (levels 3, 4 and 5).

You must successfully complete all subjects in your course to be eligible to graduate. Find out how many subject points you need to complete your degree in your Handbook.

Key subjects are the critical knowledge and/or skills for your course. If you have key subjects in your course, you must pass the key subjects in no more than 2 attempts to avoid receiving a notice of exclusion from your course. Not all courses have key subjects.

To find out if your course does, go to Key subjects.

Most courses contain core subjects. You must successfully complete your core subjects in your course to be eligible to graduate. You can find your core subjects in the course structure of your Handbook. You must successfully complete all core subjects to be eligible to graduate.

Compulsory subjects are undertaken in a specific grouping within an elective sequence. Examples include specialisations, majors, minors or Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Accounting joint studies.

You can find out your core subjects in the course structure of your Handbook.

You must successfully complete all compulsory subjects in your selected elective sequence to be eligible to graduate.


Some courses have elective sequences for you to study. This is a collective term for the following types of course components:

  • specialisation
  • major
  • minor
  • restricted elective or unrestricted elective.

A key characteristic of such sequences is that more than one set of subjects is identified and you can select one of those sets to undertake as a component of the course.

A joint study is also a type of elective sequence and is offered only in the Bachelor of Accounting and Bachelor of Business courses

If your handbook has restricted electives, you can only choose from the list of electives available to study. These may be a specified group of subjects, a specified discipline or a specified range of subjects.

An unrestricted elective is a subject that may be chosen from any subject on offer across the University provided prerequisites, enrolment restrictions and any other Faculty requirements have been met.

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

Some of your subjects above might assume that you've already completed a subject or taking a subject at school. Studylink offers preparation subjects.

Subject prerequisites

Subject prerequisites are a set of conditions that must be met before your enrolment in a particular subject is permitted.

Subjects that have prerequisites are listed in the subject guide in the Handbook.

Study prerequisites

Study prerequisites are a set of conditions you must meet before you can progress. Your My Degree Planner will also indicate subjects that have a pre-requisite subject.

If you believe you meet the requirements for a subject but have not completed the listed pre-requisite subjects in your current course, complete the Request for Waiver of Prerequisite(s) Form [PDF].

Assumed knowledge

Some subjects have assumed knowledge. Unlike prerequisites, Assumed Knowledge is not an enrolment barrier.

It is recommended that you have a thorough comprehension of this information or have undertaken the subjects in this section listed prior to enrolment in the subject.

Credit and subject substitution

If you've already completed some study you might be able to save yourself time and skip some subjects.

Can we help you find what you’re looking for?