It is important to choose your subjects carefully and ensure they match your course requirements and your career aspirations.
Before you start planning
If there are any terms used here that you are not familiar with, refer to JCU’s Enrolment Terminology.
A study period is the period of time in which the subject is taught. You need to know this to plan the order in which you will study your subjects. Refer to Subject Search for subject availability details.
Most undergraduate subjects are in Study Period 1 (SP1) or Study Period 2 (SP2), these are each 13 weeks long, followed by exams. Other study periods are for shorter intensive subjects. At JCU’s Townsville and Cairns campuses there are 11 study periods in total. More information is available through Enrolment Concepts.
Every course requires you to successfully complete a specified number of credit points (CP). For example, a 3 yr course is 72 CP. To complete your course in the minimum time you would study full time and need to enrol in 24 credit points per year.
Subjects also have a credit point value, mostly 3CP. In Subject Search look for the number after the colon in the subject code, for example NS1012:03 is a 3CP subject.
You are considered a full time student if you enrol in 18 credit points or more over the year, most full-time students will take eight subjects each year (8 x 3CP = 24CP): four in each teaching period. However this is not the case for all courses, 1st yr Medicine students enrol in two 12 CP subjects.
If you are an international student, a standard full-time study load for one teaching period is 12 credit points. It is a requirement of your student visa that your enrolment status is full-time. The only exception to this is in the final teaching period of study.
You are considered a part-time student when you are enrolled in less than 9 credit points in a teaching period, or enrolled in less than 18 credit points in an academic year. Part time students should seek enrolment help to ensure their subject sequencing is correct.
We recommend you study no more than four subjects (12 CP) in a teaching period. Allow 10 hours per week for each 3 CP subject (this includes time to attend lectures, tutorials etc, as well as time to complete the required reading and assessment tasks). Therefore a full time load is normally around a 40 hour week.
You may be restricted to full time or part time study, but most courses allow you to choose, refer to your Course Enrolment Planner.
Your course is made up of a set combination of components. Components may be individual subjects, or they may be a sequence of subjects (also known as structure) i.e. majors or minors.
When enrolling, you can only choose subjects that are on your study plan, that is, subjects that are approved to meet the requirements of your course. You must complete the mandatory core subjects to meet the prescribed requirements of a course or major. You may also have the opportunity to choose subjects through options or electives. It is handy to understand the formatting of subject codes and subject prefix descriptions when choosing these.
Your Course Enrolment Planner outlines your core subject requirements by year level and provides details on any choices you may need to make now for your first year, or in the future. To make informed choices you will need to refer to JCU’s Subject Search engine to find out more about each subject. Tips on how to use Subject Search are available, for example, you can use subject prefixes to quickly target a specific discipline or area of interest.
Print your planner and write down your subject choices as you plan, including the availability details - attendance mode, location and study period. When choosing option subjects, connect the description of your option choice to the subject that you have chosen.
Example of completed Course Enrolment Planner.
Have your completed Planner handy when you are ready to enrol in eStudent .
Some courses require students to nominate a major area of study as part of the course structure.
Your Course Enrolment Planner will advise when you need to choose a major type, major or minor (if at all), and help you decide which major you would like to pursue. Although most majors are decided in 2nd year you should have a look at your options in case you need to meet a pre-requisite requirement in your first year to enable you to move forward into the major of your choice.
Students intending to study a double major should seek Enrolment Help
All JCU subjects have a subject code. Each subject code consists of six characters. For example:
NS1012:03 – Nursing Inquiry 1 Ways of Knowing
NS Subject in the discipline of Nursing Science
1 Year level of the subject
012 This, together with the year level, is the subject number
If you see the subject code appear with the additional numbers at the end, e.g. NS1012:03 the :03 indicates the number of credit points the subject is worth.
View a full list of the subject prefixes. This is particularly useful when having to make choices from an ‘any undergraduate subject’ option line.
The subject descriptions found in Subject Search indicate the attendance mode/s, campus and study period combinations available for each subject –the subject availabilities. You will need to check that your subject is available how, where and when you want to study it, for example in a calendar year, PY1101 is generally only offered in Study Period 1. As a result you are unable to enrol in PY1101 in any other study period.
Write the subject availability details on your Course Enrolment Planner as you will need to select the specific availability when you enrol.
Some subjects have specific requirements such as pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites. The subject’s description in Subject Search indicates any requisite requirements. Requisite rules will prevent you from enrolling in a subject through eStudent until you have qualified the requisite requirement, or it has been waived. If you believe you have achieved the required level of knowledge you can apply for a Requisite Waiver.
Pre-requisites are subjects that must be completed successfully, for you to continue your enrolment in the subject that lists the pre-requisite. You can enrol in both as long as the pre-requisite subject is in an earlier study period. If you later withdraw or fail the pre-requisite, you will be also be withdrawn from the second subject.
Co-requisites are subjects that you must take at the same time as the subject that lists the co-requisite. If you later withdraw from one, you will automatically be withdrawn from the second subject.
Anti-requisites are subjects you cannot take at the same time as the subject that lists the anti-requisite.
Assumed knowledge - some subjects may require ‘assumed knowledge’. This is the knowledge you should have to successfully complete a subject but is not a formal pre-requisite.
Classes for most subjects include lectures and tutorials, others may include workshops and lab sessions. In particular, you will need to ensure your lecture times don’t clash when you are planning your subjects. You can view class times for each subject on the Class Timetable . Choose the web version of the timetable for the relevant year, teaching period and campus, and enter your subject code/s (eg MA1000, PY1101) then click ‘display timetable’.
This will show the day and times that all classes will be held (including repeats), type of class (lecture, tutorial, workshop or practical class) and a room code that you can enter in to Campus Maps to help you find it.
Check your timetable against each subject’s contact hours in Subject Search, for example there are often many 1 hour tutorial times available, you may only need to attend one. You won’t sign up for your classes just yet, in most cases your lecturers will advise you how to sign up at your first lecture.
If the subject is not on the timetable:
• check Subject Search to make sure the subject is available in the study period and campus you are looking at,
• check if the subject attendance mode is External, these subjects will not be on the timetable, or
• if neither of these apply, contact the Subject Coordinator listed in Subject Search.
If your subjects clash and you cannot attend both classes at the same time please contact your faculty office.
If you have undertaken previous tertiary studies (or have relevant work experience) you may be able to apply for advanced standing (credit for previous studies) toward your degree.
It is important that you apply for advanced standing as soon as possible as, if granted, it will impact on your subject selection. We recommend you attend an Enrolment Help Session at least two weeks after you submit your Application for Advanced Standing form.
We recommend that you plan your subjects for your first year, and start to enrol within a few weeks of receiving your offer.
All students should plan to be enrolled in their subjects for the current year well before Orientation Week. Around 4000 students commence at JCU each year - the earlier you plan, the more assistance we can provide!
If you’re still stuck and need assistance, book into an Enrolment Help Session prior to the start of Study Period 1 or 2, or contact Enrolment Help.