Recommended and maximum student workloads , Ngā haora mahi

To make sure your study workload is realistic, we recommend limits on the number of courses you can take each semester.

The recommended and maximum course workload limits are to help you maintain a good balance between your study and personal life.

Recommended workload

If you're a full-time student, we recommend you take four courses (60 credits) each semester, totalling eight courses (120 credits) per academic year.

You can take fewer courses than this, but if you're reliant on StudyLink to fund your study, you need to check their rules.


When you plan your study, consider that:

  • a 15-credit single-semester course typically needs 10 to 12.5 hours of study each week
  • a 15-credit double-semester course typically takes about five to 6.5 hours of study each week.

For a 15-credit single-semester course, you should expect to take 150 hours of study over the whole semester.

If you want to do more courses during your year, you can continue your study at Summer School. This is shorter than a standard semester, with courses being offered from mid-November to mid-February. We recommend you take no more than two courses during Summer School.

See Summer School dates

Maximum workload

The maximum student workload we have set is no more than 12 courses (180 credits) in an academic year.

You can structure this as:

  • not more than five courses (75 credits) each semester (totalling 10 courses, or 150 credits, for the year) with up to two more courses (30 credits) at Summer School
  • or, if you're not taking the maximum allowance of five courses each semester, you can take up to, but not more than, four courses (60 credits) at Summer School.

Credits for double semester courses are assigned in equal parts for each semester.

Studying the maximum workload

You can only study the maximum workload if you:

  • pass all your credits in your most recent enrolment period
  • achieve a minimum B grade average in your most recent enrolment period.

New students will not usually be considered to study a maximum workload.

If you fail some or all of your courses during a semester or enrolment period, we may put workload limits on your study.

Get help with your workload

You can talk to our team of Academic Advisers if you:

  • need help with planning your workload
  • want to study the maximum workload, or
  • have questions.

Contact an Academic Adviser

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