Summer subjects 101

Many people think of summer school as a bad thing, when in actual fact – it’s not!

People do summer subjects for many reason.

Some may have failed a subject in the previous semester, so they need to make it up. Some find the summer break too long, so they knock out a subject or two during the break. And some do summer subjects so they can do less subjects during the semester.

So, this post is basically a run down about summer/intensive subjects – where you can find them in the handbook, common questions, basic info etc.

Here we go.

What are summer/intensive subjects?

Summer and intensive subjects are basically subjects that are run over a shorter time frame rather than being taught over the standard 12 week semester. It’s 12 weeks of classes/work condensed down into 1-2 weeks.

Most of the intensives are run over the summer semester (Jan-Feb), but they also run intensives during the mid-sem breaks, in the winter break etc.

If I do a summer/intensive subject, does that mean I can do one less subject during semester?

Answer is yes! How good is that!?

I wished someone had told me about summer and intensive subjects in first year. Doing 4 subjects in 2nd year and beyond is pretty full on.

Majority of summer/intensive subjects are worth 12.5 credit points, and that counts as 1 subject.

The credit points is the first thing in the subject page in the handbook.

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Do have a careful read at the handbook entry and make sure you enrol on time – some subjects have quotas on them (meaning that there are only limited spots in the subject) and you need to enrol by a certain deadline.

Where can I find summer subjects in the handbook?

Here’s a ‘how-to’ guide:

1. You want to do an ‘advance search’ on the handbook. 

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2. Select ‘subjects’, and under you want to select ‘summer semester’ for the study period.

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And if you want to narrow down your search, you can click on the study areas you’re interested in.

3. Ta-da!
You want to look under the ‘undergrad subjects’ unless you’re a postgrad student. Here it tells you all the subjects on offer during the summer period, if it’s offered as a breadth etc.

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Where can I find the EXACT dates of when the subject is running?

Most of the time the handbook won’t specify exactly when the subject is on (which is so incredibly annoying). Best advice is for you to email the subject coordinator or whoever the contact person is.

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How do I enrol for summer subjects?

You enrol for summer subjects just like you would for any other standard subjects.

More info

For the ‘official’ info about summer and intensive subjects, you can find them here:

And of course – visit your student centre if you need advice about anything!

– Daphane

8 thoughts on “Summer subjects 101

  1. Hey D, might want to clarify in your blog post that regular summer semester is 6 weeks + 1-2 weeks of exam period and summer intensive in Jan/Feb are 1-2 weeks :)

  2. I had the same issues with Semester 1 and semester 2 subjects – particularly because the semester 2 subjects usually follow on from the semester 1 subjects and without doing those in first sem, I couldn’t do the 2nd sem subject, which sucked.
    I did CST! It was a fun subject, but you’re already doing what was part of the assessment – Blogging! But you can also (if it’s not first year – I think they changed it after we’d finished) choose to do it next year if its offered??? But yeah, you’re half done with it already :)

    1. YES FOR CST! At one stage the handbook said that it wasn’t wasn’t offered for 2014, but good news – it’s still on, woohoo! It looks like a really good subject and science comms is something I’m really interested in. Bit worried about that big group assignment, but hopefully I will get a chance to work with great people.

  3. Hi Daphne

    Hoping you’ll still get an alert for a comment on such an old blog!

    I’m looking at doing a summer semester in 2015 and I can’t find any information regarding roughly how long after classes finish that exams are? Ie. Is there a swotvac period or similar?

    Would love for you to share your experience.


    1. Hey Emily! I sure do get alerts for all blog posts :)

      The best bet is to email the coordinator in charge of the subject for more details. Exam dates for summer subjects can be tricky. Some subjects have exams during the summer exam period, and other subjects have exams during the normal semester 1 exam period. So yes – best to email your coordinator :D


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