General Education Program

Home | Objectives | Requirements | Exemptions | Faculty Requirements | Student Involvement | Administrative Arrangements | GE Courses

Administrative Arrangements

International Square 2
The enrolment process
Students enrol in General Education courses through myUNSW ( the web interface to the University's student information system, in the same way that they enrol in other courses.

Before nominating the General Education courses they wish to take, students should ensure that they are familiar with:
  • the relevant faculty and program policy and procedures for General Education including approval requirements, as set out in this Handbook and additional faculty program policy and enrolment information.
  • the General Education course timetable, which includes lecture and tutorial times and the campus on which the course is taught.
  • how many General Education courses (or General Education units of credit) they have completed, and how many they are still required to complete.
  • their own timetable for 2011, including times which they have available to take General Education courses.
  • where a course is offered in more than one class (that is, the course is streamed and students must register for a particular stream), students must ensure that they enrol into the correct class using myUNSW.
Students will be able to vary their enrolment in General Education courses, subject to places in other courses being available. Course enrolment variations will be conducted through myUNSW.

Students who are unable to enrol through myUNSW should contact their faculty or program office regarding alternative enrolment arrangements.

Quotas and preferences
General Education courses may have enrolment quotas set for both overall course enrolments and for each faculty. Although these quotas are flexible, students may be unable to enrol in a particular course because it is already full. In these cases, students may attempt to enrol in the class at a later time, as places may become available.

To increase the chances of enrolment in first preference courses, the University will generally try to allocate enrolment appointment times to students who have progressed furthest in their degree program, before students in earlier stages of their program. This means that if a student misses out on admission to a course in one year, they are more likely to be successful in subsequent years, as they gain more senior status in their program.
The Quad

Alternative mode courses
Most General Education courses (with GEN prefix) will be offered in the format of one lecture and one tutorial per week. However, in developing courses for the General Education program a number of faculties have put forward courses that can be completed in a more intensive mode - either over a summer session, or in some other non-standard arrangement. Some approved courses will be offered in an open learning or distance learning format, supported by electronic delivery techniques. It is hoped that the choice of delivery mode will increase in response to student preferences and the course evaluation process.

Campus at which courses are taught
General Education courses are taught at Kensington as well as the Paddington (Faculty of the College of Fine Arts) campus. Students may enrol in courses offered on either campus provided the courses have been approved as part of their General Education requirement.
Separate arrangements are in place for students of the Australian Defence Force Academy and of the Australian Taxation Studies Program. Students in these programs should consult their faculty for information on courses and venues.

Units of Credit, Fees & Charges and General Education
The University's academic structure is based on 'units of credit'. A full-time enrolment for one year is defined as 48 units of credit (24 per session). A course will have the same unit of credit value and generate the same load for student contribution charges and tuition fees irrespective of the program or stage in which it is taken. All courses are measured in whole units of credit.

The normal workload expectations are approximately 25 hours per semester for each unit of credit, including class contact hours, other learning activities, preparation, and time spent on all assessable work.

Every course in the University has a unit of credit value, with program requirements defined, in part, in terms of the completion of a specified number of units of credit. The most important thing to remember about units of credit and General Education is that, because the General Education Program is an integral component of each undergraduate degree program at UNSW, units of credit earned for General Education are not additional to program requirements, but rather are a required part of each program. For the same reason, students do not pay extra for undertaking General Education courses.

Student contribution charges and tuition fees are based on the student's total study load, taking into account the discipline grouping of the unit of study. Student load is calculated on the sum of the units of credit of all courses undertaken (including General Education courses) as a proportion of the specific full-time total (48 units of credit) for the particular stage of the program.

General Education Courses

Click below to view a list of General Education courses by faculty:

GEF button

To search for General Education courses by session of offering, please go to the Class Timetable website:

Study Levels

UNSW Quick Links