Education Division Deputy Vice Chancellor Education Academic Calendar Refresh – staff FAQs

Academic Calendar Refresh – staff FAQs

The refreshed academic calendar is a three-tier calendar comprised of semesters, carousels (short-form study periods), and trimesters, with the latter being the primary model to be used by most courses. The refreshed calendar model will be gradually introduced from 2024.

At the heart of the refreshed calendar is a trimester model, where teaching is split over three study periods during a calendar year. At JCU, this is known as the 3+3+3 model. Trimesters give students increased opportunities for mobility in Australia and overseas, and more options to accelerate their degree and balance work/life/study.

The trimester model responds to the demand for flexible, year-round learning and increases JCU’s competitiveness in a crowded higher education market. The approach simplifies and aligns the number, length, and timing of study periods across all JCU locations and jurisdictions.

A trimester model offers teaching in three equal-length study periods, and shorter, 10-week blocks of study. The move to trimesters brings JCU in line with many universities in Australia and aligns with the broader international student calendar.

2024 Academic Calendars can be viewed here.

2025 Academic Calendar dates can be viewed here (scroll to bottom). 2025 Academic Calendars will be released mid-2024.

This webpage is designed to respond to frequently asked questions from staff and will be updated as further questions emerge.

Current Student FAQs can be view here

Courses transitioning to Trimester in 2025

Pathway Programs
 117621Diploma of Tertiary Studies [Exit only]
 16020Advanced Diploma of Arts [Exit Only]
 114513Associate Degree in Creative Arts and Media [Exit Only]


Associate Degree in Health Sciences [Exit Only]
 16020Bachelor of Life Sciences [Exit Only]
Undergraduate Degrees
 115710Bachelor of Arts
 20310Bachelor of Arts - Bachelor of Business
 60210Bachelor of Arts - Bachelor of Laws
 12010Bachelor of Arts - Bachelor of Science
 115510Bachelor of Advance Science
 60610Bachelor of Business - Bachelor of Laws (commencing from 2024)


Bachelor of Business - Bachelor of Psychological Science


Bachelor of Environmental Science & Management


Bachelor of Geology


Bachelor of Marine Science
 50910Bachelor of Planning
 50909Bachelor of Planning (Honors) [Embedded]


Bachelor of Science


Bachelor of Science - Bachelor of Laws


Bachelor of Social Work


Bachelor of Social Work (Honors )  [Embedded]


Bachelor of Engineering (Honors) [Embedded]
 116309Bachelor of Engineering (Honors) [Embedded] - Bachelor of Information Technology
 116409Bachelor of Engineering (Honors) [Embedded] - Bachelor of Science


Bachelor of Cybersecurity (available  JCU Singapore only)


Bachelor of Economics (available  JCU Singapore only)


Bachelor of Commerce (Honors) [End-on]
 10309ABachelor of Psychological Science (Honors) [End-on]
Postgraduate Degrees


Graduate Diploma of of  Psychology 
 118304Master of Engineering (Professional)


Master of Marine Biology


Master of Science


Master of Science (Professional)


Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying)

Frequently Asked Questions

The move to trimesters (the 3+3+3 model), brings JCU in line with the majority of universities in Australia and overseas - increasing our competitiveness in a crowded higher education market. The change also aligns JCU Australia, JCU Singapore and JCU Brisbane, which increases opportunities for shared study experiences.

The flexibility allowed by trimesters means students can better manage their study and structure their own degree progression, and options to accelerate their degree.

The January-December Trimester model presents new opportunities. Based on student data trends it is evident that many students undertake part-time loads (usually 3 subjects per semester) due to a variety of circumstances.

JCU also celebrates the diversity in our student demographic including low SES, first in family and adult students returning to study. The January-December trimester aligns with the Queensland school year, provides a two week break in the middle of the year for school holidays, permits additional entry points across the year with carousels, and permits a break at Christmas time across all campuses.

The trimester model aligns with university calendars in the Northern Hemisphere, providing additional opportunities for international students such as student exchange or study abroad programs.

Some JCUA courses are already taught in trimester mode, such as undergraduate and postgraduate Business, Commerce, Tourism, and IT courses.

All new course proposals should presume a trimester architecture. Exceptions to trimesters must be approved by University Executive.

Courses delivered in Trimesters only include:

Pathway Programs
100130JCU Prep (commencing from 2024)
113121Diploma of Higher Education
118121Diploma of Business (commencing from 2024)
118421Diploma of Technology (commencing from 2024)
Undergraduate Degrees
116910Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences (commencing from 2024)
20510Bachelor of Business
60610Bachelor of Business - Bachelor of Laws (commencing from 2024)
114310Bachelor of Business - Bachelor of Psychological Science
20710Bachelor of Commerce
103110Bachelor of Information Technology
103109Bachelor of Information Technology (Honours) [end-on] (commencing from 2024)
118610Bachelor of Laws (commencing 2024)
70809Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) [Embedded] (commencing 2024)
112810Bachelor of Psychological Science (commencing from 2024)
109110Bachelor of Tourism, Hospitality and Events
Postgraduate Degrees
23511Graduate Certificate of Accounting
109011Graduate Certificate of Business Administration
23411Graduate Certificate of Conflict Management and Resolution
50311Graduate Certificate of Information Technology
23506Graduate Diploma of Accounting
109104Master of International Tourism and Hospitality Management
112304Master of International Tourism and Hospitality Management - Master of Business Administration
116204Master of Business Administration
116604Master of Business Administration (2 year)
112004Master of Business Administration - Master of Conflict Management and Resolution
113804Master of Education (commencing from 2024)
117404Master of Education - Master of Business Administration
117304Master of Conflict Management and Resolution
117704Master of Governance and Leadership
113504Master of Information Technology
112404Master of Information Technology - Master of Business Administration
109504Master of Professional Accounting
112104Master of Professional Accounting - Master of Business Administration

Courses delivered through a combination of Trimester and Semesters include:

115510Bachelor of Advanced Science
20310Bachelor of Arts - Bachelor of Business
12010Bachelor of Arts - Bachelor of Science
101510Bachelor of Business and Environmental Science
109410Bachelor of Education (Secondary)
Accounting, Business and Economics Teaching Areas Only
109310Bachelor of Education (Primary)
109410Bachelor of Education (Secondary)
116209Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
116309Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) - Bachelor of Information Technology
116409Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) - Bachelor of Science
115710Bachelor of Science
109804Master of Public Health - Master of Business Administration

Some courses may apply for approval to operate a different calendar. However, the trimester model is expected to be adopted by the majority of courses and for the majority of student load.

Where current students are to be impacted by trimester implementation, Deans and Course Coordinators will reach out and staff and students will be supported in the event that some subjects are offered in both trimester and semester formats during the overlap/transition period.

A carousel is a short-form study period consisting of a six-or seven-week period of teaching followed by assessment and marking. There are six carousels in each academic year, closely aligned to trimester start and end dates. It is possible that some courses may be taught in-part or entirely as carousels.

Some courses are already using or considering the carousel model in their structure. For example, several postgraduate courses and undergraduate Education subjects are using carousels. JCUB is trialling a late 2023 intake using carousels and is modelling this relative to its student intake data and staffing allocation.

End of study period examinations are not permitted in carousels unless required by a regulatory body.

The March, July, and November carousels permit routine intake periods for international students, which provides JCU with a possible six entry points (although this is discipline specific).  These intakes will be course and location specific.

Three trimesters are contained within a calendar year. 2024 calendars have been approved. Trimesters will commence late January, mid-May and mid-September.

There are scheduled and predictable gaps between study periods to afford a break for students and academic staff, and to create time for other activities.

Most courses and subjects will need redesigning for trimester offerings (or carousel if required). However, moving to trimesters affords an opportunity to reconsider and enhance learning design and assessment.

The Subject Transition Framework presents well thought out and enacted learning design.

With a staggered implementation beginning in 2024, efficiencies will be gained in administration, academic work, and communication.

  • Periods between trimesters and recess periods are set for all locations, and in Trimester 2 there is alignment with the June-July Queensland School Holidays (2 weeks) for rest and recreation, and to permit immersion programs for schools on campus.
  • Alignment of study periods offers the potential for staff mobility across different locations and there will be improved distribution of resources, and reduced duplication of effort.

Subject availabilities and timetabling, and associated staffing, will be impacted.

The University is currently assessing the impact of the trimester model on professional placements and other work-integrated learning activities and is reviewing established best practice in the sector.

Other matters under consideration are that:

  • Examinations, numbers of examinations and allied processes are kept to a minimum.
  • Subject pre-requisites, sequencing and electives are being reviewed to enable more flexible access to subjects. This is course specific.

The service teaching subjects, such as Mathematics and Science-based subjects common to some courses, and usually first year (core) subjects, are likely to be impacted in the initial years of the trimester implementation.

This is being attended to in the course mapping and opens opportunities for revised course and subject design, led by Deans, Course Coordinators and Academic Heads.

A communication plan has been established in partnership with various student facing stakeholders, to ensure students remain up to date. Queries can be directed to

The University has established an Academic Calendar Advisory Committee that reports to Education Committee. Its duties include overseeing the implementation of the refreshed calendar and its operation in the 2023/24 to 2025/26 calendar years.

Thereafter, Education Committee and Academic Board will consider academic calendar items as part of normal business.