Select your JCU subjects

woman sitting at a computer searching the JCU website.

How to select subjects for your application

To apply for Study Abroad or Exchange, you will need to submit a list of subjects you plan to enrol in during your time at JCU.

Once you have chosen to study in either a semester or trimester model, as well as the timeframe that you want to study within, you can browse all JCU subjects available within your designated semester/trimester.

Use the JCU subject search tool below to find available subjects and read about each subject’s topics, assessments, practical learning and estimated hours of work. You can narrow down your search by selecting filters for campus location, attendance mode, study period and course level.

As you find subjects that strike your interest, write down their subject code as well as subject title. The subject code consists of two letters and four numbers, with the two letters indicating its study area and the numbers indicating the course level. For example, AN1001 indicates it is an Anthropology subject for first-year study.

Once you have selected the required amount of subjects for either a semester (four) or trimester (three), you can begin the application process.

How to use the subject finder filters

Make your search easier by using the subject finder's filters. You'll need to know the following information to narrow down your search.

Subject Search interface visual.

  • Campus – you will need to know whether you are studying in Cairns or Townsville. There is a main campus and a smaller city campus in both Cairns and Townsville; if you know which campus you’ll be at, select accordingly. If you’re not sure yet, you can select multiple options to browse availability across campuses.
  • Level – this refers to undergraduate, postgraduate or non-award courses. As you will not be taking non-award subjects, simply select undergraduate or postgraduate.
  • Study period – this is the timeframe of your study. Once you have decided the model you will study in (semester or trimester) as well as the time you will spend at JCU (e.g. January – July), you will need to know the study period best suited to you. You can find the study period on the JCU academic calendars.
  • Attendance mode – this refers to whether you are studying on-campus or off-campus. All Study Abroad and Exchange students are required to be on-campus, so in the Attendance Mode filter, you will select “Internal”, as this means on-campus.
  • Availability – ensure that the study area and subjects you want to pursue are available to Study Abroad and Exchange students. See below for a list of study areas unavailable for Global Experience students.

Info for knowing which subjects to choose

The subjects you choose to study during your time at JCU will be influenced by when you arrive, how long you're staying, what stage you're at in your current degree, and more. Use the below information to help you know which subjects are right for you.

Depending on the degree and mode of study, JCU courses are available in either Semester or Trimester models (but not both).

As a Study Abroad or Exchange student, you cannot study subjects from both semester and trimester models, only one or the other. Please nominate all trimester subjects, or all semester subjects on your application.

Additionally, to avoid any potential visa issues, you must ensure that you only select courses that run within your designated semester or trimester, as your approval for entry into Australia is based upon that semester/trimester's official dates.

There are two JCU Semesters each year. Semester 1 runs from February until June, while Semester 2 runs from July until November.

Each Semester runs for 14 weeks, which includes 13 teaching weeks, and a one-week mid-semester break. At the end of the teaching period, you will then have a one-week study break and a two-week exam period. You must ensure that you are available for the entirety of this 17-week period.

There are three JCU Trimesters each year. Trimester 1 runs from January until April, Trimester 2 from May until August and Trimester 3 from September until December.

Each Trimester includes 10 teaching weeks. Trimesters 1 and 3 have a one-week break after the completion of Week 5, while Trimester 2 includes a two-week break. If you are studying in Trimester mode, you will finish with a one-week study break and a one-week exam period. You must ensure that you are available for the entirety of the trimester period.

The JCU Trimester FAQ page can provide you with an up-to-date list of courses offered in Trimesters.

Note:  Some subjects are offered in intensive mode, which runs outside the main study periods. Please ensure you do not select a subject offered in intensive mode.

Credit points

Most JCU subjects have a value of three credit points. It is your responsibility to ensure that the subjects you wish to study at JCU are also eligible for credit at your home institution.

For semesters, a normal full-time study load is four subjects, which is equal to 12 credit points. The minimum allowable enrolment for Study Abroad and Exchange students studying in semesters at JCU is three subjects* or nine credit points.

For trimesters, a normal full-time study load is three subjects, which is equal to nine credit points. Students can increase this to study four subjects in a trimester if required by their home institution.

Undergraduate students can study for up to two consecutive study periods. Choose four subjects for one semester, and three subjects for one trimester. Or, choose eight subjects for two semesters and 6 subjects for two trimesters.

Postgraduate students can only complete one study period during their Global Experience. Choose four subjects for either a semester or trimester model.

You will list these 3 - 4 subjects on your application. You will then list an additional 2 - 4 subjects to ensure that you are covered if any of your preferred subjects are unavailable.

* written approval from your home institution is required for enrolment in only three subjects.

Your Global Experience should be a highlight of your degree, so you should choose the subjects that most interest you. However, you can also choose subjects that are most relevant to your current level of study. For example, if you are in your second year of your degree, Level 2 subjects will suit you best.

Undergraduate Students

As an undergraduate student, you can study Level 1, 2 or 3 subjects as long as you meet any subject prerequisites.

JCU subjects use a two-letter and four number structure, with the first number indicating the course level. For example:

Level 1 subjects: AA1001

Level 2 subjects: BB2001

Level 3 subjects: CC3001.

Postgraduate Students

Postgraduate students can study Level 1-4 subjects (undergraduate subjects) and Level 5 subjects (postgraduate subjects) as long as you meet any subject prerequisites.

You must enrol in at least one Level 5 subject during your Study Abroad or Exchange period.

JCU subjects use a two-letter and four number structure, with the first number indicating the course level. For example:

Level 3 subjects: CC3001

Level 4 subjects: DD4001

Level 5 subjects: EE5001.

Due to accreditation requirements, Study Abroad and Exchange students are not able to study subjects from the following Study Areas:

  • Medicine (MD)
  • Dental Surgery (DS)
  • Medical Laboratory Science (ML)
  • Pharmacy (PC)
  • Physiotherapy (PS)
  • Rehabilitation (RH), and
  • Veterinary Science (TV).

Some subjects that run in External mode are also unavailable.

If you are a US Financial Aid student, we advise you to check if subject choices will affect your funding options.

Due to entry requirements, prerequisites or specific course activities, some subjects are only available to students who are completing their full degree at JCU, or are graduate students. The Enrolment team will advise you if you have applied for a subject that you are ineligible for.

You will be advised in your Offer Letter if the subjects you have applied for have been approved.

You can learn more about the many study areas on offer at JCU by exploring our study areas or through resources like study area guides.

With our study area guides being regularly updated, make sure to check back here for updated info.

Science and Engineering Study Guide (PDF, 724 KB)

This includes subjects in the areas of:

  • Aquaculture
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Data Science
  • Bioinformatics
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Science and Management
  • Geology and Earth Science
  • Indigenous Studies
  • Information Technology
  • Marine Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Pre-Medicine
  • Sports and Exercise Science

Subject finder tutorial

Navigate the JCU subject selection process before you apply

For further guidance, watch this tutorial on subject selection, or reach out to our friendly team for assistance.

Open the JCU subject finder tool

JCU subject finder