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Academic Quality and Standards

Academic Calendar and Semesters Policy


To describe the University's policy on the development of the University's Academic Calendar and semesters.


* All campuses (including offshore)
* All coursework programs
* All Monash staff
* All Monash students

Policy Statement

The University Academic Calendar, comprising two standard semesters in a calendar year, will be approved in advance by Academic Board on a rolling five (5) year basis.

The Vice President (Administration) is responsible for determining the dates for, and operationalising, the Academic Calendar.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) is responsible for recommending the University Academic Calendar to Academic Board for approval.

A standard semester shall comprise the following elements:

  • Orientation Week (‘O Week’): During this week, teaching staff will provide students with information that outlines the content, learning objectives, technological and assessment requirements of units for which they are enrolled. Faculties will also provide students with information on opportunities for students to participate in The Monash Passport. No class tests or assessment deadlines are scheduled;
  • Twelve (12) teaching weeks;
  • ‘SWOT-Vac’ (1 Week): a period during which no classes, class tests, assessment deadlines and other compulsory student activities are scheduled; and
  • Three (3) week centrally scheduled Examinations period.

Monash University follows the Universities Australia methodology for determining Week 1 of the academic year, based on Week 1 being counted from the Monday nearest 1 March. Similarly, Monash University observes the Universities Australia allocation principle for common vacation dates, with the common vacation weeks being:

  • the week beginning with Easter Monday;
  • week 19; and
  • week 31.

The composition and start and finish dates of other study periods used at the University will be approved by Academic Board on a rolling two (2) year basis or as required.

New, non-standard semesters will only be approved where this is considered essential in order to deliver approved programs, and upon Academic Board approval of a business case.

Supporting procedures


Supporting guidelines


Responsibility for implementation

* University wide—Vice President (Administration) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)
* Faculty wide—Associate Deans (Education)



Key Stakeholders

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)
Vice President (Administration)
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching)
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Quality)
Associate Deans (Education)
Heads of schools/departments

Approval body

Name: Academic Board
Meeting: 5/10
Date: 20-October-2010
Agenda item: 16.8

Endorsement body

Name: Education Committee
Meeting: 5/10
Date: 29-September-2010
Agenda item: 7.1.2


Census Date: The date in a semester when enrolment is taken to be finalised and where withdrawal from units of study after that date will incur academic and financial penalty.

Non-Standard semester: Any study period other than the two (2) standard semesters (Semester 1 and Semester 2) that constitute the University Academic Calendar.

Semester: A period of time in which a unit is available, eg. Semester 1.

Week Thirteen or ‘SWOT-Vac’: Study Without Teaching vacation week before the commencement of the centrally scheduled examinations period.

Teaching Weeks: Weeks within a semester during which classes are scheduled.

Orientation Week (‘O Week’): The week immediately preceding Week 1 of the standard teaching semester.

Legislation Mandating Compliance

All relevant legislative instruments that stipulate requirements with which members of the Monash community (all of whom are subject to the law) are obligated to comply.

Monash University Act 2009

Related policies

Unit Guide Policy

Related documents


Date Effective


Review Date



Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)


Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching)

Content Enquiries

University Policy Use

Version Number: 1.0


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