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Start your degree on your schedule

May 9, 2024 - 3 min read

Deakin University operates on a trimester system.* This means we divide the year into three teaching periods. You do not have to enrol in classes in all three trimesters each year. We just want to be flexible and offer you options so you get the best study experience possible.

Flexible start dates

The biggest intake into Deakin each year is Trimester 1 (T1). It starts at the beginning of March and is the one that most Australians who are coming direct from high school would start in. It is the end of the Australian summer holidays for students.

But all courses also offer a Trimester 2 (T2) intake. These students start in early July.  Many courses even have a third start date (Trimester 3 or T3) in November, offering even more flexibility.

Whichever trimester you start in, you will have the same experience. Many introductory units are offered multiple times each year. You might just take them in a different order than students who start in a different trimester. But there is no right or wrong way to do it – the education you get will be just as high quality as anyone else.

These flexible dates mean you can start at a time that is convenient for you.

This flexibility is great for people whose school year ends at a different time than the one in Australia. It is also great for postgraduate students wanting to start at a specific time. Not having to wait for a single intake date means you can start earlier, which means you can graduate earlier. That means you can start your dream career sooner!

Multiple intakes also offer you something to fall back on if, for some reason, you can’t start at Deakin on the original date you had planned. You have the option of deferring your start date to the next time your course is offered.


At the beginning of every trimester, Deakin holds Orientation Week (OWeek). This is a week where you can learn about university life, attend some fun events and meet new people.  Students from all around the world, including Australia, attend OWeek.  According to Vi, ‘my favourite memory at Deakin was my first time participating in a DUSA-organised event during Orientation Week trimester 2, 2022.’  Having moved from Vietnam to study psychology, she ‘had a few acquaintances in Australia but we were still a bit uncomfortable with each other. Having fun at these events broke the ice for us back then, and we have not been apart ever since.’

Orientation also includes a dedicated time for international students to get assistance with enrolling in their units and other specific international orientation needs. So it doesn’t matter when you start – you will get the same warm welcome.

Flexible study

Just because we offer classes all year around, you don’t have to study in all three trimesters. Units offered in Trimester 3 are optional in most courses. They allow you an opportunity to study at a pace that works for you. ‘I was more proactive in allocating my study over the trimesters,’ says Estelle, a commerce student from Vietnam. ‘I could enrol in all the necessary credits, and also participate in other activities and my job without having too much pressure.’

But you don’t need to study in T3. You can instead take the time to work or just enjoy being in Australia. We just want to make sure you have the option.

When should I apply?

When you apply to Deakin, you will nominate which trimester you want to start in. We recommend always allowing enough time for us to process the application and for the Australian government to process your visa application. But we recommend applying as early as possible to ensure you can start when you want to without delay.

Also, scholarships are awarded on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, so the earlier you apply the better chance you have of getting a scholarship.


*There are a small number of health and medicine courses that are taught on a 2 semester schedule. These include the Doctor of Medicine, Bachelor of Medical Imaging and some postgraduate nursing programs.



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Why study at Deakin?

As one of Australia's leading tertiary education providers, Deakin offers a personalised experience enhanced by world-class programs and innovative digital engagement. We lead by creating opportunities to live and work in a connected, evolving world.

#1 university in Australia for educational experience*
Top 1% of universities worldwide**
#1 university careers service in Australia^
Victoria's #1 university for teaching quality^^
#1 university in Victoria for student satisfaction#

* 2022 Student Experience Survey, based on undergraduate students, UA benchmark group Victorian universities.
** ARWU Rankings 2023
^^ 2022 Student Experience Survey, UA benchmark group Victorian universities.
# Australian Graduate Outcomes Survey 2016–2022 (GOS), Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

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