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Equivalent Full-Time Student Load (EFTSL) is defined in the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) [s169-27] as an equivalent full time student load. It is a measure of the study load, for a year, of a student undertaking a course of study on a full time basis, where the student undertakes a standard program of studies.  It is an internationally recognised mechanism of comparing the credit attributable to different units of study at different universities.

At the time of publication of this page, students undertaking an EFTSL of 1.0 at either Curtin or UWA complete 4 units of study per semester, 8 units in total in a year.  Hence each unit has an EFTSL of 0.125, so that 8 × 0.125 EFTSL = 1.0 EFTSL.

By contrast, each university uses a different internal credit-point system to measure the load of their units.

  • At Curtin University, a 0.125 EFTSL unit corresponds to 25 Credit Points
  • At the University of Western Australia, a 0.125 EFTSL unit corresponds to 6 Credit Points.

Therefore, rather than using a University’s internal credit point system to indicate the credit accrued by completing a unit, we cite the EFTSL for the unit.