Western Sydney University Online FAQs

Why Western Sydney University Online?

For the past two years the University has made a significant investment in developing its online educational presence via a strategy for the targeted use of technology and learning design to enhance the student learning experience. This Blended Learning Strategy has seen a significant increase in the number of unit offerings with an online presence as well as a move from traditional, didactic delivery methods towards the creative use of technology for teaching.

Why have we partnered with OU?

The partnership with Open University UK (OU) complements the University's developments in online learning achieved over the past two years and will support the University in moving rapidly into a high profile, high quality online presence. OU is a recognised leader in online and distance education, with a long and successful track-record. Collaboration with OU will enable the University to benefit from this experience, both in terms of existing coursework materials and access to their successful models for student learning support.

What is Western Sydney University Online?

Western Sydney University Online is not just about delivering online programs. It is a paradigm shift in our approach to the whole student experience, including the way we support student learning.

There will be targeted rollout of a series of fully online undergraduate and postgraduate courses, some derived from the OU collaboration and some developed by our schools from their own suite of offerings. This endeavour is complemented by a large multidivisional project to improve the online accessibility of student support services and information. This will ultimately improve support for all our students, both online and on-campus.

This initiative also challenges the nature of online 'teaching' by placing a greater emphasis on facilitating student learning using well-crafted and well-presented learning materials and assessment items.

Has a market assessment been done?

Schools have identified programs which are complementary to their current offerings and also address a perceived gap in the market in terms of student demand.

Market assessment has also been undertaken through an analysis of unmet student demand based on UAC data and known student interest in Western Sydney.

Plans are in place to extend this market assessment to inform future Western Sydney University Online offerings.

Are these Western Sydney University courses?

Yes, the online courses are all Western Sydney University awards and have been approved under the award course and units approval policy.

How many Western Sydney University Online courses are available for 2016?

Western Sydney University Online commenced delivery of 29 new courses in 2016. However some of the units within these courses can be taken by students enrolled in other courses if they align with the unit and course requirements. There are also a number of existing fully online units that are open to students across the University.

What are the Western Sydney University Online teaching sessions?

Western Sydney University Online teaching sessions are the same as our standard Autumn and Spring sessions.

Can Western Sydney University Online courses be completed part time?

Yes, you can study an Online course part time if you want to.

Will all assessments be online?

All units will have a variety of online assessment items, including short quizzes, contribution to online forums as well as essays and project reports which will be submitted online. Some units, mainly those in the undergraduate program, could have final exams which will require you to attend an examination centre close to your home. The University is currently investigating offering online examinations.

What system and internet access is required to complete a Western Sydney University Online course?

Broadband specifications

  • A minimum of ADSL2+ broadband service
  • An unlimited download plan as part of this service 

System requirements

Windows based PC Macintosh
Operating system Windows 7 or above OS X v10.6 or above
Office suite Microsoft Office 2010 or above Microsoft Office 2011 or above
Internet browser IE9 or above Safari 5.1.10
Antivirus Recognised commercial vendor Recognised commercial vendor

Will Western Sydney University Online students receive a device?

As a Western Sydney University Online student, you may be eligible to receive a device if you meet the criteria. If you are eligible, your device will be posted to you. More information, including the terms and conditions, is available on the Student Device Initiative webpage.

Will Western Sydney University Online students receive a travel concession card?

No. Western Sydney University Online students are not eligible for travel concession.

Are the fees for Western Sydney Online courses the same as those for on-campus courses in the same discipline?

Yes. All Western Sydney University Online course fees will be the same as their on-campus equivalent.

Is HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP available to Western Sydney University Online students?

Yes, provided you meet the standard criteria. 

Is SSAF applicable for Western Sydney University Online students?

If you are studying fully online (having selected only 'External' units), you will not be charged the Student Services and Amenities Fee.

What student support will be provided?

A number of support services are available to Online students, including course-specific and enrolment advice, orientation and transition support, library services, academic skills support and personal support. Details of all the support services you can access are available on the Western Sydney University Online student support webpage.

A new Knowledge Management System to support robust student enquiry responses is scheduled for development in 2015 and IT Service Desk support has already been extended.

Will Western Sydney University Online students have the same access to on-campus services and facilities as on-campus students do?

Yes, Online students who come to one of our campuses will be able to use our services and facilities.

Can I receive Advanced Standing towards a Western Sydney University Online course for previous study?

We're only offering first year units through Western Sydney University Online in 2015. That means that units may not be available for continuing students this year.

I'm a current Western Sydney University student. Can I transfer into a Western Sydney University Online course?

Yes, providing you met the course entry requirements. As we're only offering first year units in 2015, you may not be eligible to apply for Advanced Standing.

Can I enrol in Western Sydney University Online units?

Students from other courses may be able to enrol in Western Sydney University Online units as electives if they meet the entry requirements and their current course rules permit this. Approval may be required from their Director of Academic Program. International students will need to seek advice regarding studying online and their visa restrictions.

The University also has a number of units that are either fully online or mostly online, with a small face-to-face component such as clinical placements or field work.

A full list of online units is available.

Can I enrol in Western Sydney Online units as Non-award?

Yes, providing they met the unit entry requirements.

Can Cross Institutional students enrol in Western Sydney University Online units?

Yes, providing they met the unit entry requirements.