Academic Information

Study Abroad students can pursue a full-time study program in any Western Sydney University field of study. We recommend that students also take at least one unit on a topic on Australia.

The Australian system of higher education derives from the British model, although it has developed along unique lines. In the Australian system, general education as an element of higher education is assumed. Undergraduate students enrol in a program that is highly focused on a particular major. Undergraduate degrees at Western Sydney University normally take three years to complete on a full-time basis.

To browse fields of study available at Western Sydney University, please visit Future Students. 

The Online Handbook (opens in a new window) allows you search for units.

For more information on selecting units of study at Western Sydney University, read Selecting your Units at Western Sydney University (PDF, 451.01 KB) (opens in a new window)

Academic Calendar

Most Schools in the University operate on a semester system, with Autumn Semester running from February to June and Spring Semester running from June/July to December.

The semester dates for each year are available online in the Academic Calendar.

The Sydney Graduate School of Management operates on a quarterly system. Please see the Academic Calendar for dates.

Undergraduate Teaching Methods and Styles

In undergraduate courses you will have many hours of lectures, classes, workshops and tutorials each week, as well as substantial amounts of 'unstructured' time that you will be expected to spend in individual reading and research.

The teaching styles you will encounter at the University, and the study techniques required might be very different from what you have been used to in your home country. 'Rote' learning - or memorising information - is generally considered less important than other methods.

You will be required to understand and apply concepts and theories and to critically examine and present a range of arguments to support your conclusions. You will be expected to participate in group work, in class discussions, and deliver individual presentations to your classes. You will also be expected to question your lecturers if you do not understand what is being taught and discussed.

In Australia it is not considered bad manners to express views that are different from those expressed by your lecturer, tutor, or academic supervisor. Many academic staff members facilitate debates and discussions in order to help them explain the subject being studied.

At the beginning of each session you will be given 'deadlines' (final dates) for the completion of assignments in all your subjects. If you fail to meet these deadlines you may be penalised even though you have completed your work.

Lecture and class times for all coursework subjects will be given to you when you enrol during orientation week. All students are required to be at lectures and tutorials at the specified times.

The above information also applies to coursework postgraduate programs. In addition, most coursework programs use more than one textbook and students are expected to read widely using reading lists supplied in class, or found independently.

Course Structure and Credit Points

Australian visa conditions require international students to study full-time. At Western Sydney University the standard workload for one session is four units (40 credit points) with most worth 10 credit points each. Under Australian Student Visa regulations, international students must study a minimum of 80% of a full-time load (minimum of approx 30 credit points).

Assumed Knowledge

Subjects at second and third year levels sometimes have subject prerequisites and assumed knowledge requirements in that particular area of study.   When choosing subjects, it is important to read the subject information and check that you meet the prerequisite subject requirements. There is flexibility for Study Abroad students in subject selection and each application will be individually assessed.

Credit Transfer

For the purpose of credit transfer, we recommend that you receive approval from your home institution for the Western Sydney University subjects you intend to study before you arrive in Australia.

At the end of the Study Abroad program, an official certificate transcript showing subjects studied and grades achieved, is sent to you to enable you to organise credit transfer with your home institution.

Credit Transfer Guide

Western Sydney University Grade

Percentage

US Grade

H

High Distinction

85+

A+

D

Distinction

75-84

A

C

Credit

65-74

B

P

Pass

50-64

C

S

Satisfactory

Ungraded

Pass

T

Terminating Pass


D

F

Fail


F

For the purpose of credit transfer, we recommend that you receive approval from your home institution for the University subjects you intend to study before you arrive in Australia.

At the end of the Study Abroad program, an official certificate transcript showing subjects studied and grades achieved, is sent to you to enable you to organise credit transfer with your home institution.

Credit Point System

At Western Sydney University a standard unit (subject) is worth 10 credit points (although some may be worth 20).

Approximate credit point translations:
10 credit points = 4 credits in the US System
10 credit points = 7.5 ECTS in the European System
10 credit points = 7.5 credits in the Swedish System
10 credit points = 2.5 credits in the Norwegian System

Please note this should only be used as a guide.  Please consult your advisor at your home institution for how your studies will be credited.