Teaching and learning styles at Western Sydney University

Modes of study

The teaching styles you will encounter at Western Sydney University and the study techniques required might be very different from what you have been used to in your home country.


You will be required to study a full load of subjects normally four or more units (subjects) per teaching session (in some instances a minimum of three units can be studied and still regarded as full-time). Generally, your study will be undertaken on a Western Sydney University campus involving a combination of lectures and tutorials for a majority of the course.


This term normally refers to a study load of two units (subjects) per teaching session. International students, if studying in Australia, are unable to study on a part-time basis due to Australian student visa regulations. However, if you are undertaking a course by distance education and studying in your home country, you are permitted to study part- time as you are not restricted by Australian student visa regulations.

Flexible mode

This generally means that the majority of the course is undertaken off- campus. However, you will be required to attend compulsory residential workshops at a campus during each teaching session, therefore you must study in Australia.

External mode

This normally means that the entire course is undertaken off-campus with no requirement to attend workshops, lectures or tutorials (students still have the option to attend workshops, lectures or tutorials if available).

Distance Education or Home Based Education

This normally means you study a Western Sydney University course in your home country. Study is conducted by mail, email and/or the Internet with course materials supplied by these methods. Please note, even if you are studying in your home country, you must still meet the University's English language requirements to study by this method .


The University offers a number of courses in a variety of countries overseas which involve attendance at lectures and tutorials. For more information, please see Offshore Programs.

Complementary Programs

For students who are interested in developing their skills and knowledge in specific subject areas, The University offers the opportunity to study two Postgraduate programs consecutively.