Inside The Academy

The future isn't only about what you know; it's about how you think

The Academy is a program for high-achieving students that will enrich your learning experience, challenge you to think differently, uncover your passion, cultivate your leadership skills and become an engaged and informed member of your community as a citizen scholar.

Most importantly, you choose the activities and programs you want to be involved in, whether they be academic, community focused or for personal and professional development. Being a part of The Academy is free and what you gain is invaluable.

This diagram displays various elements that you can use to build your Academy journey:

Academy Journey 

The Bachelor of Applied Leadership and Critical Thinking (BALCT)

The BALCT can be taken in combination with any Bachelor degree at Western Sydney University. It is a flexible degree that supports and develops critical thinking, creativity, innovation and analysis.

The BALCT consists of 8 units which can be taken after you complete your Bachelor degree as an additional year of study, during Summer sessions* or in block mode prior to the commencement of the Autumn and Spring sessions.

This degree is not compulsory, but we encourage students who want to feel challenged, and who are looking to 'stand-out' from their peers, to enrol in the program.

*not all units are available during Summer sessions

Academy Member Benefits

Learning Zones

The Academy has fantastic specially designed spaces that are available exclusively to Academy students. Located across five Western campuses these purpose-built learning zones are there to provide students with the facilities to work in cross-disciplinary teams, conduct multi-campus link ups and video conferences, or even just a quiet place to study.

Workshops and Forums

The Academy runs tailored personal and professional development workshops to provide you with a range of skills sought after by employers. Our workshops explore various dimensions of leadership and ethics across areas such as community development, creativity and entrepreneurship Workshops include The Principles of Success, Crowdfunding for Social Impact, Presentation and Interview Skills, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Mature Age: Bringing your knowledge forward & Mistakability.

Our members receive exclusive invitations to forums where they are asked to contribute their thoughts, challenges and solutions on strengthening their local communities.

Special Events and Networking

Enhance your professional network through special events and networking functions organised for our students. Hear from industry leaders across a range of fields and personally discuss with them their experiences, the challenges they've faced and the lessons they've learnt.  

Community Engagement and Volunteering

Through learning to connect theoretical learning in the classroom to experiences in the world, students develop their skills including critical thinking, teamwork and civic participation The Academy has a wide range of partnerships with local community organisations and opportunities that support this:

  • Community-based service learning internships and projects (either for academic credit via the Internship & Community Engagement unit or for experience) that provide relevant opportunities to put skills into practice both locally and internationally
  • The Reading Ambassador Program
  • Opportunities to volunteer both through University programs, event based volunteering on and off campus and with our community partners

For more information: see Community Engagement and Service Learning