FAQs: Getting started
Everything sounds great. How do I apply?
You can apply by sending us your details using the Registration Box in the right-hand panel, or by calling us on 1300 275 794.
What is Swinburne Online?
Swinburne Online was established in 2010. It is a Joint Venture between Swinburne University of Technology and Seek Ltd. It will leverage off the University's existing academic credentials and SEEK's IT, business and technical capacity.
Swinburne Online provides a new approach to online learning in Australia and offers a highly engaging and productive learning experience.
Subject matter experts have worked with learning designers, technology designers, and information specialists to develop programs which bring Swinburne's highly respected academic curriculum together with best practice in online learning.
Utilising the latest learning technologies, Swinburne Online students will find themselves members of a collaborative, supported and connected community of learners. Teaching staff, who are expert discipline professionals, will support their academic learning through regular communication and feedback.
We've revolutionised online study via our virtual campus full of real people!
What can I expect from a Swinburne Online program?
As a Swinburne Online student you will be enrolled in a Swinburne University degree. It will have the same level of rigour as a degree offered in a more traditional mode. A key point of difference will be the way in which programs are delivered. Also unlike traditional distance education, you will be part of a collaborative and interactive learning community.
Why study online?
The most obvious advantage of choosing to study online is the opportunity to study when and where you choose, allowing you to balance study with personal, work and family commitments. But online study offers much more than this. Our experience has shown that online students can feel more engaged with the university, more supported in their studies, and more confident of success than on-campus students. This is explained by the high level of interaction between students and staff offered by current learning technologies which we have designed into our programs.
What are the advantages of studying with Swinburne Online?
Swinburne Online is a dedicated online education provider. We have developed a flexible three teaching period model which encourages sustainable online learning, with scheduled consolidation weeks and breaks between teaching periods.
Each of our units has been developed specifically for an online learning environment, enabling our students to gain the most benefit from their studies.
To assist students in transitioning to an online learning environment we have also designed an introductory unit Learning & Communicating Online, which helps students become familiar with the benefits and expectations of online learning.
What is the difference between Open Universities Australia and Swinburne Online?
Swinburne Online is a Swinburne University enterprise offering Swinburne University degrees. Its focus will be on students intending to complete a Swinburne degree.
OUA students can study one or two units or work towards a full degree at one of a number of partner providers. Swinburne is an OUA shareholder. It offers seven courses through OUA.
Swinburne Online will offer 11 courses in 2012 and grow its offerings in future years to provide students with a very broad range of online academic opportunities.
What's the difference between an on-campus program and a Swinburne Online program/degree?
The way in which the learning is organised and delivered will be different. On campus you will attend scheduled lectures and tutorials; be able to walk into the library or other service providers and meet colleagues in person. Online, you will have greater flexibility as to when you work through course content and the pace at which you undertake your program. Also your interaction with other students will not be restricted to set class times. Other differences will include accessing key reference material. On campus students will have access to the library. Online students will be supported via online texts and resources.
Do I need to have a special type of computer to study with Swinburne Online?
Not exactly. Chances are if you've purchased a new computer in the last few years it's likely that this will be suitable. If you need to buy a computer, please refer to the recommended minimum computer requirements. Mobile devices such as a tablet PC like an iPad, smart phone or MP3 player may be able to be used during your studies as well.
How do I accept my Swinburne Online offer?
One way that Swinburne Online differs from traditional universities is that you don't have to formally accept your offer. Once you've received your offer letter, you can simply enrol in your units online. All the information you'll require to do this will be provided on the letter.
How do I meet other students at Swinburne Online?
Your classes will be conducted in a very interactive way. You'll meet a lot of students through the online learning activities and forums.
What programs are offered at Swinburne Online?
At the moment we offer undergraduate degrees in Business, Technology, Communications and Social Science. But as time goes on we intend to expand this range. For a full list of programs we offer please visit http://www.online.swinburne.edu.au/online-courses/
Can international students study at Swinburne Online?
At present, unfortunately not. But this is something we hope to accommodate in the future.
Can I study at Swinburne Online from overseas?
As a domestic student, it is possible for you to study your Swinburne Online course from overseas. But bear in mind that we do not offer exams in overseas locations so you would have to ensure you're home for the exam periods.
I'm a current Swinburne University on campus student. Can I transfer to a Swinburne Online program?
Yes. You can change to a Swinburne Online program by submitting an Internal Program Transfer Application. Please note that normally, you must complete a minimum of one full-time year's study, achieving a credit average before you are permitted to apply to transfer your program. You can contact Swinburne Online to discuss this further.
I'm a current Swinburne University student. Can I study one or more of my units online with Swinburne Online?
Yes. You can do this by submitting an Application to Amend Enrolment. This should be submitted electronically to email@example.com. Please note you should consult with your home faculty to ensure the units you study at Swinburne Online can be counted towards your program.
Can I access the on campus support services at Swinburne University?
Yes, as a Swinburne Online student you will have access to most on-campus support services as such as e-counselling, disability services and employment services.
Can I study postgraduate degrees at Swinburne Online?
At present we do not have any postgraduate degrees for 2012. However, we do expect to expand our range in the future. Watch this space!
Do I graduate with a full Swinburne degree?
Yes. Upon successful completion of your studies you will receive a Swinburne University Degree. You will also be eligible to attend Swinburne graduation ceremonies.
How long will it take to complete my course?
The length of time required to complete your course depends on the number of units you decide to enrol in each teaching period. If you follow our recommended enrolment schedule and decide to complete 2 units each teaching period, then you can finish an undergraduate degree in approximately 4 years. Degrees can be completed in as little as 2 years, with a maximum length of 10 years. In the end, it's up to you.
How many units should I undertake each study period?
You can enrol in a maximum of 4 units each study period. However, for most students between 1 and 3 units each study period will be more manageable. Our recommended study load is 2 units each teaching period, which would allow you to complete your degree in approximately 4 years. The number of units you choose will depend on your personal, family or work commitments. Remember, each unit of study requires approximately 8 hours each week of active learning. You will be required to start with Learning & Communicating Online which will give you an understanding of online study.
Can I gain credit from previous degrees/ TAFE qualifications towards my Swinburne Online degree?
Yes, in many cases Swinburne Online will recognise prior qualifications and allow students to gain exemptions. Exemptions reduce the total number of units required to complete a degree, therefore reduce the study time required.
I haven't studied recently, where do I begin?
First of all, congratulations on taking the first step towards further tertiary study. Returning to study or studying at a tertiary level for the first time can be a little daunting. We have a variety of support structures in place to help students transition to tertiary education and begin online study.
The best place to begin is with our introductory subject Learning & Communicating Online. This unit is designed to help students get a feel for online study, and introduces many of the concepts which will help you study successfully in future. It will also help you to gain an understanding of what is involved in online study and the time commitments required.
I am thinking of enrolling with Swinburne Online, who can I contact for more information?
If you are considering a Swinburne Online degree then please contact us on 1300 275 794 and ask about studying with Swinburne Online.
What levels of support does Swinburne Online provide students?
Support in all aspects of learning at unit level is supplied by our teaching staff, or eLearning Advisors (eLA). You will be allocated to a specific eLA for each unit you study, each of whom will be in regular contact with you throughout the teaching period.
For assistance in a whole range of other areas related to your studies, Swinburne Online students will have extended hours access to a group of Student Liaison Officers (SLO) via phone or email. Whether your question be personal, technical or academic, you will be able to find help when you need it.
Swinburne Online has also put in place a dedicated online library service, ensuring you are able to access all your learning materials anyplace, any time.
Student Services support in the areas of disability, counselling, careers and employment is also avaialbe online for Swinburne Online students.
When do I need to enrol by?
Enrolments close 1 week prior to the beginning of each Teaching Period. Commencement dates for Swinburne Online teaching periods in 2012 are as follows:
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What is the difference between a course and a unit?
A unit refers to a single subject of study. Our introductory subject LCO100 Learning and Communicating Online is an example of a single unit, just like LBM100 Marketing Concepts and LPR100 Professional Communication Practice. A unit generally takes one Teaching Period to complete.
A course refers to the overall program or degree in which you are enrolled, such as a Bachelor of Business or a Bachelor of Social Science. There are 24 units in a three year undergraduate program.
What is a major, and how do I choose one?
A major is a specialisation in a particular subject or discipline area. If you are completing a Bachelor of Social Science, for example, you might choose to major in Psychology, or Media Studies. In most cases you can study two majors in a single degree.
Depending on the area you decide to major in you will need to complete between 13 and 18 subjects from that area of study. This number includes the core units as well as those which are specifically to do with your discipline. For example, in a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) you would need to complete Learning and Communicating Online, 6 core Social Science units and 9 specific Psychology units.
You will choose your major when you enrol but because our programs have common core units, you can usually change anytime during the first 8 units of study.
How long do I have to complete my unit’s learning requirements?
In order to successfully complete a unit of study you must complete all of the unit’s assessment requirements within the enrolled teaching period. A teaching period consists of 12 teaching weeks. Information on teaching period dates is available here.
Units include assessment tasks that have specific completion dates. These tasks must be completed by the set date to be eligible for full marks. Extensions to due dates can be applied for in the case of illness or personal hardship.
For example John enrols in SLCR100 Foundations of Statistics for teaching period 2. John must complete all of the unit’s assessment pieces by their due dates and sit his exam by the end of teaching period 2. If John completes these requirements he will successfully pass the unit.
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