Distance Study

What is a distance student?

You are classified as a distance student if you are doing ALL your study off campus. This might be because you cannot come on campus (eg.you live out of Sydney), or you choose not come on campus for any of your learning. You need to have enrolled formally as a distance student through the Faculty of Medicine’s Postgraduate Student Administration Unit.

You are not classified as a distance student if you do some of your units of study off campus and some on campus.

What can I study?

There is a comprehensive range of units of study available in online mode.

NB: Not all units of study within each course are available in online mode. Please check delivery mode carefully.

Courses offered completely online:

How can I view live lectures and workshops?

In some units, the lectures are pre-recorded and synchronised with the PowerPoint presentation. For some units, the live lectures or workshops are recorded (sound only or sound and PowerPoints) and can be downloaded from the unit’s e-learning site. The recording and PowerPoint slides are made available on the site as soon as possible after the lecture or workshop.

Problems with accessing lectures and/or other resources

I can’t download lectures or readings
Sometimes you may not be able to access the lectures or, for example, readings from the e-learning site because of technical problems. If this happens please contact: or refer to the Start-up kit which you received during Orientation and which is also available on ASPH0000, our SPH Student Support site.

Some of my online course materials are not available
A number of units are designed to be done in ordered steps, so course materials (modules, quizzes, assignments) are not available from the start, but are gradually made available and appear on a pre-determined date.

My unit’s e-learning site doesn’t have online lectures
Individual units are designed differently, so not all e-learning sites will look the same or have the same type of content. Some have online lectures, some have other types of learning materials.

How to access library resources

The University Library offers an excellent document delivery service to distance students who need to access library resources but cannot come on campus. You will need to register for this service. For details on how to register and organise document delivery, please go to: http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/libraries/medical/subjects/services2.html

In addition, more information on how to access library resources for distance students -http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/borrowing/docdel/

What should I do if I feel isolated?

The School recognises that some students might find the distance learning process a little lonely. Here are some tips on ways to avoid this:

  • make use of any ‘getting to know you’ discussions in the online units
  • use the 'student space' discussion forum to contact other students
  • if possible, you might consider coming on campus for workshops or the occasional lecture
  • keep in contact with fellow students via email
  • if you would like to have a discussion board specifically for distance students within a unit’s e-learning site, contact: