Modes of Study


Supervised units of study are typically on-campus units with very few students. Enrolment in these units is dependent on agreement from a suitable supervisor. Some supervised units of study, eg. research project units of study, may be taken by distance students with an approved internal or external supervisor. Please note that supervised clinical units of study are only available to students employed by the University Teaching Hospital in residency or intern programs.

Supervised study often lies somewhere between an apprenticeship and supervised research. Many supervisors will only accept one student at a time, so it is essential to understand that a supervisor's formal permission is required before enrolling in a supervised unit of study.

Supervised units typically require you to:

  • Read the recommended books and other readings;
  • Draw on your existing knowledge and experience;
  • Watch what your supervisor and other senior staff members do;
  • Participate in day-to-day and set activities with your peers and staff;
  • Receive guidance, feedback and support from your supervisor;
  • Apply your learning where appropriate and you will usually require keep a case log or learning journal; and
  • Complete all required assessment tasks within the suggested periods.

Online Units of Study

Online units of study may be taken by distance and involve regular participation in weekly learning activities and discussion in an online classroom, facilitated by academic staff or external contractors. These units of study are subject to class size limitations. International students living in Australia on a student visa must ensure that no more than 25% of their course load consists of online units of study. There are no restrictions on enrolment in online units by international offshore students.

Residential Intensive Units of Study

Residential intensive units of study require attendance on-campus for short periods, usually 3 – 6 days, though some practical or field-based units may have residential sessions for one week or even one month. The residentials are held before each semester at the University of Sydney's main campus. They are structured to maximise opportunities for skill development, critical enquiry and professional interaction with other students and facilitators. Group activities such as informal modified lectures, tutorial exercises, discussion groups and small-group tasks are incorporated into the residential program. These units are usually combined with further instruction online.

On-campus Units of Study

On-campus units of study are typically offered in conjunction with honours-level undergraduate students, but may consist of small postgraduate classes on campus. Classroom learning will include lectures and tutorials conducted on-campus and include activities and discussions each week, facilitated by academic staff.