Open Foundation By Distance Commencing Students
Offers of admission to the Open Foundation by Distance program will be mailed out to successful applicants during January and February. Once you have received your offer of a place in the program, the first steps you need to take to accept your offer and complete your enrolment are:
1. Set up your student IT account here.
2. Enrol in your semester 1 courses at My Hub from Friday 1 February onwards, and no later than Monday 18 February.
Your letter of offer and the Step by Step Enrolment Guide contain detailed instructions for these steps. You can also view the University's How to Enrol video.
If you have any difficulties with Online Enrolment, please contact the Foundation Studies office.
Selecting the Right Courses for your Future Studies
You must enrol in and pass 40 units of study in one calendar year in order to complete Open Foundation. In the part-time program, you will study two pairs of courses. In semester 1, you will enrol in Part 1 of two 10 unit courses; in semester 2, you will enrol in Part 2 of those same courses.
You can find your course selections and descriptions here.
You should ensure you consult the Faculty Recommendations for the courses that will best prepare you for specific undergraduate degree programs.
Information about the range and content of degree programs on offer at the University of Newcastle can be found in the Undergraduate Program Handbook.
Uncertain about what degree program you'd like to study or where it might lead you? The University's Careers Service can help with information about the jobs that are available to graduates.
Important: Once you have enrolled in your courses online, any changes to that course selection (including dropping courses or withdrawing from the program) must also be made using the My Hub system.
Once you have completed your online enrolment, you need to:
3. Purchase your textbooks
4. Set up your NUmail account
5. Order your student card
6. Review what online study involves
7. Be ready to start your courses on Monday 25 January
8. Plan to attend Face2Face Days and Evening sessions
9. Read this Other Important Information
Purchase your textbooks
If you haven't already done so, you must order your textbooks immediately so that you are ready to commence your coursework. A list of the required textbooks for each course can be downloaded here and ordered through the Coop Bookshop website.
As textbooks will be essential for your studies, if you think that you will have any difficulties obtaining your textbooks before 8 March at the very latest, or that you might change your course selections in the first two weeks of semester, you must contact the Distance Support Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org advice.
Setting up Your NUmail Account
Numail is your student email account. You should set it up now by visiting here.
You must use your NUmail to communicate with the University and ensure that you check your NUmail account at least three times a week.
Order your student card
You can order your student card by completing a Student ID Card Mail Request form and mailing it to the Foundation Studies Office.
Important: You must attach copies of ID (see the form for details) and a passport-sized photograph to your completed form. These documents (including the photograph) must be verified by a Justice of the Peace. If your documents or your photo are not verified, we cannot process your student ID card request.
Open Foundation by Distance is a fully online program. This means that all your course material can be found online in the University’s online learning system, Blackboard, and that you will need regular internet access throughout your studies.
You should also be aware that while online courses allow you to study at times that suit you, successful Distance study tends to require a higher level of organisation and self-motivation than on-campus study, and involves a considerable time commitment (approx. 20 hours per week).
- do not have access to the internet (or think that you may not have access at any point during your enrolment),
- are concerned that you do not have sufficient time available to commit to 20 hours per week of study, or
- feel that you might benefit more from on-campus/face-to-face classes,
you should contact the Distance Support Coordinator immediately for advice at email@example.com.
Be ready to start your courses on Monday 25 February
Distance courses start one week earlier than on-campus courses, in Week Zero. During Week Zero, you will be required to access Blackboard for 1-2 hours each day from Monday 25 February to Friday 1 March and work through sets of important activities and information that will prepare you for your coursework.
You will be able to access the Week Zero material in Blackboard from 9am on Monday 25 February.
To access Blackboard, log in to the University's online systems area for students, UoNline. Your Username is your student number with a small ‘c’ in front (e.g. c1234567), and your Password will be the password that you created when you set up your student IT account in step 1.
Once you have logged in to UoNline, you will see a grey menu bar at the top of the screen. Click on ‘Blackboard’ in this menu. You will then see a list of Blackboard sites that you have access to on the right hand side of the screen – click on the site titled ‘Open Foundation by Distance 2013’, and you will be directed to Week Zero.
Plan to attend Face2Face Days and Evening sessions
Although most of your study will be done online, there are two Face2Face Days held each semester. During Face2Face Days your lecturers will run classes for all Open Foundation by Distance students studying their course. You will be able to discuss and review important or difficult aspects of the course, and your lecturers will provide in-person advice and guidance about assessments.
While Face2Face Days are not compulsory, we strongly encourage all Open Foundation by Distance students to attend these if they can.
In Semester 1, Face2Face Days will be held on the following dates at the Callaghan Campus in Newcastle. Please put these dates in your diary:
- Saturday 23 March, approx. 9am - 4pm
- Saturday 25 May, approx. 9am – 4pm
YIn Weeks 1, 5 and 10 of semester, there will also be short Face2Face Evening sessions held in various city and regional areas around NSW. These Face2Face Evening sessions will be run by Study Advisers, and are designed to give you extra guidance and techniques for completing your assessments and coursework. More information about the Face2Face Evening sessions will be available during Week Zero.
Read this Other Important Information
If you live in the Hunter, Central Coast or Port Macquarie areas you can brush up on your computing or essay writing skills, or get a headstart on your studies with a free pre-semester Bridging course. Check out the courses on offer and the timetable here.
Applications for Bridging courses should be submitted to the Foundation Studies office at least 5 days before the commencement of the course.
If you have a disability or chronic illness which you feel may impact on your studies, you need to register with the staff in Disability Support. It is essential that you register at the beginning of the semester if you require any special arrangements for class tests or formal examinations.
Students from a Language Background other than English
The Open Foundation program requires students to have a good level of written and spoken English. It is assumed that students from a language background other than English will have undertaken formal study in English prior to commencing Open Foundation. For information on the English Language support available to students from a non-English speaking background, contact the Foundation Studies office.
Parking on Campus
If you visit the University campuses at Callaghan or Ourimbah within business hours during semester, you should be aware that there are limited parking spaces and that locating a car space can prove very time consuming.
At the Callaghan campus you must purchase a parking ticket for $4.20 from a ticketing machine in the carpark between the hours of 8.00am to 5.30pm from Monday to Friday. Please note that this means that you will not need to purchase a ticket for Face2Face Days or Evenings.
Parking on the Ourimbah campus is free.
Check out the Parking Rules for each campus.
Final Examinations at the end of the Semester
Formal examinations in Open Foundation are compulsory. At the end of each semester you must pass exams in both of your courses in order to successfully complete the program.
Exams will be held during the exam periods in June and November - see here for dates. The exams are 2 hours in duration, and will be held under supervision in major cities or towns within 2 hours' drive from your place of residence. Open Foundation by Distance students must be resident in Australia for the duration of their studies and cannot sit exams in overseas locations.
Please note that exams are normally held during business hours, Monday to Friday, but can be scheduled at 6 pm on weekdays or on a Saturday morning. You should plan now to be available during the entire exam period.
You will be notified of the exact times and locations of your exams approximately 4 weeks in advance.
Remember that if you have any concerns about your access to the Internet or a computer, obtaining your textbooks by 8 March, or the time commitments involved in studying Open Foundation by Distance, you should contact the Distance Support Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.
For all other enquiries, please contact the Foundation Studies office.