Your Options

Studying at university requires a significant commitment of your time, so we offer a variety of flexible delivery options to choose from in order to best balance your study with work, social and family commitments. There’s no right or wrong way to study Open Foundation.

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Comparing the delivery options...

Study Load

Study Load


Complete in 1-2 years
2 – 4 Semesters of study


Complete in 6 months - 1 year
1 – 2 Semesters of study

Location Options

Location Options

On Campus

Newcastle (Callaghan)
Central Coast (Ourimbah)


Study from anywhere in Australia

Is it for me?

If you have work, family or carer commitments Part-time Open Foundation is for you.

Studying part-time allows you to balance your studies with your busy lifestyle.

Go with Part-Time if you can only dedicate up to 20 hours to study per week. Including all class, study time and assignments

If you are wanting to start your degree ASAP, have few commitments outside of study and are not working or only working casually, Full-time Open Foundation is for you.

Go with Full-Time if you can dedicate 20 to 40 hours to study per week. Including all class, study time and assignments

Centrelink - If you are planning to study a full time load you may be eligible for Centrelink StudyAssist payments.

Get valuable weekly face-to-face time with our support staff and teachers. Plus you’ll get to enjoy the University of Newcastle’s modern study spaces, student events and social scene at our campuses.

If you can get to a campus 2-4 times a week we recommend you take all of your courses on campus.

If you can only travel to a campus 1-2 times a week you can study a blended mode of on campus and online courses.

If you’re independent, self-motivated and looking for the ultimate flexibility, Online Open Foundation is for you.

Please note that learning online is usually more challenging than face-to-face study and can take more time on a weekly basis.

Choose Online if you can’t make it to campus at all during the Semester.

You'll need to have access to a computer and fast internet.

Course options

To complete Open Foundation, you are required to successfully complete 40 units. The distribution of these units differs depending on your preferred delivery mode.


Units per semester
10-20 Units per semester

Units per semester
30-40 Units per semester

Range of course areas
18 Study areas
50+ courses available at Callaghan (Newcastle)
35+ courses available at Ourimbah (Central Coast)

Range of course areas
18 Study areas
20+ courses available

Teaching Time

2 - 6 hours per week for 10-20 units of study.

6 - 12 hours per week for 30-40 units of study.

Up to 3 hours of on campus or live online* classes per week for every 10 units of study.

*Due to COVID-19 physical distancing requirements, large classes will be held live online and/or recorded for Semester 1, 2021.

2 hours of online tutorials per week for every 10 units of study.

You’re also invited to attend an optional face-to-face day twice a semester at the Callaghan (Newcastle) campus.

Out-of-class study

8-14 hours per week 14-28 hours per week
Out-of-class study time should be spent reading your course materials, researching, completing assignments, participating in your class discussion boards (for online courses) and revising for your exams.

You can use our Library or study area facilities to do your out-of-class study. You can do this between your classes or at any time with our 24-Hour access study spaces.

Complete your out-of-class study online at a time that suits you. If you are close to campus, you are welcome to use our Library and study area facilities as well.

How to make your choice

You don’t have to choose your study mode right away, you can apply for Open Foundation and once accepted, you can decide on a study load that suits you.

Throughout your program you’ll have the flexibility to change your study load depending on what else comes up.

When you apply for Open Foundation, you’ll be asked to select your preferred location:

  • Callaghan – select to study all courses at our Newcastle campus
  • Ourimbah – select to study all courses at our Central Coast campus
  • Online – select if you would like to study all or some of your courses online

Classes begin

Classes begin in Semester 2, 2021 on 19 July.

What you'll study