Teaching and learning information

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Language of instruction

Your classes will be taught in English, and you will be expected to use English in class. All assessment tasks should be completed in English.

All units are designed to assist you to develop your English language skills, as well as to further your knowledge about the topic or discipline. Having English language skills will be of great benefit, whether you are planning for further study or seeking to improve your job opportunities.

Official communication

All students are provided with an official Swinburne email account. You should use this email account for any official communication with Swinburne University of Technology. You should also make sure you check your account regularly, as this is the official communication channel used by the university to communicate with students.

Do not use Hotmail or other commercial email systems when communicating with Swinburne. The spam filter blocks such emails, and your message will not get through.

You can access your email account through My Swinburne portal: http://www.swinburne.edu.au/student/

  • Click on “Email” and log on using your SIMS username and password.
  • Your student email address is in the format studentIDnumber@student.swin.edu.au. For example, 20176543@student.swin.edu.au.

Unit outlines 

For each unit you are studying, you will be given a unit outline. These specify learning objectives, provide detailed information about each of the assessment tasks, and list the dates on which these tasks must be submitted to your unit teacher. The unit outlines also outline the requirements you must complete, in order to reach a satisfactory level of achievement (or pass) for each unit. Use your unit outline to familiarise yourself with task requirements and to plan your study timetable to meet all deadlines.

Course structure

You will need to plan which units you are going to study before you enrol online.

Course planners contain information about:

  • the core units and other units that make up your course
  • the number of units you need to complete your course • the recommended study sequence to meet course requirements. 

You will need to refer to your course planner when you enrol online.

  • Core units provide the core knowledge and skills for a degree. These are prescribed for each degree.
  • A major (or first major) is an area you would like to specialise in. A major is a set of eight units spaced throughout your course.
  • You can sometimes study a second major or co-major alongside your first major. Swinburne lists first majors and second majors on the testamur you receive when you graduate.
  • Elective units are single units that don’t form part of a major.

Speak with studentHQ if you want to replace or enrol in extra units. Refer to the academic calendar to find out key dates for enrolment.

Online learning system

A key feature of education programs at Swinburne University of Technology is the use of online learning as part of the teaching and learning strategy. How this is done will vary from unit to unit and could include anything from providing access to course information, learning materials and additional resources, to completing and submitting some assessment tasks online.

You may also be expected to participate in online discussions; use wikis and blogs to facilitate group work tasks, and employ online plagiarism software before submitting assessment tasks

Units you need to study in a certain order 

There are three types:

  • Prerequisite – you must complete this unit before enrolling in a following unit.
  • Co-requisites – you must complete this pair of units at the same time.
  • Concurrent prerequisites – you may complete these units either at the same time or before the higher unit. 




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