The Southern Cross Model is a better way to learn.

The Southern Cross Model is unique. It delivers a deeper, immersive learning experience for students centred on greater interactivity and connection with real-world applications. The shorter, more focused six-week unit structure gives students a greater sense of momentum and motivation as they achieve milestones quickly. Student success rates, course satisfaction levels and teacher satisfaction all increased under the Southern Cross Model pilot programs. By joining Southern Cross, you are part of a better way to learn.

How it works  |  Top tips for studying in the Southern Cross Model

What's it like studying in the Southern Cross Model?

Whether it's a more manageable workload, a deeper learning experience or a structure that keeps you motivated, these four students are all enjoying a better way to learn.

How does it work for me?

Please select what best describes you below.

Future Student

How does the new academic model affect me?

If you’re thinking about future study at Southern Cross, you’ll be one of the first to trailblaze through our new academic model.

Courses already offered in the new Southern Cross Model include the Bachelor of Business and Enterprise, Diploma of Business (Business and Enterprise specialisation), Diploma of Civil Construction (Engineering Management), Associate Degree of Civil Construction (Engineering Management), pathway courses including Transition to Uni and Preparing for Success Program (PSP), and our online postgraduate courses in Business, Education, Engineering, IT Management, Project Management and Healthcare.

Additional courses offered in the Southern Cross Model from 2022 onwards will include all undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Arts and Humanities, Business, Education, Engineering, Indigenous Knowledge, Information Technology, Music and Creative Arts, Pathway Programs, Science and Environment, Social Work and Community Welfare, as well as online postgraduate courses in Health.

From 2023, we are planning for all courses, including all health courses, to be delivered in the new Southern Cross Model.

Higher student satisfaction comes from fewer demands in a focused environment, where you can achieve your goals and work towards the future you want.

What is considered a full-time study load?

For students who want to study a full-time study load either to finish their degree within the ‘standard’ timeframe, and for onshore international students who must meet fulltime study visa requirements – the standard full-time study load is eight units (worth 12 credit points each) a year, across the six terms. This means in some terms you could study two units, in order to only study one (or none!) in other terms throughout the year.

It may be possible for students to complete up to 12 units (144 credit points) in a year, depending on unit availability in your degree, in order to accelerate course completion and graduate early. For example, students in the Bachelor of Business and Enterprise can now choose to complete their 12 units in two years, rather than three.

For students who are seeking to retain full-time status in order to receive the Youth Support or Austudy Allowance (Service Australia Payments), this full-time load is defined as 75% of a normal study load. So, for courses that are one year or more in duration, students will need to study at least six units across the year, with at least three of those units studied in the first half of the year (completed by July). Please note, these payments are also contingent on other eligibility criteria.

What are the benefits of this new academic model?

Deeper learning: By focusing on just one or two units over six weeks, students can really delve into each subject, gaining deeper and more focused understanding across a shorter time span, rather than trying to juggle up to four units at the one time.

On-demand and interactive: This new teaching method puts your learning first. You can access online learning materials that are on-demand, interactive and give you feedback to help you gauge your learning. Students also benefit from active, guided class experiences, both online and in-person, applying new knowledge and skills to real-world problems and questions.

Room for activities: We understand that students have many different passions and responsibilities, so while study is a big deal to help kickstart or boost your dream career, it’s also one part your multi-faceted dynamic life! Because of this, we encourage students to fit study in to suit their lifestyle, whether that be alongside work, playing local sport, volunteering, training for the (eventual) Olympics, caring for family, or even touring with a band!

More balance: With the ability to study a maximum of two units in any one term, and drop back to one or none in others, students can plan their study schedule in advance to cater for major life events, and ongoing commitments and responsibilities – while still completing their degree within their desired timeframe.

When can I start study?

For new students, there will be three student intakes each year in March, July and November (terms 1, 3 and 5) – which will remain consistent with the current intake times at Southern Cross University.

Each intake will have its own Orientation activities to welcome new students and assist current students in getting better connected into University life, clubs, activities and support. These activities are offered both online and in person to cater for all our students, no matter where you are in the world.

If my course is still offered in Sessions can I pick a unit offered in Study Terms – and vice versa?

Yes, but you can only study a maximum of four units across one 12-week Session, with restrictions on how many units per term.

What are the key teaching dates for 2022?

The key dates for 2022 for sessions and terms can be found here: Key Dates / Teaching Calendar. This page also has key dates for Dual and Tri calendars which will apply to a small number of placement and project units.

Students will need to understand their course progression within the University’s annual teaching calendar, including any required placements/community engaged learning, and research training arrangements requirements of their course. Some placements, research units and project-based units will be scheduled during Dual or Tri Term Calendars. You can find your course progression on the website here.

Contact Client Services for personalised support to discuss your situation.

Current Student

How does the new academic model affect me?

If you are a current student at Southern Cross University, either you will already be studying under the new academic model, your course will be changing into the new model soon, or you may even graduate before your course changes over – depending on what you’re studying.

Courses already being offered in the new Southern Cross Model include the Bachelor of Business and Enterprise, Diploma of Business (Business and Enterprise specialisation), Diploma of Civil Construction (Engineering Management), Associate Degree of Civil Construction (Engineering Management), pathway courses including Transition to Uni and Preparing for Success Program (PSP), and our online postgraduate courses in Business, Education, Engineering, IT Management, Project Management and Healthcare.

Additional courses offered in the Southern Cross Model from 2022 onwards will include all undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Arts and Humanities, Business, Education, Engineering, Indigenous Knowledge, Information Technology, Music and Creative Arts, Pathway Programs, Science and Environment, Social Work and Community Welfare, as well as online postgraduate courses in Health.

From 2023, we are planning for all courses, including all health courses, to be delivered in the new Southern Cross Model. Some current students may graduate before their course changes into the new academic model.

There’s no specific action you need to take right now regarding this changeover. Some students have already transitioned into the new model, and we will continue to be in contact in the coming weeks and months to give you specific information about how the model affects your course and study plan.

For questions regarding the Southern Cross Model please visit www.scu.edu.au/current-students/enrolling/the-southern-cross-model and for any student feedback please visit the MySCU online Student Experience Form here.

Please note: There has been a shift in terminology away from ‘Study Periods’ to using ‘terms’ instead.

What is considered a full-time study load?

For students who want to study full-time study either to finish their degree within the 'standard' timeframe, and for onshore international students who must meet full-time study visa requirements – the standard full-time study load is eight units (worth 12 credit points each) a year, across the six terms. This means in some terms you could study two units, in order to only study one (or none!) in other terms throughout the year.

It may be possible for students to complete up to 12 units (144 credit points) in a year, depending on unit availability in your degree, in order to accelerate course completion and graduate early. For example, students in the Bachelor of Business and Enterprise can now choose to complete their 12 units in two years, rather than three.

For students who are seeking to retain full-time status in order to receive the Youth Support or Austudy Allowance (Service Australia Payments), this full-time load is defined as 75% of a normal study load. So, for courses that are one year or more in duration, students will need to study at least six units across the year, with at least three of those units studied in the first half of the year (completed by July). Please note, these payments are also contingent on other eligibility criteria.

What are the benefits of this new academic model?

The Southern Cross Model is an approach to learning that is designed to help you succeed at university and in the future.

Dynamic learning in action: This new teaching methods put your learning first, with students able to access online learning materials that are on-demand, interactive and give you feedback to help you gauge your learning. Students also benefit from active, guided class experiences, both online and in-person, applying new knowledge and skills to real-world problems and questions.

A more engaged way of learning: The new model provides a more focused structure for learning that supports students in developing a deep understanding of their subject area, helping you to build confidence in applying this knowledge to real-world scenarios. It provides a structure that values and rewards collaboration and sharing of experiences, perspectives and opinions, providing a learning environment where students and teachers actively participate in conversations to expand their knowledge and skills.

Deeper learning: the Southern Cross Model has been designed as a model for active learning in a dynamic world. Course structure is highly interactive and provides face-to-face and self-led learning formats. It helps students achieve greater focus by reducing the number of units studied simultaneously, reducing the number of conflicting priorities that students often have to juggle.

Greater control: The shorter, modular unit structure provided by the Southern Cross Model enables students to better adapt and control their study around other life commitments. The model gives you greater choice and options throughout the year to fit with other work and life commitments.

What does the student experience in the Southern Cross Model look like each week?

Self-access learning

Online Modules (6 per unit)

Media-rich, interactive, reponsive

Class learning

Scheduled classes (2 per week)

Active, guided, a 1-hour class for all students + a 2-hour class for each module and location

Assessments (2-3 per unit)

Authentic, manageable, interlinked

In the Southern Cross Model, all students can attend scheduled classes, regardless of their mode of enrolment. A single-weighted unit in the Southern Cross Model will typically be delivered with up to 3 hours of class learning and up to 22 hours self-access learning per week. This may differ in units with specific requirements.

In class, students will be engaged in guided, active learning. They should no longer only listen and note-take, as in the traditional lecture mode. Rather they will be engaged in active, interactive and dialogue-based learning. Class learning is a scheduled learning experience which happens either on campus or online in real-time.

Self-access learning is a guided learning experience facilitated through University learning sites. It affords students the opportunity to progress through learning material at a time and pace that is right for them within each term.

If my course is offered in Sessions can I pick a unit offered in Study Terms - and vice versa?

Yes, but you can only study a maximum of four units across one 12-week Session, with restrictions on how many units per term.

Contact Client Services for personalised support to discuss your situation.

I’m a Faculty of Education student, how does the Southern Cross Model affect me in 2022?

Download the Education Student FAQs - Southern Cross Model.

What are the key teaching dates for 2022?

The key dates for 2022 for sessions and terms can be found here: Key Dates / Teaching Calendar. This page also has key dates for Dual and Tri calendars which will apply to a small number of placement and project units.

Students will need to understand their course progression within the University’s annual teaching calendar, including any required placements/community engaged learning, and research training arrangements requirements of their course. Some placements, research units and project-based units will be scheduled during Dual or Tri Term Calendars. You can find your course progression on the website here.

Introducing the Southern Cross Model

The Southern Cross Model is an exciting and distinctive new way of teaching and learning.

The Southern Cross Model is flexible and designed to give you more control over when you study.

Instead of completing units over 12-week sessions, you can study over shorter, six-week terms.

This means that you can determine the intensity of your studies.

You can do up to two units at a time in each term, or you can choose to do just one unit at a time if that suits you best.

One of the great things about the Southern Cross Model is that your learning is focused.

Instead of juggling four units at once – and often four essays, reports or exams at once – you will be able to focus your time and energy on just one or two assessments at a time. This will help you succeed in your studies.

In the Southern Cross Model, the teaching methods put your learning first.

All students will be able to access online learning materials that are on-demand, interactive and give you feedback to help you gauge your learning.

You will also benefit from active, guided class experiences, both online and off. In class, you will apply new knowledge and skills to real-world problems and questions.

The Southern Cross Model is designed to help you achieve your goals and work towards the future you want in a more flexible, focused, and learning-centred environment.

We look forward to welcoming students to the Southern Cross Model and seeing students succeed and shine at university and beyond.

Staff

What courses are already being offered in the Southern Cross Model?

Courses already being taught in the new Southern Cross Model include the Bachelor of Business and Enterprise, Diploma of Business (Business and Enterprise specialisation), Diploma of Civil Construction (Engineering Management), Associate Degree of Civil Construction (Engineering Management), pathway courses including Transition to Uni and Preparing for Success Program (PSP), and our online postgraduate courses in Business, Education, Engineering, IT Management, Project Management and Healthcare.

Additional courses that will be offered in the Southern Cross Model from 2022 include all undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Arts and Humanities, Business, Education, Engineering, Indigenous Knowledge, Information Technology, Music and Creative Arts, Pathway Programs, Science and Environment, Social Work and Community Welfare, as well as online postgraduate courses in Health.

From 2023, we are planning for all courses, including all health courses, to be delivered in the new Southern Cross Model.

Some current students may graduate before their course changes into the new academic model.

The Southern Cross Model is designed to help students achieve their goals and work towards the future they want in a more focused, learning-centred environment.

What support for staff is available for the rollout of the Southern Cross Model?

There are important activities underway to equip staff with the tools they need for the rollout of the new Southern Cross Model.

The Academic Portfolio Office (APO) is leading a Project Implementation Team on the roll out of the new academic model. There are seven core projects associated with implementing the model, including:

  • Academic Portfolio: the ongoing revitalisation of our course and unit offerings
  • Curriculum Design: curriculum, educational and digital design
  • Building a Community of Practice: capacity building and the scholarship of teaching
  • 2022 Calendar Implementation
  • Systems Review: UCMS analysis, student lifecycle and policy and process review
  • Student Planning: course progressions and transition plans
  • Communication: how we communicate the Model to our staff, students, partners and stakeholders.

These projects are collectively led by a project team including the Associate Deans (Education) from each Faculty and College, the Director of Student Administration Services, the Director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL), as well as the Academic Portfolio Office.

What resources are available to assist staff with the rollout?

All Southern Cross University staff are encouraged to access the following resources:

What extra capacity is being built in to existing teams?

The Centre for Teaching and Learning has extended its capacity building for Course and Unit design and development across the University with nine extra Educational Designers and four extra Digital Designers. This support includes the delivery of structured unit design workshops to guide staff through each step of the process for designing and developing a unit to align with the Southern Cross model. More details on these professional development series will be available soon via email and on the Centre for Teaching and Learning website.

The Assessment, Teaching and Learning Procedures and Guidelines were approved at Academic Board in May, and will support the implementation of the Southern Cross Model through enabling translation of teaching principles into practice.

How will this impact the academic calendar and key dates?

Please note: There has been a shift in terminology away from ‘Study Periods’ to using ‘terms’ instead.

The New Southern Cross Model will impact the academic calendar – with the key feature being that a full-time student will enrol in a maximum of two units per term.

A full-time student load remains at eight units per academic year, however in some courses it may be possible for students to complete up to 12 units (144 credit points) in a year, depending on unit availability, in order to accelerate course completion and graduate early.

There will be a consistent break between the Study Terms, and all six teaching periods will fit into a January-December calendar year. Key commencement dates of the existing 3 Sessions will align with Term 1, 3, and 5 respectively.

In 2022 we will still have both the Session-based calendar and Term-based Calendar, working in tandem. The approved 2022 Term Calendar (previously known as the Study Period calendar) maintains the current core calendar design principles, with some changes to enable a successful transition to the Southern Cross Model across all locations and partners. These changes include moving the start date for Summer Term (previously Study Period 1) to one week later after New Year’s Day, and redefining the new key dates and deadlines.

The Session-based calendar will still be in effect in 2022, with a move to the new, unified academic calendar (Teaching Calendar) from 2023.

What are the key teaching dates for 2022?

The key dates for 2022 for sessions and terms can be found here: Key Dates / Teaching Calendar. This page also has key dates for Dual and Tri calendars which will apply to a small number of placement and project units.

Students will need to understand their course progression in line with teaching periods within the University’s annual teaching calendar, including any required placements/community engaged learning, and research training arrangements requirements of their course. Some placements, research units and project based units will be scheduled during Dual or Tri Term Calendars. You can find your course progression on the website here.

Faculty forums

Want to know more details about how the Southern Cross Model is being implemented in your Faculty?


Previous session recordings

Faculty of Health

Faculty of Education

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Still got questions?

If you have questions about the Southern Cross Model, please email southerncrossmodel@scu.edu.au

Factsheets

20 things to know about the Southern Cross Model

For domestic students   |   For international students