Southern Cross University

Southern Cross University (SCU), Lismore.

Lismore Campus. Photo credit: JonnyR

Southern Cross University is a regional university with campuses along the north coast of New South Wales, stretching into southern Queensland. It's based in Lismore. SCU has a good range of courses to cater for the varying needs of students, many of whom are distance learners. If you've studied with SCU, either online or at a campus, you can post a review to let others know about your experiences.

SCU Rating

User Rating 2.81 (150 votes)
Comments Rating 1.38 (21 reviews)

Student Reviews

23 Responses

  1. Not saying as likely to further disadvantage us
    | Reply

    Consider other options first

    Issues with SCU
    – AI marker the assessments, no opinion to discuss with a human
    – the AI tool used didn’t understand the assignment, didn’t know what introduction paragraph was
    – paid over $1000 for 6 PDF’s and a few videos off YouTube. No in person lectures.
    – first year term 1 courses seemed more pitched at 3-4th year level.
    – tested on areas like diagnosis without being taught the basics

    Things liked:
    – the view from building of the ocean. But course was mostly at home so not sure why they have a building.

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  2. Neil
    | Reply

    Masters Degree but Tafe level study.

    I am currently three units into an online master’s Degree in Engineering; however, I will exit after one more unit with the Grad Cert and finish the master’s degree somewhere else. I am not learning anything at SCU.

    The units for this master’s degree course are well below a bachelor’s level course and, at times, feel like a safe course. SCU is simple and very basic, you only need to study for an hour or so every week at the most to get top marks.

    I have previously studied online with USQ, and it was far superior at similar pricing.

    All in all, if you want to pay for a piece of paper and not learn anything, then SCU is for you. If you want to learn and upskill yourself, go somewhere else. As an employer, I would not hire people if SCU was their only tertiary education.

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  3. Tom Hansson
    | Reply

    Advanced Standing

    I just completed an Associate Degree in Law (Para legal 192 points 16 subjects with 4 electives.
    Wanting to continue I asked to get advanced standing in the Bachelor of Law degree.
    They offered me 1 yes one main subject (Legal Research and Writing) and 4 electives as the advanced standing..
    They tell me all the other subjects are different from the bachelor’s degree.
    So I studied something in law that has nothing to do with the bachelor’s degree.
    That is out of 16 subjects only 5 has anything to do with the law degree.
    I wonder what I studies are for.
    Being on the subject I also find the way some tutors make the assignments as I found comparing results very strange indeed.

  4. Education Student
    | Reply

    Avoid this University at all costs

    As other reviews have said, the support from SCU is terrible. I have completed my degree both online and completed lectures in person at the Lismore Campus. Should have known what the culture was going to be like from my first lesson in which a lecturer said he did not care if we were to succeed or fail; it’s not his job to help us pass. That has well and truly seemed to be an ethos that runs through both lecturers and support staff.

    As a now teacher, the expectations of the programs (units) do not adequately set up students for a career in education. Lectures are out of touch and clearly have never spent extended time as classroom teachers or at have been out of the profession for many years.

    When contacting support systems, I often get deadlines or answering machines. On the rare occasion I get through to the support staff, I get arrogance and unhelpful feedback (the exception is James? at the Coffs campus, who is often very helpful). The worst of this is the education placements team who never answer or return phone calls. Voicemail messages encourage you to send an email, which gives a timeframe of 3-5 business days to return; however, it usually takes longer than this if you get a response at all, it is entirely up to you as the student to continue to chase them up as they take 0 responsibility.

    I would recommend finding another university. It may be a product of the universities as a whole evolving into businesses instead of academic institutes, regardless Southern Cross only seems to care about taking students’ money and hanging them out to dry not caring about their mental health, whether they actually finish the degree or if they learn anything worth knowing as a teacher along the way.

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  5. James
    | Reply


    no idea how this place became a uni. Did not learn a thing except how to deal with unhelpful and undI attended this university with high hopes of acquiring a quality education and receiving support from knowledgeable advisors. Unfortunately, my experience at this institution was nothing short of disappointing. The lack of assistance and the discourteous behavior of the university advisors left me with a bitter taste throughout my time here.

    Firstly, the academic support system was virtually nonexistent. When faced with challenges in my coursework, reaching out for guidance often led to dead ends. The advisors, who were supposed to be a source of assistance, exhibited a shocking level of arrogance and seemed more interested in preserving their egos than helping students succeed.

    Their dismissive attitude and unwillingness to provide meaningful guidance reflected a complete disregard for the students’ educational journey. Instead of fostering an environment conducive to learning, it felt like the university prioritized maintaining an air of superiority over addressing the needs of its students.

    Moreover, the absence of a constructive learning environment meant that I did not gain the knowledge and skills I had anticipated. It became evident that the institution’s focus was more on maintaining a facade of prestige rather than investing in the academic growth of its students.

    Reflecting on my time here, I wish I had chosen a different university to pursue my degree. The frustration and disappointment I experienced at this institution were not worth the investment of time and money.

    In conclusion, I strongly advise prospective students to look elsewhere for their academic pursuits. The lack of support, coupled with the rude and egotistical behavior of the advisors, makes this university an undesirable choice for anyone seeking a positive and enriching educational experience. Save yourself the trouble and explore other institutions that prioritize student success and provide a supportive learning environment.

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  6. Ann
    | Reply


    Don’t go here. It’s all about taking your money and exploiting the students and staff. The propaganda says the 6 week term is great but no student I’ve spoken to has anything good to say about it, and neither do I. It’s just an excuse to cut costs. There’s no time to absorb anything and you get far less feedback and face to face time from teachers. Teaching staff try their best mostly but have taken pay cuts and increased workloads since COVID. Admin staff are rude and unhelpful.

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  7. Sad Nurse student
    | Reply


    Like a previous poster has said, I wish I could give negative stars as zero is still too many for this abysmal place they call a “university”. I am currently looking for another university even though that means starting nearly from scratch again as that’s how worthless SCU units have become, we cant even get credit for them. SCU has massively cut the content of their units to try and fit it into their new “Learning model” of 6 week terms which is quite concerning as we actually need this content and even with the reduced content there’s not enough time to even get an understanding of it, imagine having a wound treated by a nurse who’s entire lab learning was 10 min, that’s the time we had to practice. we even had an entire unit dedicated to ” finding a research article”…it was basically how to do a search similar to google, $500 well spent. we’re no longer allowed to use the labs in free time for our own study anymore either, so if we’re sick we’re incentivised to come into class while contagious, which students have done, as a missed class especially a lab class means its a fail. we have no breaks from study anymore either as we’re supposed to have a 2 week break between terms yet we have assessment’s and exams in the week after term has ended and are expected to start on the content for the next term before the term starts. They haven’t even been able to fit our practical based experience learning in, most of the time it crosses over with nearly half of the next term, so we’re expected to do full time study in addition to full time work experience and our assessments, as most units have an assessment due in 2nd week, while the unempathetic and contradictory staff do not help. due to this first hand experience I would be quite concerned if myself or any of my friends/family are cared for by a nurse who has recently graduated from SCU. I worry what employers will think and if it will affect my employment prospects when they see that I graduated from SCU. But in the end students are the ones who suffer the costs, whether that’s poor education, financial or both as all that matters is SCU has gotten paid.

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  8. Clueless Nurse
    | Reply

    Do NOT study nursing at SCU

    I need to give this minus 5 stars, it is that bad. You will learn nothing about nursing. You will get a piece of paper at the end with zero skills on how to be a nurse.
    The health department is narcissistic and mistreats students. Save yourselves and go to a real university.
    When you tell future employers you studied here, you get ‘Oh ok, I have not heard good things about their teachings’.
    Save your money and time, and go somewhere else.

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  9. Anonymous
    | Reply

    Great education - abysmal bureaucracy

    To cut matters short – I got what I felt was an excellent education in law at this university, including first class honours. However, when I applied for graduate school, they told me my honours wasn’t good enough to qualify for candidature. I think it says it all when a university considers its own offerings inadequate.

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  10. Dan
    | Reply

    ZERO Star

    From High Distinctions to Distinctions, then Credit, then pass then outright fail because the student asked questions about when the online videos will be viewable for the student. Rude, and in ivory tower. Do what they want instead of what is professsional. Should’ve dropped this retarded uni from the first signs of departure from ehtically and correctly following the grading rubric. The grading rubric is totally abused and notwithstanding for anything worhwhile.

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  11. Jane
    | Reply

    Literally only two good teachers in what feels like the whole university.

    Did a Bachelor of Information Technology completely online. Majored in software development.

    Pros (They were pros for me, might be cons for you):
    – 6 week terms (though this may be, allows 10 courses to be done in a year, or if your courses occur over the summer, 12 courses to be done in a year.
    – Generous advance standing. I was able to get exempted from 8 courses from my previous studies and work, it didn’t really feel like they looked too hard at what I submitted.
    – Completely online

    – Unprepared for 6 week terms. It seems that I joined during their transition to 6 week terms from 12 week semesters.
    – Staff don’t seem interested in teaching or adapting to online teaching: In my whole degree, I only found two teachers who seemed to care, Alex and Adam. They drove having a discord for the courses they taught and seemed to adapt well to online teaching. One other teacher, should we have a tutorial on Monday for example, would expect us to have gone through that weeks content… on a Monday.
    – Support center doesn’t seem to respond to emails often.
    – Assignment directions are unclear and sometimes seeking clarification from teachers provides even more confusion, sometimes their responses don’t match the rubric. It sometimes feels like you could submit anything and get a good mark if the teacher is uninterested in the course. But you could submit your best work and still get marked down because you followed what you believed the instructions were directing you to do.

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  12. Max
    | Reply


    The health clinic from which many students in health related subjects rely upon for experience is on life support. This is due to the necessity that the clinic make a profit from our labour. Apparently our fees are not enough. The cost for treatment at student clinic is expensive compared to other universities which either have treatments free, or for a few token dollars. The result is a lack of patients to treat and therefore a lack of proper experiences with patients. I would avoid a health degree at all costs at SCU and go to a more reputable university, as this is a university in name alone.

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  13. Leigh-anne Newington
    | Reply

    I have studied for my psychological science degree for twelve months at SCU. I have found all lecturers approachable and always willing to help. I can not fault the support provided. I am enjoying studying at SCU.

  14. Hann
    | Reply


    Where do I start? The staff treat you like a pack of cattle. The PEU team are rude, unhelpful and never return calls. I had a professor write me an email in capital letters like she was yelling at me because she didn’t like that I had suggested a placement location specific to my current employment. Would not recommend

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  15. Madelyn
    | Reply

    Terrible University for Nursing, avoid at all costs and study at a reputable university.
    They offered credit for a previous degree, which ended up taking longer to complete than starting from scratch.
    The teachers are inexperienced with educating, with little industry experience. placement support is shocking, they have no empathy or consideration for personal and family support, it’s all about taking your money and sending you anyway. Many students have pulled out due to the placement teams incompetence. Don’t waste your time or money.
    I don’t have any positive words about SCU. I have completed degrees at other uni’s, It’s hard to believe SCU is accredited.

  16. yagia gentle
    | Reply

    Indigenous study and Master of Mental Health

    I did a Bachelor of Indigenous Trauma and a Master of Mental Health at SCU. Both were enjoyable and interesting and both had faults. The counselling units in the BA were terrible, and the Leadership units in the Masters were irrelevant. The Indigenous part of the BA were good, but any degree specialising in Indigenous study is useless for a career unless you identify as Aboriginal, in which case they are very good, and the Master of Mental Health is good if you are already a nurse, otherwise you are better off doing a Master of Counselling degree

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  17. Student
    | Reply

    Bachelor of Technology/ Bachelor of Education

    Avoid if you can. I’ve only enrolled in this university as it offers a completely online technology teaching degree. The technology teaching staff are for the most part unprepared for lectures, and for some of my units the online university content consists of unrelated information copy and pasted from wikipedia. If you’re looking to learn new skills I would avoid this course at all costs. Otherwise if you just need the piece of paper and already have the requisite skills, be prepared to grit your teeth and get a real world demonstration of ‘how not to teach’.

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  18. Serena La Puzza
    | Reply

    Terrible, avoid like AIDS

    I attended Southern Cross University for a semester in the Master of Social Work. It was a disaster. The level was below Bachelor level. Lectures do not show up, sometimes they show up late, a mess. They also were not able to find me a placement and messed me around for months. All Southern Cross wants, is your more. The WORST university experience ever.

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  19. Aydin Hajiyev
    | Reply

    Bad experience and lack of everything

    This is my third university in Australia and I proudly can say that SCU is the worst. I don’t know how they clarified to be a university. This is my first year at SCU and I have a terrible experience with all of them. Student support is the worst. They still don’t reply to my emails. I call them and if they pick the phone up they are very rude. Their system doesn’t work properly and mostly the teachers are not useful. I can’t find anyone to share my feedback. I totally don’t recommend it to students

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  20. Teck
    | Reply

    Promises to keep. I'll have to deliver.

    not impressed so far, online course itself seems good.
    But staff and system seem unorganized and let down with support ?
    Tell me one thing thats not exactly true, when it’s actually another, kind feel of misled.
    Thinking I may be on my own with this one. They wont be much help. we’ll see.
    the staff are there trying I’ll give them that.

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  21. Education Student
    | Reply

    Disappointing and unimpressed with this university

    Having been with this University for 5 years I am so unhappy and unimpressed with the education staff and their lack of support and empathy for struggling students. Having had a GPA of 7 and being at risk of failing a class for the first time the response from the lecture was down right rude and extremely discouraging. The professional experience team was also awful at offering help and support. The academic team ‘reached out’ a month after having to self withdraw which was very disappointing. This uni prides itself on being smaller and being able to have closer relationships with the teaching staff which is an absolute lie.With only a year left to finish my degree I will be completing at another more reputable university. The only good thing about doing an education degree here is you are qualified to teach both QLD and NSW

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    • Jo
      | Reply

      Can I ask what degree you are undertaking?

  22. Happy student
    | Reply

    Great uni for environmental science

    Great university for environmental science, lots of practical work and knowledgeable and helpful academic staff.

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