University of Southern Queensland

Refectory, University of Southern Queensland.

Refectory. Photo credit: ISEP

The University of Southern Queensland is a regional and distance education university based in Toowoomba. Roughly 3 out of 4 students are online learners. If you're a current or former USQ student, feel free to rate the university and post a review.

USQ Rating

User Rating 2.5 (54 votes)
Comments Rating 2.72 (18 reviews)

Student Reviews

33 Responses

  1. Murry
    | Reply

    Online students IT degree experience

    Graduated (2020), double major in IT, online over 4 years, high gpa.
    Worked in real world IT during degree and confirmed below issues also experienced by other students.
    – USQ online platform in the main is quite good.
    – Staff running courses can completely disappear for weeks and even months! (with no notice to students).
    – Small questions/issues will take days/weeks to get a response (if you even get one).
    – Courses all have numerous spelling mistakes, errors, missing files, terrible structure.
    – USQ has regular course feedback surveys, these are ignored.
    – Course content can be very outdated (decades) and many courses teach the same overlapping content.
    – Lecturers are far removed from the real world of IT.
    I queried staff and faculty about these cons (and many others), they gave very poor excuses/apologies and no indication of fixing anything moving forward.

    USQ IT lecturers simply fail at the core basics of a teachers role which makes online learning very stressful.
    To be fair, I had 3 courses out of 24 where staff actually did the basics of their job and the difference was night and day.

    Studying an online IT degree at USQ you must be prepared to go it alone much of the time and be able to handle stress.

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  2. Dr Kirsten
    | Reply

    Keep Looking!

    I recently did a short “Upskill” course at USQ, I’d really like to have something positive to say, but sadly, it’s a big NO from me. Lazy teacher, hopeless admin. Nowadays, some big questions are being asked of unis and likely, over time, a few will rise to the task, but not this one! Keep looking, you can do better.

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  3. Steph
    | Reply

    Law online at USQ

    Hi, can anyone share their experience in studying law (Bachelor/JD) online at USQ? Were there any huge difficulties/tips that can be shared?

  4. Kay Jay
    | Reply

    Great univeristy!!

    I am an external student and have been studying online with USQ part-time for 6 years. I have one more unit before I graduate (BARTS degree – double major). My experience has been nothing but positive. I’ve received awesome marks for assessments and some not so great marks, but never at any stage did I feel that I was marked unfairly. I have felt nothing but supported from admin staff to teaching staff and yes, I’ve had my favourite teachers and not so favourite teachers, but I learnt something from each of them. There’s been some really well organised courses and some not well organised, but USQ provides multiple opportunities to provide frank feedback on your experience of each individual course you take and I have always been honest (good or bad) with my feedback. The opportunity to give your feedback is done with the highest confidentiality because they want honest opinions and I can say that I have seen amendments in practices due to student feedback. As with anything in life, what you get out of something depends largely on what you put into it. My road has not been easy, I’m a mum of four with a shift working husband, I also work and I volunteer at my children’s school and sports club, but I want my qualifications so I’m working really hard to get them. Love this university!!

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  5. Chris
    | Reply

    Friendly Uni

    Studying nursing in Ipswich campus. USQ is not a big uni compare to other uni but the campuses are really lovely and peaceful in Springfield and Ipswich ( I haven’t been to Toowomba campus so I don’t know how the main campus is). These two campuses are friendly especially if you are shy and being nervous when seeing so many people and can’t breathe when seeing many big buildings (just like me), then USQ is a really good choice for you. Also, the staff here are supportive, lovely and friendly that they always like to help me and answer my question patiently, which makes me feel that I’m not a “money maker” to uni but a student, a member of USQ. So what I want to say is, USQ is not a big uni, but it is definitely a peaceful and friendly uni which makes me feel like I’m a part of them and here is where I belong to.

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  6. AP
    | Reply


    USQ is not a good uni. There is lack of support from staff and lecturer. They cannot organise a good practical placement either.

    I did a Graduate Diploma Teaching 3 years ago but did not complete it. This is due to the lack of support from the lecturer and the staff.

    There was a problem occurred at my practical placement with the head of department of Business and Technology in the Kenmore High School. The Head of Department kept insisting that I had to extend my practical when I was only late for one day to start the practical then she complained about me being late arriving at the school in the morning when I was not.

    In the end, I had to give up my study after I wasted my effort in studying one semester. This is because of that incident and at the same time the course terminated at that time.

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  7. Matt
    | Reply

    Generally positive experience, well worth a look.

    I started a Grad Cert in Business at USQ online at the beginning of the year and my only real complaint so far is that the unit that I completed at Deakin will not be accepted for credit until I articulate into the MBA (which I was planning on doing anyway). Perhaps it is the units that I have been doing so far but the material is of reasonable standards (not really challenging but neither was the postgrad unit I did at Deakin), lecturers are approachable when needed, and I haven’t had any general difficulties. The experience is comparable with the 3 other universities that I have studied with (Griffith, ECU, Deakin) and the student portal is relatively intuitive to use.

    Unless there are major benefits that come with studying with the likes of the University of Melbourne (networking and alumni, perhaps?), I don’t know why you’d bother with the higher course fees.

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  8. RH
    | Reply

    Great environment for Psychology!

    I completed my undergrad and Honours science/psychology degrees degrees through USQ. The undergrad degree was via distance learning and Honours was distance/residential. I found overall the experience to be excellent, with quality lecturers, materials and course content. I am currently a PhD student at USQ and I can’t recommend the university highly enough.

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  9. Rosie
    | Reply

    USQ makes me Nervous

    So far my opinion of their admin/IT processes makes me nervous. It took 3 attempts to lodge my enrolment into their TPP (IT problems at their end) Although, to their credit they were very quick to get back to me in relation to the problem. Finally lodged my application and was accepted into their November intake. After receiving a confirmation of enrolment email, a few days later I received a phone call to say that Nov intake wasn’t open yet….I should not have been accepted and will have to wait until it opens. After a couple of months I received a text to confirm again and I needed to follow the link and start my course enrolment. Problems again….the link to the zone wouldn’t open as it wasn’t ready yet (again staff response was quick and friendly) but why send a link that isn’t ready to open? I know these are only small issues but it makes me scared for when it’s time to study my real course when basic efficiency is lacking.

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  10. Thomas
    | Reply

    Awful University for Teaching

    I studied a Master’s of Teaching here. Coming from Western Sydney University this university isn’t even in the same ball park. The staff are hit and miss and the amount of grammatical and administrative errors during the course is unbelievable. Placements are always stressful as they do not organise them efficiently. One particular unit I did was awful and the teaching staff even worse, nothing redeemable from it at all. Could learn more from staring at brick wall.

    Look elsewhere, can recommend Western Sydney University for teaching and wish I never made the switch for family reasons.

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  11. nickyj
    | Reply

    USQ placement

    I am a mature aged Nursing student and external. My first priority was placement locations and was told that placements will be local to where I live as I have young children to look after, perfect. That was never the case. I am currently travelling 93kms from my house to a placement. The cost isn’t great, but I cannot apply for help as it only starts 100km distance, external cannot get student gocards (I rang TransLink, its at the uni choice). Admin is unable to answer questions or are rude when I ask for some transparency and communication regarding another placement that was supposed to allocated 2 months ago. Im looking elsewhere to transfer, USQ is stressful.

  12. SD
    | Reply

    USQ is a great online university

    Currently completing a PhD with USQ. They have been great. The online learning system is fantastic, and the resources and online library are better than other universities I have been involved with. If you are looking at distance education, then USQ is the number one choice.

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  13. Sagie
    | Reply

    Nursing degree feedback

    Can anyone please give me feedback of nursing degree (online) in this university. I am going to enrol there soon. Thank you for your support

    • Aj
      | Reply


      I finished my Degree online last year online. USQ is amazing in every aspect. I highly recommend it. Thanks

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  14. David
    | Reply

    Mens - think again

    I did a Beng with USQ a decade ago via distance learning and Mens via online recently. The Beng experience was good but the Mens is just terrible! Apparently a decade ago, technology has not matured yet, courses were delivered the old fashion way by sending out textbook to students. In a decade, so much has changed, technology has advanced so much engineering course can now be delivered online. Supposedly this should improve the quality of teaching, on the contrary, I find the quality of the teaching staff going down down down. Except for a handful of good lecturers (and shrinking in numbers), the rest are just terrible! No passion in teaching, just teach for a living and mostly from outside the country as a newly arrived migrant. Some of them speak terrible English while others does not even have the basic – no postings on forums and does not responses to students emails! Apart from the newly recruited lecturers from overseas, another area is the out-of-date text which are decade old with no updates to reflect technology change. Imagine studying a ten years old study book for technical subjects such as computers! I will not recommend the Mens to anyone. Good if your purpose is just to get a qualification to show your employer but as far as learning experience goes not at all. The faculty really should reflect and wake up if they want to attract future students. A big disappointment but I am hoping my alma mater can do better than that.

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  15. Elliott P
    | Reply

    Interested in Sport and Exercise Science, I am BEGGING you to look elsewhere.

    If you are interested in the Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science, go as far away from USQ as possible. By far the worst program I have encountered.

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    • Shane
      | Reply

      What’s the reasoning behind this?

    • chia
      | Reply

      I’m interested in USQ’s BoS in human physiology. Some courses may be the same as Sport and Exercise Science. Can you talk a bit more about why your experience is so bad, please?

  16. LapLace
    | Reply

    Engineering...... don't bother

    I had the misfortune of picking USQ to study electrical engineering.
    It has been by far the worst possible decision.
    Some lecturers are fantastic the others are completely horrible.

    This combined with the dismal face to face contact hours and lack of any real engineering community means this university is rubbish for electrical engineering.

    Consider the following:

    For example, all electrical fundamentals ie AC and DC circuit analysis is done in one course bundled with Electromagnetics, Dc motors, DC machines, AC motors, AC machines, Transformers and 3 phase delta start configs are all bundled into one course which has only 4 hours a week for 12 weeks of classes. Meaning you have less than 50 hours of tutorials and lectures to teach you the most important fundamentals of electrical engineering.

    Or perhaps Transistors, MOSFETs, oscillators, amplifiers, opamps, Schmitt triggers etc all taught in less than 25 hours of face to face lectures/tutorials. With an examiner who quite frankly couldn’t care less about his job.

    Courses are run in “workshop mode” which means they have lecturers who won’t conduct lectures and just expect you to read the material yourself and ask them questions.

    We had a lecturer to teach us how to use software who didn’t know themselves how to use the software citing “they had never used it but were good with another piece of software”.

    My suggestion, choose a uni that offers you a complete learning experience, there are good reasons USQ has such a poor reputation.

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  17. AG
    | Reply

    I inquired about a bridging course offered in Trimester 3 that would guarantee entry into my chosen program. When I enrolled I was assured that I would be able to transfer in Trimester 1, provided at least a pass grade was achieved. What they completely failed to mention was that the enrolment for the program closed two days prior to the grades for the course being released, meaning that it was impossible to enrol in time for Trimester 1. They then assured me that I would be able to transfer in Trimester 2. This was yet another false promise as the program wasn’t even offered in Trimester 2, and I’d have to wait until Trimester 1 the following year!

    Other issues were that during lectures there were a lot of technical difficulties (such as the lecturer not knowing how to use the lecture capture software and spending 10+ minutes getting it to work). The lectures could also be very low-quality recordings. I missed a tutorial on one occasion and it was like watching the 1969 moon landing. Makes you wonder why they uploaded it, did they even check it first was watchable? This would be a real concern for someone who is busy and needed quick access to lectures to have sit through a poorly recorded video with these kinds of issues. On top of that about 1/3 of the lecturers couldn’t speak the language to a decent standard. Even some of the immigrant students agreed that they were difficult to understand.

    Lastly most of the staff were kind and helpful but there were also some who were rude and useless (which kind of links to my first point). I am talking about some of the admin staff by the way because my lecturers were all lovely and helpful. On one occasion I responded to an email which was sent to me, trying to clarify what they had meant as it didn’t seem relevant to anything, to which I received a response that said “well you would know”. Also don’t bother going for the scholarships. I got $1500 to spend for my course resources and they wouldn’t let me spend in the online book shop (I was doing it online so I needed to). They also would heavily restrict the amount that was spent at one time and make me justify most of my purchases for the courses I was taking. I had my orders cancelled three times and it became a headache and a waste of time.

    Overall, I would recommend avoiding this university if you don’t live locally. The administrative issues alone would be enough for me to not recommend this university.

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  18. Cathy
    | Reply

    Hit and miss

    I completed my Bachelor of Science here (Physics and Math), and it was definitely hit and miss with courses and lecturers. I’ve had some really good lecturers who set content out well and are clear with instructions, but I have also had courses where there was no clarity, course materials were outdated and mixed in with newer stuff (2013 lectures and studybooks etc, uploaded with half-‘updated’ and incomplete lectures from the current semester). I think there was about 5 updates of the studybook for one of my courses last semester (Financial Economics or something). Physics was all online, so it was a bit clearer (very content heavy, but the residential schools were fun and I enjoyed the majority of the courses). Most my math courses I ended up doing online as I couldn’t understand lecturers’ accents, and even then content was hard to follow. I think the only math courses that were actually ok were MAT2100 with Dmitry, and the Operations Research courses with Trevor.
    Another downside is that you don’t really get much choice in the courses you do, especially if you do two eight unit majors.
    I guess my advice is, if you’re planning to come to usq for the math program, make sure you’re prepared for a lot of independent study and minimal direction from lecturers.

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  19. suj_9t
    | Reply

    Huh! and I just applied as an international student.

    • tgo2219
      | Reply

      hi. How is it to live and study in toowoomba campus? is it safe and how about getting part time jobs? ive applied for July Intake.

  20. PJ
    | Reply

    Good choice for online study

    I transferred to do my masters at USQ after completing a grad cert at Griffith uni. I find it much better structured and actually challenging in comparison to my grad cert. It’s a real shame that online students can only attend graduation ceremonies in Toowoomba. I’d be so much easier if we could go to Springfield or Ipswich. Overall though as a full-time worker/mature age student, USQ is a decent choice for online study and has a wide selection.

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    • Ethel Gwatking
      | Reply

      Just curious how an MBA from USQ helped you to further your career prospects or advancement? I am thinking of enrolling in USQ’s MBA and MPA dual.

  21. Ian
    | Reply

    USQ, no thank you

    USQ is a Dud, teaching staff do reply in a timely manner, spelling errors in course material. Support for distance students non-existent, this is my 2nd uni experience, and as a mature aged student, I have decide that my children will not study through here.

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  22. David
    | Reply

    USQ was my choice for a second degree, and the first year was fantastic: the teaching staff were amazing, helpful, and intuitive. They replied to questions and even silly things. Unfortunately it went downhill pretty fast in the second year. The University grounds went through a major overhaul, and programs were thrown around between campuses. What used to be a 15min commute turned into two hours, and the great staff either left or had too much to do. One particular staff member took it upon themselves to accuse me of cheating on an exam. I was cleared, but the accusation stung and left a bitter taste in my mouth. The harassment continued into my third year, and I transferred to another online university to finish my degree. There was no recourse I could take, and inquiries into her behaviour were tossed aside with an automated email of “we’re investigating.” I honestly don’t know what came of it, because I gave up after a year of trying to get something done. So I’m assuming nothing. They may offer the benefit of online education, but a bigger university can take responsibility for its staff in a way that USQ won’t.

  23. Misoo lee
    | Reply

    The university issues as exact same degree,piece of paper as on-campus study’s for on-line study’s?

  24. Carrie
    | Reply

    I enrolled here initially, but transferred to CQU. I disliked the way the distance education courses were structured online (difficult to follow) and my lecturers did not always respond to my questions. Many of the teachers don’t speak English particularly well, and from my experience, some had problems communicating complex ideas and theories. It just made the entire educational process very difficult for me.

    • SKAT
      | Reply

      @Carrie how have you found CQU in comparison, better? And what are/were you studying? Cheers, trying to make up my mind between the two and leaning towards CQU

  25. Craig
    | Reply

    While my first degree done with USQ was OK, the second degree shows how in a few short years the quality of education has hit the floor. Courses are disorganised and decades out of date. Teaching staff are hit and miss, with a lot more misses. In one subject, assignment solutions were released before the assignment due date, requiring a new assignment to be issued. Another subject, the submission portal wasn’t opened until late on the due date. Teaching staff are happy to put their feet up while external students cry out for assistance and proper materials. Lectures are poorly recorded and complaints are never actioned (Was told that we can’t hurt any ones feelings). Study materials are extremely dated, as are recommended text books, which seems highly inappropriate for a computer engineering course (Some texts from 1993 – 97).

    My advise is not to be cheap with your education. You certainly get what you pay for. Only good thing is bonding with students who share the frustrations.

  26. Current_student
    | Reply

    If your thinking of studying engineering here, probs don’t. The staff are great or terrible, there is are large disconnect with real world practices and achievable relevant content provided. I total re-think of what USQ ‘s approach to learning entails is needed asap. UQ or QUT if I had my time again.

  27. Reza Karimi
    | Reply

    USQ is one of the most friendly universities of Australia. I have pursued 3 programs at USQ, one on campus, another at an external partner institution and a third one as an online student. In all modes of education, I have faced the same quality of support and concern from my teachers.
    The courses are designed such that the student can handle the study load himself. However, teachers are easy to reach should there be any query. I highly recommend USQ to both international students wanting to go to Toowoomba for studies or those considering to commence another program via another mode.

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