BCA welcome to continuing students

Welcome to semester 2, 2020 to students who are continuing their studies in the BCA program.

This message is a general reminder about the start of semester and matters that need to be attended to before then. We hope you will find it a useful checklist. Please get back to us if you should not be on this mailing list – ie, are not enrolled in units this semester.

SEMESTER START DATE – semester 2, 2020

The BCA semester starts on Monday 3 August (regardless of which university you are enrolled in).


We will be forwarding your details to the coordinators of units of study you have chosen to do this semester. They will contact class members in a ‘welcome’ email, with particular information about how the unit will be run. You should receive this email no later than Friday 31 July. Please send a reply email to them so that they can confirm that you’re in contact (and this may prompt the posting of unit materials if required).

Study notes:

You may receive printed copies of study materials from unit coordinators (generally readings, which are not permitted to be posted online), posted to the address noted in BCA records. Mail-out procedures will vary across units. Coordinators of some units that don’t include readings from journal articles etc. (which universities do not allow to be posted online) may not send materials by post.

For units where mail-outs occur: Admissions at some universities may still be in progress and coordinators don’t get a lot of leeway between receiving your contact details and the start of semester, so you are unlikely to receive the notes before the start of semester. You will find Study Guides and first module/s in online unit sites in eLearning. The important thing to look out for is the welcome email from the unit coordinator in which they will explain the procedures for their unit. Please note that the BCA office does not mail out study materials. These are posted by staff at the delivering university.

Study Guides for upcoming units of study this semester are available to download from the Student Resources site (if not yet posted, keep checking, they will be shortly).


This BCA eLearning site will be the online facility used by most coordinators*. You can find a short Introduction to BCA Sites in Canvas here.

Your access profile will be loaded onto the eLearning database by the start of semester at the latest. You will not be able to access your eLearning site until this has been done. The BCA office will send you further instructions for logging on before the start of semester (do not ask your unit coordinators for this information). Look out for the email titled BCA: eLearning instructions semester 2, 2020”.

* EXCEPTIONS: Important note for students enrolled in Epidemiology (EPI)

EPI  is offered on-campus (face-to-face) and/or by distance at some universities. If you are NOT doing the EPI delivered by your home university, you will be doing (Introduction to) Epidemiology delivered by the University of Queensland. Enquiries about  EPI at UQ [PUBH7600]) can be directed to A/Prof Lisa Hall at l.hall3@uq.edu.au or Ms Alison Manley at a.manley@sph.uq.edu.au. The program coordinator at your home university can advise about EPI choices.

Whether you are studying EPI on campus, or by distance at your home university, or the UQ external (distance) EPI, the BCA eLearning sites (in Canvas) will NOT be used for this unit (because, at all universities, Epidemiology is delivered to a larger cohort of students enrolled in a range of degrees). Unit coordinators/tutors of these units will contact you with advice about how to access online sites at the relevant delivering universities.

WPP (Biostatistics Research Project) is not delivered online. Students who have enrolled in this unit need to talk to their program coordinator about things like choice of project/s and supervision.

STUDENT RESOURCES page on our website contains a range of resources, including the Textbook and Software Guide and the BCA Program Outline (containing the curriculum guide for the coming year). Get your orders in early, as failure to do so can lead to not having texts or software by start of semester!


  • University emails and student portals

Just a reminder to set up your student email so that messages are automatically forwarded to your commonly-used email address, and to stay familiar with your home university student internet access. You can generally use this site to enrol in units for upcoming semesters, update your details for home university consumption and check your results. Note, your student portal is not the same as your Canvas access.

  • Don’t be a stranger

If you make changes to your enrolment or your contact details change, drop us and your unit coordinator/s a line – one email message copied to the other is fine. (So that your official student record is up to date, you should also update these details at your home university via your online student portal, but note, the BCA database is not linked to any university records systems so this information doesn’t automatically flow through.)

  • BCA HQ announcements

We’ll send the usual messages containing updates throughout the semester and. As ever, we’ll try not to savage your email inbox. If you see one that has a “BCA – (subject line)”, it will be sure to contain relevant information about your study.


  • Staff at the BCA office are available at all times to respond to your enquiries  bca@ctc.usyd.edu.au (02) 9562 5076/5054.
  • If you have academic questions or questions about your enrolment in units of study (eg your enrolment choices are blocked in your student portal) contact the program coordinator at your home university.

If you have problems with Canvas: Here’s some contacts:

  • A range of good help facilities are available in the “Help” link on your Canvas Dashboard: LH (grey) menu, go to the question mark icon just below your profile.
  • Call us at BCA HQ.
  • If you have access (unikey) issues, contact the BCA office – unless you are enrolled at the University of Sydney, in which case you should contact the ICT Helpdesk on (02) 9351 2000

CHANGES TO YOUR ENROLMENT: You should first tell your university about these, so that they can be included in your student record (and delays may have financial implications). However, again, a quick email to your unit coordinators and the BCA coordinating office will mean that we can act on the information immediately.

CENSUS DATES: The final dates that you can withdraw from units/subjects without incurring financial penalty are the last working day before the census date of 31 March in semester 1 and 31 August for semester 2.  This date is generated by the Australian Government so it should carry across all universities. However some dates and details for student records are university specific. We recommend that you check in with university staff and websites.

We hope you enjoy your studies this semester. As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need anything chased up at any time during your studies.

Best regards

Karolina and Emily