How Courses Work

Most Athabasca University courses are delivered online as individualized study. We’ll provide you with everything you need, and you set your own schedule to complete the course. You will have access to a course website and will receive a learning resources package including (if applicable)

  • textbooks (or eTexts)
  • workbooks
  • lab kits
  • study guides
  • online resources (including audio and video resources)
  • manuals
  • a recommended study schedule

Some courses provide all their materials online. You’ll also have access to tutorial support and AU’s library. Learn more about instruction and student supports.

What is a course like?

Browse our sample courses to see what your distance learning experience with AU might look like:

How do I access my course and online resources?

Once you’ve completed your AU application, you can register for courses immediately. You must pay for your course in full when you register. Once your registration has been processed, you will

  • get access to your eText or other online resources
  • receive your print text or other learning resources
  • receive an e-letter in myAU with either your tutor or Student Support Centre information
  • get access to your course site in myAU on the course start date
  • start on your start date – tutorial support begins then

Learn how to register for courses.

Time limits

You have 6 months to complete a 3-credit course, and 12 months to complete a 6-credit course. If you need more time, you can buy up to three 2-month extensions. How quickly you complete your coursework within these guidelines is up to you.

Students with loans

If you are paying for your courses with student loans, you must complete your 3-credit courses within 4 months, and your 6-credit courses within 8 months.

Graduate courses

Some of AU’s graduate programs use an online grouped study format. Students in these courses augment their studies with online group discussions and learning activities. Online grouped study courses are usually 13 - 15 weeks long and start in May, September or January.

Updated May 19 2017 by Web Strategy, Advancement