SAE Creative Media Institute is monitoring the coronavirus (COVID 19) situation and will continue to act on the advice given by the Australian government and health authorities. Our top priority remains the health and well-being of our community. Please find a list of frequently asked questions regarding studying at SAE and the impacts of COVID-19.


LAST UPDATED: July 1, 2020

Information for SAE students

What precautions have been taken on each campus to ensure the health and wellbeing of students?

After consulting with key stakeholders, SAE has developed plans for returning to campus. Our top priority is student and staff health and wellbeing, and we will continue to follow Federal and State authority advice. In trimester 2, flexible, blended delivery continues for all modules. Students are welcome to come to campus to attend optional scheduled on-campus events and use available SAE computers, equipment and studios.

All students who attend campus must, as a condition of entry, report to either Student Services or the Technical Department to log their attendance in our Contact Tracing System (CTS). As well as contact tracing, this website has important information about:

  • Changes to campus opening hours
  • Equipment and studio access
  • Physical distancing and hygiene
  • Lesson delivery and practical sessions

Please refer to COVID Safe for Students to understand your obligations if you are returning to campus. We will review and update this information regularly.

Are campus facilities open even with flexible, blended delivery for classes?

Campuses are open with staff onsite to support students who want to access computer labs, studios and equipment. The library is also open. Some SAE support staff including Student Counsellors, Student Services Advisors and Industry Liaison Coordinators will continue to meet with students via Zoom, or on campus only by arrangement. You can continue to request meetings through the student services team. We will facilitate physical distancing on campus at all times.

Will I be notified if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 on my campus?

SAE is closely monitoring each of its Australian campuses. If there is a confirmed case of a student or staff member with COVID-19, the SAE student and teaching community will be informed as a priority.

Will assessments, examinations or my timetable change?

Assessment processes will remain the same. For modules that use holistic assessment, please ensure that you continue to participate in class, work on your projects and maintain your learning journals (if required for your module). SAE Faculty have been provided guidance on how to ensure we are making appropriate changes to assessment in order to address any challenges you or your peers face. Your facilitator will let you know in advance if any assessment changes need to be made, however any change will be done to support your success.

In trimester 2, all modules will be offered via flexible, blended delivery using Zoom and other collaboration platforms.

What about my Work Integrated Learning (WIL) CIU 310 work placement?

Currently, creative industries are experiencing significant challenges, and we anticipate this could limit your opportunities to complete your required placement hours or to find a WIL placement this trimester.

We understand there will be circumstances where some students will require an extension beyond this trimester to complete WIL placements.

Please contact your Industry Liaison Coordinator if your placement has been cut short, cancelled or you have not been able to find a placement - or if you have other extenuating circumstances during this period.

Where can I go for up to date information and new developments about my campus or studies?

SAE will continue to follow the advice of health authorities and medical experts and share information as it is received. We recommend you check your student email on a daily basis for relevant updates. Rest assured you will be notified via your student email or SMS of any urgent updates.

If you want to reach out to your campus with a question, you can chat online with your campus Student Services team Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm. Simply access this service by logging onto Campus Online.

How will cross-discipline collaboration continue to work?

Each SAE campus will be deploying software such as Slack and Discord to support  cross-discipline collaboration. Your facilitator will advise what software is being used on a module by module basis. 

What if my module requires access to software/equipment only on campus?

Campuses are open, with staff onsite to support students who want to access computer labs and equipment.

Please refer to COVID Safe for Students for information about coming to campus and access to equipment and studios. In addition to scheduled classes, optional practical sessions will be scheduled on campus to support audio, film, animation and capstone projects. Lecturers will provide students with information about these sessions at the beginning of the trimester. 

I am not sure what software I need to work from home.

Important information about remote access to software is updated frequently and can be found here. Check this site for information and instructions about software for use at home.

Can we hire equipment to work from home and for projects?

Equipment is available for on and off-campus production work, with some changes to the hire and use of equipment, guided by physical distancing, and health and hygiene protocols. We have made some slight adjustments to teaching and assessments to ensure that projects will not be impacted. For more information about hiring equipment, booking studios and campus opening hours, please refer to COVID Safe for Students.

Can students borrow computers from SAE to use at home?

Yes. From Monday 15 June, SAE is inviting students who are in genuine need of computer hardware (iMac, PC, wacom tablet), to apply via this form. We cannot guarantee all needs will be met, and we ask for patience while we process applications. As long as the campus remains open, and we have sufficient inventory, we will do whatever we can to meet these requests.

Note, we cannot do the same with cameras, microphones, as those are high contact, short term loan items.

What flexibility do I have if my study and progress have been impacted?

SAE staff have been providing a range of options to support students through this pandemic. These options include opportunities for late submissions, modification of assessment items and individual learning contracts. A short additional trimester in January 2021 will be offered free of charge to all students whose study has been impacted by COVID-19 related changes. This will incorporate practical, facilitated sessions that enable students to catch up on assessment items, and any practical and project work that has been compromised by not being able to attend campus and access equipment.  You may defer to a future study period, however, the rules relating to remission of fees are set by the government and not SAE. We are more than happy to talk to you about your individual circumstances and work with you to find a solution that will best meet your needs. 

I live in student accomodation. How will this impact me?

We encourage all students to engage in responsible physical distancing and to practise good hygiene. The accommodation facilities remain in operation unless notified otherwise. If you have any concerns, please contact your Campus Manager.

What do I need to participate in flexible, blended delivery of my classes?

Please ensure you have the following in place to support your remote learning:

  • A high-speed internet connection to run Zoom - the software we are using to facilitate classroom delivery
  • A computer or device capable of running the Zoom client and any software required for your module
  • Headphones, a microphone and webcam to get the best from this experience

Keep up to date with information about software options for students on our software site, and check your student email regularly for updates.

I believe that my project’s quality will be compromised without access to high-end equipment. What does this mean for my grade and my learning?

All SAE programs, and the means by which your work is appraised, are built on the principle of 3P’s - People (How to be a better creative industries practitioner and get the most from teams & colleagues), Process (How to make things which are quality, on time & on budget) and Product (How to use the tools of your trade).

Your tools are a component of only one of three elements, and we encourage all SAE students to be creative in your application of different tools to bring your project to life.  How you manage resources (Process), and how you and your teams adapt (People) are equally important. Of course, SAE will make allowances for the situation and provide support. We encourage you to consult with your facilitator if in doubt. 

What should I do if I need counselling support?

Confidential free counselling is available for all SAE students. Student Counsellors are available to assist students with any personal issues or circumstances that might affect wellbeing and study. Currently, we are offering most appointments remotely via Zoom or telephone, with some on-campus appointments available by arrangement. If you would like to book a counselling session or find out more information please contact your campus Student Counsellor.

What do I do if I am considered high risk/vulnerable or need to apply for special consideration?

SAE understands that students’ health, wellbeing and studies could be adversely impacted. We recommend you refer to the Department of Health guidelines for information. If you require support, Student Services Advisors can provide personal wellbeing and academic support. To make an on-campus or video appointment, email your campus Student Services Advisor.

Am I eligible for financial support during this time?

The Australian Government has now included full-time students (Youth Allowance, Austudy, Abstudy) in the list of recipients for the supplementary $550 Coronavirus support fortnightly payments. Visit the Australian Government website for more information.

I am an International Student and am concerned about my studies. Who should I speak with?

SAE Creative Media Institute Australia recognises that many international students have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and may require special assistance. In response, we have developed a number of measures aimed at supporting our international students during this challenging time. Any international student experiencing hardship and/or struggling with their studies is encouraged to contact their Students Services Advisor to explore all available options.

We have put a range of assistance measures in place which includes:

  • Tailored study plans
  • Payment deferral plans
  • Counselling Support

Where can International Students seek assistance?

In addition to partnering with the local campus Student Services team the Australian Federal and State Governments have announced a number of measures to help support international students during this time. We encourage international students to explore all available financial support measures and/or reach out to their local education group for more information. A summary of these measures can be found here.

Queensland Study Hub

Study Victoria

Study NSW

Study Perth

Study Adelaide

Will you be resuming face to face teaching as soon as restrictions are eased in my state?

In order to ensure that students who are unable to attend are not disadvantaged, SAE will continue to run all classes via flexible blended mode for the duration of Trimester 2, 2020. The only exception is where every student attends, in which case the class might not be streamed.

All Film and Audio practical sessions are currently being run on campus, and students are welcome to attend. Students working on projects (including those working on a capstone project) are also welcome to attend and loan equipment. Note, if restrictions are tightened in any state, you will be notified of any changes.

Once physical distancing restrictions are lifted, there will be a short period of adjustment as we collect hardware that has been on loan and refit the campus. Thereafter, all classes will be run from campus and this change will be communicated accordingly.

Can we defer to a future trimester?

SAE staff have been providing a range of options to support students through this pandemic. These options include opportunities for late submission, modification of assessment items and individual learning contracts. As we are now past the census date, we highly recommend that you remain engaged in your studies and let us know what help you need. You may defer to a future study period, however the rules relating to remission of fees are set by the government and not SAE. We are more than happy to talk to you about your individual circumstances and provide advice.