What’s uni really like?

From campus life to hands-on experiences to making new connections, the university experience is like no other.

How is uni unique?

Studying at university is a life-changing experience. You'll have access to a range of subjects, and the opportunity to specialise in specific areas.

University is an independent learning environment where you are expected to take responsibility for your own learning, and be in charge of your future.

It’s a good idea to go to events for future students. These give you the chance to pick up course information, talk with staff and students, look around different campuses, and see for yourself what uni is like.

Course structure

Our course structure is based on two 13-week semesters each year. Subjects usually run for one semester, and most full-time students do four subjects each semester. In most courses, you do compulsory subjects, a major, and some electives. But in some, you only have compulsory subjects.

The assignments you do depend on your subjects and their requirements. Some are all about essays, some focus on practical work, and some are a mix of both. And in many cases, courses will have exams as well.

Uni classes

If you’re doing a normal full-time study load at uni (four subjects each semester) you usually spend about 12-15 hours in class. Classes at university may not take place every day, which can be a good thing if you have other commitments, like a job, family to take care of, volunteering duties or activities you are involved in.

You’ll have several major assessments for each subject at university, with each taking quite some time to complete; therefore, it is important to manage your time properly and not over-crowd your schedule. A properly planned weekly schedule is a great tool to ensure you are on the right track!

A useful strategy is to treat uni like your full-time job, where you schedule around nine hours each week (including classes) for each of your subjects. You probably won’t always stick to this structure, but it can help you avoid all-night and weekend assignment marathons.

Lectures

Our lectures are held in large lecture halls (rooms a bit like cinemas). There’s usually no group discussion in lectures; lecturers tend to give a presentation over one or two hours, and you take notes. You’ll usually have one lecture per subject each week, and they are often also available as a recording.

Tutorials (tutes)

Tutorials tend to involve smaller groups of students and a tutor discussing the week’s lecture content and possibly some prescribed reading.

Like lectures, they normally run just under one or two hours, with one tute per subject each week. During the tutes, the tutor acts as discussion leader (they may or may not be the same person who lectures), and students do most of the talking. Tutes often involve student presentations, individually or in groups.

There are usually multiple tute groups per subject, scheduled at different times. Each group usually has between 10 and 30 places. At the beginning of the semester, you’ll join a tute that suits your schedule, and stay in that tute throughout the semester.

Clinical classes

If your degree includes clinical classes, this means that you’ll take part in hands-on practical classes. This style of teaching allows health sciences students to practise on actual patients in clinics (on and off campus).

For example, our podiatry students attend to patients in our podiatry clinic at the Melbourne Campus.

Practicals (pracs) / workshops / labs

These are offered mainly in science and health sciences courses, with experiments or investigations in purpose-built labs. They usually last from one to three hours.

Blended learning

Blended learning is a mix of face-to-face and online learning. It involves a thoughtful, sometimes innovative, integration of face-to-face learning experiences with online learning experiences. Through the blended learning system, we focus on increasing interactions between teachers, students and resources to help students achieve intended learning outcomes and support many different studying styles.

Work placements

What’s better than gaining some experience while you are in uni? Work placements give you industry experience relevant to your studies, and allow you to network with individuals in your chosen industry. During work placements, you tend to work under an employer’s supervision. Not all courses offer placements, but for some they’re compulsory. They’re usually assessed as part of your studies.

Examples of work placements include internships for media and journalism students in print, broadcast and online media outlets; practical teaching placements in schools for education and teaching students; and clinical placements in hospitals for health sciences students.