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February 20, 2020, 07:43:45 am

Author Topic: University Degree Reviews - What Should I Study at Uni?  (Read 1818 times)  Share 

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University Degree Reviews - What Should I Study at Uni?
« on: September 12, 2019, 10:17:09 am »

Hi everybody! In this thread, please review your university degrees so far. You can review whatever you have completed, whether that be a single semester or an entire degree. If you wish to review specific units/courses within your degree, you can do that, too - please see here.

The general idea is to help future and current students as much as possible to get a genuinely good idea of what different pathways are like. You can use the following template for your review. You do not need to answer every question if you don't want to. :)

Code: [Select]
[b]Name of degree/qualification:[/b] Type here what you are studying. For example, "Bachelor of Engineering."

[b]Institution:[/b] Type here where you are studying. For example, "RMIT University, Melbourne."

[b]Course duration (years):[/b] Type here how long the course takes full-time. For example, "3 years."

[b]Progress:[/b] Have you completed the degree? Are you in your first year? Do you have one semester to go? Type here how far through the qualification you are, for context.

[b]Contact hours:[/b] Type here how often you are required on campus.

[b]Class structure:[/b] Type here the general way classes run. Do you have lectures/tutorials/labs/seminars/other class types? Are they compulsory? How often?

[b]Assessment/exams:[/b] Type here your experiences with assessments and exams. How are you usually assessed? Does it vary? Do all subjects have exams?

[b]Networking/opportunities:[/b] Type here any relevant opportunities your course has afforded you.

[b]Friends/social stuff:[/b] Type here your experience with the social scene. Have you been on camps? Has it been easy for you to make friends? Is the structure of the course conducive to social interaction?

[b]Any surprises from what you expected?[/b] Type here about anything that has either positively or negatively surprised you about the course, no matter how big or small.

[b]Any other thoughts?[/b] Feel free to add anything!

If you would like to request a review please reply to this thread
« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 11:25:50 am by Bri MT »


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Re: University Degree Reviews - What Should I Study at Uni?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2019, 10:18:19 am »

> Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production @ AFTRS - 2nd year, September 2019
> Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) - Aerospace Engineering @ UNSW - 1st year, September 2019
> Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Education @ UNSW - 2nd year, September 2019
> Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) @ Monash University - 2nd year, September 2019

Updated to: end of reply #5.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 10:39:25 am by Joseph41 »


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Re: University Degree Reviews - What Should I Study at Uni?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2019, 11:15:22 am »
Name of degree/qualification: Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Education

Institution: UNSW

Course duration (years): 5 years

Progress: 2nd year, 3 years & 1 term to go.

Contact hours: Around 11 hours a wk, normally 4 days so far depending on timetabling.

Class structure: Education normally has a 2 hour lecture and 1hr tute for each subject. The education lectures (especially in 1st year) have around 300 people because it is made up with science/arts/music/etc students. Music is made up of a mix of lectures, studios and tutes. Often studios are the more practical classes where we will be playing our pieces for performance lab, or going over rhythms in theory classes. All of my classes so far have had an 80% attendance requirement, and a roll has either been passed around or electronically marked. 

Assessment/exams: Iíve never had any end-of term exams from my degree, other than my performance exam (which is at the end of the year). Education normally has around 2-3 assessments for each subject and they are normally made up of essays (but I have had a few in class quizzes/and a video). Music assessments are normally a bit more varied, & there are more than education. My theory subjects have included in class tests, compositions, transcriptions, music listening tests. The performance classes are made up of critiques, ensemble contribution, performance presentations and the end of year exam. Similarly, my music history classes have been made up of listening tests, presentations and essays.

Networking/opportunities: Thereís a lot of different music ensembles you can be in (& are a requirement of the per lab courses). Music and Education Facebook groups that advertise opportunities: both jobs, concerts and events happening. Education society offers events and assessment workshops for 1st year subjects.

Friends/social stuff: I find itís a lot easier to make friends in music rather than education. Mainly because education has 300 people in some lectures and music is really small (thereís been 20ish people in some of my 2nd year lectures). I also find that I stuck with music people in some of my education tutes as well. I found that everyone in my course was really friendly but it was easier to make friends in 2nd year where Iíd already known people for a bit. I went on arts camp at the start of 1st year, and while I enjoyed it there werenít a lot of music people there so I made friends but didnít really see them often. I think the music course especially is really conductive to social interaction: everyoneís super supportive during performance lessons, and when we have breaks in between classes we all talk and (try to) study together in the music corridors. I think educationís been a bit harder; but this could also be because I only do 1 education subject a term, compared to 2-3 with music (per sem/term).

Any surprises from what you expected? I was really keen for my education units but because they were foundational, I found them boring because I couldnít see how they would relate to teaching music. I found the music theory courses pretty difficult to start off with. However, Iíve really enjoyed mist of my music and education subjects.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 11:19:17 am by katie,rinos »
Class of 2017 (Year 12): Advanced English, General Maths, Legal Studies, Music 1, Ancient History, History Extension, Hospitality
2018-2022: B Music/B Education (Secondary) [UNSW]

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Re: University Degree Reviews - What Should I Study at Uni?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2019, 11:32:56 am »
Hey J41 - thanks for the thread! Hopefully this kicks off

Name of degree/qualification: Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours)

Institution: Monash University

Course duration (years): 4 years (including honours). You can drop out after 3 years and be awarded the Bachelor of Science instead

Progress: I started last year and am now in the second semester of 2nd year.

Contact hours:
In first year there are 4 contact hours for the impact through science unit which is compulsory each semester, and you will have 3 other units you're completing. In 2nd year there's only 3 contact hours for the impact through science units. Your total contact hours will vary depending on which other units you pick, but you can expect around 20ish. This semester I only have 16 contact hours, which is relaively low for science courses.

Note that this course cannot be deferred and you must study full time

Class structure:
Impact through science (compulsory & specific to this course): Lots of class discussions. usually very hands on, everyone contributes. My favourite classes
Science units: Varies depending on which units you pick, but you can expect lectures (everyone sits in a room and listens to the lecturer. There's usually some form of audience participation, e.g. answering questions) + labs (doing experiments, analysis etc. in small groups or individually) AND/OR workshops/tutorials (go through work, class or small-group discussions, often homework and/or quizzes)
Elective units: I haven't taken any of my non-science units yet but lectures + tutorials is pretty common

Impact through science (compulsory & specific to this course): No exams, lots of focus on projects and on group work (don't worry the people in this course are good at group work)
Science units: Almost always an exam, quizzes throughout semester & other homework tasks. If taking a unit with labs you can expect to do scientific reports.
Elective units: Again, this depends on the unit. If an arts unit probably expecting essays etc.

An absolutely insane amount of networking opportunities both inside and outside the university.
Meeting non-uni people:
These are held both inside and outside class times & there's a mix of compulsory an non-compulsory.
For example leadership dialogues in first year where you get to meet a whole bunch of interesting people from diverse areas are generally compulsory.
In first semester of 2nd year we met a different successful entrepreneur or intrapreneur each week. I also recently attended a social enterprise expo which I only knew about through my course.

Meeting uni people:
I'm on the Monash Advanced Science and Science Scholars Society (society for Global Challenges and Research students) and we run an event which helps you meet and mingle with academics each semester. In first semester we run an academic mixer, which is a chill opportunity to network with academics (with free food). In second semester we run mass^2 where global challenges and research students present on science topics to other science students and academics (also free food). You also have access to the normal science faculty networking events such as industry nights.

Friends/social stuff:
Global challenges kicks off in first year with a camp which is highly effective at bonding the cohort together. I have never struggled with friends in uni as my course mates are some of my closest friends even right from the start. There are also events where global challenges students for all year levels meet up which is useful for making friends outside your cohort.

For making friends with research students and other global challenges students the Monash Advanced Science Society runs multiple events throughout the year.

To make friends with students outside global challenges and research, the networking events listed above can help and talking to whoever you are sharing a lab and/or tute with is a good way of making science friends. I find that Clayton campus being so huge and having a bunch of free events (e.g. free food and live music once a week) helps with keeping people on campus and socialising with each other.

Any surprises from what you expected?

I didn't know how amazing the people in my course would be or how quickly we would bond. This is probably the biggest thing I underestimated about uni

Any other thoughts? 

Going to drop a link to my university journey journal :)

This may have come across in the rest of the description but I absolutely love my course. Sometimes it's stressful but I am so, so glad I chose it. If you have any questions on it feel free to reach out and send me a pm :)


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Re: University Degree Reviews - What Should I Study at Uni?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2019, 10:32:05 pm »
Name of degree/qualification: Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production

Institution: Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS)

Course duration (years): 3 years

Progress: Currently in my second semester of my second year.

Contact hours: 18 hours a week (3 days x 6 hours)

Class structure: We have a one subject per week type of thing. First day consists of a lecture then two workshops. Second day could go both ways- a) a lecture then two workshops OR b) just two workshops (this depends on the subject of the week). Third day consists of a screen studies lecture, then a screening (of a film, documentary, tv episode- depends on screen studies lecture and the subject of the week), a seminar (where we discuss the topic of the week) and a reflection (where we reflect back on the workshops and get help for our assessment)

Assessment/exams: Depends on the subjects- I do loathe the very "high school like" assignments (business reports, essays). I am very much more inclined towards creative writing assignments (writing scripts, developing a style bible). I'm very 50/50 with the technical ones (editing scenes, sound mixing, recording an interview etc.) No exams as it is a film degree. We do have production blocks at the end of each semester which is our equivalent of exams. But instead of doing it at the end of semester alone, we do heaps of paperwork throughout the semester then go into production.

Networking/opportunities: We do have networking events held at AFTRS, either organised by AFTRS themselves or by our student rep. We also have acting students come in from a nearby acting school. We get to network with them as well.

Friends/social stuff: Socialising with other at AFTRS is so darn easy. My degree is the only one offered at my institution so it's easy to meet people and make friends! Our classes are only 20 people so you're kinda forced to talk to people.

Any surprises from what you expected? Was hoping for a lot more intense class work. In some classes, I wished I was challenged a tiny tiny bit more. Also surprised we don't have access to all film gear. There are so many limitations on what gear you can borrow.
Which will hold greater rule over you? Your fear or your curiosity?


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Re: University Degree Reviews - What Should I Study at Uni?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2019, 11:49:55 pm »
Name of degree/qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) - Aerospace Engineering

Institution: UNSW

Course duration (years): 4

Progress: Currently in term 3 of my first year.

Contact hours: Over 15 hours per week. It depends on timetabling, since sometimes I'm required to go to uni for 5 days and other terms I can squeeze everything onto 4 days.

Class structure: Most of the classes have a lecture and a tute, but some also have a lab component, where you have to do experiments during the allocated time (e.g. Physics 1A, Comp Fundamentals, Design & Manufacturing, Electrical & Telecommunications). For one of my classes this term (Design & Manufacturing), I'm required to go to TAFE to do my practical component.

Assessment/exams: Most of the time, there's a final exam. However, there's almost always quizzes to complete every week and an assignment at some point during the term. For some of the engineering courses, the group project is the assessment and we have no final exams. I also have some classes where I'm required to sit the mid-term exam as well.

Faculty of Engineering Society (EngSoc) Volunteering Development Program (VDP): I had to attend 3 workshops on various soft skills and complete 15 hours of volunteering. This will be recorded onto my AHEGS/academic transcript. One of the workshops was on Industrial Training, where they invited engineering students who've completed their Industrial Training to talk about their experiences and then we get split up into groups to talk to them, kinda like speed-dating style. They're very willing to give you their details like Facebook and LinkedIn so it's a good opportunity to talk to them about the company they worked in.

Each term, they also host info nights on Industrial Training, ranging on how to get industrial training to talking about the formalities of submitting industrial training reports. Societies also offering networking opportunities. For example, UNSW AIAA partnered up with USyd AIAA to do a networking session with aerospace companies like Qantas. Societies also organise site visits during the term(e.g. Qantas, Transport NSW, CSIRO).

Recently, they've introduced the challENG program, where if you join a student-led project and you contribute for at least three terms, it could be considered as a course credit and/or 30 days of industrial training. Student-led projects include Vivid, Hyperloop and Engineers Without Borders.

UNSW overall organises a career expo, although I'm not sure how often this is hosted.

Friends/social stuff:
Women in Engineering Society (WIESoc) Protege Program: This is where female first year engineering students are placed into a group of other female engineering students who are doing similar/same degree and is assigned a mentor. There are 3 main events to attend to and there are weekly activities to complete. The whole purpose of the program is that you meet new people and get to know your cohort. I just happened to be lucky that I was placed in a group of three first-year aerospace students and a fifth-year aerospace student, and we've become really close. Other societies also do this mentoring program (e.g. Mentor Me, EngSoc).

UNSW AIAA Rocketry Student-Led Program: I only attended the Information Evening but from what I got from the info night was that AIAA is split up into two teams: Rocketry and Design, Build, Fly. Rocketry is for rockets and Design, Build, Fly is for planes. For Rocketry, you need to complete the training (which is around 6 weeks of training) and then you're officially on the team. It's difficult for me to say much about it since they're revamping the team structure, but the main goal of it is that you build a rocket and you launch it on the day of the competition.

Any surprises from what you expected?
There's a lot of emphasis on soft skills, both by societies and the lecturers. They always encourage us to be more involved with uni life and get to know people from other degrees.

Any other thoughts? Feel free to add anything!
Keep in mind that engineering requires using a lot of softwares. UNSW myaccess offers limited softwares (and can get laggy since it uses a server of some sort) and some courses where softwares are mandatory will give you either an education service code or specific instructions on how to download it onto your laptop. There will be some softwares that are only available on Windows. If you're a Mac user, you'll need to download Windows on your laptop, or you could use the computers at uni.
2018 HSC: English Advanced | Mathematics | Physics | Modern History | History Extension | Society and Culture | Studies of Religion I

ATAR: 93.60

2019: Aerospace Engineering (Hons)  @ UNSW


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Re: University Degree Reviews - What Should I Study at Uni?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2019, 12:09:35 am »
Hi sorry this derails the thread a bit so feel free to delete this but can there also be a thread for people to request reviews of courses? Thanks.
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Re: University Degree Reviews - What Should I Study at Uni?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2019, 11:26:42 am »
Hi sorry this derails the thread a bit so feel free to delete this but can there also be a thread for people to request reviews of courses? Thanks.


Thanks for the idea! I've added a thread to serve that purpose - you should find the link in the opening post now :)


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Re: University Degree Reviews - What Should I Study at Uni?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2019, 10:38:57 pm »
Name of degree/qualification: Bachelor of Arts

Institution: University of Melbourne

Course duration (years): 3 years full time

Progress: 1/3 of the way through (just finished first year).

Contact hours:
Generally one arts subject has 3 contact hours per week (2hr lectures, 1hr tute) and a full load is 4 subjects, so the standard contact hours for BA is 12.

However, as arts is such a broad degree, many subjects will run differently (for example, if you major in psychology, your contact hours will be more similar to that of a BSc student). Your breadth subjects (units outside of the arts faculty) also differ in contact hours.

That said, regardless of what subjects you take, you are almost guaranteed have less contact hours than a student doing science or biomed. Arts (and commerce) has the lowest contact hours out of all the university degrees, because you generally would have to do much more reading outside of class.

Class structure:
A standard arts subject has 2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of tutorial a week. Lectures are normally recorded and attendance isn't compulsory, but there is a 75% attendance requirement for tutorials.

All BA students are required to complete at least one Arts Foundation subject, maximum 2, from a choice of Power, Reason, Representation, Language, Identity, and Aboriginalities. Aside from that, there are no core subjects all arts students must take, and you choose your subjects depending on the requirements of your major, which would be different for everybody.

A standard arts major requires the completion of 100 points (8 subjects). One of these must be your capstone subject which you take in 3rd year. You can let one foundation subject count towards your 100-pt requirement.

The non-standard arts majors are Economics (112.5 pts - 9 subjects) and Psychology (125 pts - 10 subjects). For both, your arts foundation subject cannot count towards your major.

Again, this varies between majors, however most arts subjects do not have exams - at least, no exams in the traditional sense where you sit in a room and complete a paper in a strict timeframe of a few hours. For most arts units, assessments generally involve a minor assignment at the start of the semester, a major research essay of 2,000 words due midsemester, and finally a shorter research essay due during the exam period. For most subjects, assessments add up to 4,000 words in total.

Not all subjects follow this structure. Namely, subjects from Economics and Psychology will follow the assessment structure used for commerce and science, which will include exams.

Faculty clubs and societies are great for networking. The major one to look out for is MASS (Melbourne Arts Student Society), which is well known for being the largest social club on campus, however they also run workshops, industry nights, and even writing competitions for you to have a chance to get your works published.

Joining smaller faculty clubs is also a must. I would also suggest taking part in a political club on campus for maximum network expansion.

Aside from clubs and societies, UniMelb also offer countless networking and internship opportunities for you to "get a sense of the real world" while you're still studying. For example, in second and third year you are allowed to do semester-long internships which credits towards your degree.

Friends/social stuff:
From my totally objective and unbiased opinion, arts has the best social atmosphere out of all the degrees. There's plenty of stuff going on from day 1. New arts students are invited to the 'arts welcome fest' a few days before the official O-Week, which is a great chance to meet people; then there's arts camp and several major O-Week parties held by MASS before and during the semester. MASS holds some of the biggest social events on campus which you do not want to miss. (I swear I am not sponsored by MASS. This is just my experience.)

Any surprises from what you expected?
I was really taken back by how hectic uni was from the get go, despite being told throughout year 12 that (i) first year is a cruise; and (ii) arts is the easiest degree you can do. Going from averaging high 90s in my year 12 essays to 60s-70s in my uni ones was not something I was prepared for.

Social-wise, I was surprised at how difficult it is to maintain friendships on campus, especially with people you meet from lectures and tutorials. I probably gained about 50 new "friends" from just the first week, but trying to organise times to catch up after that proves to be rather difficult.

Any other thoughts?
Please don't mind me shamelessly plugging my university journal. If you want a continuous and more detailed insight into arts at Melbourne (specifically history/economics), feel free to give it a read.

On the whole, I'm really enjoying Bachelor of Arts; I think the course is well organised and the quality of teaching at UniMelb is amazing. I know there's the whole stigma of "Urgh, arts? What kind of job are you gonna get?" but I think it's just a matter of choosing your majors and subjects carefully, and taking advantage of any networking/internship/volunteering etc opportunity.
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UniMelb  Ė  Bachelor of Arts (History, Economics)


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Re: University Degree Reviews - What Should I Study at Uni?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2019, 03:05:10 pm »
Name of degree/qualification:
Bachelor of International Studies/Bachelor of Media (PR & Advertising)

UNSW Sydney

Course duration (years):
5 years

I've almost finished my second year!

Contact hours: Type here how often you are required on campus.
This depends on how many subjects you take a term, but it's usually 12 contact hours per week.

Class structure:
Most arts classes have a lecture and tutorial which run for 2 hours each every week, and for business (my major) it's 1.5 hours each. Lectures aren't usually compulsory but tutorials are. UNSW doesn't seem to enforce attendance as much since the transition to trimesters.

I've only had 3 finals since starting my degree - it's just the nature of the program! Here's a general rundown of my subjects and assessments involved:
- International studies theory courses: essays and quizzes during the term
- German: tests (listening, grammar + vocabulary, speaking) and portfolios
- Media theory: essays and/or presentations
- Media practical: mixture of media writing and creation, essays and presentations
- International business: essays, memos, take-home exam, exams

Networking/opportunities: Type here any relevant opportunities your course has afforded you.
There are a lot of societies that offer networking opportunities for students and for international studies, the convenor is really active in emailing our cohort about different opportunities that arise. I can't say a lot about this because I'm not really involved in the uni social scene but there is always something going on.

Friends/social stuff:
UNSW is really great when it comes to social things. There are so many societies and groups out there for everyone, and for my course itself, it was easy to make friends (particularly in international studies as our cohort has less than 100 people).

The international studies component of my degree makes it easy to meet people because the subjects we take have less students; whereas in media it's a much larger cohort, and therefore there are more students so I don't have as many friends that only study media. I think what makes it better is everyone's in the same boat and are willing to be friends.

Any surprises from what you expected?
At the beginning of this year I genuinely thought I wouldn't be that affected by trimesters as my degree isn't particularly content-heavy, but I struggled big-time to balance my priorities and manage the step-up in difficulty of some of my subjects in Term 1. Learning how to pace yourself and how you work is so important because if you're not in tune with yourself you will struggle!

Any other thoughts?
On the whole, I love what I'm studying although media theory sometimes makes me want to rip my hair out because it's so boring. You also need to start paying attention to internships and job opportunities early because you need experience and references especially in a degree like this!
HSC 2017: English (Standard) // Mathematics // Modern History // Legal Studies // Business Studies
2018-2022: B International Studies/B Media (PR & Advertising) @ UNSW