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Author Topic: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings  (Read 1185126 times)  Share 

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literally lauren

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #540 on: January 26, 2016, 09:05:11 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ENGL20023: American Classics 

Workload: 1 x 90 minute lecture and 1 x 1 hour tute per week

Assessment: 1 x 1500 word essay (40%) and 1 x 2000 word essay (60%) *apparently that last essay was worth 50% and the left over 10% went to a class presentation, but I can't find any record of this - we were never told our scores and the LMS was a ghosttown... more on that below.

Lectopia Enabled: No -.- see rant below

Past exams available: No exam for this subject

Textbook Recommendation: Subject reader is an expensive slab of barely useful information and unless your tutor makes you bring it to class, I'd actually just recommend taking a photo of the table of contents and then looking up that week's readings on Discovery when you can be bothered.

Lecturer(s): umm... fairly certain there was a guy with brown hair at one stage. Elizabeth Maxwell took a couple of lectures and Joe Hughes was there at least once, but they rotated frequently and I was not the most... diligent... of attendees.

Year & Semester of completion: 2015, Semester 2

Rating: 1 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: Oh English. We've had a good run, but you just keep pushing me and I don't think it's healthy for me to stay in this love-hate relationship.

My experiences with tertiary Lit subjects have been the equivalent of being slowly paper-cut-to-death with an occasional respite where I get to put some bandages on myself before those bandages are then ripped off and the paper-cutting starts again. Or, like, trying to crawl up a downwards moving escalator and trying to grip onto the sides for support but realising those sides are covered in scorpions and now I'm going to die of scorpion poison curled up at the bottom of an escalator. Or, like, being on a rollercoaster that descends underground and then keeps descending, and you tell yourself 'it'll have to go up eventually' but it doesn't, it just sends you straight through the earth's crust into layers of magma and disappointment. Or, like, being made to touch an electric fence again and again because someone promised you that at some stage, you'll touch it and it won't electrify you, but until then you just have to keep putting up with the mild electrocution. Or, like, being in a tutorial full of people who nod sagely when your tutor says 'well obviously The Scarlet Letter can't be a feminist text because it was written by a man.'

Oh wait, that last one wasn't a simile; that's actually what happened. Well, I hope you liked the other similes because I found writing them to be a more enjoyable and intellectually valuable experience than taking this subject.

Let's start with the lectures. THEY AREN'T RECORDED. As someone who's timetable was nothing but clashes this semester, that was kind of frustrating. We were never given a valid explanation aside from the fact that it's "how things are done" with this lecturer (though I remember hearing that lectures were recorded last year, and have been for all my other English subjects...) I have a sneaking suspicion this is to combat dwindling lecture attendance, but when I did ditch my other class and go to this one, the numbers were far from overwhelming. Just purely as a matter of principle, I was already predisposed to dislike this subject when we were told about the lack of recordings, but from a more pragmatic standpoint, this really doesn't make sense given the nature of English assessment - you study around 12 texts per subject, often one per week though sometimes they double-up, and then you get a choice when it comes to essay topics. So, for the first essay due mid-semester, we could cover any of the ~5 texts studied thus far, and then the final essay had to compare any two that we hadn't already written on. I'm starting to realise that it's much smarter if you just choose those texts ahead of time and just do the relevant readings or attend the relevant lectures for those weeks, and ignore everything else. Otherwise, if you don't decide early enough, you end up having to sit around in Week 12 wondering what the hell was covered in Week 3 and with no ability to go back and check. Lecture slides were uploaded sporadically but they were often just visual aids or slides full of slabs of texts. Also, many of the links were for the wrong texts, so it wasn't very dependable. This subject also occasionally did what I'm now assuming is a default English department thing and spent significant portions of lectures analysing paintings, lending further credence to the theory I've been developing since Modernism & Avant Garde last semester. Not all lectures were guilty of this, but it was still frequent enough to be frustrating.

So as much as I'm bemoaning the absence of recordings, I must admit that when I did manage to attend, I realised I wasn't missing much. There was a lot of reading from slides, and way too much unsubstantiated interpretational commentary for my liking.

Content-wise, most of it was geared towards some pretty reductive world views, and it didn't help that half the texts being about slavery seemed to make some lecturers think they had free reign to shoehorn in their own assessments of contemporary political and social issues at the expense of, you know, the texts we were meant to be studying. For me, some of that stuff was interesting, but much like the discussions in Mod & Av. it fell into the chasm of 'yeah-that's-nice-but-I'm-here-for-the-books-so-could-we-please-get-back-on-track-now.' No one else in the lectures seemed remotely frustrated though, so I guess if you're the kind of person who enjoys approaching literature from a sociological perspective, this subject will suit you well. I'm more at home in the realms of close analysis and discussions about style and semantics though, so this just got on my nerves after a while.

Now... onto assessment... it's said that you can characterise an insane person by their tendency to repeat the same action expecting a different result. Well I guess I'm just crazy-town-banana-pants then because I figured that if I asked my tutor about the task requirements and tried to clarify all the contradicting advice I'd compiled thus far, maybe I'd see a noticeable change in my marks. After triple-checking that my tutor wasn't fussed about formal essay structure and cared more about the quality of arguments and analysis, I wrote the first essay and handed it in, only to be told that the only things wrong with my piece were that the introduction and conclusion were too short. This apparently warranted a 78/100, which I pulled up to a H1 average after the second essay, I guess, but I have no way of knowing.

Perhaps in an attempt to keep some consistency with the outdated refusal to record lectures, this subject also requires hardcopy submissions of essays. Again, as someone who isn't at uni everyday, works a lot, and lives pretty far out, this was really not ideal. We still had to submit a copy of our work through a digital portal (not turnitin, for some reason, which incidentally didn't give us the regular confirmation email that turnitin provides, so that was fun -.-) on the LMS, but the feedback for the first essay was just a few sentences printed on a sheet of paper and handed out in tutes. Because the second essay's due date was after the last class, we never got anything back, not even a score. I can't even extrapolate one based on my overall result because I have no idea what the third assessment (discussed below) was based on, or whether it existed at all. Someone in my tute mentioned that they overheard someone else in this subject mention that we could attach an envelope with our home address along with our essays when we handed it in (???) if we wanted to get it back, but none of us knew whether that'd include feedback or not. I spoke to my tutor, who also didn't know, and never got back to me. You were lucky to get an email response within a week, but because I'm apparently an abused puppy who keeps going back to its owner to get kicked in the face, I emailed people at the end of semester to try and establish some semblance of contact but that didn't work either.

For the remaining 10% of the assessment, we each had to do a brief presentation on a text at some stage - you got to nominate which text if you were there at the first tute, and there were two spots available each week. Quality varied drastically with some people just reading out a mini-analysis they'd written (including one highlight where a kid was reading out words and ideas far beyond the level of understanding he'd demonstrated in previous tutes, and a quick google of what he was saying turned up an online resource for us to read along with :'D ) but there were others who put real effort in. Part of the task required us to come up with a few key questions pertaining to the text, and some of the ones I heard were really intriguing... not that we ever got to answering them in a meaningful way. This wasn't helped by the fact that every single person's presentation was concluded by the tutor saying 'that was really good' over and over again to the point where it was no longer encouraging and just became hollow and disingenuous. Never anything constructive, and never anything that lead to a more expansive discussion. Maybe it's because that only gave us around 40 minutes each week to discuss each text, but it always felt rather superficial - almost as though each week was a succession of finding the major talking points related to each book, mentioning them, and moving on. But even in other text-per-week English subjects I've done, this hasn't been such an overt issue.

Another quick note on subject coordination, I've posted this elsewhere on the forums, but this is a screenshot of the LMS page:

'Subject home' and 'Subject Information' just took you to a totally different page that just restated info from the handbook and had links to the lecture slides. 'Announcements' was blank. 'Assessment' had that aforementioned weird not-turnitin submissions thing. And there was a link to the SES.
I know there's not a whole lot you can add for a subject that mainly just involves a lot of reading, but I suppose I'm using that mostly blank LMS page as a token of the wider, more inimical problems with the subject's communication as a whole.

In a weird way, I'm almost glad I got such a high score in this subject because it means my qualms with it can't be misattributed as vitriol over a perceived undeserved numerical outcome. I'm still unsatisfied with the result, don't get me wrong, but I'm aware that these comments would be viewed in a vastly different context if I'd been bumped down a few grade points.

The trouble is that I've come away from this subject knowing a few odd facts about the colonial period of American history and some of the people alive at the time, but I've gained nothing in terms of literary criticism or essay writing ability, which is kind of upsetting to acknowledge.

I try to keep a running tally of things throughout the semester that I want to include in the reviews, but for this one, all I've got is that the lecturer we had for the Melville texts - whose name I don't remember and can't check because NO RECORDINGS - in around Week 3 was pretty decent... and that this subject was just 'Art-History-in-disguise continued.' I might come back and add things after having done some more English subjects, but my only general advice is that you shouldn't expect too much in terms of communication and prepare for more peripheral discussions about where Emily Dickinson went to school, or what became of the house Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in.

As stated, if you're interested in studying the historical and social context of the texts in this subject, then you'll probably find it enjoyable. And if you're doing a lot of units that look at issues of race and gender, this'll fit right in, but it's somewhat mendacious in its claims to be an English subject as you'll spend far more time talking about things other than the texts.

literally lauren

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #541 on: January 26, 2016, 11:35:33 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ENGL30013: Gothic Fictions

Workload: 1 x 90 minute lecture; 1 x 1 hour tute + 2 x optional screenings in weeks 9 and 12 for film studies

Assessment: 1 x 1500 word essay (40%); 1 x 2500 word essay (60%)

Lectopia Enabled: Yes, though because it was a 90 minute session there would occasionally be problems with the recordings, especially on weeks where there were screenings.
For our year, lectures were on Thursdays 1:00 - 2:30, and then the screenings for Nosferatu and Picnic at Hanging Rock were scheduled from 3:00 to 4:30. However, we all (lecturer included) thought it made more sense to do the screenings for those films first and then talk about them second, so we were free to leave if we'd seen the films already and then come back at around 3 for the actual lecture. Other weeks, we'd have a totally optional screening of additional texts like Hitchcock's Rebecca and a Dracula adaptation or two, but there were only a few people who stayed behind for them.

Past exams available: No exam for this subject.

Textbook Recommendation: No textbook; the subject reader was made up of certain set texts (see astrisked ones in the list below) instead of secondary readings. All the critical stuff was linked on the LMS, which makes infintely more sense to me than having a 400 page printed monolith to lug around...
here's looking at you, basically every other English subject ever -.-

1:  On the Marionette Theatre by Heinrich von Kleist*
    The Right Sort by David Mitchell
2:  The Monk by Matthew Lewis
3:  Christabel & The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge*
    The Thorn & Lucy poems by Wordsworth*
    Lamia & La Belle Dame Sans Merci by Keats*
4:  The Italian by Ann Radcliffe
5:  Eliza, or the Unhappy Nun*
    Fatal Jealousy, or, Blood Will Have Blood!*
    The Uncanny by Sigmund Freud*
6:  Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
7:  Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
8:  Dracula by Bram Stoker
9:  Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror [film]
10: Selected Writings by Edgar Allan Poe <3
11: Beloved by Toni Morrison
12: Picnic at Hanging Rock [film]

Lecturer(s): Tom Ford
Note: a huge part of my enjoyment of this subject (...like, 95% of it, tbh) was down to the fact that Tom Ford was the lecturer/ tutor/ coordinator, and that won't be the case in 2016. He might take the odd lecture or tute group, but I believe Peter Otto is taking over, and I doubt my review would be the same had I not taken this subject in 2015, so just keep that in mind.

Year & Semester of completion: 2015, Semester 2

Rating: 6 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


This is the second enjoyable English subject I've stumbled upon so far (the first being David McInnis' Shakespeare in Performance) and much like that one, almost all the credit I will give this subject is for the way it was run.

The lectures had direction in that by the time we'd gotten to the end, Tom had made a valid and interesting point about the text, calling upon both close readings and secondary criticism. Each week would manage to weave together some really spectacular arguments with just the right amount of supporting evidence and ancillary discussion (+ a few amusing tidbits like this thing) without ever compromising the focus or feeling too hurried. So we'd walk out of each lecture having been exposed to a really comprehensive interpretation of the text and -best part ever, get hyped- IT WAS ACKNOWLEDGED AS JUST AN INTERPRETATION!!!

Allow me to go on a brief tangent and I'll work back around to that last point. After submitting the first essay for this subject, I received some of the best feedback I've ever gotten from a university subject, not only because it was highly specific to my actual essay and commented on certain parts of it that were decent and others that needed work, but because the gist of it was basically: 'I disagree with your interpretation, but you've argued your points effectively and justified your reasoning, so H1.' It even offered specific advice regarding what I needed to do to improve for next time - something I don't think I've ever been given. Safe to say I was so taken aback that I didn't even care what my mark I'd got; I was just utterly stunned to receive the first bit of actually constructive advice from an English subject ever. Up until that point, I'd consoled myself with the fact that even other good units I'd come across weren't the best with providing essay commentary and had become kind of complacent in barely reading the generic copy+paste stuff that I got... but I fear this subject has now raised my expectations waaay too much :P

As someone who loves the 'there's no right answer, it's all about your reasoning' side of literary studies, the open-endedness of discussions and the fact that lectures were punctuated with the occasional diversion to acknowledge that 'you could also argue that...' just made me ever so happy. And I think I've finally got some idea of the difference between just mindlessly citing sources and 'critically engaging with the theory' thanks to this subject. Most other English lectures (with the exception of the Shakespeare in Performance ones, plus one or two in ModCon) would simply rattle of a quote from an academic, present it as though it's an unequivocal fact, then proceed to restate that point as though it's some new or impressive interpretation, this subject actively challenged a lot of the stuff that has been written about these texts to the point where I know have a clear idea of what characterises different critics' views on what Gothic means. The readings and secondary sources from lectures actually stuck in my head and contributed to my interpretations, as opposed to feeling like unnecessary distractions where the lecturers tried to either show off, or would cite others as a stand-in to camouflage their own lack of original thought. Here, it coalesced with the content beautifully, and made the assessment much easier and more enjoyable as a result.

Another plus: we were studying a whole bunch of creepy texts and eerie secondary texts, and Tom would usually turn the lights off in lectures, meaning the electronic lectern would shine upwards resulting in this totally macabre up-lit effect that I found very amusing

Then there were the tutorials, which were just as well-run. Tom had this rather unique approach whereby we'd all have to come to each tute with some talking point for that week's text that we wanted to go through, (e.g. 'whether or not we could view Dr. Frankenstein as an antihero' or 'what the importance of the many voices in Wordsworth's poems was') and he'd note them all down. Then in about twenty seconds, he'd devise a rough schism of a lesson plan for the group discussion that would touch on as many of those areas as possible. There were a few we never got to, but those classes had way more depth and purpose than any other English tute I've had. Plus it got through a lot of the awkward 'who's going to be the first person to say something' barriers - everyone had to say something in the first five minute round up of talking points, which meant we were all more inclined to contribute later.

This was probably helped by the fact that I was in a class with some really bright people with awesome stuff to contribute, but I think it was also the product of Tom's attitude, which he made clear in the first week when he said 'if you haven't read the books or have nothing interesting to say, I don't want you in my class'... or words to that effect. Because some of the texts were quite lengthy, I'd definitely advise reading ahead for the longer novels and not transferring into this class two days into semester on a whim because of timetable clashes (...like I maybe did...)

And in spite of this quasi-checklist approach to conducting discussions, it never felt like we were just rushing through point by point and trying to come to a definitive conclusion about what each component of the text meant. Instead, it was like each lesson was a pair of tangled headphones where we'd try and unravel one section and then move on to another bit, and at the end it'd all be disentangled... mostly, and we could see how all the ideas were part of this overall thing. It actually made it kind of tricky to choose texts to write on for assessment tasks because I'd come away from each tute with a tonne of new perspectives and interesting avenues to explore based on whatever we were studying that week.

That's not to say we were all working towards the same interpretations though; some weeks there were proper intellectual debates (the kind I used to dream of when I was but a humble high schooler!) between people who disagreed about some issue in the text. But something else Tom made clear in the first week was that he never wanted discussion to begin with or boil down to sentiments like 'I like this text' or 'I don't like this text.' In fact, I believe we were told never to use the words 'like' or 'dislike' in that context because it stilted discussion and wasn't a very valuable contribution. That said, we still had some scuffles over who was pro-Austen and anti-Austen later in semester. But whenever we'd deal with such ideas, we were required to back our points up with specific evidence and a lot of logic. There were times where Tom would interrupt us to explain our reasoning or ask where we'd gotten a certain interpretation from - though never in an aggressive or confrontational way - in an effort to make sure the focus stayed on how we were getting these readings from the text. I even remember a few moments where he'd stop someone who was using a bit too much artsy jargon à la 'I think this text is a bit too imperialistic and it's got more do to with atavistic feudality than modernity' to say something like 'well, what do you mean by that' or 'care to elaborate?' which I FREAKIN WISH I could say in other subjects where students (and lecturers) were clearly just using big words to obfuscate discussion.

In terms of assessment, this was one of the few times I didn't find it necessary to take the 'Write your own essay topic' option provided in English subjects because the prompts we were given were genuinely interesting with enough scope for wherever your interests lay. This meant that the people who wanted to tackle the notion of what 'Gothic' was as a genre had plenty of opportunity to do so, but others (like me) who were partial to the more narrow discussions of particular structural features also had questions like 'How literal is the supernatural in Gothic fiction? And if it is allegorical or figurative, what is it an allegory of or figure for?' or 'What is the function—linguistic, social, interpretative—of doubles and doubling in Gothic fiction?'

I'm tempted to dock a point because of the requisite hard copy submissions, which I've already harangued in my American Classics review, but at least this subject gave us a clear answer as to why this was the case. Also, we actually received feedback via email for our final essays even though the semester had technically concluded by that point, which, even though it was a small gesture, seems to me indicative of a subject that actually cares about its students' development outside of the Week 1-12 window. That, coupled with the quality of the feedback was more than enough to push this subject into the esteemed territory of 'ones-I-won't-shut-up-about-and-recommend-to-everyone,' and the high calibre of both lectures and tutorials just further cemented its position there.

As mentioned, I believe there is to be a staff change with Peter Otto taking up the main coordination and lecturing role, so some of these comments may no longer be relevant, but provided the same level of quality is maintained, this is one of the few subjects I would actively encourage people to consider if they're interested in analysing literature. The standards expected were a lot higher than the other English subjects I've done, though perhaps this was because it was a third year subject (might come back and edit this once I've experienced a few more) so be prepared for some harsher marking and more ruthless demands to substantiate your arguments, but it's all for the greater good of actually learning something worthwhile.

I think this subject has ruined me for other English subjects. 10/10 would laugh at Tom's puns again.

My personal favourite was during the week we were studying some of Coleridge and Wordsworth's poetry when he said 'so this is an example of High Romanticism... or in Coleridge's case, very high Romanticism.'

See, it's funny because Coleridge was addicted to opium.

« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 09:26:31 pm by literally lauren »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #542 on: January 31, 2016, 01:17:59 pm »
Subject Code/Name: CVEN90045 Engineering Project Implementation

Workload:  2x50 minute lectures + 1x50 minute tutorial per week

Assessment:  Qualitative Assignment 15%, Quantitative Assignment 15%, Tutorial Attendance 10%, Exam 60%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  No

Textbook Recommendation:  None

Lecturer(s): Lihai Zhang, Peter Bishop and friends

Year & Semester of completion: Sem 2 2015

Rating:  2.75 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H2A

TL;DR: Just read my Risk Analysis review. It’s shorter and pretty much the same thing.

This subject is pretty much Risk Analysis 2.0. Same people, same style. In my initial review of that I gave it a 3.5/5. Yeah, I think I must’ve been spellbound by the sultry sounds of Lihai Zhang’s Chinese accent and his generally jolly disposition because I’ve since realised that that subject was actually not that great and maybe not as easy as I thought. There’s literally nothing conceptually complicated in these subjects, so it’s easy if you put in the work come exam time to memorise the key content word-for-word. If you don’t, the specificity of the exam questions is going to be mega frustrating and there’ll be at least a couple of questions where you’ll get no more than 2/10 marks. Back in Risk Analysis, I did put in that work. For EPI, I really didn’t.

Lectures and Tutorials
Just like Risk Analysis, EPI starts off with some of the theoretical/practical kinda stuff about project implementation, and it’ll be Peter Bishop introducing the concepts again and hammering them in to the point of tedium for 5 weeks. Content covered includes project governance roles and structures, project management strategies, client/stakeholder relationships, work-breakdown structures, and cost management. This stuff will actually be super, super important if you end up working as a professional engineer, but there’s only so much you can learn by reading definitions and I feel like I’ll learn more in one day of actually doing it than I did in this entire course, provided I somehow manage to land a grad job, which are apparently more scarce than a spare seat in the Baillieu come SWOTVAC. Anyway, Peter’s a decent lecturer and a really nice guy, but his lectures are a bit dull and full of text, most of which can be derived from common sense anyway.

You’ll also have some people from the industry come in to give a few guest lecturers. These aren't important for the assessment, but if you turn up, it’d probably be worth introducing yourself and maybe getting their deets on Linkedin. This is one of those hindsight realisations because I recently set up a linkedin and haven’t added anyone as yet.

After that – and again, just like Risk Analysis – Lihai takes over and runs you through some of the more quantitative aspects of project implementation. This includes stuff like network diagrams and critical paths, time-cost optimisation, resource planning, earned values and productivity. Again, it’s all highly relevant to the field, but it’s also a little dull and never really gets much more complicated than the stuff you’d see in further maths, which I did but despised (and was a massive dipshit in class). Lihai’s lecturing is fine and he’ll run you through more examples than you probably need, and this is also covered pretty well in tutes.

I’m not going to write much about tutes, but as long as your signature ends up on the attendance form each week you’ll get a free 10% (don’t worry, I was a good boy and showed up). They’re all in the computer labs in Alice Hoy, and they’re pretty much what you’ve come to expect from a computer-based engineering tutorial I’d say: tutor speaks for 15 minutes, runs you through an example, you do a similar exercise by yourself in 10 minutes, and then waste the remaining time chatting with group members or being a recluse on your social media platform of choice. Both of those are fine options, but ideally you’d use that time to do some work on the…

Again, like Risk Analysis, you have two main assignments and they’re completed in groups of 4. These groups are self-chosen but limited to the 30 or so people in your tutorial, so it’s a good idea to have some correspondence with the people you’d like (or not like) to work with when you’re setting up your timetable.

Again, like Risk Analysis (I copied and pasted that this time), the first one is qualitatively-based and involves mapping out some project governance structures, defining roles and relationships, and figuring out which tasks would be allocated to who(m). That doesn’t sound too hard (and it’s not really) but it can be tricky to work out who does what and you’ll find yourself doing a lot of googling (it’s also worth checking out the FAQ section on the LMS). It’s nice that the assignment’s set up such that it’s easy to divide between four people, so you shouldn’t need to put too many of the group management skills you're being taught into practice. The instructions are also pretty clear and I think most groups ended up with solid marks.

There’s also an informal presentation you have to give as part of this during a tute, but it’s unmarked and it’s pretty much just involves shining a laser pointer at your diagram and speaking about it for 5 minutes. Unless you go first, it’s safe to assume that no one will be listening anyway, and I’m pretty sure the only reason this happens is that they had to fill in a tute for one of the weeks that didn’t introduce any new content.

The second assignment mainly focuses on using Microsoft Project to create a schedule of a project. You’re given the tasks which need to be done and a time limit for the overarching project, but you have to define the time for each individual task and the sequence in which they're completed. Unless you’re a maverick, this is probably best done together as a group. Then you do some of the probabilistic and resource allocation/optimisation stuff that Lihai ran you through in the lectures. It’s not a difficult assignment, but the software itself is a true bitch. It’s made by Microsoft and is windows only. Therefore, it's extremely fiddly, full of convoluted options, and features an undo button that only works when you don't need it.

So like I hinted at earlier, the exam for EPI was pretty frustrating. Lihai has the tendency to ask extremely specific questions that want word-for-word answers from obscure slides from the course, which is dumb because you could know 99.9% of the content super well and very possibly get asked a qualitative question that is relevant only to that other 0.1%. If you want to put masses of time into study then that’s good and you’ll probably cruise home in first class as there’s nothing in here that should give you a headache. But, if you have 3 other exams to do – all of which are more complex – you’ll probably bludge a bit on EPI and settle for second class like I did. Goodbye project management jobs.

The quantitative stuff on the exam is all pretty easy, but for some reason they make you copy out the network diagrams and fill them in in a script book rather than just on the question sheet, which takes some time and means your answers will look a mess if you rush and have as little sympathy for exam markers as I do.

These make up the two sections of the exam and are weighted equally, but I got through the quantitative stuff a little quicker.

EPI is just okay. Like I said, the course content is pretty essential to anyone who ends up working on any kind of infrastructure project. Same can’t be said of subjects like ST&D, Concrete, Hydraulics and the like, which include a lot of complicated stuff that many students will never see again. But again, project management doesn’t translate all that well to academia, so the subject can definitely be tedious, and the specificity of the exam questions is both annoying and ineffective, much like this extremely long review.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 01:36:12 pm by chysim »
UoM | Bachelor of Environments (Civil Systems): 2012-2014 | Master of Engineering (Civil): 2015-2016 |

Feel free to shoot me a PM pertaining to getting to M.Eng through the Environments course, or the Envs/Eng courses in general.


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #543 on: February 06, 2016, 04:57:38 pm »
Subject Code/Name: BOTA30001 Marine Botany
Workload:  18 x one hour lectures, 9 x three hour practicals (in laboratory), 4 x three hour practicals (in field)

Assessment:  (One 20-minute mid-subject progression test, taken mid-way through the teaching period (5%);
One 15-minute group research project presentation due on the last day of class (15%);
Collection and preservation of 6 to 10 seaweed specimen throughout the teaching period (10%);
One 2-hour laboratory examination, taken at the end of the teaching period (30%); and
One 2-hour written examination, taken at the end of the teaching period (40%))

Lectopia Enabled:  No.

Past exams available:  None available

Textbook Recommendation:  None. Although they recommended to borrow some books from the library at Uni.

Lecturer(s):  Heroen Verbruggen,

Year & Semester of completion: 2015, November Intensive

Rating:  4 out of 5

I thought this was a great, interesting subject, definitely one of my favourite so far. And I'm not a botany nut or anything, I did this one as a breadth. You learn about the different types of algae: green, red and brown and their features and reproductive cycles. You later go on to learn about phytoplankton, so stuff like diatoms, oomycetes, ciliates. And you then learn about problems affecting marine plant life. You have to print out the lecture slides yourself, and unfortunately there is no lecture capture, as that would've been a great help. You could probably voice record it on your phone, as the lectures are held in classrooms

Field Trips

You have some field trips, where you go on to the various beaches around Queenscliff, Port Lonsdale and Barwon Heads and pick up various algae, and the demonstrators will tell you stories, or various things about them. Try be in Heroen or Jack's group, as they're very knowledgable and have good stories. Some of these samples are later used in the lab.


Speaking of the lab, these were alright initially, however they were 3 hours long and dragged on for ages. Initially you're looking at various algae they bring in, and use these answer key sheets to identify what species an algae is, which follows a list of steps that go through the characteristics. It may sound simple, but believe me they were very difficult! Even some of the demonstrators took a while using those. And you needed to know how to use these answer keys in the Lab exam, so try get the hang of it if you can. Later on we would look at tiny little organisms under microscopes, and they would all look so similar, like golden-green circular organisms. Ughh it got really tiring eventually, and hurt my eyes.

Algae Collection

Also one of the assessments, is your algae collection, do NOT neglect this. Marks can be deducted for small things, so just make sure you stay within the guidelines and you should be fine, and take your photographs of your samples in clear light, and clear water. These should be easy marks, but can be easily mucked up if you're careless. Also there are a lot of no-go algae collecting zones around Queenscliff/Point Lonsdale, so you need to know where to go. Also the Algae Collection is due on the day of the exam, back in Melbourne. So even if you don't get everything at Queenscliff, you can still go to Altona or Williamstown  or someplace to get algae after your return.

Group Presentation

The Group Presentation was alright, we got to look at a specific topic, and then went out and did research on them out in the field. We also got given a Demonstrator, young people who were doing research in these areas, and they were good. However, they made us use some complex programming, for statistical analysis, which I felt was beyond our course. But your demonstrator should be well versed in this program, so shouldn't be too bad. But still it was a very tiring exercise, we spent many hours getting the project done.


Also you have a mid-sem test, worth 5% about halfway through. Ideally you should try hard on this, but you really don't have much time to study on this. A lot of people in my cohort scored poorly on it, but you can definitely redeem yourself from a poor score on it.


Another Important thing is, you need to find accommodation when you're staying there, you can use various websites like Stayz, or AirBnb. Some people had family and friends living there, but you most likely will have to bunk with a bunch of other people, and preferable you should be near the conservatorium. You don't want to be driving/cycling from Ocean Grove every day lol. Staff put up a discussion board on the LMS which you can use to discuss living arrangments and renting a house, get on it and don't leave it to the week before the subject starts. But all in all Queenscliff is great, beautiful place. And you do get a dayoff on the weekend, where you can go visit the Ozone Wreck at Port Arlington, its super cool! Definitely check it out, lots of marine life and ruins there.


You have two exams, theory and Lab. These occur about a week or so after you come back from Queenscliff. For the Lab, you really need to study and know your algae and your phytoplankton and know their defining features. Cannot stress this enough. I know a lot of the phytoplankton look pretty much the same under a microscope, but you really got to find the defining features like the extra flagella, or haptonema, or armour-like protection.
Theory Exam was much easier in my opinion, there isn't a whole tonne of stuff that needs to be learnt for the subject, and as long as you've been reading up and studying for this exam, you should be fine. And there are no pictures, which I was happy about, since distinguishing between different micro-organisms or algae on a picture is what caused me trouble.

Although I have listed some gripes with the subject, I still give it a 4 out of 5. I think its my favourite subject I've done at uni so far. You definitely get enthusiastic about this subject even if you're not someone super into plants and botany and stuff. I definitely recommend this subject, it only has a quota of 30 people, so don't leave enrolment to the last minute. It is very interesting, and you get to go to Queenscliff for 10 Days, which is good as. Its not too hard to score well, provided you don't make many careless errors. Having said that you still need to work for it though, just that there aren't difficult concepts to remember or anything.  Anyway I hope this is helpful to all you prospective Marine Botany Students!


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #544 on: February 12, 2016, 10:50:10 am »
Subject Code/Name: MAST10010 Data Analysis 1

Workload:  3 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x one hour practice class per week, 1 x one hour computer laboratory class per week.

Assessment:  10 Weekly online quizzes each contributes 1% to your final grade (totally 10%), 2 written assignments each contributes 5%, 1 lab test held in your week 12 computer lab class (10%) and a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (70%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, 5 past exam papers from 04 to 06 and additional 3 pages of revision questions, all with answers provided.

Textbook Recommendation:  Prescribed Texts are Mind on Statistics (4th/5th edition) by Utts and Heckard or Into Stats (3rd or 4th edition) by DeVeaux, Velleman & Bock, bought the first one but never opened it, so not really required, there are several copies held by the Uni library if you need to read them. There is a tutorial/lab problem booklet handed out in the first two lectures (pdf version available on LMS).

Lecturer(s):  Ms Sharon Gunn

Year & Semester of completion:  2015, Semester 2

Rating:  4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade:  H1 (93)


This is a subject that mostly taken by Biomedicine students or Science students who tends to do bio/chem related majors, the mathematical pre-knowledge required is not intense, if you were doing ok in VCE Math Method it should be fine. If you find it hard to remember about these it's also not a big problem, there will be an assumed knowledge page on LMS with both videos and practical questions sheets(with answers) on topics like probability, random variables, normal distributions for you to review necessary math concepts at the start of the semester. As an (intended) math major, I chose this subject to fulfill the "at least 5 level 1 science subjects" requirements, it was actually the one I put least time in last semester yet the highest in results.


The subject starts with how to evaluate/design a study, Sharon will go through the methodology (how to design a study to get meaningful and reliable data, how to avoid possible bias.etc, how to randomize a study by MiniTab), then it goes into analysing the data gained from study by using MiniTab to draw different graphical displays (boxplot, dotplot, bar chart and so on...). Then we will look into discrete and continuous random variables, their distributions, expectation (mean), variance, standard deviation; also normal distribution and normal approximation of binomial distribution, this part is basically the same/slight extension of the same knowledge in high school. After that you will use 2-3 weeks to learn how to modelling the data by MiniTab, determine the sample distribution, estimate sample/population mean, variance, sd with certain confidence level. Then you will use another 2-3 weeks on hypothesis testing - determine whether a hypothetical value for the sample mean or proportion is reasonable, also how to compare two means or two proportions. The remaining topics include different models (single mean/separate mean/regression), their assumptions and how to choose between them, there is also a small topic on Chi-Square Test at the end for comparing several means (>2). There will be 1 or 2 revision lectures in Week 12 depending on teaching schedule of the subject, Sharon will discuss some most asked topics & questions students sent to her and some of the revision questions as well.

The contents in the first few weeks of this subject are quite light and can be a bit boring (though Sharon is definitely an enthusiastic lecturer), but please do pay attention as it goes into estimating and hypothesis testing, you will need actually put some work in order to fully understand the topics. There are exercises after each topic's lecture slide, Sharon will discuss some in the class, for those she does not I strongly recommend you try finishing them after class. The question booklet also contains several of questions on each topic, if you have time, try them before attending your practice class next week as well.

Practice Classes/Computer Labs

There will be a tutorial question sheet available each weekend for next week's practice class, the first hour is just normal math tutorials where you sit with 3 or 4 students together and work on these problems, some tutors will go through all the questions on the whiteboard at the end of the class, some will just response to your questions during the class and let you work out the answers by yourself. There's no answer sheet given in the class (like in Calculus 2 or Linear Algebra). In the second hour you will be in the computer lab with another class, one of the tutors will give demonstration on contents in this week's lab, then you'll need to work on the lab sheet , you can ask your friends or the tutors if you get stuck, some of the lab sheets may seems too long to complete in class but I highly recommend completing them in your spare time -- leave them all until before the lab test in week 12 would be painful, though not practically difficult, they are quite time consuming and irritating.

The software mainly used in this subject is MiniTab (which can be downloaded freely from math department's software page), there will be two week's lab using StatPlay but nothing is under examination. Throughout the semester both the computer lab and sometimes in lecture you will be taught how to use it and read the output from it, it's very important to get on top of this whole MiniTab thing since most of assignment questions & lab test & final exam are based on using it or interpret its output.

Also I don't suggest take the practice class on Monday, since usually Sharon would not be able to finish the lecture slides from last week on time, taking practice class early in the week may possibly result in doing problems that you have not learn yet.


The weekly online quiz shouldn't be a problem, you will be given three attempts and only the highest one will be counted. The questions are mostly MCQs and one or two calculation & filling in numbers questions.  There will be 11 quizzes in total and only your best 10 grades will be counted.

Two assignments are handed out in week 5 and week 8, the first one due in one week, the other due after the midsemester break. They both need to be completed as a word document and all the graphs need to be produced by MiniTab, there's a five-page maximum length but it depends on the tutor to decide whether or not to take mark off for overly long assignments -- from my experience most are quite lenient. Both assignments are not hard in the terms of contents but they do need you to put in some time, the first one has more short answer questions (including design a study) and the second one has more calculations.

The lab test is basically testing how much you know about how to use MiniTab in this subject, you are allowed to bring any written material (including the lab sheets) into the test, but no calculators or electronic devices. There are 3-4 pages of questions asking you to either use MiniTab to analyse the data and draw conclusions or explain the output from it. It's kinda hard to prepare at the last minutes, but even if you didn't do well in the test, it's just 10%, just bring yourself up to speed before the final exam.

The final exam allowed you to bring in 2 double sided A4 cheat sheets, please start making them as early as possible (Sharon recommended to start from midsemester break) and cram all the things you think you will need into them. The final exam itself is quite straight forward, if you are comfortable with all the tutorial questions and past year exam papers, you should be fine. However, the amount of questions is quite huge, last semester's booklet had about 30 pages including answer space and there were a lot of short answer questions, I merely finished at last 2 or 3 minutes while some of my friends still had questions left.

Overall I think this subject is a simplified version of second year version statistics subject MAST20005 Statistics, it falls under the math category yet doesn't need much heavily quantative/proof based math stuff, it is more on the practical (applied) side. Surely it's not a no-brainer WAM booster, but if you put in time and some hard work, you will do well.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2016, 11:10:03 am by cassiecate »
2015-2018: Bachelor of Science (Mathematics and Statistics) @ UoM
                   Concurrent Diploma in German @ UoM


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #545 on: February 19, 2016, 10:37:16 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ECON20002 Intermediate Microeconomics  summer course
Workload:  2 x two hours lecture per week + 2 x one hour tutorial per week

Assessment:  one 1 hour online MST (10%), two written assignment (each contributes 10%, total 20%), tutorial attendance (10%), 2 hour written examination (60%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes. Around 6 past exams are available. However, the majority was written by the old lecturer of this subject, Andrew Clarke. His material is still relevant to the course to some extent but further details about which part is still on the course will be specified on LMS under these papers file.

Textbook Recommendation:  Microeconomics (Eight Edition) by Robert S. Pindyck, Daniel L. Rubinfeld

Lecturer(s): Svetlana Danilkina (awesome awesome lecturer!)

Year & Semester of completion: Summer 2016. Summer course only takes up 6 weeks instead of 12 weeks like a normal subject during the year so you would be expected to learn the content at double the pace, but it is fairly manageable for this subject (see review below)

Rating:  5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: First of all, just to put it out there, this is an amazing subject! If you are interested in economics and math (especially calculus for further study in economics field), I would definitely recommend this subject.
A. Here are the list of topics that we go through in order:
1. Consumer theory:
_all about consumer's preferences, their utility (satisfaction) and how to choose bundles that can maximise their utility
_imo, this is a basic but very important topic. If you have a good understanding of this topic, you will have a solid ground to later build up the knowledge of further topics since they link to each other!
2. Producer theory:
_as mentioned above, this links closely to Consumer theory but with some different definitions etc.
3. Markets:
_good old Perfect competition will appear again. Basically just some intro micro stuff but a bit harder. Knowing how to derive your AVC, MC, ATC, graph them and solving some practical problems are what focused on throughout this topic.
_then we moved on to Monopoly with the application of price discrimination. Remember the kink total demand from Intro Micro? It is still definitely relevant here :D.
4. General equilibrium:
_this is considered as one of the hardest topic of the entire course and I probably have to agree. I did have some troubles understanding this topic at first but by doing questions and consulting my tutors paid off in the end.
_General equilibrium involves trading between 2 consumers or producers etc. Instead of the x-y axis that we usually see, they introduce an "up-side-down" x-y axis, by putting these 2 axis together, you construct something called the Edgeworth box.
_After getting used to seeing graphs in an up side down manner, you will quickly pick up your pace in solving questions.
5. Game theory:
_Back to the topic of Prisoner's dilemma from Intro micro but with further extensions. Now we introduce how game theory can be applied to firms which make decisions about the quantity to produce or price to set. This extends our market structure from Monopoly to Oligopoly (with Cournot, Stackelberg, Bertrand model). The math in this topic is a bit longer (thus a bit tedious) compared to others since we usually have to find profit maximising output for 2 firms and not just one.
6. Choice under uncertainty:
_this topic involves a bit of probability, like calculating Expected value and Variance etc and its application in buying Insurance.
_overall this type of behavioural economics can be a bit difficult to get your head around at first according to some people I talked to but you should be fine with more practices.
7. Information in economics:
_this topic is included in the very last lecture and only takes up a few slides. Its short and easy to understand (imo mainly because the Lemon model in this topic is not examinable).
B. Subject review:
1. Lecturer: As mentioned above, Svetlana is an amazing lecturer, her notes are very easy to follow and the tutorial questions she set provide excellent practice for problem solving skill. She does not trick students with big surprise questions on the exam and if you know your stuff well, able to do the tutorial questions, you should be fine! Sometimes we had some in class quiz (did not count towards your mark thou) but that was a great opportunity to revise and know where you stand in the cohort. Svetlana also writes very detailed subject outline that tells us specifically what is important for the exam, so you should definitely have a read and tick of that list during swotvac.
2. Tutorial: i actually very enjoy the tutorial for this subject. Some tute questions can be very demanding and require loads of math derivation but at the end of the day, if you understand the concept, the math should be second nature and no rote learning is required. My tutor, Daniel, is very helpful and explains stuff in great details. Since the amount of questions we have to go through in tute can be a bit overwhelming sometimes, it is very easy to fall behind so I recommend going through the questions again at your own pace and read through Svetlana's solutions (btw her tute's solution is extremely detailed again).
3. MST: though there are a few tricky questions, it is not something that you cannot do well in if you know your stuff. The majority of the cohort did very well.
4. Written examination: just as Svetlana's describes her style of writing exam questions: there will be no big surprise. The things in the exam are pretty much have been seen before with modifications. Some are harder and takes a bit of thinking but the rest is pretty manageable. I managed to finish the exam on time with around 10 mins to check.
That's it from me for now, if you have any further questions, please dont hesitate to pm me :)! Good luck guys!
« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 05:00:30 pm by nhmn0301 »
2015-2017: Bachelor of Biomedicine

Inside Out

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #546 on: February 20, 2016, 10:51:14 pm »
Subject Code/Name: FNCE10001 Finance 1 
Workload:  one 2 hour lecture, one 1 hour tutorial

Assessment:  2 assignments worth 10% each and one 3 hour exam worth 80%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, heaps. Solutions up for one of them.

Textbook Recommendation:  Financial Institutions and Markets (B Hunt and C Terry), (7th edn), Thomson, Australia, 2015. Not sure why no one recommended this, it is an excellent book and will explain any concepts better than the lecturer. Better buying it at the start to resell in future, than relying on books in the library (2 hour loans).
Lecturer(s): David Robinsons whom apparently drinks bear and plays golf all day.

Year & Semester of completion: Summer 2016

Rating:  3.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade:tba

Comments: This subject was better than i expected. Coming into finance, i knew nothing and whenever the business news came up i was like huh?  Now i can actually understand it.

If you have an underlying interest in finance.. this subject will be good.
If not, then you will find it a struggle and will need to force yourself somehow to handle all the googling. Investopedia was also my go to site. The concepts in finance are not easy to understand with all sorts of words you've never come across before. I have also realised how linked finance and economics are,s you will probably come out of this subject wiht a bit of economics knowledge. You will be using simple and compound interest from start to finish.
Main topics were:
Bonds, money market, share market, derivatives (FRAS), types of banks (ADIs), differences between markets, foreign exchange, annuities, perpetuities. You'll also learn about mortgage backed securities. Some interesting stuff there.

I found the assignments interesting but difficult, so i can understand why the (easier) exam is worth more. The first one was about loans and calculating yields and valuing stock prices, the second was about a managed fund that followed the asx200 and required a bit of excel and graphs. The 700 word limit was difficult to go under. You also had to do some research and describe the biggest factors influencing the stock market.

The lecturer wasn't that great to be honest, explaining hard concepts isn't really his strong point, but he did have some interesting scandals to share (i didn't understand any he told us, but after googling, i found them interesting LOL). The tutorials were set out nicely, although, because i did them in the summer, all was too rushed, and i ended up doing 5% of tute questions, but honestly, going over the slides a couple of times is enough for you to ride through the exam without much stress.

« Last Edit: February 20, 2016, 11:12:16 pm by Inside Out »

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #547 on: February 20, 2016, 11:11:12 pm »
Subject Code/Name: MUSI20143 WORLD MUSIC CHOIR 1 

Assessment:  2 short answer tests, 1 40 minute listening test and points for contribution/participation

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes w/ screen capture

Past exams available:  Nope

Textbook Recommendation:  1x red display folder to hold all the music sheets (if you don't have it he'll ask you for your role no. and jot it down)

Lecturer(s): Jordan something

Year & Semester of completion: Summer 2016

Rating:  3.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: tba

Comments: This subject is worth it, if you are looking for a laid back one to boost your wam. First two listening tests are basically free points (remembering 10 music definitions and learning how to build some chords, which you can really just go through the morning of the test). The listening test is harder, which will require you to listen to two songs, and identify whether one of them is rock/pop and whether the other one is african/georgian. Then you will have to explain why you think it belongs to that group, and give some info about it. Use info from lectures, notes on the lms and some extra research to come up what to write with, rememberise and use for the test. Not sure how the lecturer assesses participation (unless you volunteer for a solo of course). The classes are quite big and the end performance is made up of all classes. The songs are quite boring. Sometimes i fell asleep wishing i got to sing a song that was more catchy, especially with 3x2 hour rehearsals a week (i did it in the summer).


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #548 on: February 23, 2016, 07:36:37 pm »
Subject Code/Name: FNCE20001 Business Finance

Workload: i did it in summer so, 2 x 1 hour lectures & 2 x 2 hour lectures + 2 x 1.5 hour tutes per WEEK

WARNING: in summer this subject goes at TRIPLE the pace of a normal semester NOT DOUBLE. most other subjects have 6 weeks of tuition in summer but this class has 4 weeks of class (you get a midsem break and a swotvac week LMAO)

Assessment:  A midsemester exam (20%), end of semester exam (80%)

Lectopia Enabled:  not recorded. lecture slides are quite jam packed and he tends to read off them but his elaborations on ideas and storys and examples etc. are CRUCIAL if you are not already familiar with the ideas very very well. ie; go to lectures

Past exams available:  Heaps of them.
They are a pretty good guide of the exam. the subject has gotten more theoretical and less maths-applicationy over the years, with WAY more proofs these days. the answer keys for the past exams were riddled with grammatical errors and shit lmao for some questions, B would be the correct answer, but the answer key would accidentally refer to it as answer A lol it gave me a headache and i stopped using them

Textbook Recommendation: dunno lol read the handbook i didnt buy the textbook. lecture slides are really really well detailed, and the lectures are comprehensive. when in doubt investopedia is your friend.

Lecturer(s): The legend himself professor Rob Brown

Year & Semester of completion: Summer, 2016

Rating: 5/5 if you like finance. 1/5 if you dont (although why would you continue on with finance if you didnt like finance 1 :P )
this subject is finance 1 2.0 it should just be called finance 2

Your Mark/Grade: TBA

Summary: Business Finance was a great subject. As time passes I get more and more happy with the finance faculty as they haven't let me down yet. Doing Finance 1 is a great help to doing this subject and is a good indicator of whether you'll like this or not. All the assessment is very fair, and things build up on each other nicely.
I highly recommend doing it in summer because the teaching in summer is awesome and because the topics build on each other more heavily than in any other subject I've done, so its great to just be in the finance zone for a few weeks.

PRO TIP: Please think twice before doing this subject and read this review. If you didn't like finance 1, you will HATE this subject so just turn around and walk away right now. just stop. alot of people want the high flying finance jobs but dont really have a passion for the content and they get screwed over big time. the other big warning is the teachers in this subject assume alot of knowledge from first year commerce subjects.
Ideas from intro micro, intro macro, and qm1 (NEVER DO THIS SUBJECT WITHOUT DOING QM1 BTW WILL DISCUSS THIS LATER) get thrown around like they are nothing and are used to justify proofs and things in business finance. One kid in my class asked a question about why something acts a certain way and the guy just said "ahh its just a side effect of diminishing marginal utility" but the dude didnt do commerce and he was looking around like "what the fk" HAHAHA
this tutor was actually really good and went on to explain it in detail for everyone but idk if all the tutors are that nice (they probs are tbh finance tutors are the best ones ive ever had)

OK, so i personally LOVED this subject bc as you can probably tell, i really like finance. ive heard terms and words been thrown around in internships and online for so many years and last year I would learn about things and wonder where they came from etc. and in business finance the whole finance world REALLY starts to open up to you and become understood. The subject is split into 3 parts with each part being an introduction to the 3 core 3rd year finance subjects derivatives, investments and corporate finance

To tell you what you learn, it starts with investments. this makes up half the course and the entire mid sem exam. you learn about how to price securities like bonds, and equities etc. with much more advanced techniques than in finance 1 for the first week (which is the first 3 weeks of a normal semester, from now on i will use summer school time). towards the end of the first week they started to throw in some very VERY qm-styled math in there like covariances and standard deviations and shit. and basically you learn from the start how to price a security, then how to construct a portfolio with two securities, to basically learning the optimal(mathematically) way to structure an investment portfolio with a range of assets. pretty cool stuff although you end up with lots of formulas that look scary (theyre ok though in reality, SUPER simple to use) and you get a formula sheet which is grouse.
So you have a midsemester exam on this stuff and then you get a week off (woo)
you come back and its corporate finance for 1 week, which basically applies the same basic ideas you've just learnt into decision making for businesses. so in investments you figure out "what are the optimal assets to buy and how much should i invest in them" and in corporate finance you discover "what are the best projects to invest in for the company". really cool stuff. you do questions like should you invest in a coal mine in one region or should you decide to open up a shipbuilding yard etc.
basically you learn how to use net present value and internal rate of return to determine if you should undertake a project/which project to undertake.

after a week of that you get into derivatives. you wont have to use as much math as before, but the ideas become increasingly difficult to understand if you arent logically/mathematically minded. i already knew all of this stuff from reading around on the internet and shit (im a nerd) LOL but alot of people and i mean HEAPS got super confused by this stuff and had no clue whats going on. tbh if you just google around someone on the internet is bound to have written an explanation in terms that would make it understandable to you. you learn shit like put/call options, swaps, futures, forward contracts etc.
you also learn about the tax system but that is sprinkled in towards the end of corporate finance and the start of derivatives. lots of history on the tax system too

The subject is run very, very well. Don't do it if you didnt like Finance 1. I would highly recommend reconsidering if you didnt do QM1.
If you just think it will look good on your resume/want a "real" breadth/need another subject to do/your friends are doing it/you heard its easy, you will have a bad time.

Prof Rob Brown is a legend. His lectures were absolutely extraordinary. great explanations, great examples, he treated everyone really well, really down to earth guy but has also been there and done alot of the stuff we learn about. hes an absolute legend of the faculty and a great teacher. can not find a complaint anywhere. hes just so jolly and really enjoys the subject. i used to love asking him questions because he would spend heaps of time after class to explain, replied to emails really quickly, and did it all with a smile like he really wanted to help out and enjoyed what he teached. hes even met the nobel laureates whose theories we learn about!!

TL;DR lecturer is great

Tutes were also awesome like all finance tutes. Haven't heard a single complaint about them. Tutes arent mandatory but srsly if youre doing this subject in summer at triple the pace of the normal semester you may as well just do the homework and go to the tutes i mean its a productive 1.5 hours.
I had the head tutor mr carey who was an absolute beast and went through everything SO well and he was pretty funny too tbh.
this subjects tutes are the same as finance 1 lol basically what happens is a bunch of questions get put up each week and in the tute's they walk you through the answers. pretty simple really but its a good time to ask questions and they will generally tell you about variations of questions and how to approach them. if you are behind in the work you won't know whats going on in the tutes but if you are up to date they are great. tute questions are the best exam revision you'll get other than the practice exams because they have solutions. the solutions they put up arent as detailed as what you get irl so just go to the tutes
Mid-semester exam:
all i have to say about the mid-sem was that it was a very fair multiple choice only mid-sem with nothing dirty. there were some really difficult questions and some easy ones.

if you've been doing the tute work and going to the tutes this midsem exam should be sooooo easy for you.
alot of people do not do the work though and as a result walk in there and say "brah i studied for 4 hours last night and i didnt know like 1/3 of the questions" and ive gotta say to them "dude they tested 2 weeks of content which is 6 weeks of a regular semester you cant just study for 4 hours the night before if you've been wagging tutes and lectures lol"
If you do the work you shouldnt worry about not passing. If you do ALL the work you will almost definitely get a h1 and maybe even full marks.
the multi choice was mostly testing the investments area of the course and the rest was 40% derivatives and 40% corporate finance. there was a taxation question in there that i thought was a bit sleezy bc we had to do tax calculations on assets bought ages ago which have different formulas to use on them. but it was all there in the course and the lecturer emphasised that EVERYTHING is assessable so i'm not really mad and i still think hes a good bloke. it was my fault for thinking "well its not applicable now so unless he starts the question with "imagine in 1992..." " which ended up happening lmfao

moral of the story. if you wanna get a h1, just learn everything lol it sounds so silly and obvious but really its not hard to learn everything. if you do the work it should be fine especially if you do the subject in summer. unless youre doing 2 summer subjects and working like i did you really dont have an excuse to say "stuff it im not gonna learn that proof lol"

the exam is fair. the teaching staff are excellent and tough but fair. no complaints
if you get this far and you are struggling with anything then run away bc they test everything on the exam

All said I'm giving it a 5/5 for a few reasons which are applicable to finance subjects across the board in my experience;
 - The subject is run very well, with great communication from staff to students
 - All the assessment was very fair.
 - All content taught very well.
 - No mandatory attendance

really after business finance you'll know if you wanna work in finance or not or if it interests you or not

TL;DR good subject 10/10. think twice if you havent done QM1, dont do it if you didnt like finance 1.


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #549 on: March 21, 2016, 01:50:59 pm »
Subject Code/Name: CVEN90051 Civil Hydraulics

2-hour tute each week
That’s it!

Assignment/prac report for each of the 3 components (10% each)
30 minute test for each component (10% each)
2-hour exam (40%)

Lectopia Enabled: N/A (YouTube lectures)

Past exams available: Yes

Textbook Recommendation: None required

Lecturer(s): Mike Stewardson

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2015

Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

TL;DR: After the clusterfuck that was the hydraulics component of Systems Modelling and Design, the far higher quality of teaching here was a godsend. But unfortunately an exam question blunder got the better of Mike/Alex. Ooh intrigue…

I currently have an amazing amount of work to do. Also, I just found a half-written but extremely long subject review that I must’ve done SWOTVAC and left in my notes app. Rather than doing actual work, I finished it off, so here you go…

Hydraulics taught well?


Taught well?


So my review of the hydraulics component of Systems Modelling and Design wasn’t the most glowing I’ve ever written. Roger Hughes was a spud lecturer, the exam prep material was a joke, and the admin/student relations of the entire subject would’ve been better run by a Russell Hobbs toaster (they’re known for their excellent communication skills btw).

This subject takes quite a turn for the better. It starts with a clearly codified structure (which was completely absent in SMD), and it’s assisted by the concise and cogent video lectures from Mike Stewardson.

The subject has three components: channel hydraulics (basically a review of SMD), natural channels (i.e. rivers and streams) and coastal hydraulics (waves brah). These are given 4 weeks each, and each of them have their own assignment, prac report (except for coastal) and mid-semester test. Each component is given equal weighting on the exam so it’d be wise to pay attention all year, though we all know them late semester strugs.

This is a subject where you won’t attend a lecture all semester, and not just cos you’re lazy or because the lectures are scheduled before 11am.

Nah, Mike goes all PewDiePie on us and delivers his lectures via YouTube. The lectures he gives are really concise and pithy (about 15-25 minutes a week), somewhat following the old 80-20 rule – you’ll get about 80% of the content from them in about 20% of the time it’d take for a normal, full-on lecture.

If you’re keen, you can pick up the remaining 20% from the prescribed readings. This is really how they want you to learn the subject and you’re probably going to need to do it if you want a H1. But you could probably do alright just relying on the YouTube lectures tbh.

The video lectures seem to have quite a low production budget (so much so that Mike wore the same red fleece in all of them), but they cover all the main points from the readings and direct you where to go to find out more. It also makes it easier to illustrate stuff via video than a traditional lecture would – editing exists and serves to cut out any fiddling around with technology that goes along with the process of middle-aged academics venturing beyond words on a slide.

And as a lecturer, Mike’s pretty good at getting his point across and explains things clearly and with reference to real life examples.

Tutes act as the main platform to reify concepts from the lectures and readings. Lone tutor Alex McCluskey has been involved in this subject for yonks and has it pretty down pat.

The tutes are pretty uniform in structure. Before each week’s tutorial, you’ll be expected to have watched the lectures, done the readings (again, if you’re keen), and worked your way through the little unassessed quiz they put out.

The tutes then start off with Alex running you through a recap of the quiz and some of the week’s key concepts, then doing some questions from the week’s ‘learning guide’, then perhaps a chance for some chat about assignments and the like.

These are run pretty well and I found them a lot more valuable than the tutes run in the Structural Theory and Design subjects, where you’ll just have a tutor doing questions on the board while everyone watches. They seem a bit more collaborative than your average eng tute, give you plenty of time to work on the questions, plus Alex is pretty diligent in coming around to everyone and trying to explain any problems you might be having. It’s a little like an old MAST style tute actually, and I’d say they were some of my favourite tutes at uni, which is a pretty big call when you realise that they involved doing maths.

But the learning guides could use a bit of a polish up. While they’re generally fine and actually give a really good (and, again, quite pithy, which I appreciate) summary of what you’re going to learn each week and the sections of the readings to focus on, a couple of them were quite typo-laden and some of the questions are a little buh.

For some reason, the tutorials were scheduled for three hours but none ran over two.

I’ve grouped the MSTs in with the tutorials because they’re not MSTs of the usual sort. After you finish each of the three modules, you’ll have an assessed test at the start of the next tutorial. So rather than mini-exam style MSTs, they’re just in-class tests, as you probably would’ve done at school. The questions are all multiple choice and there’s 15 or so to do in half an hour. They’re built from a database of about 40 or so questions, so you probably won’t be able to cheat off the presumably smarter person next to you – their test will be a little different.

These tests aren’t too hard, but some of the questions are based on content from the readings you probably didn’t read and you might meet a couple numerical questions that are tricky to work out within the allotted timeframe.

Each of the three tests (three modules, three tests) are worth 10%, same as the yet to be mentioned assignments. I did fine on the first two tests, but my mark on the last one was actually my worst mark so far in 4 years of university. 4.8/10. I think it’s the only thing I’ve ever failed. Golden boy no more.

The assignments of this subject were all pretty good. You’re given one at the start of each component, but you’re expected to work on them progressively and they’re designed to follow along with your pace of learning the content.

Each of them try to take on some real world scenarios and generally use real world data. With the first one – on channel hydraulics – you’ll go through some basic Manning’s equation calculations (which are made a bit harder by some irregular geometry for the channels), plus some stuff on hydraulic jumps, weirs and sluices that should be somewhat familiar if you managed to decipher what Roger was trying to say back in SMD. For the second – on natural channels – you’ll have to answer some stuff on sediment distributions, sediment transport and erosion mitigation. For the third and final one – on coastal hydraulics – you’ll be concentrating on the Port Phillip heads and looking into gnarly items such as waves, rips, tides and storm surges.

As far as hydraulics goes, the assignments are all pretty interesting and not too difficult. Some questions were a little confusing at times, and I would’ve appreciated a few hints or clearer explanations as to what they were looking for, but they’re not too bad for the most part. They published the class averages for each of them and they were about 68-72% from memory. And although they were all individual assignments, they encouraged some collaboration and discussion with peers.

And I’m not totally sure if they realised but they published some overly specific rubrics for the first two assignments that kinda gave away some of the answers, which I guess was a bit of a pre-cursor of the exam blunder I mentioned in the TL;DR. But before I get to that you’re going to have to read about…

This subject has a prac for each of the first two components. Both are done in the wet lab below eng blocks C/D and are run by Danusia Kucharske (which is an anagram of ‘Sauna Shark Duckie’, in case you were wondering). Danusia is really good at explaining what you need to do with the prac. She’ll give you some examples and directions and let you know what you’ll need to pay attention to for the prac reports, each of which account for some proportion of the assessment for these components.

The first prac is on weirs and the hydraulics jump, and it’s pretty similar to what you would’ve done in SMD. It’s actually pretty fun cos Danusia’s a bit of a legend and let’s you play around with the apparatus a little. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed but hydraulic jumps are pretty damn cool – me and physics aren’t the best of friends but Conservation of Momentum might be my second favourite natural law (my first – thanks for asking – is the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, which basically says that, in the long term, we’re all fucked).

The second one is on sediment transport and incipient motion and I have far less to write about it. It was fine.

These pracs follow the old rule of experimental data: your results are never going to look as nice as you’d hope. Danusia has a pretty keen eye, so I’d be cautious about chopping and changing data to make it look like you knew what you were doing. Variance is expected and can usually be put done to a few factors, the discussion of which is appreciated by the markers.

So the review’s been pretty positive so far. Now we get to the awkward part.

Okay, so in the exam, Alex/Mike made a pretty massive mistake. Twice.

As you often see on the exams of mathsy-type subjects, they had a ‘show’ question. Basically “show that the volume of flow down a channel is 20.20 m/s” (I’m just making that figure up btw – this was like five months ago). Problem is, they left out the Manning’s n, a crucial figure you needed to end up at that value.

Panic-stricken, Alex rushed around about 15 minutes into the exam and told everyone the mistake and what the value of the Manning’s n should’ve been. By this time, I’d already had a go at the question, got stuck and moved on. So, when Alex gave us the figure, I went back and did it again. I still didn’t end up with the value we were meant to show.

As it turns out, the value that Alex gave us was wrong. Oof.

Then Mike hurriedly came around and gave us a different value. I did the question again and got the answer I expected, but I’d probably wasted at least 10-15 minutes faffing about throughout the process. If you had kept trying to find your mistake, having made the assumption that the staff of the subject had actually done their job and provided the correct info, you probably could’ve wasted a good 30 minutes.

So yeah, pretty bad form. And apparently a similar thing happened back in 2013. Double oof.

To account for this, they did a bit of a boost job on the exam results – rather than marking them out of the full 120, they cut it down to 90, which accounted for that 30 minutes lost within a 2 hour exam. This was a pretty good compromise in the end (and it probably got me a higher mark that I would’ve otherwise gotten tbh), and it’s why I haven’t doffed anything off my rating for the subject despite this massive, double-tiered effup.

Proofreadibg, amirite.

Stuffups aside, it's nice that the exam is only worth 40% and isn't a hurdle. With ~70% being the average mark for the assignments, it should mean that the average student will only need about 20% on the exam to pass the subject. If you've stuck with this super-long review to this point, I'd say you're probably capable of that.

Hydro was pretty good I guess, and this is way too long already.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2016, 02:01:50 pm by chysim »
UoM | Bachelor of Environments (Civil Systems): 2012-2014 | Master of Engineering (Civil): 2015-2016 |

Feel free to shoot me a PM pertaining to getting to M.Eng through the Environments course, or the Envs/Eng courses in general.


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #550 on: April 12, 2016, 11:58:49 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ANCW10005 Ancient Near Eastern Language: Egyptian

Workload:  1 x 1 hour lecture and 2 x 1.5 hour tutorials a week. (Tutorials will be scheduled on the same day.)

Assessment: 10 x assessment exercises (50%), take home exam (50%).

Lectopia Enabled: No.

Past exams available:  No past or sample exams (not needed in my opinion).

Textbook Recommendation: 
- James P. Allen. Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs. Definitely buy this textbook; all of your assignments (worth 50%) will mimic the exercises given in relevant chapters. The book also contains answers to all of these exercises.
- Raymond O. Faulkner. A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian is also suggested, but it's not really needed; the lecturer sent us a scanned copy of it anyway.

Lecturer(s): Dr Brent Davis

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2015.

Rating:  4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 92 (H1)

An absolutely brilliant subject. The subject is taught in a very structured and well thought-out way, the lecturer is knowledgeable and the assessments are very fair. This is probably my favourite subject to date.

There is one, 1-hour lecture a week which is unfortunately not recorded due to the examples that need to be shown on a whiteboard. Whilst this subject has minimal contact hours and work, if you want to do well you must attend all the lectures.

The subject begins with a brief history of Egypt and its language, and then moves onto the hieroglyphic alphabet. As the subject progresses, you move through various sentence structures, grammatical rules, different ways of writing various things (e.g. dates/seasons) and etc.; the subject concentrates on Middle Egyptian specifically. Having always been interested in Ancient Egypt, this subject is a wonderful combination of language, history and culture.

The lecturer is brilliant. He goes through the particular sentence structure or grammar that you are learning about that week in detail and then gives numerous examples. The tutorials then reinforce the content you have learnt in the lecture. Having said that, be prepared to take a lot of notes and remember to take down all the examples he gives you in the lectures. This will be crucial to doing well in the assessments.

Admittedly, the lectures contain a lot of content. Sometimes, the lecturer would run out of time and use one of the two tutorials as an extra space for lecturing.

Now if you're wondering why I didn't give this subject 5/5, the tutorials would be why. You attend two, 1.5 hour tutorials which will be scheduled on the same day (probably 45 mins apart from each other to give you a lunch break). These require a 75% attendance rate.

In my opinion, the 3 hours was unnecessary. In the first tutorial, you go through extra content the lecturer didn't quite cover in the lecture and the assignment from last week (you will get 1 of these each week). This was quite helpful, as common mistakes were analysed and the explanations for trickier questions were given. In the second tutorial, the lecturer went through the textbook exercises completed for homework the week before by asking each person in the room to come up to the whiteboard and write their answer. I felt that this was pointless as all the answers were at the back of the book; by week 3, I had started just writing the answers into an exercise book 30 minutes before the tutorial, so I could answer any questions directed at me. Whilst it is beneficial to do the these textbook exercises as practice, it isn't necessary and I certainly didn't do all of them. They are however, excellent as a reference for doing the assignments each week.

Each week you are given one A4 sheet with about 15 - 20 questions to complete; these are worth 5% each. These questions range from rewording sentences to translating to transliterating. They mimic the textbook exercises you are told to do for homework each week, so it shouldn't be too tricky. Admittedly, the syntax and grammar for Middle Egyptian is so precise that it is incredibly easy to make small mistakes. Do not expect to receive full marks on any of these assignments (except maybe the first); my average was anywhere between 85 - 95% on each of them. The assignment for the first week is different. You are told to memorise the hieroglyphic alphabet, and this will be tested in the second week tutorial. The assignments for the first three weeks are incredibly easy compared to the later ones, so do try to get 95 - 100%.

There is also a bonus assignment in one week, where you have the chance to earn a couple of extra marks from finding the mistake in the textbook. Definitely put in the work to do this, as the question really isn't too hard (it was something to do with counting and tables).

The exam is a take home one. You are given 24 hours to complete it. It is a translation and transliteration of a simplified ancient Egyptian story, incorporating all the structures/grammar you have learnt in the past 12 weeks. We were told, most people spent approximately 3 hours on it. I spent 5 - 6 hours; take that how you will. The exam wasn't too difficult overall though and it is done week 12, rather than in the exam period.

A brilliant subject which is both interesting and a relatively easy breadth, if that's what you're looking for. High 90s is definitely achievable, especially if you have friends doing the subject as well and can work together (even though you're not really supposed to); I didn't know anyone else, so that was a bit of a disadvantage for me.

The subject took the SES into account, and has since changed to having 3 levels instead of 1 (as someone complained there was too much content; I disagreed). I'm not sure how different it is now, but the assessments still look the same. I suspect, the level 1 will be even easier than when I did it.

TLDR: Interesting subject with relatively easy assessment and minimal contact hours. It is possible to achieve high 90s, and the take home exam done in week 12, definitely reduces workload come exam time.


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #551 on: June 12, 2016, 08:51:00 pm »
Subject Code/Name: MKTG20006 Brand Management

Workload: 1 x 2 hour lecture + 1 x 1 hour tute per week

Assessment:  Two individual assignments (which are that weeks tute questions) (20%), One group assignment (30%), One end of semester exam (50%)

Lectopia Enabled: The lectures ARE recorded but the lecture slides look like a booklet of "fill in the blanks" puzzles and he writes what is meant to be in the blank on the whiteboard, so if you plan on ACTUALLY watching the lecture at some point, you are much better off going to the real thing and not watching at home.

Past exams available:  None

Textbook Recommendation: dunno lol read the handbook i didnt buy the textbook. There isn't too much content and lecture slides aren't that helpful. If you want to do really well you will most likely need the textbook, they ask some very specific detailed questions in the exam that you mightn't be able to answer 10 marks long if you dont have the textbook/researched it yourself

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2016

Rating: uhhhh i still dont know how i feel. All the teachers and students were cool, assignments were very fair and not too difficult, but the exam for me was probably one of the most difficult exams i've done in my life. id probably give the subject a 4/5 for most people, and a 5/5 if you are a person that studies hard and is going to go to the lectures live.

Your Mark/Grade: TBA

Summary: Brand Management is a pretty cool subject.The marketing faculty subjects all seem pretty similiar in terms of how they run it and quality. If you liked principals of marketing and you like the brand stuff you learn, this subject would be great for you. It basically just expanding on all the brand equity stuff you do in principals and how to build brand equity. pretty neato.

OK, so i personally did this subject because I just needed another level 2 commerce subject and I liked marketing LOL and my friend was doing it so i thought 'stuff it ill give it a crack'. Also a person doing a lecture on the marketing major who works in that area now said one of the tute questions she was given in this subject was asked to her in an interview! and she knew how to answer it bc of this subject, so i thought id give it a shot.

Overall, its a pretty do-able subject. It's a good subject to do if you will have a busy time during the semester, and maybe not so much during exams. the assignments are an easy H2 but a hard(but achievable) H1, The exam was actually kinda hard. i dare say it is the hardest exam ive ever done. I'll get into that in the exam section. But you learn very interesting stuff, its pretty useful, and classes are really fun! its something to look forward to in your week. Definitely do this subject if you are going to have lots of boring subjects in the semester and want something cool but useful to split up your time, and the study for it is pretty chill as well. lots of fun case studies

To tell you what you learn, it starts with some basic brand recap stuff. whats a brand, why theyre useful etc. and then you spend the rest of the course on the different ways to build, utilise, and protect your brand equity, and develop a strategy regarding the different brands in your organisations portfolio. pretty cool stuff if its your thing.

The subject is run pretty well. All the info and assignment questions are in the subject guide so you could do the lot in week 1 if you really wanted LOL. It's not super easy to smash it but you can get a solid 70+ while having a good time studying and not killing yourself

These were okay. The lecturer had a bit of an indian accent but he was a good bloke, pretty good lectures. The only annoying thing is there is like no information on the slides! all the information comes out of his mouth LOL. so basically if you arent going to google and research topics by yourself, you have to be there to listen and write notes from what he says, because the slides are seriously empty. they are more of a checklist of things to learn rather than a means of teaching. Also i hate 2 hour lectures (and these were at 9am) so i never went lol. but other than that, they are are really fun lectures. you hear good case studies to explain topics and he always has nifty analogies. 

TL;DR lecture slides no good but lectures are ok

Tutes were basically just splitting up into groups and doing the tute questions which would usually be 1 question and you have to answer that question for a few different brands. pretty collaborative and very chill. all the tutors are really good, i had experienced 2 of them and i think there were only 3 so yeah. just pay attention in the tutorials and write lots of notes so if you do that weeks tutorial questions for your assignment, you have lots of input and answers!
Individual assignments:
These are literally just tute questions. basically you choose 2/12 weeks tutorials and you do that weeks tutorial questions at home. you have 1000 words and its basically like any 10% of your total mark 1000 words commerce assignment. shouldnt be too bad

Group Assignment:
Same as any 30% group assignment for a marketing or management subject really. principles of marketing is a pre-req and it is literally the same thing just with different questions but the format and marking etc is the same.

wow ok so this is a pretty small review because there is nothing much to say but the exam was a bit of a talking point. The assignments are all very do-able and very fair, but the exam was VERY HARD. just to point out how hard it was, each week, lets say we learn about one method/framework to grow/protect/strategise about brand equity. each method/framework will average about 7 theories/methods/steps/things to do, and each of those 7 will have maybe 2-3 ways to measure or quantify or measure it. In general, in these sorts of subjects, exams are like big case study questions. you might get something like "how will an organisation do X" and you can pick 1 or 2 of those 7 that you know well, and talk about using those, and a measure or 2 for them that you know well.
This exam went HAM. one quarter of the marks was about 2 of those 2-3 methods for one of those 7 theories in one of the 12 lectures. LOL if you chose not to specialise in that theory/step/method for that particular lectures topic, it was absolutely GG for you. by FLUKE I had memorised these 2 (i only learnt 4 LOL) of the possible 7*3=21 methods of measuring/quantifying for that weeks lecture/topic. in short. you really have to know about heaps and HEAPS of the stuff in very great detail to do really well on the exam, just to cover all bases and make sure you cant get surprised on the exam. the rest of the marks were fair like a normal exam a bit hard but do-able, but yeah.
learn everything to cover all bases

All said I'm not giving it a 5/5 for me a few reasons;
 - lecture slides were too empty
 - i thought the exam was alot harder than really necessary but thats just me. i know alot of people who were taken aback, especially because there were no practice exams
- thats it really tbh everything else was really good

TL;DR good subject. great fun. light work during the semester, but you have to learn alot of stuff in alot of detail to do remotely well on the exam. definitely do it if you are interested in marketing. is pretty much a core marketing subject


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #552 on: June 17, 2016, 03:09:13 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ECON20003 Quantitative Methods 2 

Workload:  Two one-hour lectures and one one-hour tutorial per week

Assessment:  3 assignments weighted 5% each, a mid-semester online test weighted 5%, tutorial participation worth 10%, final exam worth 70%.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yeah, we were given a 25 page file completely decked out with past exam questions.

Textbook Recommendation:  That SSK textbook from QM1. Not needed at all.

Lecturer(s): Reza Hajargasht

Year & Semester of completion: 2016 Semester 1

Rating: 4.9 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA

Comments: So instead of studying for my next exams I’ve decided I’ll review QM2. Some of you may recognise my username from my favourable review of QM1 and Jonathon Thong (maybe if I was in this years cohort for QM1 it might’ve been different…) so it’s not like its unexpected when I say that QM2 was good.

Firstly the old argument of introductory econometrics (IE) versus QM2. We were shown a slide at the start of the semester saying how IE is primarily regression based and involves a more depth of knowledge whereas QM2 focuses on regression for only part of the course and involves a more breadth of knowledge. As the semester progressed I was pretty happy I did QM2, honestly the regression in IE looked scary (from peers showing me), whereas QM2 really didn’t provide anything ridiculous. I can’t really provide much more information on the choice between IE and QM2 but honestly I personally am glad I chose QM2. I have been told by friends that IE isn’t hard if you put the effort in, whereas I categorise QM2 as one of the easiest subjects I’ve done and definitely the easiest in my semester (other subjects were corp law, cost management, and ob)

Ok so I’ll start with the lecturer. Reza! The main man. Honestly my opinion of him is pretty good, he’s pretty chill. Coming into the first lecture everyone was a bit disappointed as Reza speaks in a very quiet tone with not much expression. There isn’t much to say about him but I probably did go to 20 out of 23 lectures and he did get the content across effectively (in most circumstances). Don’t be too put down that you have some boring lecturer – the best thing I did was listen to lectures at 2x speed, which was pretty effective actually. The lectures themselves don’t pile on the content crazy quick, so they’re pretty good. Reza will generally just read out the lectures in most cases, however sometimes he didn’t – but you could easily get by without going to any lectures and just reading the slides (I do commend him for very good slides).

Next, the tutors. I had James as a tutor and honestly if you can, choose him. He also was our online tutor for the semester so it didn’t provide too much of a boon to have him as your tutor but he really gets the content across well. He definitely knows his stuff and will help you if you get stuck on an assignment if you ask. I can’t speak for any other tutors but James was and currently is the best tutor I’ve had at Melbourne uni. The tutorials themselves are quite easy; a set of questions to be answered before class and a set of questions that are answered during class. The homework set (to be answered before class) is collected during class, and THIS IS THE ONLY TUTORIAL MARK. Unlike other subjects where you are required to contribute, QM2 only requires you to hand in the pre-set work. Answers to both sets of questions are posted at the end of the semester (I think the first half answers are put up at the end of each week) and these questions really help for exam revision.

The content itself is probably a little bit dry (its QM2 like what do you expect) but I enjoyed it. The first 3 (or 4?) weeks are simply constructing hypothesis tests. That’s it. Don’t slack off in these weeks though, I found it pretty helpful to remind myself of the knowledge I gained in QM1 to make sure I had a strong foundation going into future weeks – but honestly, not much is required of you in these weeks. Come exam time all you need to do is memorise the types of tests (i.e what type of data you need, is it normally distributed) and you’ll be set. After these weeks, regression starts with Ordinary Least Squares. About 60% of the marks on the exam are dedicated to regression, with 20% dedicated to the hypothesis tests and 20% on time series. The main problem I found with regression probably just had to interpret different types of variables. It isn’t really required at all in QM2 to do any outside research or anything, just constantly reminding yourself to do it the same way the lectures do it is all that’s required. Reza also gave us a support lecture slides which helped us develop that skill pretty well. I don’t have too much to say about regression honestly. It’s pretty cool I guess, and I was glad we didn’t have to learn any proofs. In SWOTVAC I found most of my time on regression dedicated to just miniscule things (like ensuring you get 100% in a question rather than 98%) because I find it’s the small things that add up, like using percentage point instead of unit in your interpretation.  Lastly, time series is introduced in the last 2 weeks of the course which proves to probably, in my opinion anyway, be the hardest part of the course. Time series is pretty cool itself, and the lectures were well structured until the last lecture of the subject. In this lecture Reza introduced random walks and non-stationary time-series which really require more than a lecture to understand. I found my self in a continuous exchange of emails with my tutor, and constant youtubing to develop some sort of comprehension of non-stationary time series. This didn’t really help and sort of just left me with more questions than answers. Anyhow though, few marks on the exam are dedicated to this and the rest of time series is a walk in the part. Overall the content is relatively straightforward provided you maintain concentration during the semester.

QM2 marking is pretty good. There are 3 assignments during the semester each weighted 5%, combined with a 5% mid-semester online test, and 10% for tutorial participation (handing in your work), with 70% for the exam. The assignments are pretty extensive for only 5% but I found them really useful for my understanding. It’s pretty easy to get full marks for the assignments if you put the effort in, and go to consults if you find problems! The tutors will help. The mid-semester test I believe was 15 online questions in 30minutes, which again, wasn’t too hard as it was only conducted in week 4 or 5, where the only real content we had learnt was hypothesis tests. Again, the tutorial participation should really be a free 10%! The tutors don’t care if you get the questions wrong, only if you show an effort, so just do them. It was quite common to go into the exam with 25/30% of the marks available or higher. Oh and the assignments are to be done in pairs or alone.

Lastly, the exam. Honestly it was just a general rehash of the assignments. If you were familiar with the assignments then you would recognise the exam. The only problem I faced was that the random walk/non-stationary time series crap I yapped on about earlier, constituted 7 marks of the 70 available on the exam. So it was quite rough considering it was on one lecture and probably the hardest concept overall in the subject. Other than that the other 63 marks should have been easily attainable (I think…haven’t got my mark back yet).

Overall, QM2 was a lot better than QM1 hah.


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #553 on: June 17, 2016, 06:14:51 pm »
Subject Code/Name: CCDP20001: Street Art 

Workload:  x1 2-hour lecture/tutorial per week

  • Photographic Essay (35%) - Photograph 5 pieces of street art and develop a 200 word caption for each of the photographs. Your essay will have a contention, which will be elaborated upon through the use of the photographs you take and the accompanying captions.
  • Walking Tour (65%) - Involves choosing 5 locations for a walking tour about Street Art and a related topic.
  • Optional Bonus Assignment (5%) - Essay on a Street Artist and an analysis of their street art.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Not Applicable

Textbook Recommendation:  Not applicable

Lecturer(s): Dr. Christopher Honig

Year & Semester of completion: 2016, Semester 1

Rating:  5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (80)


This breadth subject was a breath of fresh air. I can safely say that I enjoyed every minute of it, and as cheesy as it sounds, I can safely say that my view on Street Art has completely changed. It is a subject that focuses less on a plethora of assessments, and more on an open discussion about Street Art as a practice. Dr. Christopher Honig has a vast knowledge of the world of Street Art, and really strives to make the environment a great learning experience where all ideas are open. Discussions arise regarding the practice of Street Art, and how Street Art is depicted in the media. It is very interesting to sit in an environment where everyone is willing to throw in ideas.

The contact hours only consist of one, two-hour tutorial/lecture. I say this because it is not just two hours of being fed information, but rather, open to discussion and debate. Furthermore, you learn to appreciate Street Art not just as vandalism or graffiti, but truly as an expression of art in a form society doesn't necessarily accept.

In regards to assessments, they are honestly very accessible and very easy to do well in if you just tick the key points specified. The first assignment involves taking five photographs of street art, and developing a coherent essay drawing on some of the concepts explored in class. Each photograph is accompanied by a small caption (around 100-150 words). The second assignment takes a bit more work, but is still accessible. You essentially choose five locations of street art, and you develop a thesis that you base your walking tour on. Each photograph you take of one location, is accompanied by a small piece of writing (no more than 200 words), that explores and elaborates on your ideas.

As a bonus, you get to do fun activities like actually practising street art (outside of contact hours). You are taken to various locations and taught techniques of street artistry. Throughout the semester, there are also walking tours in different locations such as Hosier Lane and lane ways in Fitzroy, where you can discuss topics previously explored whilst indulging in street art.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this subject. It is very below the radar and I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to do a very interesting subject, which in my opinion is relatively easy to do well in if you adhere to the guidelines of the assessment!
« Last Edit: June 28, 2016, 09:48:54 pm by Yacoubb »
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #554 on: June 17, 2016, 06:29:54 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ECON10005/Quantitative Methods 1 

Workload: 2 x 1hr lecture, 1 x 1hr tute per week

Assessment:  3 x 10% group assignments worth 30% total; 1 x 70% end of semester exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: There are a few in the library, but many of these are obsolete. Jon releases a few sets of short answer questions, but there weren’t any full exams when I prepared.

Textbook Recommendation:  Business Statistics: Australia and New Zealand, 6th Edition, by E. A. Selvanathan, S. Selvanathan and G. Keller (published by Cengage Learning Australia, 2014).

I didn’t get it, neither did most of my friends. I’ve heard there were a few decent practice questions in there, but you can learn the content easily enough without it.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Jonathan Thong

Year & Semester of Completion: 2016, Sem 1

Rating:  3.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1



Throughout most of the semester, me and my friends were floored when we went to these. The first few weeks are easy enough, a basic introduction to statistics and looking at the four descriptive statistics that will be the foundation of most of your studies in this subject.

However, after the first few weeks, things got difficult.

Jon talks in a very sophisticated tone and his expression is very verbose. This is not a criticism, but just be prepared for some head-scratching and trying to figure out what he just said. The content moves from relatively easy things to derivations involving the summation operator. Me (and most people in the theatre) were completely lost in these, and this happened for most of the semester up until the end where it started to click.

Jon covers things at a very fast pace, so be prepared to go home and review what you’ve learnt in the lectures or else you will fall behind.

The course covers probability theory, statistical analysis, regression and then basic inference at the end (which really brings everything together). The course may seem confusing and disjointed at first, but by the end you will have a good grasp of basic statistical theory, and you’ll see how everything is linked together which helps your understanding.
This is not to mention his sometimes peculiar fashion choices, but I’ll leave that for future students to discover ;).


Tbh I didn’t do much work at all for these (which is probably why I had no idea what was going on most of the time LOL). Jon gives you a sheet of questions that you are supposed to do, then the tutor goes through them in class and gives you an opportunity to ask questions. They are done pretty quickly, most tutes only lasted for 40 minutes or so. Pretty standard stuff really.

There isn’t the blue/pink sheet system used in other subjects such as micro, which I feel could be better in aiding the applying of concepts.


You could choose to either work in a group or by yourself, so to share the workload I’d recommend you find some people in your tute to work with. It’s also a decent way to make friends.

Anyways, assignments were not too tricky. They mostly comprise of a set of extended response questions – some data presentation/analysis, some probability theory and some inference/hypothesis testing. They’re a relatively easy way to get a firewall before you head into the exam, but make sure to start early. Finishing it at 3am the day before it’s due is not conducive for good marks.

Assignments also help build the foundations for exam preparation. The questions aren’t really similar, but they are effective at teaching you the content (I learnt most of the course doing research for assignments rather than lectures themselves). Make sure you do you fair share. It may seem like a blessing to have your group do most of the work, but believe me I was glad I did the lion’s share of some assignments as it really helped my understanding of content.

Regarding the controversy;

This semester, QM1 was mired in controversy and allegations of cheating. What had happened was that students had got their hands on previous assignment solutions, and since assignments don’t tend to change too much some students therefore had the answers to this semesters assignment.

Some students were so lazy that they directly copied the numbers from last years. The question was the same, but apparently the numbers in the question were different, so some groups had the exact same wrong answer that was exactly the same as last year’s solutions.

This got alarm bells ringing.

Jon sent us a number of emails, informing us of the situation above. Those groups will/were forced to go to a faculty meeting to discuss their position at the university. Additionally, Jon offered an amnesty to students who may have cheated and allowed them to apologize and receive a 0 for the questions under investigation. If they were caught out and didn’t come forward, they’d receive a 0 for the entire assignment and an academic reprimand – something you don’t want employers to see.

Then, it was discovered that for another assignment someone had posted the questions on a website that does that work for you. Jon was furious, promising that the full weight of the universities legal and IT teams would bear down on us.

Understandably, most of the cohort was scared shitless, and developed a hostility towards Jon (which I feel was uncalled for).

Personally, I never did anything untoward but I found his incessant emails (seriously, he sent like 6000 words in total) about the scandal annoying. They were somewhat threatening – he said innocent people such as myself would be inevitably punished for the actions of the cheating few, which I found an unwanted distraction leading into the exam period.

In any case, I’ve not heard anything about the matter as of now so I assume that the cheaters have been punished/faced their proceedings.

For what it’s worth, I heard of some person in our cohort set up an apology with Jon, where he/she was told to “not do it again”.

I don’t mean to paint a bad picture of Jon. He’s a nice bloke and he’s more than happy to answer questions after lectures. Hell, he even had a good laugh about our antics on Facebook by personally messaging a few of my friends. He’s extremely knowledgeable and well qualified, so if you pay attention and do the work you will have a good time with him as your lecturer. Plus he seems like a chill dude from his demeanor etc.

So yeah, don't think I'm having a go at him here. He's a nice guy and he got justifiably upset at people cheating on his assignments.


As mentioned above, I had no idea what was going on throughout most of this course. I was completely lost, and seriously worrying about failing and having to do this subject again in Semester 2.

However, going through the tutorial sheets and cramming his lecture notes, this subject actually started to become enjoyable and I managed to understand most of it. My message to people doing QM1: Don’t be concerned if you’re lost – just try to keep up in the Semester and eventually everything will click in SWOTVAC.

The exam itself I found was pretty easy. It’s 15 multiple choice questions (worth 2 each) and 5 short answer questions worth 40 total, so the exam was out of 70 (corresponding to its weighting of the overall grade).

The MC was relatively difficult; it was mostly a testing of understanding of statistical/probability concepts rather than manual computation.

The short answer was better, there was more calculation and required a less in-depth knowledge to answer the questions.
If you can do the tutorial sheets, you can get through this exam without much stress. As I mentioned above Jon also releases a few sets of short answer questions which were similar in style to those on the exam.

Do not use the exams from the library as an indication of what exams are like - they aren't similar to the new course at all.

-   Tough subject at first, but stick at it and it will click eventually
-   Exam wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be
-   Became somewhat enjoyable at the end
-   Jon is a nice bloke and a good lecturer
-   Not as bad a subject as its reputation suggests, but could do with more questions/work for application of content throughout the semester

With the turbulent semester and lack of consistent practice problems to consolidate knowledge, I give it a 3.5/5.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 02:18:02 am by dankfrank420 »