University will probably be quite different to your educational experience so far, so we've compiled a brief introduction to life at UWA.
There are a few different kinds of classes you’ll encounter at university. Lectures are often very large classes, where an academic staff member will present information on a particular topic. You should come along prepared to take notes, though there may not be much opportunity to ask questions, if there are hundreds of people in the lecture with you. Many lectures at UWA are recorded and available on the web shortly after delivery. This can be helpful if you can’t get to the lecture one day, or want to listen to the content again.
Tutorials and seminars are generally smaller classes, where the emphasis is on exploring what’s been presented in lectures by discussing it in depth and by individual students presenting their perspectives on various topics. Often, your participation in tutorials forms part of your final assessment.
Labs and workshops are hands-on activities, where you get to do experiments, learn techniques or practise skills (such as language skills).
A university is about the size of a reasonable town, so it can feel a little daunting at first, being surrounded by so many people. Don’t worry if you feel a bit lost first up – most people do, but you’ll be surprised how soon you can make new friends. We run lots of orientation activities when the University year starts to help you meet other people, to find your way around, and to know about the many services and support activities available to you.
Most students find the freedom of university to be wonderful. Your timetable will no doubt give you time to catch up with friends for a coffee, sit on the grass just enjoying our beautiful campus or playing some sport. No uniforms, no bells, no assemblies! We encourage our students to get involved in the social life of campus – and UWA has what is generally considered the best student guild and social activities in the country! (Just don’t party so hard you neglect your studies!)
At university, the responsibility for success rests squarely on your shoulders. Our students are adults and we expect them to be independent learners. That’s why you won’t have anyone reminding you to submit essays on time or nagging you to study in the lead up to exams – it’s up to you to manage your own time and study load. It can feel a bit different to high school, but most people manage the transition just fine.
Because university is so much bigger than high school, sometimes people aren’t aware that there are many support services available to help you make the most of your time with us. Student Services provide a range of services to help you with things like study skills, career advice, medical support, counselling, finances, housing and support for people with disabilities.
All faculties have student advisers who can help you if you’ve got questions or concerns about your course or your academic progress. There’s lots of help available, provided by friendly, professional people, so never be afraid to make contact.