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New and Improved! Studying @ UNSW – a guide to what you really need to know (1 Viewer)

Queenroot

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An introduction

Who is this and why are you writing this?

It’s about time I contribute to BOS, so I’m making some updates and improvements to the original post since it is now quite outdated. You obviously don’t need to know everything in this guide, so use the headings and read what you need to and if you can’t find the answer then post any queries. Thanks to Squar3root for some contribution as well.

From the OP:

My name is Nancy, and I began a Combined Science/Arts degree at UNSW this year. Personally, I found most of the guides to UNSW too wordy, or they contained info that I didn’t need, but not the info that I did need. So I decided to make my own guide, with all the info you need summed up neatly. Of course, I don’t know EVERYTHING about the uni, and some of my info might not be 100% accurate, so if you wanna contribute then go ahead. Enjoy!

Thanks to McLake for the contributions!


I know what a university is. What’s so special about UNSW?

If you wanna know the full details, you can have a look at the official UNSW website, https://www.unsw.edu.au/

But I’ll sum it up for you, from my point of view:

- 3 main campuses – Kensington, COFA (College of Fine Arts) and ADFA (Australian Defence Force Academy) and many more affiliated sites (from this point onward, I’ll generally be referring to the Kensington campus)

- The University is ranked 49th in the 2016 QS World University Rankings
- 78th in the 2016/7 Times Higher Education World University Rankings
- A leader in research and teaching excellence
- Strong links to research and industry (Go8)
- Wide variety of programs offered to students – undergraduate, postgraduate and research programs
- Great social and recreational activities (clubs, societies, sport) offered to students
- Excellent reputation for alumni (= people who’ve finished their degree and graduated)

Well, you’ve sold me. How do I become a student there?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably just finished the HSC, so hopefully you’ve already listed UNSW as your number 1 preference! If you haven’t, or if you haven’t done the HSC this year, see http://www.uac.edu.au for more details on how you can apply.

What’s the difference between a faculty and a school?

I guess you could define a faculty as a department. Within the faculty, it is split up into different schools which specialise in a certain area. So for example, the Faculty of Arts, which basically covers the humanities, is split into the School of Modern Languages, School of Education… etc.

What are the faculties at UNSW?


The faculties are as listed below. For more info, visit their websites.

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (Schools include arts/media, education, humanities and languages) - http://www.arts.unsw.edu.au/

Faculty of the Built Environment (Schools include architecture/design, urbanism/planning) - http://www.be.unsw.edu.au/

Business School/Faculty (Schools include Accounting, Management, Banking/Finance, Economics, Information Systems/technology, Marketing, risk/actuarial studies and taxation/business) - https://www.business.unsw.edu.au/

Faculty of Engineering (Schools include biomedical, chemical, civil/environmental, computer science/engineering, electrical/telecommunications, mechanical/manufacturing, mining, petroleum and photovoltaic/renewable energy engineering - https://www.engineering.unsw.edu.au/

Faculty of Law - http://www.law.unsw.edu.au/

Faculty of Medicine – (Schools include Medical sciences, psychiatry, public health/community medicine, women’s/children’s health, clinical schools) http://www.med.unsw.edu.au/

Faculty of Science
(Schools include Aviation, Biological/Earth/Environmental, Biotechnology/Biomolecular, Chemistry, Material science/engineering, mathematics/statistics, optometry/vision, physics, psychology) - http://www.science.unsw.edu.au/

UNSW Art & Design (Fine arts, design, media arts, curating/cultural leadership, art history) - https://www.artdesign.unsw.edu.au/

Australian Defence Force Academy (Schools include Engineering/IT, business, Humanities/Social sciences, Physical/environmental/mathematical sciences) - http://www.unsw.adfa.edu.au/

National Institute of Dramatic Art (not a faculty) - https://www.nida.edu.au/


Transport


I heard UNSW is in the middle of nowhere.

Whoever told you this is a filthy liar. The Kensington campus is located just 15-20 minutes from Sydney CBD. ADFA is located in Canberra. Arts & Design is located in Paddington.

How would I get there?

Firstly you will need an Opal card, if you don’t have one, then you should get one otherwise you will not be able to take public transport without paying a hefty one-way ticket. The university will be able to issue you with a concession opal card after you have enrolled full-time only.

Right now there is horrendous light rail construction so please allow extra time when travelling.

Anyone travelling from the West, South, South-West, Innerwest or anywhere with access to trains:

Make your way to Central station. Exit via Eddy Avenue, cross the road to where the park is and walk to Stand D. If you see a huge crowd/line of people, you’re at the right place. Hop on to the bus that says 891 UNSW EXPRESS (Runs approx. 7am-3pm).

There are 3 stops on High St, you can get off at whichever one you like.

If you’re going to uni on a weekend or during times the 891 isn’t running, there are other buses from central that stop near UNSW on Anzac Pde – 391, 393, 395, M10

The express bus back from UNSW to central is the 895 (runs approx. 11am-8pm) and can be boarded from High St near Coco Cubano, Guzman y Gomez, Max Brenner.


Anyone travelling from the eastern suburbs:

There are many buses that you can catch, I’m not 100% sure about them so I’ll only list a few. 400, 440, M50.

Anyone from the Hills area and further out west:

Can also catch many express buses to town hall, then catch the M10 or other buses to uni.

Anyone from the northern beaches/shore:


May catch a ferry to circular quay and take the 890 bus to uni and 892 back to circular quay.

I don't do public transport!

For those who want to drive, here’s some parking options.

On Campus:

There is some parking on campus. With that said, the little parking that is available is reserved for staff and PHD students. Campus security patrols these areas as well.

- Timed zones are 2 hour parking at $4.70/hr from 7.30am to 7.30pm on weekdays.
- Barker street parking on level 5 of the car park is also available.
- For more info http://www.facilities.unsw.edu.au/getting-uni/driving-parking

Near Campus:

- There are free 1hr zones on Botany St
- Barker St and Doncaster Ave have some all-day free parking
- High St has all day free parking but it’s tough to get a spot unless before 8am
- Forsyth Street near gate 14 has all day free parking


Slow down! I don’t know where these places are.

Download the Lost on Campus app, it is very helpful. https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/lost-on-campus-by-studentvip/id488598630?mt=8

OK back to transport. What’s the costs involved with transport?

A concessions opal card will be Issued to you by TfNSW if you are a full time local student and Australian citizen. i.e. if you are doing 3 or more subjects a semester. Make sure you share your details with TfNSW via myUNSW and check back in 3 days on OPAL.COM.AU to get your opal card sent. It will be mailed to you once approved. Remember to carry your UNSW ID card with you at all times.

For those not entitled to concession i.e. International students and those enrolled in part-time university (less than 3 subjects per sem), will have to get an adult opal card.

In terms of cost, it is highly variable based on distance, travel times and travel modes. As a guide I personally live near the Liverpool area and spend about $7 to uni and back home. For more detailed info join https://www.facebook.com/groups/opalsoc/

Always tap on, transport officers are notorious for targeting buses and bustops at UNSW.

Enrolment and other boring jazz

I got offered a place at UNSW. How do I enrol?

The letters UAC send you should be fairly self explanatory – accept your offer. Post here if you need any more help.
After you’ve sorted out the UAC business, you’re brought to myUNSW https://my.unsw.edu.au/ where your enrolment is handled online. You get to pick and choose your timetable as you wish, although you might not be able to enrol in some classes if they are full. Post here if you are having trouble or contact your relevant school.

How many subjects and what subjects do I have to enrol in?

Depending on your degree (single or combined) and your workload (part-time or full-time), the amount of subjects you need to do in one semester will vary. But in general, full-time students should be enrolled in about 3 to 4 subjects worth 6 credit points each.

The Handbook is your bible. Check your course code (4 numbers) in the handbook for the year you have enrolled in. The handbook for 2017 is available http://www.handbook.unsw.edu.au/2017/index.html
If you are unsure, contact your relevant school or post here.

WTF is a credit point?

Yup. Think of it like units in the HSC. E.g. Chemistry is worth 2 units. Like that, there are minimums and maximums for how many units of credit points (abbreviation: UoC) you can take per semester.

Most subjects are worth 6UoC, and usually a minimum of 18UoC (i.e. 3 subjects) needs to be completed for a full-time load each semester. In general most people will do 24UoC per sem (4 subjects).

WTF is a course outline?

A course outline is essentially a syllabus, schedule and all the FAQ details you need to know about a certain subject for a particular semester. You can usually find them online on the relevant school’s website, a hardcopy may also be provided to you by your lecturer.

For e.g. If I am doing the subject PSYC1A I will look up the course outline to consult when assignments are due, what we are learning this week, details about attendance, what the lecturer’s email is, what to do if I miss an exam if I’m ill etc.
Make sure you download one for every subject you do!

I don’t know the difference between lectures, tutorials, practicals…

Lectures are where you are presented with new information. Lectures almost always are held before a tutorial or lab. A professor or other educator will present the material which you are then presumed to absorb and understand. Most, if not all subjects have lectures. Usually attendance is not recorded but to be completely sure make sure you go and consult the course outline.
You can also view recordings of them online on ECHO360 via Moodle https://moodle.telt.unsw.edu.au/login/index.php

Tutorials (“tutes” in short) are where you are arranged into smaller classes (ranging from 10 to 30 people) with a tutor (like a teacher at school). This is where you can get more information on stuff from the lecture, ask questions about stuff you don’t understand and discuss what you’ve learnt. There is usually homework for the tutorials which helps you with the lecture content. Attendance is compulsory in most cases, consult your course outline.

Practicals ie. Labs (mainly for Science and Engineering/Compsci students; “pracs” in short) Depends on what you are studying. Engineering labs and Comp sci labs may involve “computer labs” rather than hands on “science type” labs. Here you are usually assessed for things as well.

Are uni textbooks expensive?

They can be, but I’ll give you some money-conscious options below Keep in mind you might have to buy extra materials like course packs, calculators, lab coats etc.

How do I find out what textbooks I need?

You’ll usually be told what to get during your first lecture and in the course outline.

Where can I buy uni textbooks?

The main place to buy textbooks at UNSW is at the University Bookshop. The bookshop is located near the Quad food court on Lower Campus (have a look at the uni maps). Here, you’ll find textbooks, dictionaries, course packs and a variety of other books. You will also find some lab materials. You can also find second hand books online and on facebook pages. You may also find them online as e-book versions.

Do I HAVE to buy the textbooks?

May I advise against buying any textbooks until you have been to the lectures. Sometimes they are an unnecessary waste of money and you could do well without them. Sometimes they are essential. It depends on the subject.

Communication


Student email (formerly known as zmail)

After going through the painful process of signing up https://login.microsoftonline.com/ log in here. Email should be with format zID@ad.unsw.edu.au and password for your zID. This is usually how lecturers communicate with you, it’s very important to check it regularly.

What’s myUNSW?

http://my.unsw.edu.au - here you can enrol/unenrol for subjects, plan your timetable, view details of your enrolment, pay your fees/supply a TFN and see your examination timetables, change your stream, view overall grades for subjects etc.

WTF is a Moodle?

https://moodle.telt.unsw.edu.au/login/index.php You will usually find that when you log in there will be links to the subjects you are doing. Each subject will have its own page, where lecturers may share resources, course outlines, links to quizzes and Echo360 recordings.

Wifi and internet?

- Click the locked Uniwide network and sign in with your zID and pw. There is no limit, however the uni does know if you are pirating or watching porn. People have been penalised for pirating things on the network, don’t do it.
- Computers are available in the library and if you have access in certain computer labs.
- Printing costs ~11c in B&W. Other printing options are available. To do photocopying or printing at the library, you need to load money on to your student card and follow the instructions on the printer. More info https://www.it.unsw.edu.au/students/mps/

Food and recreation @ UNSW

Off Campus:

- McDonalds: This American favourite is the closet fast food to uni. It is located near Shalom College (lower right corner of standard UNSW map).

- Kensington: Once you have found McDonalds you are just a short walk from several fine restaurants in Kensington along Anzac pde. Another block down and you will also find an Oporto.

- Randwick: Just a short walk from Upper Campus is Randwick. Here you will find another Subway, KFC, Gloria Jeans along with a large selection of cafes and restraunts.

- Just go to the city TBH

On Campus:

- Quad foodcourt: Near the Quad and offers noodles, sandwiches, sushi, burgers, kebabs, HSP’s, Coffee
- Upstairs Quad: Café near the Quad and offers more meat options, fries, salads
- Matthews food court: Near the library and offers Middle eastern, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Salads
- Boost juice: Near CLB
- Subway: Next to Boost
- Coco Cubano: Near the Uni gym
- Max brenner: Same block as coco cubano
- Yogurberry: Same block as above
- Mamak village: Same block as above
- Sharetea: Same block as above
- Guzman y Gomez: Same block as above
- Vietnamese: At the pavilion near Matthews building

Stores:


- WHS: Near upstairs Quad or Boost and is a convenience type store
- UNSW bookshop: Near quad, selling textbooks and books and stuff
- UNSW grad store: Near Boost, sells graduation gear, UNSW brand gear
- IGA: Same block as Mamak etc

Banks and ATM’s:

- Commbank branch near library
- ANZ branch near Quad foodcourt
- ANZ ATM at Quad
- Commbank ATM near IGA, Subway and at branch
- Westpac ATM at Matthews food court and near IGA
- NAB ATM near library and subway
- Some other bullshit fee charging ATMs around campus

Gymming and Sports:


- Pools and Gym available near the block of coco Cubano etc.
- Showers available at most buildings
- UNSW sport (big yellow building next to Tyree building)

Leisure

- Coogee beach
- Roundhouse (under construction)
- White house

A very helpful glossary of services and UNSW terms

Obviously I can't cover everything in this guide so I've attached a document that I received when I was mentoring new students. It is an A-Z list of services and other confusing terms that new students often come across throughout their first year. I'm sure many 2nd or 3rd year students may be unaware of these services. Pretty much all of them are free. Take a look at it, you might find what you are looking for.


Somebody help me!


They don't expect me to know EVERYTHING as soon as I go there, do they?... DO THEY?

Hahaha! Of course not! It's only natural to expect new uni students to be a bit lost, since the environment is so different. That's what O-Week is for! Sign up for a peer mentoring program if you can – you can ask them anything about uni. Each faculty has their own peer mentoring program.

What is this so-called O-week?

O-week is a week-long event held the week before uni officially starts. It's an opportunity to get yourself acquainted with your new environment, meet new people, get freebies and just have lots of fun. See http://www.arc.unsw.edu.au/fun/o-week for more details. And no, you do NOT need to go everyday.
 

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Shadowdude

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"I found most of the guides to UNSW too wordy, or they contained info that I didn’t need, but not the info that I did need"


you didn't write "UNSW is the best" in your 'why unsw' section
 

Queenroot

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"I found most of the guides to UNSW too wordy, or they contained info that I didn’t need, but not the info that I did need"


you didn't write "UNSW is the best" in your 'why unsw' section
That's from OP bruh not me
 

D94

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turntaker

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IS the parking part up to date i might drive

i dont mind walking 10 mins as long as i dont pay
 

turntaker

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oh so you wrote this from scratch, i thought you copied and pasted
 

Queenroot

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oh so you wrote this from scratch, i thought you copied and pasted
Most of it yeah, had to change a lot of stuff since the other one said something like "I hear they have internet on the computers now" lmao
 

RenegadeMx

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Main free all day parking is near Kensington Park(dunno exact name) but big Park along Barker street
 

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