Course Planning Resources
The Course Guide on the app assists you to plan your first year subject choices, as well as the possible pathways that these plans may lead to in one of two ways:
- The Subject Selector allows you to select level one subjects that you are thinking about taking (or have already taken) - choose at least five and up to nine subjects. Clicking Continue will return all of the major pathways that this selection may lead to. The selector allows you to choose different combinations to see what other pathways you may set yourself up for. We believe that it is always good to have many options up your sleeve so that, should you be serendipitously inspired as you delve into your studies, you can commence different pathways along the way. Each major that is returned will display the second and third level subjects that can be taken within that major.
- The Career Selector works the same but in reverse. It allows you to select a career that you may be thinking about, and will then return all of the major pathways that are associated with this career. Each major will show you the first level subjects that you will need to take for that major, and all of the second and third level subjects that can contribute to that major.
Note: many second and third level subjects have prerequisites. Unfortunately the app isn’t smart enough (yet) to display only the later subjects as determined by prerequisites, but by clicking any subject listed in the app, it will take you to the Handbook listing for that subject where prerequisites are listed. Each major will also show you potential career pathways associated with that major.
First year subject sets
We have developed first year subject set videos to assist you with putting together a course plan that will meet prerequisites for the major(s) you are interested in, and to help with complementary subject choices. There are nine first year subject sets, and we recommend that you choose at least two sets in your first year to explore different areas and keep as many major options open as possible.
Breadth is one of the most exciting aspects of the University's undergraduate degrees. Breadth subjects allow you to gain knowledge and understanding across a broader range of disciplines, enabling you to develop insight, experience and new ways of thinking in areas distinct from the main fields of study in your degree. You can complete 50 -75 points of breadth studies, with a maximum of 37.5 points at Level 1.
We have developed a short video that discusses the benefits of breadth and the different ways to choose your breadth subjects.
You can choose your breadth from most of the subjects available outside the core discipline areas of your Bachelor of Science. This includes subjects taught by other faculties and departments as well as specially developed University Breadth Subjects (UBS). Use the list of available breadth subjects to help you make your choices.
There are also a number of videos you can watch to help you decide your breadth subjects. They are from the Faculty of Commerce, Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Law and Faculty of Education.
Several subjects offered by the University are termed 'quota subjects' or 'quota restricted subjects'. These are usually laboratory or fieldwork subjects where enrolment capacity is limited by available resources. All students are selected for these subjects on the basis of academic merit.
The quota subjects pages will inform you of how to apply to be considered for a quota subject, a list of the Faculty of Science subjects that have a quota limit, as well as addition information about teaching requirements, and how to apply.
Next Steps is a program of events that helps you consider the different options available to you at any stage of your degree - whether you’re course planning and choosing your major, seeking employment or moving on to further study (coursework and research).
Information about our program of events in September and October 2017 will be available early Semester 2.
In 2016, there were over 30 sessions for students to choose from, including this Maths and Stats info session.
Tips for students at the end of first year
You have nearly made it through your first year of the Bachelor of Science – congratulations! It really is a fantastic achievement and we hope it has been an exciting and challenging learning curve for you.
Now that you have settled into your second semester routine, it is important to start planning for the rest of your degree, and find ways to enhance and enrich your studies with experiences that will give you additional skills and make you stand out.
Start looking at subjects that you are interested in but are also prerequisites for major subjects that you might want to do. It can take a little while, but take the time to work through the handbook as there might be different enrolment cut-off dates for quota subjects (subjects that can only have a certain amount of students).
The University handbook for the following year (and therefore enrolment) is released in October – it is best to get enrolled as soon as you can so you can kick back and relax over your summer holidays.
A concurrent diploma is a great way of adding an extra qualification to your degree – and in some cases it only adds an extra 50 credit points of subjects to your degree that could be HECS exempt (i.e. you don’t have to pay for them!).
If you are thinking of going on exchange, you will need to get onto planning soon! Applications for exchange in Semester 2 of 2017 close on Sunday, 23 October 2016. You need to attend a compulsory myWorld First Step Session before applying for exchange.
University is not just about the academic side of things – it is also a fantastic opportunity to network and to meet people with similar interests from a diverse background. If you haven’t already, join a club or society. They are a fantastic way to make friends and take a break from your studies. It also looks great on your CV that you are involved in extracurricular activities.
It is good to recognise that you might experience (or have already started to experience) a phenomenon known as the ‘second semester slump’. As the excitement of first semester is over and the reality of study has set in, it is completely normal to feel a bit confused about the direction that you want to take. Make sure that you speak about how you are feeling – whether it is with friends, family, academics or the University Counselling Service. There are lots of support services available to ensure you stay on track to succeed in your degree:
END OF FIRST YEAR CHECKLIST
- Work backwards through Handbook to pick subjects (e.g. look at majors that interest you, and check if there are any second year pre-requisites you need to complete).
- Double check enrolment dates for quota subjects (don’t miss out!)
- Consider a concurrent diploma
- Plan your exchange (attend a myWorld First Step session)
- Enrol in your 2017 subjects
- Join a(nother!) club or society
- Talk to people about how you are feeling to help keep your motivation
Tips for students at the end of second year
You are over halfway there!
If you are interested in further study or a career in research why not try it out first? SCIE30001 Science Research Project (or BIOM30003 Biomedical Research Project) gives students the opportunity to undertake individually supervised research to give students a taste of what honours, research masters or graduate research might be like.
Similarly, if you are planning on heading into a career after you complete the Bachelor of Science, the SCIE30002 Science and Technology Internship gives students the opportunity to experience the workplace in an 80 – 100hour work placement during the Summer Term, Semester 1 or Semester 2. It is just like the workforce – you will need to contact potential employers and let them know (why they should let you work there?!).
If you are considering Graduate entry courses (such as Medicine, Law or Management) there may be external entry tests that you need to undertake in order to be eligible to apply. Now is the time to start preparing and getting organised! The Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is sat once per year in the first half of the year, with registrations opening late in the previous year. The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is sat four times per year, and you can sit 3 times in 2 years, giving you the opportunity to improve your score. They are externally administered exams; jump online to learn more about the costs and how to adequately prepare.
A great way of knowing whether particular graduate courses may or may not interest you is breadth subjects - make sure you try out an area (such and management or law). Have a look at all the breadth subjects there are available in the Bachelor of Science.
Academic Skills is a great service to help improve your study skills including note taking, time management and writing essays. The service is for students of all different skill levels – it is also for students who want to finally get an H1 for an essay!
Graduate Employment Programs can close as early as March the year before the program is offered, so if you want to go straight into the workforce make sure you spend some time seeing how to stand out from the crowd. The Melbourne Careers Centre can help you practice behavioural interviews and understand psychometric testing.
END OF SECOND YEAR CHECKLIST
- SCIE30001 Research Subject or opportunities
- SCIE30002 Internship subject or opportunities
- Graduate entry tests
- Use breadth subjects to test subject areas
- Meet with Academic Skills
- Keep up to date with Graduate Employment Program deadlines and requirements
Tips for students at the end of third year
You have (almost!) conquered a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne!
Now what? It depends on whether you are looking to go straight into employment, graduate coursework or research. Or a massive, well deserved holiday.
The Faculty of Science and the University of Melbourne as a whole has a suite of Next Steps events, programs and workshops held in September and October to help guide you with your decisions. Take advantage of all that you are able to attend.
If you know you really want to undertake specific further study but you don’t meet the entry requirements for your preferred program there are often alternate pathways to meet them. An example is for the Master of Science, students that don’t meet the minimum entry requirements (65% average in major subjects and/or ‘appropriate’ major subjects) students can potentially enrol in a Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate to meet entry requirements. Also don’t be discouraged if you did not go as well as you would have hoped in your undergraduate degree – almost all students perform better in any subsequent degrees than they did in their undergraduate.
If you are stuck for what to say in your preparations for an interview or what to write on your resume, head to the Melbourne Careers Centre for assistance. Make sure you check the Handbook for all the different subjects that you have completed in order to review the ‘Learning Outcomes’ and ‘Generic Skills’ that you should now possess that you have successfully completed these subjects.
To get a really good idea of what is out there in the job market, make sure you speak to your lecturers about jobs in specific disciplines – it could be that they have peers that have gone into industry or they themselves have not always been in academia. Make sure you join any professional associations that you are interested in.
You will soon be part of a diverse and amazing group of alumni. Take advantage of all the benefits and opportunities that are available.
Now is also a great time to understand ‘what employers want’ and how to articulate your skills to prospective employers. The Graduate Destination Survey in 2015 found that the top 8 skills employers are looking for are:
1. Interpersonal and communication skills
3. Logical and technical skills
4. Academic results
5. Work experience
6. Cultural alignment and values
7. Emotional Intelligence
8. Teamwork skills
The Melbourne Careers Centre can help you understand how you demonstrate each of these skills through your studies.
END OF THIRD YEAR CHECKLIST
- Congratulatory cake and champagne – you did it!
- Attend Next Steps sessions in September/October
- Where there is a will, there is a way. Check alternate entry pathways
- Speak to any many people as you can about the options available
- Join professional associations
- Become one of our active alumni
Graduates of the Bachelor of Science (BSc) can choose to pursue further studies in science and technology, or other broad areas of interest. As a BSc graduate, you can undertake further study in:
- Other professional graduate programs including, but not limited to, Biotechnology, Data Science, Environments, Health Sciences (including Medicine, Nursing Science , Optometry and Physiotherapy), Veterinary Science, Engineering , Management, Law, Social Work, Education, Urban Horticulture and Urban Planning.
When you decide to study a Graduate program with the Faculty of Science you won’t ever regret allowing yourself the right space and environment to embrace your inner nerd and delve into a topic you are passionate about. I decided to study the MSc Earth Sciences because my Undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree sparked my thirst for knowledge. Jamie majored in Geology during her BSc, and studied ancient marine reefs during her MSc.