What's studying science really like?

Explore new subjects while you study and find out what you can do on campus, how you'll be assessed and how uni if different to high school.

Studying science will give you the chance to explore new subjects, meet new people and get involved on campus.

How often will I be on campus?

The amount of time you spend on campus will depend on what subjects you take. Bachelor of Science students studying full-time usually have about 20 contact hours per week.

You will also need to make time for reading and assignments outside of classes. There are libraries and study spaces on campus where you can work.

Your timetable will change every semester as you complete different subjects. If you’re balancing part-time work while you study, you’ll need to make sure that you have some flexibility in your hours to accommodate for different class times throughout the year.

All of your lectures are recorded, so if something comes up and you can’t make it to class, you can catch up. You can find your lecture recordings on Lecture Capture . These recordings can be great for studying for exams and getting information for your assignments, but nothing substitutes being in the classroom.

What do I do when I’m on campus?

Students studying full time usually take four subjects each semester. Each subject will have a few different types of contact hours. For example:

  • Lectures: Lectures are usually more formal presentations of information about your course. Each week they’ll cover different topics and they are usually held in a larger theatre or hall.
  • Tutorials: Tutorials are smaller class with more opportunities for discussion. You can talk about what was covered in the lecture, your homework or assignments, and participate in group activities.
  • Practical classes: also known as ‘pracs’, these classes give you the chance to demonstrate the skills you learn in class. This might be through conducting experiments in a lab, fieldwork or finding a way to apply the knowledge from your classes to a real-life scenario.

Most science subjects will have at least two of these classes.

Lecture hall view

What do I do between classes?

You might find that you have spare time in between classes - you have the freedom to choose how you spend this time. There are plenty of food options on campus, libraries to study, and student clubs and societies regularly host events on campus.

There are also opportunities for students to get part time or casual jobs on campus. The University Student Union has a job pool where you can get experience, learn new skills and meet new people.

In between classes you can also leave campus and explore the shops and cafes of Carlton, head home for lunch, or pop into the city, but remember that most classes have attendance requirements, so don’t get too distracted.

- Lachlan Thang, Bachelor of Science 2016.
Not only do I get to learn about the things I'm interested in, I have made great friends who are just as passionate as I am. University is really what you make of it.

Is science at uni similar to high school?

Studying science at uni means you have a lot of new options open to you. In high school, you were able to study maths, physics, chemistry or biology but at uni you can take those skills and apply them to new areas – for example marine biology, computer science, electrical systems or environmental science.

You’ll rely on the science and maths skills you learned in high school, while developing your skills in research, writing and critical thinking. It’s your chance to explore different fields of science and find out what interests you.

Just like you developed your skills and took a step up each year in high school, going from year 12 to university is another step up. It might seem like a huge change at first, but you’ll soon find your groove, and if you find you are struggling, support is available.

How am I assessed?

Your assessments will be a mix of:

  • Exams
  • Written work, such as essays or case studies
  • Reports on your experiments (in practical subjects)
  • Group projects and presentations.

Your assessments and when they are due will all be explained at the start of each subject .

You can also find out about how each subject is assessed by looking at the Handbook.

What are the student societies?

Lots of Bachelor of Science students join clubs and societies on campus – they’re a great way to meet fellow students.

There are groups for sports, political, spiritual, cultural, and musical interests. There are also faculty and course-related clubs to help you get to know your fellow students.

The Science Students’ Society hosts regular barbeques and events on campus where you can meet fellow Bachelor of Science students.

Studying in a new place and trying to meet friends can make uni feel pretty challenging for a lot of people. Clubs and societies are a really fantastic way to meet people.

- Jamie Liew, Bachelor of Science 2018.
I wanted to do well in first year and spent most of my time studying. But I also felt really lonely, which changed once I joined student clubs, went to their events, and pushed myself to get to know new people. I met lots of like-minded and really inspiring people, and I gained a bunch of leadership skills and confidence. All of this led me to becoming the president of WISE and a Science Student Ambassador where I get to help other students make the most out of their University experience.