Preparing for university
It's good to know what to expect when you turn up on your first day of classes, but also when it comes to choosing a course that's suited to you.
We've outlined the key changes you'll notice coming from school to university or TAFE to help you make the right decision.
School to university
A key difference between school and university is the learning environment.
University is much less structured, putting the responsibility in your own hands to choose when to study and how hard to push yourself.
While lecture times are clearly set out, the responsibility – to attend, to do homework, to do the research, to study extra hours – is yours.
How it works:
Lectures and tutorials
University classes are mainly divided into lectures and tutorials.
Lectures are delivered to a large group of students and are structured to provide information.
On the other hand, tutorials are smaller groups where you're given the opportunity to discuss lecture topics with fellow students and receive indivudal attention.
Tutorials are also a good place to ask questions and seek help with any assignments.
Assignments, research and referencing
You'll be required to submit assignments for each of the subjects you're studying.
Types of assignments will differ from course to course, but generally, you may be asked to write in a way to inform, persuade, report, investigate, compare, contrast or discuss a topic.
You'll need to get used to a new style of academic writing, using the university library for research, and ensuring you know how to reference your sources correctly.
Help and support
We offer ongoing study support, workshops and group programs so you can get help with assignments, academic skills and personal development throughout your studies.
We also offer a course in pre-university study skills which covers academic writing, research skills, note taking, referencing, exam preparation and much more.
The course, formally known as the Course in Tertiary Transition Skills, can be studied before you start uni, or in your first semester.
School to TAFE
TAFE courses are more focused on learning for work and in many cases learning at work.
The teaching is based on supporting you to gain specific skills for certain jobs and industries.
You'll find that there's more contact hours per week, and the classroom environment is quite similar to secondary school - making for a comfortable transition into post-secondary studies.
Because you spend more time in the classroom, you'll develop close relationships with your teachers and class sizes tend to be smaller.
How it works:
You'll find the classroom environment to be personal and able to adjust to your own learning style and different needs.
Most courses have a blend of lectures, tutorials, labs, workshops and group work.
Work-based learning and assignments
All our TAFE courses have work-based elements including work placements and projects, simulations and practice firms to ensure you're ready for work after you graduate.
Depending on your course, you could spend the majority of your time in workshop-based classes, completing hands-on activities, and undertaking projects.
You'll work to real world expectations, on the sort of machines and technology you'll encounter once you start your job.
Help and support
We have developed a course delivery model that combines individual learning and assessment planning, support and a full range of services for students.
Each TAFE course aims to provide you with the knowledge and skills you'll need to either get a job, expand your existing skill set, advance your career and develop lifelong learning skills.
Swinburne courses also provide a structured pathway to future study, when and how it suits you and your career.
All students are offered a literacy and numeracy assessment before starting your TAFE course.
We also provide a unit of study called Prepare to Study, which will provide you with advice in your first year of study, including study, research and assignment tips.
Swinburne Student Services offers ongoing study support, workshops and group programs so you can get help with assignments, academic skills and personal development throughout your studies.