Sunday, 16 December 2012

How to Change Your Preferences: A Visual Guide

They say change is a good thing.

Maybe you feel like the courses you put down as your preferences for Uni back in September are not quite right anymore?

A lot of things could have changed since then. 

Maybe you are feeling really confident after sitting your exams and you think that you could aim a little higher?

Or maybe you have discovered another course  that is more ‘you’ and more in line with following what you are interested in.

Or maybe you've had a chance to weigh up all the options available to you and decided "I don't want to do course 'x' anymore, I need to do course 'z' because I think I would LOVE it!"

That’s why you get the chance to change your preferences, once before results come out and then again after first round offers if you want to go in for the second round.

It’s not hard to do, but there are some key dates you should know. That’s why we created this handy diagram, to lay it all out and hopefully make it super straightforward!

You may also be interested in:

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Words from the wise: Field advice from Murdoch Alumni

Image ↬ Elizabeth Sanchez

As a student it can be hard to visualise the kind of role you are going to have when you finish your degree.  Questions such as where will this lead me, what kind of job can I get, what will I actually be doing, are commonly raging around in most students heads!

We thought that some advice on working out your path from uni to workplace would be useful to current students, so we turned to our Alumni and asked them if they could offer any insights. 

Meet Magdeline Lum, Murdoch Graduate Bsc. Chemistry, Grad Dip Extractive Metallurgy

Magdeline (Mags for short) Lum is a chemist and metallurgist on a mine site, a writer, a blogger, a science communicator, a volunteer and mentor to school students.

Mags is a lot of things.

Mags says, as a student she didn’t think about it until her final year which is when she started to look online and in newspapers to see what kind of work was available, what kind of work someone with a Chemistry degree could get.

While you don’t have to have a concrete plan in place, Mags suggests at least doing some things in your first semester to figure out if it is in fact a direction you want to go in. 

She highly recommends chatting to the employers at career expos and to sign up for vacation programs in your 2nd year over the summer months.

Mags adds that it’s important in particular if you are applying for graduate positions where applications open a lot earlier then uni graduation dates and the process is quite long. 

This leads into her next hot tip, which is useful to keep in mind not just as a new graduate, but all throughout your career:

Mags admits it can be hard to find mentors and she suggests turning to the internet. She suggests searching for people who have done things – more and more people have blogs, or find people through professional associations and networking functions.

Round up

  • Find mentors via blogs and Twitter is a great place to find people in your industry and area of interest. Also start a professional profile on LinkedIn, join industry groups and find leaders in your field of interest.

You might also like to read:

Figuring out what you want to be when you grow up

Find what you love and just do it

Be Friends with us on Facebook for advice, tips and updates.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Our Facebook Friends to the Rescue: Advice for New Students

Image ↬ Jen Collins
If you are new to university, there are plenty of peeps around who can help you out, both with the serious business & the social stuff.

Always remember the Student Advisors who you can find in our Student Centre! They are full of advice for you at all stages of your time at uni. When you need to find anything, when you need help changing units, when you think maybe you are in the wrong course and need to find one that is right for you, when you need to know about credits etc they are there to help you!

If you’re finding your course a bit hard or aren’t sure about an assignment, your First Year Advisor will be more than happy to help! Find them on Facebook & they’ll be able to point you in the right direction!

The next piece of good news is (there's no bad news in this post, FYI) that everyone else at uni has either been in your shoes or is sharing the same thoughts and feelings about being a 'newbie.' 

Our current students are full of tips about how to make it work and make life better at uni. We asked our friends on Facebook what advice they would give to new students and this is the excellence they came back with:

1.     “Find some great friends in your units because they will be your support group. They will understand what you as a uni student are going through and help you and they will become your study group.” Breanna

2.     “Do your readings before you go to the lecture or workshop then you actually know what they are going on about.” Kneecar

3.     “Make a study plan and stick to it! And ask questions!”  Billie-Lee

4.     “You are not alone! If you ever struggle, there are heaps of friendly people ready to help. Murdoch has a great support system. Everyone is super friendly.” Jasmina

5.     “There is so much available to you if you get stuck. Help classes, workshops, the student learning centre, your first year advisor, hell even go and see your lecturer or tutor- they will bend over backwards to help you! Just don't forget to have some fun and set aside some me time - because the last thing you want to do is burn out.” Tegan

6.    “ Join a study group, and if u can't find one create one :) It’s much easier when u share the load with study buddies.” Deb

7.    “ Never let procrastination get the better of you! Keep up with the workload and remember everyone else in uni is going through the same thing, YOU CAN DO IT!!!!” Emily

8.    “ Don't blame the teacher... they didn't write the assignment or sit the exam. You only fail yourself. Study!” Christine

9.    “ It's important to have fun as long as you keep up with your studies and never be afraid to ask for help, if you ever feel you need it!” Vanessa

10.   “Relax and enjoy the ride!” Leah

11. “Do and start your assignments as early as possible. Sounds stupid but you will be surprised how much info is in the unit books, google and the question. Plus you will end up having more time when everyone else is stressing out.” Cassidi

12. “If you need help ask. Meet new people because they help you grow and teach you new things. Time management is most important. Have fun relax and try not to stress too much!” Sharnye

13. “Go to your lectures! It definitely pays off!” Jess

14. “Get into a study group!!!” Emma

15. “Ask questions, there's more support than you probably realise and most of all, enjoy it! This could possibly be the best time of your life and it will go very quickly!!” Alexandra

16. “Meet as many people as you can! There will be so many new like-minded people around you.” Kimberley

17. “Surround yourself with others who are serious about achieving good grades and enjoy the learning process.” Deb

18. “Always make sure that amongst the study there is room for fun :o)” Leah

19. “Always do your best, even if you fail. It’s never the end.” Emma

That’s right, it’s never the end! There is always support for you at Murdoch, don’t hesitate to drop by our Facebook page to ask questions either!

Need more help? Check out these links:

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Should you consider a Preparation Course?

MUPC stands for ‘Murdoch University Preparation Course’ and is run by The Murdoch Institute of Technology (MIT).  It’s the same as doing a bridging course as it prepares you for uni study and gives you the qualifications you need for entry if you don’t have an ATAR.

Key points you need to know from this video

  • Why you should do a MUPC, for example, if you don’t qualify for OnTrack or need to do some prep units to get into your chosen course at Murdoch.
  • That you apply to Murdoch uni straight through MUPC when you have finished. 
  • That although you don’t get credits towards towards a uni degree for completing a MUPC, it provides great preparation for courses like Law and for completing foundation units that you may have missed in school – such as physics or math.
We also chatted to Games Art and Design student David about how he came to Murdoch Uni through a course at MIT and how he chose his uni course:

“Every single time I told someone I was studying at MIT they would say, oh so you failed year 12 and I would be like no I didn’t fail year 12, this is my year 12. By the end of that time, I was at that level that the uni wanted me at and I was familiar with the campus already.”

Read about how he did it here

Is MUPC the right option for you? You can also explore these options for your pathway into uni:

Why we recommend OnTrack to gain entry into Murdoch
The Low Down on sitting the STAT
You don’t have to be a school leaver to use your ATAR
Using previous uni qualifications to apply for a new course
Is TAFE your Ticket into a uni course?
Breaking up with your ATAR and finding a new pathway into uni
The top question we get asked when ATAR results are released

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Why we recommend OnTrack to gain entry into Murdoch

Many students are surprised to learn that they are eligible for the Murdoch Uni OnTrack program. In this video, Nazli explains a bit about what OnTrack is and who is eligible and how you should apply. 

The key points from the video to know

  • OnTrack is a 14 week free program that once completed will be used to give you entry into Murdoch.
  • You can apply if you are:
    • A school leaver who experienced disruption during your year 12 exams; this could be something like moving schools, living in a regional area, or receiving poor advice from your school on getting into uni.
    • Non-school leavers who are in a difficult situation such as; you have a medical condition or disability, English is your second language, you have been unemployed for a long time.
  • The video also discusses TOP (Tertiary Options Project), which is for students who have had something severe happen during their year 12 studies that prevented them from getting the results they needed to get in to uni.

To apply for OnTrack call (08) 9360 2609 or email
To apply for TOP call (08) 9360 6084 or email

If you have any questions, or even if you think your situation may not count, contact our Student Centre and chat to someone and you may find that you are eligible for the program. If not, our lovely Student Centre staff can help you find a way of making your goal of studying at uni come true!

Have you considered any of these pathways into uni?

The low down on sitting the STAT
You don’t have to be a school leaver to use your ATAR
Is Tafe your Ticket into a uni course?
Breaking up with your ATAR and finding a new pathway into uni
The top question we get asked when ATAR results are released

Using previous uni qualifications to apply for a new course

In this video our friendly Student Centre advisor Tanya explains how and when you would use your previous uni qualifications to apply for uni at Murdoch.

Key tips from this video about previous uni study

  • Once you start uni you are not locked in! You can switch courses and you can change universities to find the course that is right for you.
  • We look at your highest level of prior learning, so once you have done at least two units of uni study we no longer consider other qualifications you may have, such as an ATAR score or Tafe. This also means you do not need to sit the STAT test!
  • There is no expiry on uni study, we will consider you for entry forever – however it may not be valid to gain credits or Advanced Standing
  • If you are switching courses or took some time out of uni and now want to come back and do a different course, you can possibly get some credits toward your new degree if it wasn’t too long ago.
How you should go about applying

You apply through TISC to start Semester 1 and apply using our online form if you want to commence in Semester 2 (Mid year start).

Exceptions to the rule

Courses like Law, Chiro, Vet and Psych honours require a certain level of qualifications, so come and chat to us about this or any other queries you may have about how you may qualify for Murdoch.

Read other students stories about changing courses and changing unis

Jack reckons It’s ok, you are allowed to change your mind.

Christian gives his advice On making changes and being a First Year student the second time round.

If you haven’t done any units at uni you may like to consider these other entry pathways

The Low Down on sitting the STAT
You don’t have to be a school leaver to use your ATAR
Breaking up with your ATAR and finding a new pathway into uni
The top question we get asked when ATAR results are released

Is TAFE your Ticket into a uni course?

It’s super straight forward to apply for uni using a TAFE qualification and this video gives you the run down of it all.

A quick recap of the key points in the video

  • You need to have at least a certificate IV from TAFE to qualify, certificate III is not enough.
  • If you want to apply for Semester 1 you need to put your application in through TISC – even if you are not a Murdoch student!
  • If you want to apply to start in Semester 2 (Mid year entry) then you can apply directly with us using our online application form (and don’t forget to attach your academic transcript!).
  • If you have completed at least two units of a uni degree this will override your TAFE qualifications so watch our video on applying using previous uni qualifications.

Don’t have a TAFE certificate? Watch our other videos on other entry pathways that might be your ticket in

Breaking up with your ATAR and finding a new pathway into uni
The top question we get asked when ATAR results are released

Can I use my work experience to qualify for uni?

We get a lot of people asking about applying to university using work experience as their admission qualification.

In this video Tanya from our Student Centre explains what this really means. To be honest, it’s a pretty hard way to get in – you need to have heaps of experience to qualify and each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

A few key points from the video that you need to know if you are thinking of applying this way:

  • You need lots of experience – we’re talking 10 years plus.
  • The experience needs to be directly related to the course you are applying for.
  • People who have this level of work experience may be better suited to applying for a Postgraduate or Masters degree rather than an Undergraduate degree.

One of these options may be better for you to get into uni, have you considered these other forms of admission?

Breaking up with your ATAR and finding a new pathway into uni
The top question we get asked when ATAR results are released

Be our friend on Facebook for advice, tips and fun stuff!

You don’t have to be a school leaver to use your ATAR

Did you know that the score you got in year 12 for your exams into uni is valid for entry into Murdoch forever?

Amazed? So many people are! They think they have to sit the STAT test because it has been 10 years since they graduated high school. Not so!

Watch this video to find out how easy it is to apply with your ATAR or TEE or TES, or whatever it was called when you went through school!

Key takeouts from the video

Some need-to-knows about applying with your high school qualification:
  • You can use your ATAR to start uni Midyear
  • If you are applying from August to January you need to go through TISC but outside these times you can apply directly to Murdoch University with our online application form.
  • If you have done any further study, such as Tafe or a couple of units at uni, these override your school exams score and we will consider these as your qualifications instead.

Check out if you qualify for entry into Murdoch via these options:

Breaking up with your ATAR and finding a new pathway into uni
The top question we get asked when ATAR results are released

Be our Friend on Facebook for tips, advice and fun stuff!

The low down on sitting the STAT

In this video, the lovely Nazli from our Student Centre gives you what you need to know about sitting the STAT (Special Tertiary Admissions Test). 

The STAT is used to apply for uni when you don't have a year 12 certificate (or other qualifications such as a Tafe certificate IV or Diploma).

Here is a quick recap of the key points from the video:

  • You can sit the STAT test if:
    • You are over 20 years old. 
    • You don’t have any other qualifications or you didn’t finish high school.
  • You do NOT need to sit the STAT test if:
    • You have a TAFE certificate IV or more. 
    • You’ve completed at least two or more units at any uni. 
    • You sat your high school exams longer ago than you care to admit. 
  • You sit the STAT test by:
    • Booking through TISC  (check their site for test dates in Perth - they hold them through May to January each year).
  • Don’t worry if you feel like you’ve been out of the system for a while as there are STAT prep courses you can do and plenty of example questions on Google.
  • You can also just sit the English component of the STAT test. So if you have a decent ATAR score but you failed English in year 12 you can just do this part of the test and it’s way easier than the Year 12 curriculum exams! (FYI this is only on ONE day in January, so make sure you are around then if you need to sit this).
  • If you are applying for Semester 1 you apply through TISC – even if you are not a school leaver!
  • The STAT test won’t get you directly into some of our courses, such as Vet, Chiro, Law and Psychology Honours.

If you have any more questions and would like to chat to someone like Nazli about getting into Murdoch uni – come visit us in the Student Centre or give us a call!

You may also be interested in these videos and articles:

    Breaking up with your ATAR and finding a new pathway into uni
      The top question we get asked when ATAR results are released

      Tuesday, 22 May 2012

      On making changes and being a First Year student the second time round

      When asked why he stuck out three whole years doing a Town Planning degree that he didn’t enjoy, Christian puts the question back to us. Plain and simple, we can all be afraid of change. Admitting we are not happy doing what we are doing and taking the step of altering our direction isn’t easy and Christian admits it was about finally plucking up the courage to say, actually I will decide what I want to do and I want to start writing.

      Changing to a degree in English and Philosophy in the middle of the year and at a new uni put Christian in the interesting position of being a First Year student all over again, but this time he wasn’t a School Leaver and having more experience and confidence meant he felt more comfortable in classes.

      Recognising that he didn’t want to keep going in the direction he was going was the first step. Realising he would rather study something creative and something that challenged him on “how to think, not what to think” was the deal breaker that lead him to finally make the switch to English.

      His advice?

      Christian's Pathway

      Find what you love and just do it!

      It’s never too late to start doing what you love. Sometimes figuring out what it is you really want to do can take time. You go off on tangents, explore different options and then all of a sudden you run into something that makes your world tick and you just know that this is what you need to do.

      During the eight years that she was working with the Navy, Gina was always thinking about how she could combine the things that she loved and make them her career. 

      Her love for the ocean kept her in places where she was working close by the sea, whether it was in submarines with the Navy or teaching Aqua Culture at Tafe, but her passion also came through in her hobbies:

      After she finished her travels, Gina started Renewable Energy Engineering during the MidYear intake. While combining fulltime work with part time study has its challenging moments, for Gina it’s about always doing what interests you and not sticking with something that you don’t enjoy: 

      How Gina Explored

      Read the course handbook to find out about possible courses she could do.

      Volunteered in Aqua Culture at Challenger Tafe in Fremantle.
      Completed a diploma in Engineering to get more skills.

      Explored study options  in Renewable Energy online.
      Chatted to family and friends to get different points of view.

      Took time out to travel around Australia and visit the Ports to think about what she really wanted to do.

      Gina's Pathway

      It’s ok, you are allowed to change your mind

      When he first came to uni, Jack Dawes picked what he thought was the right degree for him, Media with Screen and Sound at Murdoch. 

      A semester in and he could tell it wasn't for him. It wasn't what he thought it would be and he just wasn't enjoying it. 

      So he packed his bags and went on a uni exchange to Canada.

      Jack says it wasn't hard to make the decision to change courses because he knew that he wanted to finish uni and now he felt like he had some more direction. 

      Jack says it is really, really hard to choose what you want to do and even though he thought he was picking the right course the first time around, it still took him a few tweaks and changes along the way before he figured out a pathway that he felt good on. His advice is simply not to be afraid to make a choice and then it turns out to be the wrong thing.

      His philosophy has always been to choose things he was interested in and just go for it, but he knows too that a lot of people just really have no idea what they want to do.

      He also thinks it can be good to choose a 'general' degree if you aren't sure, like art, commerce or law. Something that isn't terribly specific because at the end of the degree you have had three extra years to think about what you want to do and you might have a better idea and then you can add something more specific to your degree or you can go out and get work in any number of fields.  

      How Jack Explored

      By attending Murdoch's Media Frenzy in year 10.

      Spoke to friends who were doing law and who had graduated from law to get an idea of what they are up to now.
      Came into the uni to chat with advisors.

      Searched for course info online.
      Went on exchange to get a new perspective.

      Worked full-time in retail to think about what he really wanted to do.

      Jack's Pathway

      Sunday, 13 May 2012

      Turning what you love into your career

      Think of something you enjoy doing. Have you considered this as a possible career path?

      David Sheehy did, and now he's at Murdoch studying Games Art and Design.

      Prompted by a YouTube series called Extra Credit, which focuses on the Games Design industry, David started to consider his interest in gaming as more than just a spare time hobby.

      To help him choose his area of study, David wanted to find out more about the industry and what kind of career he could have after studying this course at uni.

      This meant lots of asking, talking and listening.

      David spoke to people in the industry and found it helped a lot to hear the opinions of someone who had been working in the Gaming industry for ages. When he was 15 he was lucky enough to get an insiders sneak peak into places like WETA in New Zealand and the Eve Headquarters in Iceland, which gave him an impression of what it would be like to work in places like these after he graduated.

      He also attended course career days and exhibitions and spoke to lecturers and met people who helped him confirm his decision.

      By listening, asking and exploring the industry and being open to other ideas, you could find yourself somewhere unexpected but equally rewarding. David suggests not ignoring the wider options that are available, be open to different avenues and not just the places you initially think of.

      David strongly believes that finding the course that's right for you is about figuring out what you enjoy:

      How David Explored

      By attending Murdoch's Open Your Mind Day and speaking to lecturers.
      By talking to people in the industry.
      By attending career expos and talking to reps from each uni and Tafe to see what they offered in Games Art.
      By visiting the uni to get a feel for the campus.
      By watching and reading things online to get a feel for the industry.

      David's Pathway to Murdoch Uni