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From Our Teaching Staff – What to Do before You Start

You’ve applied, enrolled and now you have a few weeks up your sleeve until class commences. We asked our teaching staff what advice they’d give to their new students to make the most of this time so they’re primed for day one of their program. Read on for the three tips they shared with us.  

Sharpen your academic skills

Academic skills are essential for all postgraduate studies and will help you unlock the full potential of your program. The weeks before classes start is the ideal time to sharpen your academic skills so you can confidently complete your upcoming coursework and get great academic results.  

You may need to look into academic skills if you: 

  • have never been to university before 
  • are more familiar with technical exercises and not written or research-based assignments  
  • haven't used maths, referencing or academic reading skills in awhile 
  • haven't completed a higher education program in while.  

You may be tempted to wait until you’ve encountered your first assignment, but a little groundwork now will mean you'll save time later when the due date looms. Here are the skills we recommend to start looking into now: 

As a student of the University of Adelaide, you have access to plenty of resources to help you hone the above skills. These include: 

  • Library 'How Do I?' Guide: self-help guides on searching effectively, using databases, referencing styles, subject specific resources, and much more. 
  • Writing Centre: The Writing Centre aims to help all students, no matter their skill level, via resources and 1:1 consultations.  
  • Maths Learning Centre: The Maths Learning Centre (MLC) exists to help all coursework students learn and use mathematics and mathematical skills in order to succeed at university.  

Academic skills are highly transferable to the workplace, so once you master them, you’ll find many uses outside of the classroom. Don’t just take our word for it, they also align nicely with the World Economic Forum's top 10 job skills of tomorrow

“Python A and Data Taming were very technical courses, so I felt in my element because I could use my programming skills to learn the new languages and how they apply to data science. Ethics and Applied Data Science classes had written assessments which initially caught me off guard.”

- Cassie, Master of Data Science (Applied) student. 

Orientate yourself around MyUni

Many of our new students face a common temptation: wait for week one before you log onto MyUni. These students then can lose a week or two trying to figure out the basics of the system instead of absorbing the course content.  

You have access to MyUni as soon as you enrol. Spend some time just clicking around and getting your bearings. If you get stuck, here is a helpful resource or book a call with one of our Student Success Advisors who will be more than happy to help you.  

MyUni also includes orientation content that will make sure you start week one empowered with all the details of studying online with the University of Adelaide.   


Start your coursework when it's time

Many of our new students are eager to start consuming coursework ASAP. You will have access to MyUni from two weeks before teaching commences so from this point you will be free to start your readings and looking at coursework if you wish. 

While this may assist some students, our teaching staff reiterate that it’s also OK to take it easy. Each course has been carefully designed by our learning designers to take up to 25 hours a week, over a six-week timeframe. A slight head start on some of the readings may be helpful but your teaching staff will be there to cover off everything you need to do from on week one.    


The above three tips are just a few suggestions that you can take to prepare for the start of your program. Our teaching staff are looking forward to welcoming you on week one.