Page 1

Students’ Representative Council The University of Sydney BECOME A MEMBER! Join in person at O-Week SRC stall, SRC Office or SRC Bookshop phone 02 9660 5222


SRC Books - Cheapest books on campus!

• Centrelink • Academic Appeals • Discontinuing/Withdrawing • Show Cause • Exclusion • Tenancy • Fee Refunds • Harassment & Discrimination • International Students • Plagiarism & misconduct

Free Legal Advice

• Buy & sell your textbooks • Search for books online SRC website Wentworth Level 4 (next to the International Lounge)

Emergency Loans

$50 emergency loans for students in need

Student Publications

• Referrals • Discrimination & Equal Opportunity • Employment law • Minor criminal matters/traffic offences/ fines • Victims of violence • Debts

ASK US ABOUT The SRC’s operational costs, space and administrative support are financed by the University of Sydney.


• Honi Soit weekly newspaper • International Students Handbook • Orientation Handbook • Counter Course Handbook • Growing Strong - Women’s Handbook

Student Rights & Representation

SRC Representatives are directly elected by students each year to stand up for students’ rights on campus and in the wider community.

Find the SRC at...

Level 1 Wentworth Building (under City Rd footbridge) Ph: 02 9660 5222 If you are at another campus, email:



n Sta


Student Central wentworth building

The University of Sydney Student’s Representative Council acknowledges the traditional owners of this land, the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. We stand on this land today as beneficiaries of an incompensated and unreconciled disposession which occurred over 200 years ago. Many of the descendants of those dispossessed live just down the road in abject poverty, and as young people it is important to recognise how this history of dislocation and disenfranchisement has contributed to the inequity we observe in contemporary society, particularly in the area of education. We acknowledge both our privilege and our obligation to redress the situation at best we can: to remember the mistakes of the past, act on the problems of today, and build for a future for everyone who will not call this place home, striving always for practical and meaningful reconciliation. If you are reading this, you are standing on Aboriginal land. Please recognise and respect this.

SEE us a t the SRC O-WEEK STALL www.src.




President’s Welcome


Degree Planning


Engineering aMMe civil chemical electrical

30 30 31 31

Lies you Teachers Tell


Health Sciences










Music (The Con)






Science Biology chemistry Geosciences i.t. Maths Medical Sciences psychology

38 38 39 39 40 40 41

Sydney College of the Arts


Vet Science


Special Consideration + Misadventure




Youth Allowance


SRC By the Numbers


Student Representative Network


SRC Legal Service


Ask Abe


Thank yous


Who is Michael Spence?


Arts ancient History archaeology anthropology art History english Film Studies Gender Studies Government + ir History Koori Studies inGS languages linguistics Meco performance Studies political economy philosophy Sociology religion economics Dentistry

10 10 11 11 12 13 13 14 15 16 16 17 18 18 19 19 20 21 21 22 23

Business accounting Finance Marketing

24 25 26

Education education Social Work

28 29

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 1

SRC EDITORIAL AL CAMERON & TIM MATTHEWS, EDUCATION OFFICERS We’ve worked through the night, consumed far too many litres of coke but our bodies and brains have survived and brought you the Counter Course Handbook for 2011. The Counter Course Handbook is the student’s guide to University. The Handbook cuts through the bullshit and tells it like it is. The advice in this handbook is the result of the struggles of former students, presented here for your benefit. The information comes from a survey distributed to students at the end of Semester Two. If you find any information that doesn’t ring true to your experience, then that will teach you to fill in the survey next year. Student representation is a wonderful thing, if you participate in it. We hope that this guide assists you in navigating the treacherous terrain of subject selection. It is, generally speaking, difficult to put a foot wrong. Many of the University’s academic staff were exceptionally well reviewed by students, but defamation laws prevent us from being too specific about the bad ones.

activities. Suffice to say, our personal experience suggests that Manning, 9 times out of 10, is more enjoyable than your lectures. Remember that student feedback on your courses doesn’t end here. Your SRC Education Action Group and your Student Representative Network are there to raise your complaints to Academic and Administrative staff. We’re always itching for a fight, so let us at them! We hope you enjoy reading this as much as we enjoy not having to write it anymore. Good luck for 2011! Al + Tim

Faculty Guides will give you a glossier, censored and less factually accurate picture of what life at University is like. Some lecturers suck, some courses are so awful that you’ll consider self harm and others will cost you an arm and a leg. But never fear, the SRC is here. We come armed with the naked truth. And guess what, the University is no oil painting. The University’s poor use of technology was the main complaint this year. Stuck in the sandstone age, some departments will leave you thinking that a hammer and chisel is a technological step too far. This year, for the first time, the University will provide us all with free unlimited WiFi (thanks guys!). However with so few lecturers putting recordings online, readings unavailable on the internet and WebCT used so poorly, it is unclear that this resource will be used to its full potential. We’d like to take this opportunity to truly thank all of those people who took the time to fill out the survey in detail. You are the ones that make writing this Handbook possible and occasionally, very enjoyable. For all the bitching and moaning that we and our fellow students do, being a part of the campus culture and atmosphere at this University is more valuable than the classes we wish were less crowded, taught by lecturers we wish were better, in classrooms we wish were air conditioned. While this is a guide to the courses available, there is so much more to University than the time you will spend in the classroom. The Counter Course Survey didn’t get in depth information on student’s extra curricular

PaG e 2

Contact Al and Tim: (02) 9660 5222

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

SRC PRESIDENT'S WELCOME DONHERRA WALMSLEY Hey there, my name’s Donherra (though most people call me Dee), and

best and most vibrant campus life in the country. This handbook has got

I’m the President of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC). On

a lot of advice about ways to make your educational experience the best

behalf of the SRC, I’d like to welcome you to Sydney University for 2011.

possible, but I think that the most important pieces of advice anyone can give you when first starting out at uni is – get involved. Make the most of the

By picking up and reading the Counter Course Handbook, you have

fantastic opportunities offered to you on this campus, because clichéd as it

already made two excellent choices. The Counter Course Handbook

sounds, university really is about so much more than just your units of study.

is put together by students, for students every year, and it gives you the real deal on the units of study offered by the University. It’s also filled

Good luck in your studies!

with handy hints and tips to help you survive university, so it’s well worth taking the time to peruse: plus our fantastic Education Officers have spent many late nights working on it, so show them some love. While I’ve (hopefully) got your attention, I’m going to take the opportunity to tell you a bit about what the SRC, which is responsible for publishing this handbook, is and does. As the name suggests, we’re the representative body for undergraduates here at USyd, and we’ve been around for 83 years. Every year in September, student representatives, including 33 councillors, the President, delegates to the National Union of Students, and editors of Honi Soit – the only weekly student newspaper in the country – run in elections for the privilege of serving a one year term as a representative. Student representatives sit on all the university boards and committees, to make sure that there’s a student voice in the decision making process. We also lobby for change within the university, and in conjunction with the National Union of Students, we lobby for change nationally – so if you’ve got an issue, something around the university that you’d like to see changed, we’re the organisation with which you should get involved! The SRC runs a number of different collectives which organise around different issues, from environment through to education. We also run a second-hand bookshop; a legal service that is free for any USyd undergrad to access; and have caseworkers available to help you out for free if you’re having trouble with anything from tenancy, to applying for special consideration, or if you think you’ve been marked unfairly and want to make an appeal, so if you’re ever in any trouble, drop by our offices in the basement of

Contact Dee: (02) 9660 5222

the Wentworth building and we’ll probably be able to help you out! At Sydney University, we’re really fortunate that our administration has continued to fund student organisations, seeing them as a vital component of the student experience. As a result, USyd has got what is arguably the

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 3


AL CAMERON & TIM MATTHEWS, EDUCATION OFFICERS We don’t know whether it is that, come enrolment time, students are overwhelmed by the exciting sounding names of subjects, or are just put off by the mind-numbingly boring course requirements document, but degree planning is something that too few students actually devote time and consideration to. A common piece of feedback in the Counter Course handbook was that many students were being caught out. Degree planning isn’t about locking your future career in at the start of first year, or just listing subjects that you think will make you employable. Degree planning (particularly in more generic degrees) is as much about thinking of the overall experience of University, and the attributes you wish to acquire as a graduate. Lets face it, its also important because your Faculty will fuck you over if you don’t fulfill the occasionally specific requirements of some degrees. So, this is our very brief guide based on common experiences of students as found in the Counter Course survey. We hope it helps!


c. Degree Requirements These are the requirements most often fucked up by students come enrolment time. Many degrees at the University (typically more specialist degrees, practical degrees or the various strange permutations of the B Arts, like the B International and Global Studies) require that you take certain subjects, or a number of subjects in certain disciplines, in order to qualify for your degree. For example, to meet the requirements for the absurd B Political, Economic and Social Sciences (we are so sorry for you if you are already enrolled in this, by the way, what an error from you), you must complete study in Government and International Relations, Political Economy and EITHER Sociology or Anthropology in your first two years, before selecting one of them as your actual major in the third year. CRAZY! You will find many degrees have very specific course requirements, which can all be found in the regulations for those degrees.

Units you will FIND THAT YOU NEED

These ones are, generally speaking, the most obvious, but they are also the ones that can be the biggest cluster-fuck to change if you enroll incorrectly. These can roughly be divided into three categories: a. Prerequisites A subject with prerequisites requires you to have completed other subjects in previous years or semesters in order to be eligible to enroll. For example, in order to take ELEC3204, ‘Power Electronics and Applications’ in the School of Electrical and Information Engineering, you must first have completed ELEC2104, ‘Electronic Devices and Circuits.’ Sometimes, prerequisites are specific courses, whereas others simply mandate a certain number of credit points (usually junior credit points) in a specific discipline. b. Corequisites A subject with corequisites requires you to complete other units of study at the same time as you are enrolled in that particular unit. For example, to enroll in GEOS3053, ‘Asia-Pacific Field School – Assessment A’, you must also enroll in GEOS3054, ‘Asia-Pacific Field School – Assessment B,’ which seems straightforward enough. Typically, corequisites are only a thing for exchange, internship and Honours units of study, but just PaG e 4

make sure your other subjects don’t require them as well or you may be caught out.

This is where you start to get the flexibility in your degree and you have to make decisions not given to you by your Faculty. Starting with the basics, everyone knows that most subject areas will have first year courses. These are generally quite generic and designed to give you an introduction to the discipline and its subject matter. They will then offer a series of senior units, and potentially advanced and Honours units, which will further refine and specialise your knowledge of the given subject matter. In most instances, you will find that you require twelve junior credit points in a given subject (usually two junior units) in order to major in that subject. Your “major” will then be made up of a specified number of senior units in that particular discipline, which is usually 36. Keep in mind that the requirements for some majors are a little more complicated (e.g. if you wanted to qualify for Professional Practice in Accounting, you will be required to do a different set of units). Once you have yourself a pretty little major, you may like to indulge

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

University in some extra academic nourishment, and enroll in an Honours year. Honours is, generally speaking, a research project of some kind on a particularly narrow, and high level subject area. You will need Honours to qualify for a PhD or an MPhil. Some disciplines require that you take more credit points from their subject area if you intend to do Honours than if you just wanted a major in it. For example, to get a Government and International Relations major, you only need 36 credit points in the subject, but you will require 48 credit points should you intend to do Honours. Many subject areas, like Government, also require students to take several preparatory units in their senior years to qualify for Honours. Many people find that the more general undergraduate subjects do not prepare them well for the specificity of the Honours year. For this reason, you should think about picking subjects in your senior years which compliment any areas of interest that you may like to explore in your Honours year. The only other consideration you should give in relation to things that you may find you need is that if you are intending to go into a fairly specialised area of practice in whatever field, you could find that your employment will require (or “highly recommend”) that you have completed certain units of study in your degree. This is particularly true when, for example you are able to specialise in the later years of engineering degrees.

Units that you may WANT This is more a collection of hints and tips that we have picked out of the Counter Course survey this year, about things that you might like to consider when selecting subjects, particularly if you have a bit of room to get creative in subject selection. One thing that you may like to have in your mind, particularly in more generic degrees like B Arts and B Science, is what skills and knowledge you can acquire over your entire three year degree, and what employment opportunities that will present. You should identify, irrespective for the moment of what subject areas they actually fit into, what skills and attributes you require for your dream profession, and aim for those. Increasingly, employers value graduates with interdisciplinary skills, who show that they can think critically about a wide range of complex ideas.

We know what you are thinking. You just love University so much that you wish it wasn’t only confined to two semesters. Well, we have the solution for you! In all seriousness, some students find that Summer and Winter Schools are a good way to catch up on prerequisites if you have cocked up your subject selection. Also, if you are an eager beaver and can’t wait to get out into the work force, they are a way to rush your degree. You should be wary of a few things first, the first being YOU INSANE PERSON, HOLIDAYS ARE FOR HOLIDAYING. The second is that Summer and Winter Schools can’t go on HECS, so you will be a bit out of pocket (to the tune of thousands of dollars). It is often said that sometimes University is just about knowledge for knowledge’s sake, and there is nothing wrong with that. Many of the degrees at USyd provide students with the flexibility to pick subjects which may just randomly tickle their fancy, but are unlikely to define their entire life from this point on. Make sure you pick (at least some…) subjects that interest you, or your degree can become a form of torture befitting the University’s gothic architecture. You know what they say, all Advanced Mathematics and no Manning makes Jack a dull boy. Many students also find that building a semester or two of exchange into their degree (if you can afford it or get financial assistance) is another excellent experience offered by the University. The staff in the International Office are very helpful with all your degree planning, but you should bear in mind that that you are unlikely to find reciprocal agreements for prerequisite units (though stranger things have been known to happen). This is something you will eventually have to negotiate with the faculty, but you should try to get them all out of the way to just avoid the hassle.

This has in no way been a comprehensive guide to subject selection. We don’t claim to be experts in every single degree program or set of prerequisites (but after writing this handbook, we may be doing better than most!). Ultimately, if you have questions you should consult your Faculty. If you find yourself stuck in a rut, don’t stress. The SRC caseworkers, located on level 1 of the Wentworth Building have probably been through your problem before with a hundred other students. Go see them, they’re always able to help. You can also email them at, or phone our office 9660 5222. If you are on one of the satellite campuses, they will be out there for at least one day a week, give us a call to find out when. Happy planning!

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 5

University LIES YOUR TEACHERS TELl Lucy Saunders

The university never fails to come up with outrageous and unexpected

half-arsed essay and actually have a chance to put a bit of thought in and

twists of bureaucratic insanity, so what I’m about to provide is not a

actually (crazily) learn something.

complete list. It is, however, a decent guide for first-time uni students in standard university bullshit, and the lies every Students’ Representative Council USyds going to hear at least once. Hopefully this guide will help you take everything with a grain of salt.

1. You can’t change you tutorial times ever, not even if you have to care for your elderly, blind one-legged mother

3. Miss the exam, fail the course, no questions asked, get shot in the face for good measure Puff. I once missed an exam worth 60% of the final mark because I’m too dumb to read a bus timetable properly. They let me resit it, possibly stunned into helpfulness because I admitted to doing some so idiotic.

This old chestnut’s a particular favourite of the Law faculty, who insist

Ignoring the fact that its relatively essay to fake a family trauma if you’re

that UNI COMES FIRST OMG even if your 6pm three hour seminar

desperate, most excuses that don’t involved the word ‘hangover’ will get a

on international haberdashery law conflicts with your job, or your caring

decent hearing. Even then, if you’re an arts student, you’ve got a shot.

responsibilities. The real trick is to be honest. Don’t lie to your lecturers – they’ve heard This is a lie. You can always change your timetable, for whatever reason

better excuses than you can think of. Just say what happened, apologise if

you want even just not wanting to start before twelve. If the faculty office

appropriate and ask for mercy.

is giving you a hard time – just do it online.

4. You will fail the course if you don’t talk 2. There will be no extensions on this heaps in tutes, even if you don’t really like assignment for anything except the speaking in huge groups unexpected loss of an organ, and even then it has to be an important one Tute participation is a joke. Mostly it involves two smartarses yammering away at each other for an hour while everyone else nods awkwardly and This is also massively untrue. The overwhelming majority of university

pretends they did the readings. Sometimes you’ll be lucky enough to have

academics will give you an

a tute where people actually discuss

extension if you ask politely

thinks like civilised human beings.

enough. Even if you’re unlucky enough to come across a hardass the SRC can help you appeal if you’ve got a halfway legitimate reason. The point is, you shouldn’t feel bullied into not asking for an extension. Its not like you’ve got anything to lose.


Is the Man getting you down? If you have any issues at all with your enrollment or your course, come and see the friendly srC caseworkers on Level 1 of the Wentworth building. they’ll sort you out!

just trying to avoid handing in a PaG e 6

Mostly not. Even if you’ve been sitting up the back trying to work out what subject this is the whole time, you can pretty much save your tute participation mark by saying a few relevant things towards the end of semester. If the tutor learns you’re amen, bonus marks for you. If you’re really uncomfortable talking, have a chat to your tutor outside of

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

University class. Generally, you can work out something to make things easier for you, like breaking into small groups. Remember, nobody else knows anything about anything anyway.

5. Your mark is final, FINAL DO YOU HEAR ME, FINAL Even if you think you’ve

Not at Camperdown? our caseworker goes out to the satellite campuses at least one day per week, phone our offices on 9660 5222 to find out when!

been marked unfairly, or discriminated against, or had to struggle to keep up with your studies because the real world was rudely interrupting, your final mark is final? Filthy lies. This is where the SRC comes in. Come down to our crazy basement offices, and we’ll help you appeal your results.

You could

be remarked, or receive special consideration, or possible even have the result removed from your

7. Plagiarise, even by accident and you’re out of uni, and you never get a job, and nobody will ever love you My advice here is DON’T DO IT FOOL! However, that can be easier said than done.

The university’s plagiarism policy is not the most

consistent thing around. Different academics have different ideas of what constitutes plagiarism – and so do a lot of students. The SRC is working to develop a fair and reasonable policy on plagiarism with the university – one that focuses on helping students stop nicking other people’s work, other than just immediately throwing them out. If you’ve got plagiarism problems, come to the SRC immediately. We’ll help you get a fair hearing, and represent you against the university. This is nowhere near a comprehensive list of the kind of nonsense that the university will throw at you over the course of your degree. Bit it’s a start. The point is, the university administration likes to pretend that there’s cold, hard rules that nobody can or does deviate from. But here in reality-land nobody’s perfect, and students fuck up, or have real-life dramas and issues that interfere with their studies. The Counter Course handbook is here to remind you that the university administration are most likely human and not killer androids from outer space, and that there’s always an alternative to what the university says.

academic record. Don’t just suffer in silence. Tell us. We can help.

6. If you don’t submit the essay by EXACTLY 4.30 you will lose 400% Centrally it’s a good idea to follow the drop-off deadlines, unless you have an extension. However a lot of faculties wont actually collect the essays until the next morning. So, if you’re desperate, turn up really early the next morning, backdate the cover sheet and deposit it before the staff turns up. There’s no guarantee this’ll work every time, but it’s worth a shot, and when it does work, it’s bloody awesome.

“i must not tell lies.” StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 7

Agriculture AGRICULTURE The Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources is a relatively small part of the University, but one which receives nearuniversally positive reviews. Maybe they just breed them tough in the bush? Or maybe its those four-night long camping trips in remote locations that bring all the Agriculture students close. A little too close. Students were overwhelmingly positive about the units of study offered by the Faculty. The most positively reviewed subject was AGEC2010, ‘Agribusiness Marketing’ from Agricultural Economics, which students generally described as “relevant to my degree.” We’re not going to lie. It doesn’t get us particularly excited, but an overwhelming majority of students said that Agricultural Economics units were ‘the shit’. Other subjects which received top grades were AGEC3104, ‘Research Methods,’ praised for “excellent teachers who engaged all students actively in learning.” There are a variety of disciplines and degrees offered by the Faculty. One such degree, the B Environmental Systems, was rated highly by students. In particular the introductory course ENSY1002, ‘Ecological Sustainability’ was praised for the lecturer, Mark Adams, and an impressive and knowledgeable array of guest lecturers. Life on a farm isn’t pretty. Early mornings. Heavy work. To prepare you for this, you work like a packhorse for 26 contact hours per week in this Faculty (making it one of the highest in the University). There weren’t a lot of complaints about this from students, but just be warned that you probably won’t be holding down a part-time job while you study.

One particularly important element of the degrees in this Department is the several-night-long field trips to regional areas. We’re not going to lie, these can be a bit of a strain on the budget, typically costing between $200$300 dollars. Some are more expensive, and they are also usually more awesome, such as the Central Australian Field Studies Program, a fuckoff-awesome ten day trip to the Northern Territory. We. Are. So. Jealous. It sounds amazing. If you can afford it, definitely get on board. Most respondents to this years’ Counter Course Survey found the faculty to be accommodating of financial need, saying that “Time was given to organise the money, and the university paid the majority of the expenses for the trip.” Remember, if you are having some difficulties, the SRC can give you short term loans. Come and see us in our offices, Level 1, Wentworth Building. The only negative comment we received from a student in the faculty was about another onerous ancillary cost. This student claimed (and we certainly believe them), that you can pay up to $450 per semester on text books. We would advise that you check out the library, which has to have at least one copy. Also, try the SRC Secondhand Bookshop in the Wentworth building which, more likely than not has what you are looking for. You should also be aware that the Department enjoys setting final exams worth obscenely high portions of your overall mark. However, while the editors of the handbook baulked at the prospect of an 80% examination, one student responded that the “Worst thing” about their units of study was “final exams worth less than 60%.” Well… each to their own I guess. But consider yourself warned if exams aren’t your thing.

Course delivery in the faculties varies between lectures (just as crowded as everywhere else), tutorials (amazingly less crowded) and practical sessions (absurdly more crowded, sometimes with over sixty students in a single class). The consensus among those students who responded to the Counter Course survey was that “Applied subjects are so much better than theory based subjects,” but that our University being the sandstone-clad institution that it is tends to favour the latter.

Disagree with me? Punk? unfortunately, very few students from this faculty completed the Counter Course survey this year. If you think we got it wrong. do all students a favour, fill in the survey next year! PaG e 8

new dean of the Faculty of agriculture

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

Architecture ARCHITECTURE The Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning offers two choices to students entering Uni: a B Design in Architecture or B Design in Computing. Whichever you choose, (and students recommended both in equal measure), you will leave USyd with the basic tools that you need to become an architect. Before you continue, you have to understand just how demanding your course will be – none of this cruisy art student lifestyle for you. One student went as far as to describe the studio as a second home and to say that their cohort will become like a second family. This shouldn’t worry you, despite your degree being a particularly demanding master, students ooze enthusiasm for their course. There is a core of excellent teachers that you can look forward to so make sure you seek out Alan Peters and Andy Dong.

Pro Tip: Keep your eye out for a “study trip” (read: junket) down to Melbourne to “experience” another australian city.

One thing to look forward to are your electives. These are designed for you to get an understanding of the actual technical practices of architecture and artistic design and to experiment with new and evolving technologies. Students advised that you take advantage of these (somewhat rare in this Faculty) moments of freedom, and try a variety of different disciplines. Survey respondents also recommended planning your electives early, so that you can balance the work-load a bit, and not spend every waking moment sketching models. A basic week as an architecture student will include around 14 hours in Wilkinson (an ironically ugly building, which will become your second home) in day-long tutorials with accompanying lectures. This huge amount of time confined with the same students creates a great culture and group of friends for architecture students. Complaints in the Faculty with regards to assessment were less focused on the modes of assessment, with a variety of design work, model construction, sketching and drawing and presentation panels, and more on the sheer work-load. Assessments take a disproportionate amount of time to the percentage that they contribute to your final work. They are also (much to the pain of any uni student) not the sort of assessments that

you can easily cram for, or rush the night before. The advice from the Counter Course survey is work hard and work early. One of the greatest causes of consternation this year for students of the Faculty of Architecture has been access to the internet. While Arts students may spend the University’s new unlimited free downloads (thank you, SRC!) downloading episodes of Gossip Girl to their laptops (I know I sure will…), you will have A LOT to download, and A LOT of work to do that requires the internet. We haven’t yet experienced all this new free internet, but there is a chance that you will be frustrated by slow download times, and the lack of availability of computers, especially around exam time. You have a couple of options on this one, either do most of your work at home, or invest some smart cash in an internet dongle which will allow you to work with faster speeds at uni. One troubling incident that has come to light with the anonymity offered by the CC survey was that, apparently, a tutor was threatening students with failure openly in the classroom. If you see, hear or experience anything like this, drop by the SRC and speak to one of the caseworkers. They will be able to find the appropriate course of action to remedy the situation. Money-wise you should watch out – you need to be prepared to spend a bit of dough getting the relevant tools and materials for drawing, modeling etc. The computers in Wilkinson are loaded with all the software that you’ll need and being a student gives you 24/7 access, so you shouldn’t have to worry about buying it all yourself. On a final note that has been bugging us this entire time: the editors of this handbook would just like to ask all of you aspiring architects that are reading this, one question: what on earth was the architect of the UTS Tower thinking?

crime against humanity? You decide.

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 9



The Ancient History department at USyd is so well regarded that people are literally dying to get on to the curriculum! But actually, if dates, numbers and dead guys are your thing (no judgement), there is no better place to indulge those tendencies than at this university. Students gushed with praise over several members of the teaching staff, most notably Julia Kind, coordinator of ANHS3609, ‘Herodotus and His World.’ Kindt was described as “really sympathetic and encouraging” and “interesting.” Props also go to Alistair Blanshard, Margaret Miller and Martin Gibbs who also get rave reviews from students. Overall, there were very few criticisms of the Department of Classics and Ancient History. It is a comparatively cheap major, with few text books and cheap readers. Students did, however, commonly comment on the overcrowding of lectures and tutorials, which they felt “was really daunting at the start in the face of a participation mark for mandatory discussion.” Students tended to agree, though, that the quality lecturers and tutors in this faculty went some way to overcoming this.

Prophecy for Ancient Historians: beware the Ides of March…and overcrowded tutorials.

Not many Archaeology students managed to fill out the Counter Course survey this year – we’ve decided that this is because they’re off at a dig somewhere exotic and carrier pidgeon services just ain’t what they used to be. The Department has some excellent staff according to students. Shout outs go to Meg “the best thing about the department” Miller, Martin “engaging” Gibbs and Sarah “the outstanding” Colley. There is a huge range of units of study available for Archaeology students, and responses indicated that quality can vary almost as much as content. Units to look out for include: Meg Miller’s ARCA2610, ‘Minoans and Mycenaens,’ which scored great reviews. People have raved about Sarah Colley’s archaeological theory unit, ARCA1002, ‘Archaeology: An Introduction,’ because “she worked hard to invite special guest lecturers” and her Friday afternoon lecture series. One of the introductory courses, ARCA1001, ‘Ancient Civilisations’ was mentioned frequently for all the wrong reasons. The consensus from students was that you won’t get a lot out of the lectures, and that the course seems to be pitched at a very low level of understanding. Historically, (YES! Pun!) students have taken issue with the tutorial sizes in this department. Comparatively, only one student expressed a complaint this year, with most students finding them reasonable. This is a positive sign that the Department have been listening and responding to student feedback. Top marks. Heritage Studies subjects can – if you so desire – count towards your major in Archaeology, so look out for some interesting subjects that will diversify your degree. BUT fyi - you cannot do Heritage Studies Honours.

One other quirk of the department that students identified was that there is a very limited choice of junior units, and most of them are a poor reflection of the nature and direction of the senior units of study in Ancient History. The effect of this is that many students elect a major in Ancient (or, as the case may be, avoid one) based on these odd foundational units. The best way to overcome this is to have a read of the UOS guides, talk to senior units, and READ THE COUNTER COURSE HANDBOOK (tick), to determine what other students before you have encountered. There is a trend in students of Ancient History also studying other subjects such as Archaeology or Heritage studies, and these different disciplines complement each other pretty well. One student also recommended “In an Ancient History major, do Ancient Greek or Latin as soon as possible. It is unbelievably helpful.” Ancient History at USyd is a very safe option: good teaching staff, affordable resources, and an engaging senior curriculum.

PaG e 10

Prospects of getting action in ancient History subjects: HIGH.

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

Students seem do really enjoy Archaeology – there are scarcely any complaints (which, for uni students, is very rare). So, if you fancy yourself the next Indiana Jones (because satchels are so in right now), this seems to be the way to go.



Students in this Department seemed to love anthropology as if it were in their DNA. (Get it? Aaaah Anthropology humour). The Anthropology Department has had some excellent reviews this year. Students were really positive about the subjects available and the staff gets a big round of applause.

Art History majors cop a lot of flack from almost every other student at uni. It usually runs along the lines of: What did the Art History student say to the Law student? … “Do you want fries with that”. Arts History students probably have the last laugh though; they have better facilities, a generally good teaching staff, and really only one awful unit of study.

The good times seem to start in first year – ANTH1001 was a cracker apparently. It scored some really good reviews and the lecturer Toni Waronov was described as “fantastic” and that she was “totally engaging and made a HUGE difference to learning outcomes”. And it gets better, ANTH1002 was, according to students “really relevant and on point about globalisation”. One student has even decided that it should be mandatory for all arts students. The handbook editors are not so sure about this – but clearly its worth checking out. Another lecturer to look out for is Linda Connor, who is the lecturer for ANTH2613, Being there: Method in Anthropology. She is one of the many “helpful” and “engaged” staff members in the department. Unfortunately, the Department hasn’t embraced technology perhaps as much as students would like them to. You still wont be finding lectures recorded in any of your subjects. The advice from previous students is definitely that attending lectures is very important to grasping the key concepts in Anthropology, so don’t miss them if you can avoid it. We also have some good news about ancillary course costs – they are very low. You are unlikely to be stuck in co-op for hours like the soon to be cash deprived students from other faculties. Generally all you need are the readers, which you can usually pick up on the cheap. We’re not going to pretend as though anthropology is for everyone. Some students will inevitably hate the discipline, its theoretical approaches and the subject matter covered. However, if it is something that interests you, this seems to be the environment in which to do it.

Top Tips: - learn the concepts early in the semester - in picking your subject areas, take majors that complement each other - do all the readings

Schaeffer Library deserves a special mention. If you are reading this and are not an Art History major, or maybe even if you are, you probably have no idea where Schaeffer is, what goes on there, or whether you are welcome. To be honest, neither did we, but our own “research” certainly didn’t disappoint. The place is kitted out with enough Macs to make Steve Jobs blush, a very handy air conditioner and, unlike Fisher, doesn’t smell like dust all the time. But don’t tell anyone, alright?! (Oops…) The staff of this small department apparently run excellent lectures and tutorials. Shout outs have to go to Olly Watts, Laleen Jayamanne and Bruce Issacs who are especially enthusiastic and knowledgeable. You may find yourself incurring some pretty awful course costs. Usually these aren’t required, but art text books can be a killer, and are as good as compulsory for some subjects. Make sure you check Schaeffer and Fisher before making any obscene investments! Look out though, many Art History majors lament the lack of practical experience – so make sure that you volunteer at a gallery if you want to get a well rounded education (the Uni’s Verge Art Gallery comes to mind!). This is particularly important if you want to work in the industry in some way – experience is invaluable, so try to find some. Most subjects got excellent reviews in the Counter Course survey. The only reservations were with ARHT1002 (20th Century art and film), so proceed with caution if you choose this one. In all, students love Art History subjects: there are generally very small tutorial sizes and the lectures are, on the whole, very engaging. And most importantly the department is staffed by people who have an infectious enthusiasm for what they teach. there are many future employment Wins all round.

options for art History Majors: Mcdonalds Stanmore, Mcdonalds central, Mcdonalds darling Harbour.

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 11

Arts ENGLISH It seemed to come as a shock to some of the respondents of the Counter Course survey that English is a discipline that requires a lot of reading. Consider yourself forewarned. Whether because the uni is full of bookworms, or a lot of people who needed to fill an extra unit, English is one of the biggest disciplines in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Keep in mind, though, that English at university is a tad different to HSC English, so First Years are advised to read the unit of study outlines and make sure that you know what you are getting yourself into. Although English units are a bit of a mixed bag (and trust us, there are some mind-numbingly awful units), there are some really interesting, and really highly rated subjects. We give gongs in this Department to Lawrence Warner for ENGL1025 ‘Fiction, Film and Power’ who is apparently “hilarious” and “made people actually show up,” as well as Barry Spurr who is “awesome”, if “a bit cranky.” All that reading that English students complained about in the Counter Course survey doesn’t come cheap. These novels (as well as readers) are often prohibitively expensive and impossible to find in any normal library (not even, we are told, in Fisher!) We could be responsible editors and tell you to always do your readings, as it is the easiest way to make meaningful contributions to class discussions. But, both you and I know that isn’t going to happen. Instead, we like one student’s helpful advice: “It’s better to read all of some of the books, than only a portion of all.” True facts.

Recommended: Lawrence Warner, enGL1025 ‘Fiction, Film and Power.’

Many students also complained that subjects seemed to be as unstructured as a Chuck Palanhuick novel. This is partly a complaint shared by many students with the disorganisation of Faculty of Arts administration services, and in part a reflection on, what some students felt was the poor planning and execution of specific courses by their coordinators. One student commented that the lecturer only seemed to realise what the course was about half way through teaching it. We’re sure that teacher would respond with something along the lines of “meaning is not fixed, it is what you derive as an individual from the course. What

PaG e 12

does English Literature mean to YOU?”, but, frankly, we think that’s crap. It shouldn’t be a surprise to you if you find yourself reading ostensibly useless extracts from novels written in other languages that relate only tangentially to the course. You have been warned. The Counter Course Technophobe Award goes, for about the fourth year in a row, to (*drumroll*) THE DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH!, not only for very few lectures being available online, but very few lecture slides even being made available, and some lecturers refusing to use slides at all. Rather than join the rest of us in the twenty-first century, the Department of English prefers to give the ‘Classical Touch’ to their pedagogical approaches. It isn’t particularly revolutionary, but you really need to attend lectures in English. With such poor online support it is very difficult to get a grasp of the subjects without it. An alarming number of Counter Course responses also had issue with the tutorials. Not only was it noted that many of the tutorials were overcrowded, making it difficult to have the types of dense discussion required by the course and the subject matter, but there were several complaints about the competency of tutors. One student noted “Tutorials are very hit and miss – sometimes the tutor is incredible and really adds to the value of the subject, but other times they are lax and lazy, which really hinders learning/engagement with a course.” Too right. We’re not going to lie, students didn’t think the English department were great, but if it is your passion, you are always going to find the subject matter engaging irrespective of the workload, teaching staff or use of technology.

“enGLIsH, MotHerFuCker. do You sPeak It?”

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11



If an Art History major isn’t quite hipster enough for you, may we suggest a major in Film Studies? Offered through the Department of Art History, Film Studies is a standalone major that gets excellent reviews from students. We think one student put it best, “despite its small Department, [Film Studies] continues to impress.”

It was difficult to find a single student in this years’ Counter Course survey with a bad thing to say about the Department of Gender Studies. The department is pretty diverse, with courses on topics ranging from ‘Identity, Place and Culture’ to ‘Sex Violence and Transgression’ and ‘Youth Cultures.’ This makes a major in Gender and Cultural Studies a pretty attractive option for students who want some variety in their senior units.

When we say “small Department”… there are literally three academics in it. So there isn’t a lot of time for individual assistance, but they do an amazing job. It feels awkward giving individual “shout-outs” in such a small Department, particularly when all the staff got rave reviews. Bruce Issacs was described as “funny and engaging” and Richard Smith as a legend. We doubt that you will have any problems with any of them. The path to getting a Film Studies major is pretty complex, so be careful that you know the prerequisites associated with it. For example, you need 18 junior credit points in Art History, which must include either ARHT1002, ‘Modern Times: Art and Film’ or ARHT1025, ‘Fiction, Film and Power’ in order to qualify for the senior units. Then, there is one compulsory unit, ARTH2652, ‘Silent to Sound Cinema’ and you must do at least three of the four other Film Studies units (listed on their website) to qualify as a major. There… Simple right? If you have any problems, come and see one of the SRC’s caseworkers, on Level 1 of the Wentworth Building. As with other Art History subjects, ancillary costs (expensive text books, etc.) can be a bit of a killer. Students also noted that you need to see cinema (like, a lot of cinema) to really get on top of the course. And none of this Hollywood Blockbuster crap. You need to go all arthouse. And that doesn’t come cheap. Other than some occasionally problematic costs, we could not find one student who wanted to give a negative review of Film Studies. Apparently the staff are courteous and supportive, they hand back assignments in a timely fashion (a rarity in the Faculty of Arts), and they teach subjects that are genuinely interesting and engaging. Five stars.

Massive props go to Dr Melissa Gregg’s unit ‘Love, Intimacy and Friendship’, GCST2610, alternately described by students as “pretty fun with some of the best pop-culture studies,” “a fantastic, enlightening unit that opens many minds to new ideas” and “like group therapy for the impoverished student.” Honourable mentions go to Mark Steven, Catherine Driscoll and Jennifer Germon. There was not a single staff member in this department reported to be sub-par. The only real criticism of the subjects in this department is that, as they have a high proportion of students who only take a single GCST unit to ‘fill in a spare subject,’ courses occasionally spend a lot of time rehashing the basics of the discipline. However, the breadth of subjects offered in this department means that this isn’t a massive problem. Students who have previously majored in Gender Studies recommend attending as many of the lectures as you can, if only because they are pretty interesting, and doing some wide reading to engage in tutorial debates. In all, it is hard to distil all of the gushing praise lavished on this Department in the Counter Course survey into a half-page article, but trust us, Gender Studies is the shit.

Pro Tip: in 2011, the department of Gender and cultural Studies will be offering First Year subjects for the first time. Get. On. Board. Film studies majors are well-known babe-magnets. StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 13

Arts GOVERNMENT AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS It is a well established fact that most, if not all, Government students think that they’re going to be the next Josh Lyman. Anybody who has ever sat through a Government tute is aware that they are sorely mistaken. Nevertheless, the Department of Government and International Relations is very popular, and has a broad range of subjects on offer. It has been alleged in previous years that the staff of the Government Department may lean to one side of the political spectrum or another – however this has not been a feature of the Counter Course survey this year and is not the experience of the Handbook Editors.

Recommended: - Peter Chen FtW - us studies Centre - Watch the news. on the abC. Cretons.

In the first year of a Government major, you have to endure subjects that do give a good general understanding of topics but may leave you contemplating self harm after the first half hour (there are only so many times that you can cover the realist, liberal and critical perspectives on any given issues). But hang in there, the subjects do get much more interesting. Peter Chen (described as “inspiring” and “amazing”) starts to find his way into your life and makes it all worthwhile. The US Studies Centre deserves an individual mention. From second year onwards, it opens its privately funded doors to you. USSC2601 (Obama’s America) and USSC2602 (US in the World) are some of the best subjects that you can do at uni. They are taught by inspiring lecturers (Geoffrey Garret and Brendan O’Connor) who will leave you wanting more. There are a variety of cross-listed units that you can take in Government, both in US Studies, as well as the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and others. These units are often far more engaging and innovative in their teaching practices, and are a good way to mix-up your degree. Tutorials are possibly the best element to these subjects, if you are in a tutorial of people who have done the readings and are prepared to voice their opinions (even if they’re wrong!). There are two general stereotypes that you have to watch out for in Government tutes – the crypto-fascist and the Trotskyite. If you score a tutorial with both of these then you are definitely in for an interesting semester – but make sure that you participate because their fighting can often claim the entire tutorial. PaG e 14

The staff of the Department of Government got mixed reviews. James Reilly and Peter Chen got universally excellent reviews. Gil Merom seemed to be an acquired taste. Ben Goldsmith copped a shellacking from students. Bob Howard also deserves a shout out – although frequently absent and partaking in a vendetta against technology, he is an excellent lecturer and course coordinator for GOVT2116, ‘Australian Foreign and Defence Policy’. There are some courses that are not for the faint hearted; GOVT2114, ‘The Australian Political Party System’ is practically exclusively focused on the theoretical evolution of parties, leaving some students disappointed. World Politics rehashes over a semester the same three core theories of liberalism, realism and critical theory. There are some really excellent courses offered by the Department that you should keep your eye out for. Geopolitics in first year always gets a good reputation, as well as Media Politics as a senior unit. Government and International Relations (like many arts majors) is incredibly essay heavy – so if detailed research and 2500 word essays are not your thing, reassess quickly what you want to do. But if you enjoy the ramblings of Rob Oakshott, Bob Katter’s hat and the UN, these subjects will be right up your alley The Department of Government and International Relations will continue to attract hoards of students no matter the quality of the learning experience. It is a shame that it is sub-par in many respects. Nevertheless, those interested in politics, including the two handbook editors, will still get a kick out of the heated and engaging debate generated by the often interesting and stimulating course material in this discipline.

outrageous hats are a bogus anciliary course cost. but necessary to succeed in GoVt.

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

Arts HISTORY If there was only one thing that was gained through the Counter Course survey – it is that there are many people who care a lot about History at USyd. The History department is held in high regard around the world. The department is noted for its Australian, American and European history – so don’t be to concerned if you hated Australian history in year 10, this will be an entirely different experience. In line with its high regard, the staff of the History Department were described almost universally as fantastic. The standouts included: Francis Clarke, Cam Mackellar, Penny Russell, Kirsten McKenzie, and Margaret Sampson. All of these lecturers teach their subject with unbridled passion and enthusiasm which students have loved enough to raise in the Counter Course survey. There are a plethora of excellent subjects, in particular US History from Lincoln to Clinton (HSTY1074) – which garners excellent reviews no matter who the lecturer is. A House Divided (HSTY2656) and Politics and Cultres of US Imperialism (HSTY2667). There seems to be a theme here… Their US history courses are freaking awesome. Get. On. Board. Your History course will generally have two hours of lectures (either in 2 x 1 hour blocks or 1 x 2 hour block) and a one hour tutorial. Watch out, if you are expecting to ditch your lectures because they’re recorded – think again. There are very few lecturers who have decided to record their lectures. Plus, most of the lectures are really interesting. Do yourself a favour. Go to class.

Tutorials are a large and important component in History courses. Many students complained that tutorial sizes were overly large. You should also be aware that many of the tutorials are led by Postgraduate students, rather than academics. Some students like the enthusiasm and passion that many of these tutors bring to their role, but others complain that they lack control, or in some cases actual teaching ability. Although this is definitely not a universal experience, with many people expressing their undying love for the History tutorials and their tutors.

Top Tips: - do your readings! (Sometimes it can be fun. Sometimes.) - don’t be that guy who doesn’t contribute in tutes. nobody likes that guy.

Don’t forget your tutorial participation is important, it goes towards your final subject mark. So don’t be that silent person that sits in the corner. That person is often creepy, and a presumed psychopath. Speak out! Your tutor, and the rest of the class, will probably thank you for it. Luckily, History does not require the purchase of a large and expensive textbook and you can get away with a relatively inexpensive course reader. One thing to note is that the department’s 3rd year subjects have been the subject of brutal course cut backs (Boo. Hiss. Shame.). Thus, you have access to the full array of subjects by second year. Don’t let any of this put you off, though. The Department of History is loaded with compassionate and committed academics who will no doubt excite you with truly interesting subject matter.

the Head of the department of History enjoys a walk in the Quad. StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 15



We’re not going to lie. There were very few responses to the Counter Course Survey from students taking Koori Studies. While this isn’t all that surprising, it is disappointing, given that the department has one of the best studentstaff ratios in the University. That being said, in the responses we DID get, and in the responses to previous Counter Course surveys, students of Koori Studies were overall very positive about the Koori Centre and its courses.

The relatively new B International and Global Studies is one of the many

Students who responded to the survey rated KOCR2605, ‘Speaking Gamilaraay I’ and KOCR2603, ‘Indigenous Health & Communities’ highest, praising in particular the teaching style in both of these subjects, which included small tutorials. These encouraged and fostered engaging class discussions, and an interesting variety of guest lectures.

arts-degrees-by-another-name introduced by the Faculty of Arts. So that students with higher UAIs/ATARs wouldn’t have to face the (apparent) horror of graduating with ‘just’ a B.A. The resulting degree is a deformed B Economics and B Arts with the flexibility of neither. Students should beware the restrictive nature of the requirements for this degree, and ensure that they understand how their choices in first year severely limit their degree pathways in senior units. The INGS core units garnered diverse responses in the survey. Universally, Professor Dick Bryan, a near-demi-God to BIGS students, was praised for the ‘challenging’ and ‘engaging’ INGS1001, functionally

In 2011, the Koori Centre is expanding, adding 5 new courses to its repertoire. These courses cover such diverse topics as ‘Indigenous Political Developments’ (KOCR2609), ‘Race, Racism & Indigenous Australia’ (KOCR3602) and ‘Reawakening Australian Languages’ (KOCR3607). Don’t take our word for it, because nobody has studied them yet, but these sound kickass, and we think that expansion can only do good things for the Koori Centre and Koori Studies at this university. All students who take Koori Studies are required to take the 18-credit point introductory unit KOCR2600, ‘Introduction to Indigenous Australia,’ which was said to be “full of social work students who had to be there,” making classes a little bigger, but not a whole lot more engaging in terms of tutorial participation. It’s ok though, if you are passionate about Koori Studies, stick it out to the senior units, because some of them are bloody fantastic.

an introduction to Political Economy and basic economic thought. Many students also felt that the diversity of the INGS units, offered jointly by the Departments of Political Economy, Government and International Relations, Sociology and Anthropology were to be highly valued. This allows students an introductory ‘taste’ of all of these disciplines throughout the two first-year subjects. Another positive of this degree is that the relatively small cohort of ‘BIGS kids’ are close (…almost too close…), so there is a “great atmosphere” around the core units, formalised by the new ‘INGSOC.’ Many students expressed reservations about the INGS core units, in particular INGS1002 ‘Global Culture and Society,’ which students

Reading the course descriptions for some of these subjects has given us a little bit of course-envy. We think these subjects look great, and from all accounts they are pretty interesting and engaging because of a fantastic set of teaching staff. You can only start Koori studies as a second year subject, so give it some consideration!

described as “boring” and “unengaging.” Students were divided as to whether they blamed just the coordinator, or the entirety of the Departments of Anthropology and Sociology, but whatever the case, the general vibe was that this course required “serious overhaul.” It is interesting to note that similar feedback was given last year, and little has been done to correct this course, perhaps suggesting that the coordinators are unresponsive to feedback. Basically, approach with caution. Some students passionately love this degree, and others make it out to be the most painful experience ever. Just remember the rules important to all ‘designer degrees’: know the prerequisites, consult the faculty, and remember you can always change degrees if you feel too restricted.

this mature age student recently failed koori studies PaG e 16

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

Arts LANGUAGES Although not a department in its own right we have decided to tackle the languages at USyd in one hit. There are a lot of good things to say about the languages offered. You will find that almost no matter what you want to study – you are catered for. You will be able to study your relatively standard French, German, Italian and Japanese, but if Old Norse or Yiddish tickle your fancy, we hear there is no place better than at the University of Sydney. The smorgasbord of languages offered was the most commonly noted thing by people filling in the Counter Course survey this year.

Course survey were common to all language students, no matter which particular discipline they were in. One of the biggest complaints was the large cost associated with languages. Not only do you have to buy textbooks, novels and sometimes readers, but there is an added burden of foreign dictionaries and in later years thesauruses, and these costs can stack up. The advice is not to rush out and buy all the dictionaries and thesauruses at the start of semester, but to wait until you see if you actually need it. Also, remember the SRC offers short-term loans to students in need, just come see us in our offices.

Tutorials are both the best and worst element to languages. They are where you will put what you have learned into practice in a really positive and supportive environment. However beware as the more popular languages suffer from severe overcrowding – some tutes are billed as “seminars,” and while this In French, the 2nd semester first might make them sound more year courses received excellent professional, or even more reviews, as well as FRNC3690, intensive, it is university-speak ‘French Political Cinema.’ for “more students crammed Members of the teaching staff in a classroom,” sometimes as were also highly praised, especially many as forty. If you take one Jacqueline Marguet, described as there has always been a lot of tension between of the less popular languages, “the best teacher of all time” (a big German and French Majors. then your tutorials are normally claim), so her subjects FRNC1611 less crowded, so more attention is paid to each student. This is both and 1612 come highly recommended from previous students. a blessing and a curse, as you can’t really fake your way through your The Italian Department possibly managed more praise than any other homework… (Not that any of us would ever fail to do homework…) language area. There was not a single negative criticism of any of their staff. A special mention has to go to Giorgia Alu, about whom students Watch your step: there seems to be an across the board complaint that you have to be very proactive in order to do well at languages subjects. were positively gushing. In particular you have to make sure that you are continually revising Hebrew also received some positive responses, with students saying that your grammar and vocab lists (very year 10). Unlike most other subjects the course content was particularly detailed, and allowed tutors and where an eleventh hour cram session will get you over the line, cramming for a language exam simply will not work. lecturers to focus on and engage with students. Completing a language major is not as simple as just rote learning a bunch of nouns and verbs, and passing facile speaking tests. Each major has two components: language subjects and cultural subjects. As such, students had a variety of responses regarding the quality of teaching and learning:

In a big shock to the stereotype, there were comments that German subjects (GRMN2631 + 2612) were poorly planned and executed. Moreover a lot of time was spent continually assessing the cohort rather than ensuring that everyone was understanding the content. Many of the issues experienced by students who responded to the Counter

If you have a passion for languages then you will not be disappointed, but watch out for the large workload that you will have to maintain throughout the semester in order to do well!

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 17

Arts Linguistics


Linguistics majors’ studies and interests can vary widely, but are united by the study of patterns in language and its use. Along with the regular units this year, Australia’s Indigenous Languages, Language Variation and Change, Cross-Cultural Communication, and Media Discourse make a return (in place of such units as Language, Brain and Mind, Language Acquisition, Computer Applications in Linguistics, Field Methods, and Phonological Theory), as well as two much older units – Morphology, and Genre and Register. Generally these have been fine units, and they certainly cater to a variety of tastes, providing depth and breadth to the major.

We’re not going to beat around the bush: UTS offer a much more practical, a much better regarded, and by all accounts a much better Media/Journalism degree. But, if you are reading this you are going to have to live with your choices. Ha.

But, while the introduction of more 3000-level units might provide a more rigorous curriculum, it is a real shame that the two 3000-level reading course units have been sacrificed. These provided some of the only rigorous preparation and one-on-one supervision available to those students aspiring to Honours. The two first year units, provide a fairly adequate preparation for many of the differing areas of study in senior units. First years who take adversely to the more scientific-feeling ‘Structure of Language’ will enjoy ‘Language and Social Context’, a unit which has inspired many on to further study. As for ancillary costs, textbooks are expensive, and usually necessary, while readers are rare; viable older textbook copies are in the SRC’s bookstore. Some units have good collections of electronic items (sometimes whole books), and relatively-speaking the number of copies of textbooks and online articles available is decent. The majority of assessment consists of assignments, often problem-solving or analytical tasks, rather than essays. Generally the workload is manageable, although there is moderately little reading and research in most units, which may not suit some students. Students should utilise consultation hours and email access to tutors/ lecturers, as marking criteria can often be opaque. In seminars in particular, large class sizes and ineffective feedback can prevent understanding of assignment requirements and the marking process. Along with the student representatives (, the Linguistics Society ( may also be able to assist, by providing further information or support (membership is free, Awesome!).

PaG e 18

But never fear! The USyd B Media and Communications does have a lot going for it. According to survey results, it gives students a broad look at the philosophy and practicalities of the media industry. Plus, the ability to take one or two majors outside of specialised MECO units, makes the degree more useful if you are, perhaps, not wedded to the idea of working at Fairfax all your life. The course is split between practical units and more theoretical subjects. In the case of the former, survey responses were clear: don’t get stuck in a group with the college guy who is only doing this subject to pick up, and who will surely do no work. Practical units have a few hidden ancillary fees (equipment, etc.), and often take a disproportionate amount of time to complete assessments (which are really friggen cool though, like making a radio show in your second year). Students were much less positive about theoretical units, particularly warning against MECO1003, ‘Principles of Media Writing’ and MECO3609, ‘Critical Practice in Media.’

Truth Bomb: Go to uts if you want to be a journalist...

Students should take a lot of care in degree planning with the B Media and Communications. Make sure you set yourself up for the major you want in first year, as it is difficult to change it mid-degree. One student advised “don’t just major in English because you think you have to. Pick what you are interested in, and get some diversity in you degree. Employers will value it later.” Make sure you read all the requirements before you select subjects, so that you take all the compulsory units, and have the necessary prerequisites done. Fun fact: You need to take MECO3603, ‘Media Law and Ethics’ in Semester 1, third year, before you are able to complete an internship.

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11



Budding thespians and cunning linguists alike find a home in the Department of Performance Studies. Responses to the Counter Course survey indicated that if it is your dream to be the next Rush, Depp or Blanchette, you may be a tad disappointed by this discipline, but if you are fine being a Brecht, Fo or Boal, you may be in the right place.

It is often argued that university lecturers betray a large left-wing bias in their approaches to subject matter. On the whole, this is just a fabrication of the media. Not so with the Department of Political Economy. Political Economy units differ from Economics subjects insofar as they approach the state of the global economy typically from a Neo-Marxist view. The trend in survey results seemed to be that the junior units were interesting and engaging, whereas senior units tended to be repetitive and overly demanding time-wise.

The Department of Performance Studies is one of the smallest in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. This has both good and bad aspects. On the plus side, you get to know your fellow thespians, as well as your lecturers very well, and intimate classes allow for a more personalised learning experience. On the down side, the Department is occasionally short staffed, and they occasionally have to get PhD students in to teach courses, and students noted that they are often not the best. There were very few negative comments about staff members, but Ian Maxwell takes out the gong in this Department for PRFM2604, ‘The Sociology of Theatre.’ Students described his appointment as Pro Dean as “a real loss to the Department,” as his course loading will surely decrease. Sad days. The introductory units are a bit of a mixed bag. PRFN2602, ‘Performance: Production & Interpretation,’ which has recently been moved to first semester, is apparently much better than PRFN2601, ‘Being There: Theories of Performance,’ which was described by students (who did not beat around the bush) as “dry” and “shit.” You will find that around half of the subjects are focussed on practical development, and around half on theoretical approaches to performance. Basically, if you want to learn how to be the next Hugh Jackman, you will probably be disappointed by some of your units of study.

The biggest shout out, as is always the case, goes to Frank Stilwell, for ECOP1001, ‘Economics as a Social Science,’ who was described by one student as “a god, and [he] should be worshipped as such.” Overall, feedback for all junior units of study was pretty positive, with most students finding the subjects to be a useful introduction to economic thought, if perhaps a little dry. The Counter Course Survey’s Mega-Fail award goes to ECOP2612, ‘Economic Policy in Global Context’ for returning the essays after the final exam. A perennial problem in the Department of Political Economy is the lack of choice and diversity in senior units. Most of the units just summarise (though admittedly in occasionally varied ways) the Marxist theory of development. Some units were, however, stand-outs, with ECOP 2011, ‘The Economics of Modern Capitalism, ECOP3015, ‘The Political Economy of the Environment,’ and ECOP3019, ‘Finance: Volatility and Regulation’ getting good reviews. Many students also noted a significant change in the direction and nature of the senior units as compared to the junior units, with senior units requiring more practical economic, as opposed to theoretical, reasoning. Political Economy has very few ancillary costs, as courses often don’t have expensive textbooks, and readers are often fairly affordable. However, few of the ECOP units make lectures available online, and students recommend not missing the lectures, which are often vital to success in the course.

Be warned that a lot of the assessments in this Department are group work projects, and many of them also have peer-assessed components. There weren’t very many students who complained about this aspect in the Counter Course survey, but if human interaction is not really your thing, just make sure you keep this in mind. Performance Studies can be a little on the expensive side, not because of readers or text books, which are usually quite cheap, but because many of the subjects have a course requirement to see certain pieces of professional theatre, and a subscription to the STC or Belvoir ain’t gunna come cheap. The Department is usually pretty good about this, and often includes a cheaper $10 show in their options for what you can see, and they are apparently very accommodating of students who come to them with genuine financial difficulty, so try that out if you are struggling. Remember, the SRC also gives short-term loans to students. If you need it, drop by Level 1, Wentworth Building.

However, if you are passionate about issues of development or social justice, or if you are just a Trotskyite from way back, this is the subject for you.

professor Frank Stilwell is a very well respected member of staff. StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 19

Arts PHILOSOPHY For a bunch of students who spend most of their time sitting in the cloisters, contemplating whether the world is actually real, Philosophy students had a lot of surprisingly practical suggestions for future students wishing to study in this, the oldest discipline at the University of Sydney. The Philosophy Department get a great wrap for their use of technology, with most lectures and lecture slides being available online (a massive win), for affordability, with the readers (although senselessly thick), pretty cost effective and for responding to student feedback, with the longest tradition of student representation on the campus. That’s 3/3 in our books! Students told us that a lot of subjects were hit and miss, but recommended PHIL2647, ‘The Philosophy of Happiness’ and PHIL2635, ‘Contemporary P o l i t i c a l Philosophy.’ For first years, there are three Philosophy courses, and you must pick two of them if you want to major in the discipline. They were all judged to be “ok”. In the Philosophy Department, there are several ‘light’ courses, and several fairly dense subjects. The recommendation from students was, unless considering a career as a Philosophy professor, to steer clear of such gems as PHIL2648, ‘German Philosophers: Leibniz to Nietzsche,’ which one student likened to “being thrown under [a certain failed Union Board Candidate in 2010 whose name shall not be published]”. Basically, approach at your own peril.

Top Tip: “set aside one day a week to hulksmash out all of your study. Works like a charm.”

Students noted that there was a “huge range of teaching quality in the Department of Philosophy. Some lecturers dedicate themselves to making the difficult material accessible and interesting, others leave you feeling confused and bitter.” David Braddon-Mitchell and Duncan Iverson take out the gongs in this Department, both being incredibly knowledgeable, as well as engaging lecturers. A Particularly special mention goes to Adrian Heathcote, of PHIL1011, for being the most polarising academic in the University. When one student was asked “What were the best things about your units of study?”, they responded “Adrian Heathcote. Adrian PaG e 2 0

Heathcote, Adrian Heathcote, Adrian Heathcote,” while another told us that he was “an arrogant prick.” To be honest, we only really started to worry when one respondent began describing his erotic poetry. We think Adrian sounds pretty great, even if he is a little arrogant, and for many students he made first year philosophy worthwhile. Tutorial sizes was another problem identified by many Philosophy Students in the Counter Course Survey. In good news for players, though, a campaign was run in one of the first year philosophy subjects to get smaller class sizes, and the department responded to this student feedback. Well played, cohort, well played. Remember, the Education Department of the SRC, and the Education Action Group are here to listen to all of your educational concerns and assist you in bringing them to the faculty. Hit us up at Please, we need the human contact! There were a few problems that students found with the modes of assessment in Philosophy. Typically, philosophy assignments love dishing out multiple 2,500-4,000 word essays per semester. So, if essay writing isn’t your thing, make sure you get on that fast or reconsider your choices. The University provides some pretty excellent training tools for essay writing, from The Write Site, accessible through WebCT, to seminars run early during the year (especially during O-Week), on how to write essays at a University level. We suggest checking some of these out if you think you may have problems.

Philosoraptor ponders the big questions in all our lives.

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11



If you have ever looked at the consumerist, cultured and cosmopolitan world around you and asked “why” in an irritatingly meta and existential manner, then potentially Sociology is the subject for you. The Department gets fairly mixed reviews, and the Counter Course survey results indicate that both lecturers, tutors and subjects in generally are fairly hit-and-miss. We hope this advice helps…

Students were clearly fearful of being struck down from on high if they criticised the Department of Religion in the Counter Course survey. Barely a bad thing was said about them. Call it divine intervention, but it seems as though the department are doing a great job.

As a discipline, sociology is particularly broad, and the diversity of senior subject choices reflects this. The relevant, ‘pop-culture’ nature of the subject makes tutorial discussions particularly lively and engaging. Most students who study sociology find the subject matter pretty interesting. An alarming number of students had a Laura-Beth Bugg-gasm all over the Counter Course Survey. Apparently, her two units of study, SCLG2604, ‘Social Inequality in Australia’ and SCLG2626, ‘The Sociology of Religion’ are the bomb. She was described by students as “knowledgeable,” “supportive” and “well-prepared” as well as “like a stern aunt who secretly gives you candy.” Do yourself a favour: do her courses. Unfortunately, however, survey results indicate that not all of the staff are like Dr Bugg. Students didn’t want to name names, but said that many of the units were “irritatingly simplistic” and “repetitive” in senior years. As a message to first-timers, SCLG1001 got very mixed reviews – some calling it “patronising”, with others raving about it. The consensus seems to be, wait it out – SCLG1002, as well as the senior units are better.

It was always going to be a delicate line for the Department to tread in teaching about theology in an unbiased and even-handed manner, but reports say that they do so quite well, with a few exceptions. One of the introductory units, RLST1002 ‘The History of God’ is apparently a little dicey in its methodological approaches. Students stressed, though, that the problem in the course was the content not the lecturer, Chris Hartney, who was universally praised for his enthusiasm. The good news is that those complaints are pretty isolated. Some of the subjects get rave reviews, in particular (and why are we not surprised…) RLST2635 ‘Sex, Desire and the Sacred.’ The staff in the department also got massive props from students, with a special shout-out going to Jay Johnsen, apparently an excellent lecturer. The Department of Studies in Religion is a pretty small department, and it doesn’t have a very large cohort, so class sizes are very reasonable. The only downside of this is that there isn’t a lot of choice in your units of study if you plan to major in it. That said, the subjects on offer are reasonably diverse, from ‘Religion, Media and Consumerism,’ and ‘Dualism: Zoroaster, Gnosis & Manichaeism’ to ‘Ancient Egyptian Religion and Music’ and ‘The Birth of Christianity.’ There is probably enough diversity to keep any budding theologian interested in this major. Another massive win for students is the lack of high ancillary course costs in Religion. You only really need a reader, which is usually quite affordable, and it often doesn’t require very expensive textbooks.

There were a high number of responses criticising the Department of Sociology’s administration, in terms of assessment times, vague marking criteria and a (really) strange, though recurrent problem with staff absenteeism across several units. Responses to the survey make it clear that Sociology is not everybody’s cup of tea, and even for those who are passionate about it, some of the subjects are hit and miss. However, some dedicated staff and some fantastic units of study make this major not a bad choice at all!

Overall, students who take Studies of Religion show a near-sacred degree of devotion to their major – they love it, and they rave about it. It gets the thumbs up from the handbook editors.

emperor palpatine enjoys his funny new hat

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 2 1

Arts Economics If you are aspiring to be the next Marx, Keynes or Friedman, your first step on this path should be to grow some form of absurd facial hair. Failing that, coming to the University of Sydney is a pretty good next step. Economics students at USyd were very passionate in their defence of their degree in the Counter Course survey. While perhaps it can be said that the university offers a much more theoretical degree than others, its academics are very highly regarded. In 2011, Economics moves to a new home in the brand-spanking new Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The only real impact this should have is that Economics students can no longer glibly declare that they do something ‘more than Arts’ at University. There are two initial compulsory subjects that you have to take if you want to major in economics: ECON1001, ‘Introductory Microeconomics’ and ECON1002, ‘Introductory Macroeconomics.’ Unfortunately these are also compulsory for a heap of other degrees – which means your lectures will be packed and so (probably) will the tutes. Luckily however, students have really liked the lecturer: Elina Gibourd, saying that she explained things very well and (this is our favourite part) that she is a fan of Robot Unicorn Attack! This will be the best teaching aid you will ever experience. So. Freaken. Awesome. Although most of the Economics lecturers are ok, one student noted that the “quality of lectures was quite variable.” In this School, we give gold stars to Graham White (ECOS3018, ‘Economics of Growth’ and ECOS3019, ‘Capital and Dynamics’) and Andrew Waitman (ECOS2001, ‘Intermediate Microeconomics.’) Students raved about these guys, so try to get into their courses. Universally, students agreed that the senior Economics units were of a very high quality, and are much more enjoyable than junior units. They also made the interesting comment that often subjects which sound dry and boring can be particularly interesting. Who knew that Monetary Economics could float so many students’ boats? Apparently, it is the place to be. Students also recommended as stand-outs, ECOS3016, ‘Experimental and Behavioural Economics’ and ECOS3004, ‘The History of Economic Thought.’ In fact, the only negative responses we received about a senior unit were with regard to ECOS3002, ‘Development Economics,’ and even then the complaints related more to a particular lecturer than the course content itself.

Assessments seemed to be a real sore point this year. The department is unable to strike a proper balance between assessments and exams. Students have complained that there is a huge emphasis on exams, one noting that their exam was worth 100% of the final mark. The workload that you will have to sustain is not really an issue. This is in part due to some of the senior subjects discarding tutorials, and going with 3 hour lectures instead. This is ideal for people wanting to skip lectures as all of a sudden there is no attendance requirement. Administration is always an issue, and this year didn’t disappoint. One student has gone as far as to threaten a formal complaint! The administrators in the E+B Faculty have been described as “careless and callous”. We would like to tell you that this will improve as Economics changes into the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, but with so many negative comments about the Faculty of Arts administration this year, we wouldn’t hold our breath. If you ever have an issues with admin you can always come into the SRC and speak to one of the caseworkers. They are the best head kickers when it comes to dealing with the overly bureaucratic Uni admin. Extra expenses are not going to be a problem with this subject. Textbooks are expensive but students have been known to go without and still manage ok. You should have a look in the library for starters, and if that fails the SRC Second Hand bookshop, and the senior units often don’t have a set text. Win. For. Students. In all, students are reasonably happy with Economics at USyd, as is always the case – make sure you check who is lecturing a subject before the Census date. Because you can always pull out if you know you’re in for a semester of hell.

If you want to do Honours in Economics, you are required to do six prerequisite units. On the whole, these are taught much better than standard units, and if Economics is your schtick, you will probably get a kick out of them. Be warned, though, that they are significantly more work. PaG e 2 2

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

Dentistry DENTISTRY They say that dentists have the highest rate of suicide of any profession

need around 50. To make this situation even worse, it is unlikely that you

in Australia. To be honest, if we had 30+ contact hours in a week, we

will be able to hold a steady job with the demanding hours, “Forget about

may be contemplating it as well. Dentistry students work hard. Like,

working weekdays and Thursday nights. 90% of your classes will start at

really hard. We think one student put it best: “If you’re at uni solely

8am.” We don’t really have much advice for you other than: save your

to get drunk, pash boys/girls/nongendered people and live on Youth

pennies when you can, and ask for help if you need it. Consider your

Allowance, this course is not for you.”

eligibility for Youth Allowance.

Students raved about the practical elements of the degree, saying that

A common comment on the survey was that the examinations in the

clinical experience was the most valuable element of their study in

Department of Dentistry were particularly difficult. Students commented

the Department of Dentistry. A common complaint, though, was that

that many of the assessment outcomes were unclear, and “you will be

clinical time was split between Westmead and Sydney Dental Hospital,

marked on material you haven’t even covered. Marking is counterintuitive

and instead of being logical and dividing students between them, the

and bizarre.” Worse still, students did not feel comfortable raising these

Department decided to split individual students’ time between both of

grievances directly with course coordinators, fearing that it would impact

the clinics. Which is manifestly stupid, but you are unfortunately going

on their marks. However, not all students agreed with this perspective,

to have to lump it. Students were particularly positive about clinical

some saying that “exams are hard, but are worth their weight in gold

placements, and even didn’t complain about going on rural placements,

when passed as they are vital to obtain the practical knowledge that you

which has to be a first for the University…

need.” So, I suppose it depends on whether you are a glass half full kind of dentist, really…

In a Counter Course Handbook first, we received not a single complaint about the Department of Dentistry teaching staff. In fact, students went

The life of a Dental Student isn’t easy – its expensive, and there are long

so far as to describe them as “supportive” and “fantastic.” Well done to

hours. But, it sounds kind of fun, and dentists are one of the most overpaid

the staff for lifting their game from last year, when they were described

professionals in the world, so it all works out…right?

as “unapproachable.” “unprofessional” and “unhelpful”! Students did note that the relatively small teaching staff were a little overstretched and could, therefore, be occasionally disorganised, but as one student said, “They go above and beyond to help us. I have received feedback emails at 10pm on a Saturday night. They look after us.” The good thing of all being stuck in clinics together 24/7 is that Dentistry kids are a particularly tight-knit cohort. One student advises, “Just roll with it. Full stop.” We couldn’t agree more, make sure you throw yourself in to the social side of Dentistry to stop yourself from going insane. If you are in first year, students definitely recommended attending the first year camp. The life of a dental student is not a cheap one. A student described the ancillary course costs as “prohibitively expensive.” You should be prepared to pay at least $3000 per year on materials: An articulator for $2000, a mouth model for $550, lopues for $2000, endodontic material for $500, a deposit for the use of Westmead Hospital which is $300, and plastic teeth which sound fun, but will set you back $6 each, and you’ll

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 2 3

Business ACCOUNTING Most of the poor souls who take Accounting do so as a requirement for their degree. For this reason, your lectures will be packed to the rafters, and the discipline as a whole has an exceptionally high failure rate. If you fall into this category, we hope that the advice gathered in the Counter Course survey will be of assistance to you. If you are one of the arts students who inflicts Accounting on yourself, then we just don’t think that anything we could write in a one page summary could ever cure all of your problems. Some people think that taking Accounting will make you “more employable.” Our advice – DON’T DO THIS TO YOURSELF, IDIOT!

News Flash: there has been a change in the first year subjects from 2010 to 2011: acct 1a (aCCt1001) is now a basic outline of accounting while acct 1b (aCCt1002) is the old 1a and 1b crammed together. don’t ask us why, but that is the new paradigm.

The staff of the Accounting department received mixed reviews. Max Baker and Nigel Finch were described as “fantastic” and “dedicated”. While others were found wanting. A common complaint was that not enough feedback and support was given to students during the semester.

this – with some tutors and lecturers (Abdul Razeed) being excellent at updating blackboard while some (ACCT1022) being less up-to-date. One thing is for sure – make sure you check Black Board regularly! On the whole, the Accounting staff are much better than others at using technology. For a very technology oriented department, it is practically impossible to survive without the textbook – and worse, its expensive. Get read to shell out $100 + for your textbook. The only good news is that if you buy the Acct 1A textbook you will probably be able to use it for Acct1B if you progress. We’re not saying that Accountants are innately anti-social individuals, but most people don’t expect that group work would play such a large role in this Department. But look forward to it. With many of the subjects having a group work component. Students noted that often work was not shared equally between group members, particularly in light of the variance between students who are passionate about Accounting, and those who are forced to do it in their degree. If you feel genuinely disadvantaged by this, bring it up with your course coordinator. Students have noted that the Accounting major is really well structured but you do need to plan your major early so that you have a proper allotment of junior and senior units. However you only get four electives – so our advice is to pick things that are fun and that you will enjoy for your precious few electives.

Naturally in such a specific major there are some subjects (Accounting and Tax Law) that are especially dry. The editors of this handbook weren’t exactly surprised that Accounting was about as thrilling as watching paint dry, but apparently some of the respondents to the Counter Course survey were. So be warned. It is boring. Very boring. Another complaint is that you are required to read accounting standards and legislation without much variety. One student commented that you should “just do it and stop complaining”. As you would expect with such a large cohort, the Accounting staff rely a fair bit on Black Board. It is where you will find your marks displayed, links to lecture notes, tutorial information, discussion topics and any other weird and wonderful things that your course coordinator has decided is relevant. There has been a very mixed feeling about PaG e 2 4

a wild accountant in their natural habitat.

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

Business FINANCE It probably isn’t the best time ever to become a stock broker right now. Not only because the global economy isn’t looking its healthiest, but because students struggled to say a single good thing about the Finance units at the University of Sydney. Typical of the responses was this particular gem: “In general, Finance is a poorly taught discipline, with some very serious teaching issues that no one seems to be aware of.” The most common complaint from students was about the nature of the workload expected of you by the academic staff. Students said that not only were units overloaded with too much factual information which you were required to memorise, but they were often pitched inappropriately. This was particularly a complaint of the two introductory ‘Corporate Finance’ units, FINC2011 and 2012. Students said that these courses had a particularly rigorous assessment regime which examined the minute details of the course. The courses that students felt comfortable recommending were the more practical units which provided students with an insight as to the day to day life of a stock trader, or other member of the financial sector. FINC3014, ‘Trading and Dealing in Security Markets’ was one such unit recommended by students. These do not, however, represent the majority of units of study in Finance, which were generally described as dense and overly theoretical. FINC3011, ‘International Financial Management’ is apparently particularly awful, so approach with caution.

Students were also very blunt in their assessment of the staff responsible for Finance majors. One response, which is indicative of the overall trend, was the student who suggested that “Finance units could be greatly improved by having lecturers who enjoy what they teach and are engaging.” Ouch. And up until now, we had assumed that stock brokers were really interesting and exciting people. How wrong we were. The only stand-out professor mentioned was Adjunct Associate Professor Paul Martin. And we’re afraid that, with a position title like that, his place on staff seems tenuous at best. This isn’t great news for budding financiers. Another common complaint was with the nature of assessment tasks, which are generally a very highly weighted final exam, on average worth about 65% of your mark. These exams are “hell” and examine the WHOLE course, not just sections of it. So make sure that you are prepared. The life of a Finance student is pretty thankless, and students didn’t sound all too enthusiastic about it, either.

This problem is made even worse given the fact that most of the subjects, particularly if you are doing a B Commerce with a Finance major, are prerequisites. You will also find yourself graded pretty harshly against individuals who live and breathe finance (poor souls!)

Don’t like all this empty space? the only person who is allowed to complain is the one. Yes, one Finance student who bothered to fill in the Counter Course Survey this year. if you disagreed with their assessment, you should fill in the survey next year. oops...

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 2 5

Business Marketing Almost all of the students in the Marketing Department were too busy to fill out the CC survey this year. So a big shout out has to go to the students that were bothered. We apologise in advance if some of the information is either out of date or contentions. But as the saying goes, the world is run by the people who turn up. So suck it up – and fill out the survey next year. (End rant.) To be able to do the really interesting subjects that are offered by the Marketing Department – you have to go through MKTG1001, Marketing Principles. This, unlike a lot of gateway subjects is actually a really interesting unit even if it is described as “bludgy”. It takes advantage of really interesting everyday examples of marketing principles and can make the occasionally dry and boring content rather interesting. And even better it is taught by an excellent lecturer in Jeaney Yip.

Group work – some people love it, others … not so much. But look out because it’s headed your way. You will usually have to do a group report and a group presentation. Some advice on this one – start meeting as a group early. It reduces the stress levels later in semester when somehow every subject has its major work due at the same time. Also, it is almost inevitable that you will be stuck in a group with someone that isn’t going to do the same amount of work as you. Or, more commonly, with some perpetually drunk college kid who wants to solve all marketing problems with still images of half naked girls spruiking different products. Call it false advertising, but sometimes it is more ‘work’ than ‘group,’ and there is very little that you can do about it. If you are having serious problems that you think will affect your grades, speak to your tutor or the course supervisor and see what avenues they recommend. Marketing is a weird one for textbooks, readers and all of the paraphernalia associated with Uni. Some subjects like MKTG1001 require a textbook and it is actually quite important come exam time that you have one and unfortunately they’re quite expensive. (like say $120), while there are others that don’t even need a textbook.

But it is the later years where Marketing really hots up. Marketing Advertising Creative Principles (MKTG3121) is a real stand out. The assessment for this is actually designing this is aLL. Your. FauLt. One great bit of advice that was your own marketing campaign. brought to light by the CC survey was that if you are an aspiring marketer Another stand out is Marketing Strategy and Planning (MKTG3188), then, instead of looking for part time work in a bar or café – you should which according to students “really made the connections between theory seek out marketing firms. As the practical experience you gain, even if and the real world apparent”. you volunteer is invaluable (and looks really good on the resume). Unfortunately its not all rainbows and lollypops, one student took the Marketing provides a really cool insight into how things get sold to you. opportunity offered by the Counter Course survey to warn other students And on the whole marketing students seemed to really enjoy the units of MKTG3112, ‘Marketing Communications’. This student said it was that they were taking. Just do it! the “worst course ever taken”. Not happy with this criticism, the student went on to say that the lecturer was “arrogant” and that only 10% of assignment marks had been released by week 13. Some students seemed to think that Marketing courses would teach them the practicalities of marketing (i.e. how to use Photoshop for a print ad, how to write a TV Commercial, etc.). These are design skills, and not only are they not taught as part of the Marketing discipline, but they are taught much better at UTS. So, consider yourself warned.

Truth Bomb: Group work sucks. but don’t just put up with your shit group - see your lecturer about it!

PaG e 2 6

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 2 7

Education Education If you’re reading this then you’ve committed yourself to either crying, cooties infected primary school kids or hairy, smelly secondary schoolers. Whichever you have chosen, we suggest you acquaint yourself with Manning early, as you may learn more valuable lessons on how to teach in there, than in your lectures. Degree planning is particularly important with the B Education. You will need to select cross-listed Arts units which reflect the areas you would like to teach. Make sure that you consider this early, and select subjects accordingly. You don’t want to unnecessarily limit yourself and your employability upon graduation. Some students felt as though the Education units they were forced to take lacked clarity and direction. One student remarked “I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing or what I’ve learnt well.” Perhaps we can put this down to the overly theoretical nature of the degree program. That being said, however, pracs are both a blessing and a curse. They provide you with invaluable opportunities to put what you have learned into practice and are, on the whole, immensely enjoyable. There were several common problems, however, including “shambolic organisation,” the fact that many placements are in inconveniently distant locations, and the fact that you are working a full time job with no pay, and no possibility of part-time employment for the duration of your placement. Save. Your. Pennies. If you are having financial difficulty, some and speak to one of our SRC caseworkers, or we can give you short-term financial assistance. All this at Level 1, Wentworth Building.

Pro Tip: beware - you can only change your prac placement if the travel time to the destination exceeds 4hrs per day. no matter how bad the school

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the teachers who teach teachers to teach are themselves quality teachers. The staff in general were described as “engaging, knowledgeable, funny and understanding.” Kelly Freebody got most ‘As’ on her report card, with students gushing with praise over everything she touched. Honourable mentions to Alison O’Grady, Steve

PaG e 2 8

Georgakis and Murray Print. There were very few complaints about teaching staff, so at least we know they are qualified to comment upon the fine art. Unfortunately the education faculty has one of the strictest policies on attendance. You are required to attend 90% of tutorials (arts is 80%). So you cant miss more than one tute without a doctor’s certificate. So make sure you are super organised! Students have taken advantage of their anonymity in the Counter Course survey – and have unleashed a scathing judgment on the modes of assessment that the faculty will make you face. Complaints involve serious administrative inconsistencies as to when an assignment was due, to other subjects where multiple assessments for a particular course, totalling 100% of the final grade, were due in the same week. The editors of this handbook are sure that we wouldn’t be organised enough for this. Maybe you can do better… If you’re genuinely having problems, you should approach your course coordinator. You have to be very independent and organised to succeed in this degree. This includes not only time management, but planning your pracs and more general degree planning. Just remember that there is always help available to you. So, if you are really that keen to head back to school for an indefinite period of time, or if we haven’t scared you off with tales of previous students’ work loads, you should enjoy the friendly and helpful staff of this Department. We wish you luck…

the srC welcomes the star recruit to the Faculty of education and social Work, Prof. G.

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

Education Social work We’re not going to lie, the Social Work discipline at USyd got mixed

Beware your placement years though. Some students get stuck in awful

reviews in the Counter Course survey. Some students praised the staff as

professional placements. The advice from previous years has been, if you

helpful and attentive, while others said that the B Social Work degree is too

don’t like what you’re stuck with – FIGHT. Apparently the faculty seem

separated from the practicalities of being a social worker to be useful.

more than open to changing your assigned placement if you are unhappy. The other common complaint about placements was that, with 60 days

The degree requirements for the B Social Work are pretty complicated, so

in third year, and 80 days in fourth year, working 9-5 in unpaid work, the

make sure you give them a read and understand them before you choose

financial strain can be a bit rough: “Save your pennies so that you can

your subjects. There are a fuck-tonne of pre-requisites, and in some

afford not to work and be on prac at the same time.”

sections you are required to take subjects in particular arts disciplines (Sociology, Psychology), as well as core Social Work units, as well as diving

On the up side, though, the rest of your degree you can get through on-

through a ring of fire, as a requirement for your degree. If you have any

the-cheap, with most subjects using inexpensive readers. Students advised

trouble with this, or are confused over something in your degree, hit up

that many of the subjects that did recommend text books never actually

one of the friendly SRC caseworkers, in our offices on Level 1 of the

used them, so you should just save money and use the library copy (we

Wentworth Building.

would like to say “copies”, but we make no guarantees), instead.

One great thing about the B Social Work is that, after second year, you

Another common complaint was that a lot of assessments seemed to

spend all of your time with the same cohort of students. This makes

come all at once, and some were occasionally quite repetitive. After you

Social Work more social, and less work. Which can only be a good thing.

complete your placements, your end of placement report and semester

Responses to the Counter Course survey raved about the “Great social

essay are usually due in the same week, and you end up regurgitating

work ‘community’ at Sydney Uni.” It was said that this vibe is especially

similar material which, to us, just seems a bit stupid.

good, because “the teachers start to know you personally,” which means they are often extra supportive and helpful. Social work is like one big

The key to social work seems to be organisation – pick your majors

group hug.

carefully, make sure you get a good work placement, stay on top of your degree requirements. You should be fine…

A common complaint from students was that there was insufficient practical exposure in the B Social Work at USyd. The first practical experience that you get is in third year, by which time it is too late to decide whether social work is actually for you. Many students objected to being forced to take “irrelevant” arts subjects in the first two years of their degree, before they moved to more specific social work studies. Many recommended either a Sociology or Psychology major in your Arts components, as it most directly complements your B Social Work. The one exception to this rule, and the subject widely considered to be the best in this discipline was SCWK3008, ‘Professional Practice,’ which was described as “really practical and hands on, with plenty of fun role plays!”

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 2 9

Engineering AMME


The School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering is definitely the most badass School in the University. The school covers a wide range of disciplines from Aeronautical and Aerospace, to Mechanical and Mechatronic and even Biomedical Engineering. We weren’t really sure how any group of people who allow others to play with space robots all day could be bad, but the School definitely gets mixed reviews from students. Two students actually advised that, if playing with planes, rockets, robots or SPACE ROBOTS was your thing, perhaps USyd is not for you.

The engineering buildings that you will call home for the next several years really look like engineers have designed them. All that can be seen is concrete, concrete and more concrete.

One of the first things to say about these degree pathways is that the workload is obscene, one student said “don’t expect a lot of free time” another told us that “There is a reason why engineers drink.” We don’t doubt it. The workload is full of prerequisite units, and you don’t get any freedom to choose electives until your fourth year. Ancillary course costs are also an issue in AMME, with one student saying “be prepared to pay up around $400 for text books.” This is particularly bad given that the high number of contact hours makes holding down a job difficult. Staff received mixed reviews in the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering. Stefan Williams, and his course AMME3500, ‘System Dynamics’ received universally positive reviews. On the whole, however, it was felt that many of the staff had “communication issues,” and in particular tutorial staff found it difficult to support students through the course. One of the common complaints from students was about the poor coordination and organisation by the School. Typical of the responses from students was the claim by one that: “Not one of the Aeronautical courses taken this year have had a consistent or complete (or any in some cases) course outline. Assignments were given without due dates printed on them and typically no course content was available online.” Students particularly criticised a lack of clarity in the administration of assessments, likening them to “guess what the tutor is thinking.” If you have any problems with administrative issues like this, you should try to sort it out with your tutor. If you can’t though, come and see one of our caseworkers at the SRC offices, Level 1, Wentworth Building.

PaG e 3 0

Despite the brutalist surroundings the responses that we have show that students are enthusiastic about what they do. The course work will be difficult, but don’t forget that there are lots of you going through the same pain at the same time.

Pro Tip: - Make sure your maths is up to scratch! - study in groups.

What seems to have carried students through this degree most of all is the quality of some of the lecturers. Lecturers with industry experience have been worshipped by students in the Counter Course survey, so look out for: Richard “the best teacher alive” Weber and Tim “wilko” Wilkinson. Unfortunately students have questioned some lecturers’ “communication skills”, which must certainly be an impediment to understanding, you know, how to make buildings stand up. Students have also railed against CIVL2230 saying that it is “terrible” etc. So please approach with caution. Textbooks are going to be a killer, they are quite expensive and unfortunately as one student put it: “cannot be purchased on book depository. sadface”. Come and have a look in the SRC’s second hand book shop, hopefully we can save you some $$$.

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

Responses to the Counter Course Survey indicate that, there is a lot more to concrete than meets the eye.

Engineering CHEMICAL


If you get through this degree then there will definitely be a job offer from the “Axis of Evil” waiting for you.

Question: how many Electrical Engineering academics does it take to screw in a light bulb? Apparently a lot, given that this is one of the most popular disciplines in the Faculty of Engineering. Overall, students were positive about the faculty, but with several recurring problems.

Not unsurprisingly this degree is completely different from any other engineering degree. From second year onwards you split from the rest of those ‘common’ engineering students to focus on your ‘specialised’ degree. One of the best things about Chem Eng according to students, is the lecturers and tutors. They provide “great and fast feedback”, which (take it from us) is not a common occurrence. In a Counter Course first there is not one complaint about any of the staff. Look forward in particular to: Matt Todd, David Easdown, Peter Rutledge and Josh Kavanagh. The hands on element to the degree also got a good rap with students finding that being able to practice what had been preached really useful. Another subject to look forward to is: the particles elective with Peter Linkson and Professional Engineers 1 (CHNG1803). Watch out though, as you will be forced to work with MPE (Masters of Professional Engineering) students. One student noted that: “we were responsible for dragging through masters students who cant do mass balances”. Unfortunately there are some serious timetabling clashes between engineering and sciences. So we would strongly advise against an Advanced Sciences/ Engineering degree – unless you enjoy timetable clashes and inordinately huge workloads. If you are one of the people embarking on this degree then we will probably see you at Herman’s sooner or later drowning your sorrows.

Students praised most of the lecturers in this discipline. A particular shout-out to Dylan Lu, who teaches ELEC3204, ‘Power Electronics and Applications’ and ELEC3206, ‘Electrical Energy Conversion Systems.’ Dr Lu was described as “passionate about what he’s teaching.” Students gave very few units of study negative reviews, but warned future students to be careful about which subjects are prerequisites for senior units. Some students felt that especially some fifth year subjects had prerequisites in earlier years that were non-core units which only seemed tenuously connected to their final year studies. In particular ELEC2104, ‘Electronic Devices and Circuits’ is a prerequisite for “nearly everything”, so make sure you include it. It was noted in the Counter Course survey that practical elements were among the most important portions of degrees in this discipline. It was, therefore, disappointing that students’ accounts of the management of lab classes painted them as very close to shambolic. Not only was it said that many tutors seemed unable or unwilling to help, but apparently in one subject (ELEC3206, for those playing at home), had students in groups of six because there wasn’t enough equipment to go around. We are completely in the dark (AMAZING PUN!) as to why the discipline is so under-resourced, but if these problems are affecting your grades, you should raise it with the faculty. Students also commented that the cost of text books can be a bit of a burden. To add insult to injury, some units of study actually use the texts in the final exam, while others don’t use them at all. Make sure you check the library and the SRC’s Secondhand Book Shop in the Wentworth Building if you are having difficulties. Electrical Engineering is a lot of work. It is long hours, spent in labs with very technical and precise detail. We think it sounds at times like medieval torture, but students are very positive about their units, so if this is your thing, apparently USyd isn’t a bad place to do it.

Job prospects: reasonable.

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 31

Health Sci Health sciences If you are one of the many students that have picked health sciences then unfortunately you will not be seeing the sandstone of the Quad until practically graduation. You have to instead, trek out to Cumberland campus (Cumbo). On the upside – it’s a very close knit community.

This faculty and the degrees offered have been loved by the students who have completed the Counter Course survey. Make sure you work hard to get the most out of it, and don’t forget to have fun along the way. A little balance is what’s required.

Students have recommended that you make sure you have planned your degree well. In particular, students found picking more than just your major for your second and third years (you have to pick electives and senior units) quite bamboozling. If you think that you need some help with this, make sure to contact the SRC’s caseworkers, they are the best when it comes to everything USyd Admin.

The academic staff are pretty good – they are very knowledgeable and according to students are willing to help. Students in last year’s CC survey enjoyed the following staff (so if possible try and take any subjects that they offer): Alex Broom, Lisa Zadro, Andrew Campbell, Elise Baker and John Ryan.

Students who are in the Health Sciences faculty really love what they do. They crave the implementation of their knowledge in placements. But you have to be committed to the high demands that placements and study will place on you. Students have highlighted severe deficiencies in the organisation of placements. These often run for several weeks, and you will be expected to work 5 days a week and up to 8 hours a day. More importantly – they can be located well away from the Uni. This means (of course) that you will not be able to work during placement and you will have to find a way of getting yourself to and from your placement. This can be really hard financially, so make sure you save money before your big placements and you can always come to the SRC for help, an emergency loan or advice from our caseworkers.

Watch out however as they seem to be a bit pathologically disorganised. You will have to follow them up to if you want something; a student noted that one lecturer took 1.5 – 2 weeks to reply to emails. Another recommended making copies of all of your correspondence just to make sure you have a record of it.

Health sciences: For those who want to ‘play’ doctor.

Assessment tasks seem to be a real issue for this department for the second year running. Student complaints fall into two categories, the first being the weighting of assessment tasks. Unlike say in the Arts faculty where usually 50% of your final mark is gained through an end of year exam and the other 50% is through course work etc., with health sciences the theme has been to have one hugely important final assessment or exam. So make sure that you are well prepared. The second complaint is the timeliness of results coming back (one student had waited practically an age for results to come back) and the feedback given by staff about your results. So make sure you pester your markers for appointments to go through your results if necessary!

Pro Tips: - seek out the relevant society to your major as it’s a great network of students to tap into - If you’re doing speech Pathology make sure to may your taM levy, as it’s an excellent resource. - Work hard and consistently - cramming will not work. PaG e 3 2

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

Law Law Congratulations. If you are reading this as a University of Sydney Law Student you are about two steps away from being a Justice of the High Court. Really. They cant get enough of our graduates. Suck that, ANU. We don’t plan to beat around the bush: if you want a practical law degree that equips you for the mind-numbing future of being a solicitor and marking up contracts all day, consider the joyless halls of UNSW. USyd’s law degree is much more philosophical and theoretical in its approaches, and based on the Counter Course survey results, that’s just the way we like it. The consensus was that Law subjects are a bit hit and miss, “Every semester you’ll have a subject that you’ll need to teach yourself out of desperation, and you’ll have a subject that will make you passionate about becoming a lawyer.” Students found that most of the subjects were interesting and engaging. Laws2015, ‘Equity,’ and LAWS2005, ‘International Law,’ were both very highly rated by students, with many finding them very valuable. Universally, students hated LAWS1014, ‘Civil and Criminal Procedure’ and, probably the worst reviewed subject in the faculty, LAWS1021, ‘Public Law.’ The problems identified with Public Law related to the insane workload, with readings spewing from students every orifices (orifi?), and the fact that feedback for assessments was ridiculously slow, taking until after the examination period. The problem with all of this advice from previous students is that you will have absolutely no say in your subject choices until your fifth year. So you will just have to take the good with the bad.

and volumes of Corporations legislation would be interesting, but it turns out that fact took some students by surprise. So, consider yourself warned. Reading is shit. And boring. But it is also necessary. Don’t leave it all for STUVAC, you will thank yourself later. Assessments are also pretty intense in the Law School. It is common for assessments to be worth 60%+, often as much as 75% - 80%. The fact that most of these exams are open book can be both a blessing and a curse, and some students find it no easier. But, you can be sure that when they give you a closed book exam for a subject like Corporations Law, you will feel the pinch. The Law School are also habitually late in returning assessments. Which is annoying. The biggest complaint year after year (this one being no exception) about the Law School is the size of classes. You will notice on your timetable that don’t call them ‘tutorials,’ but rather ‘seminars’. This is fun Universityspeak for “sometimes they have as many as 40 students in them, sucker!” It is disgraceful. These larger ‘seminars’ make it harder to participate, and harder to raise your individual issues with your tutor. However, you will find that in many subjects, seminar time is more valuable than lectures. So, for the prestige, the excellent new building, some interesting classes, and the best chance you will ever have of becoming a Justice of the High Court, we rate the USyd Law School pretty highly, despite some of its obvious failings.

The staff of the Sydney Law School are, by and large, fantastic. Students were gushing in their praise for Jamie Glister, who takes Equity, and were equally complimentary about Ross Anderson, Cameron Stewart and Anne Twomey. Very few academic staff in the school received negative reviews. The other thing that many students praised about law was the fact that the Faculty brings in many guest lecturers, as one student described them, “luminaries of the profession”, who provide great professional insight into the subject areas being covered. Studying law is one of the more expensive courses at the university. This isn’t only because your course costs are higher, but because you have to buy A LOT of text books, and they are VERY expensive. If a text book is only $100, that is on the cheap side. Although many lecturers will irritatingly specify a particular edition of a certain book, have a look in the SRC’s second hand bookstore in the Wentworth Building, as they may have it in. If they fails, try It is a great free online service, and it usually has plenty of copies of whatever you are looking for. Students complained not only of the cost of these readers, but also the sheer volume of them. Now, we never thought that reading volumes

the new dean of the Faculty of law knows all about justice. And he gon’ fiiiiiiind you.

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 3 3

Medicine MEDICINE If you are one of the chosen few who managed a credit average or higher, to pass the Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test, survived the interview rounds and was chosen for Medicine, your reward is several years of hard labour! I don’t think anybody is under the illusion that a Medical Degree is an easy thing to acquire, but if you are still harbouring those delusions – think again. We want to start with a bit of a disclaimer: the best guide to Medicine at USyd that you are going to find (particularly for first-timers) is Feet First, published by the Medical Society (MedSoc). We would highly recommend reading this well researched, easy guide to Medicine. It can be found online at Your absurd amount of contact hours will be filled with three kinds of classes: lectures, practical classes on the main campus which complement the lectures, and clinical tutorials in a hospital. Overwhelmingly, students responded that the latter was the most interesting, engaging and useful way to learn. It was said that “Most clinical teaching is by passionate doctors – excellent!” Another student said that “Clinical experience is the highlight of my experience.” Students particularly noted that clinical placements were well organised, for the most part delivered by friendly and engaging staff, and provided the most relevant practical experience in the degree program. The good news for Med students is that, in 2011, the University is opening a new clinical school, the Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical School, which they say will be taking twelve first year students in its first intake. Some students seemed to have a problem with the facilities at their placement, so it may be hit and miss, but this was certainly a minority of those who responded to the survey.

without it.” Students recommend that you buy one of the ‘Big Three’ generic text books: Davidson’s, Kumar & Clark or Harrison’s. The latter is recommended by the Medical School, and can be accessed for free online (what a win!!) at You can thank the SRC later. Another common complaint from students was with regards to examination. Students found that, one the whole, “Exams do not always assess important material,” and that they were “Not great at all, a poor reflection of taught material.” Moreover, they found assessment procedures “not transparent” and the staff occasionally “unresponsive.” Students had the most problem with Problem Based Learning Assessments (PBLs), which one student said were “so out of date. Inconsistently updated, and worse – the investigations and treatment options are out of date with current practice.” We think we should leave the conclusion of this article up to our favourite quote about Medicine from the survey: “Be prepared for your life to change, and be prepared to sacrifice a lot for your studies. Hopefully the rewards will come…” We like the optimism. Good luck.

On the whole, there was a lot of praise for the Sydney Medical School, for the “fantastic breadth of information covered. Interesting cases. Interesting supervisors.” There were very few negative comments about the teaching staff, and gongs in this discipline go to Roger Pamphlett, Deborah Bryce and John Mitrofanos. Some students identified a certain disorganisation within the Medical School, particularly in terms of coordination between coordinators, the faculty, lecturers and supervisors. We think one student hit the nail on the head when they put this down to “teething problems with the new curriculum,” as responses were certainly more positive than in previous years – so it may be getting better!

sometimes extended lab hours can be fun!

Medicine is also a particularly expensive degree to take, with lots of equipment and text books to buy. The good news is that most courses don’t have prescribed reading, but the bad news is that you will often have to find your own text book (one that suits you), because you will be “lost PaG e 3 4

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

Music MUSIC The Conservatorium of Music, otherwise known as “the Con” is located in the most beautiful campus of Sydney Uni. A sandstone façade and views of the Botanic Gardens await you if you are talented enough to be spending time here. Like the music profession, the degrees offered by the Con are a way of life.

Like every faculty and perhaps even more so, it is the academic staff that make or break your degree. For the third year running a big shout out goes to Lewis Cornell, who must be a serial overachiever or something. Also worthy of note are: Scott Saunders, Jason Nobe, Anthony Clarke, David Larkin and Marcus Hartstein.

The best thing about doing a degree at the Con is simply, that if you are an aspiring musician then this is the best place to learn your craft. You have access to “totally first class” facilities, including state of the art recording studios and recital halls.

Unfortunately students have complained (again) about the strings department, clamouring for efficiency. However, Alice Waten (the head of the dept) is supremely qualified and makes up for a lack of efficiency within the department. The editors of this handbook are very excited to see a Dean of a Faculty that is so well covered by the Sydney Morning Herald. In fact according to an article titled: “Head of Con Put Out to Pasture”, the dean has arranged the Con according to Feng Shui principles. So we hope that you enjoy all of the new positive energy.

If you are going to be a performer, the single most important aspect of your degree is your instrumental teacher. Having a good teacher is the difference between graduating an equipped and ready musician or graduating with a useless piece of paper. So our advice is, if you are not 100% comfortable with yours, change!

Even with its secluded nature, student life is excellent at the Con the Con Student administration is not the Student Association (CSA) is really on strong point of the Con. There the resurgence and its annual ball is are two student administration definitely something not to be missed. officers, located on different levels. The Con even has its own newspaper! And apparently, they don’t really communicate with each other. Some students found these new lecture theatres at the con to be uncomfortable and impractical for making music. More than any other degree at USyd, But don’t allow this to get in your Music rewards those who put in the way – if you have a problem you hard yards the maxim, that you get out what you put in, is what should will have to persevere to ensure you get the best result possible. guide you through your time at the Con. So much so, that one student was kind enough in the Counter Course survey to include the phrase: Assessments are also traditionally a big downside of the Con, and this Labor Omnia Vincit (hard work conquers all) as their only advice on the year did not disappoint. The main reason for this is the lack of a uniform Music degree. faculty policy. There were cries this year for clearer assessment tasks and “more direction and support with what is expected”.

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 3 5

Nursing NURSING The poor Department of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Sydney has been subject to some particularly nasty cutbacks in the last couple of years. Dwindling resources and teaching staff have meant that fewer and fewer students are admitted into this course and in some areas, particularly in terms of resources, standards are less than ideal. The University has decided, for one reason or another, that nursing is not the national priority that the Federal Government would like it to be. Nevertheless, students were overwhelmingly positive about the tireless effort of the staff of the Department of Nursing and Midwifery. From this department, students can expect staff that are “very helpful and supportive” who “take time with students”, and who even apparently “are always there if you need additional classes or supervised lab sessions.” Well done team! Special mentions to Michelle Maw, Maureen Ahern, Jo Patching and Jenny Green, who are all apparently stellar.

units. Students who preferred the theoretical approach particularly hated NURS5006, ‘Illness Experience and Nursing Care,’ and NURS5086, ‘Drug, Therapy, Disease and Nursing Practice,’ whereas more practicallyminded individuals were opposed to NURS6004, ‘Nursing and the Politics of Heath Care.’ Unfortunately, Nursing isn’t all friendly staff and penis humour, students typically complained that it was a particularly expensive program of study, with many ancillary fees (lab coats, equipment, books, etc.). Student advised that budgeting, particularly in senior years, is crucial. Also, shop around if you find things too expensive, you may be able to find some second-hand alternatives.

bed-side manner is an important skill for aspiring nurses.

With a few exceptions, most students found the Nursing courses to be interesting and engaging. One student even wrote that a particular lecturer was “the best lecturer I had” because “he made us draw a penis in biology ;)”. Personally, I would hope that my nurses in future had gotten over penis humour, so if you want to get it all out of your system now it will be much appreciated.

Pros: - supportive staff - some genuinely interesting subjects Cons: - Few options - under-resourced PaG e 3 6

You will not get to elect or change many of your nursing units. So, if you hate a subject, you are unfortunately stuck with it. The course covers both practical and theoretical units, and students were pretty divided in what they preferred and in their opinions of the various Nursing

Another piece of advice that students gave was to consider carefully your subject choices, because if you take units in Arts, Health Sciences AND Nursing, you will spend half your life (and no doubt hardearned petrol dollars) commuting between Camperdown, Cumbo and Malette St, which is a bitch. If you can’t avoid this, at least be sure to plan around it.

Students were also particularly surprised with the nature and style of assessment in the Department of Nursing and Midwifery. One student said, “Be prepared for lots of essay writing. More than you would expect for a supposedly ‘Science-oriented’ degree!” While the workload within semester (readings, etc.) is fairly reasonable, and there were few complaints about an excess of contact hours, students advised to prepare for an inordinate number of mid-semester assessments, some of which can be pretty challenging! On the whole the intake in the Masters of Nursing is not huge, so overcrowding isn’t generally a problem. There have been reports of subjects with “50 people per tutorial,” but from what we can gather this is hardly the norm. So, while you may be stuck in Malette St, drowning in ancillary costs, with friendly teaching staff, and more penis humour than you can poke the proverbial stick at, Nursing is a solid choice and gets a thumbs up from us.

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

Pharmacy PHARMACY If you are interested in Pharmacy (and not in the same way that the Ibrahim family are ‘interested’ in Pharmacy), you have a very simple choice to make: you can either have a life for four years, OR you can study Pharmacy. Unfortunately, you can’t have both. Pharmacy hits students with the combined joy of obscenely high contact hours, coupled with a ridiculous workload. Good luck with that.

some of this equipment at cheaper rates than you can find them elsewhere (Dispensing weights for $120), but it is still a burden on students. One student also complained at the costs associated with the intern year, saying “I had to pay $1896.” Remember, if you are struggling with the cost of text books, check out the SRC’s Second Hand Book Shop, which may have them cheaper!

One thing that the Department of Pharmacy have made very simple for you is subject selection. In short, you don’t get any. All of your subjects are prescribed for you, which many of the students who responded to the Counter Course Survey viewed as a positive, saying that it made them “all integrated and all related to each other.” The course is split into 4 main streams: Pharmacology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutics. While different areas appealed to different students, most responses said that the course content was, on the whole, interesting and engaging, if a little bit dense.

Overcrowding is a perennial problem in prescribed units for degrees with large candidatures. According to survey responses, the place that it is really felt in Pharmacy is in labs, which some students reported as having as many as 60 students. This isn’t particularly useful for class participation, or having your questions answered, which is a shame, because most students rave about the practical elements of the course.

Advice from previous students: “Go. to. claSS. Seriously.”

Highest praise for any subject went to Lorraine Smith for PHAR1821, ‘Social Pharmacy,’ which students found interesting and engaging, and different to many of the other subjects on offer in the Faculty. At the other end of the spectrum was PHAR1822, ‘Physical Pharmaceuticals and Formulation A,’ which was described by students as nothing short of a cluster-fuck: a subject without tutorials, or recorded lectures, or notes on line, with a crazy final exam requiring you to memorise a great deal of facts. Their advice: “GO. TO. CLASS.” It isn’t particularly helpful, but missing any of these classes can severely set you back, which reflects more on poor organisation by the Faculty than it does on commitment by the students. Students also complained a lot about the hidden ancillary fees in the Department of Pharmacy, “in first year you have to buy lots of text books, lab coats and dispensing weights in third year, they do cost a bit.” Pro Tip: The Sydney University Pharmacy Association (SUPA) sell

Another common complaint was with regard to the assessment requirements in Pharmacy. End of Semester exams are often highly weighted, and require a disproportionate amount of preparation of minute details within the course, so studying takes up a lot of your time. So, while lesser individuals may crumble and cry under the workload, true Pharmacy Students are made of sterner stuff. Students found this course rewarding and engaging, even with the massive workload and forfeiture of their social lives. If you can take this discipline, enjoy it and succeed, we salute you.

Students in this faculty show a genuine interest in ‘pharmaceuticals’.

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 3 7



If you never quite got over your childhood obsession with playing in the dirt, than you can now embark on an entire three years locked in a darkened room with little else to do. Which sounds fun… For some…

If the mad scientists of tomorrow are going to have any success in destroying the human race, they will need a top class education. Counter Course survey responses indicate that USyd may just be the best place to provide it.

If you choose Biology, Molecular or Microbiology, then we will see you in three years, because chances are that you will spend so long in the lab that you won’t see us. Perhaps the lack of fresh air and light got to them, but students seemed pretty positive about the time that they spent in the lab. Students said that most of their lab demonstrators were friendly and able to help, which is a massive feat given that some of the prac classes have as many as 50 people, which is pretty big comparatively for those types of lessons.

Chemistry is a very demanding subject to study – you will have long labs, with a mountain of contact hours. This is epitomised in the two four hour labs you will have to go through in senior years. I don’t really know what chemicals they were on, but students didn’t really mind keeping these long hours, so if you want some of what they’re smoking, you will probably enjoy it too.

The lecturers in the Department were also reviewed pretty positively, the ones to gravitate towards are Greg Sword, Jill Johnston and Vanessa Gysbers. Apparently, they’re all amazing as course coordinators, so they get our seal of approval.

The lecturers and lab demonstrators in the Chemistry Department are world class. Student feedback also indicated that they are also just excellent human beings. They are receptive to student feedback, and often demonstrate that the feedback has been incorporated into their classes. The administrative staff were also said to be very friendly and helpful, unlike in many other departments.

Unfortunately for you poor students who have chosen biology, the faculty has a certain sadistic love for the two least favourite words for any university student: CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT. You’re in for an absurd number of small quizzes worth an even more absurdly small portion of your final mark. Students advise that you keep on top of these, to avoid having to catch up later in semester. Final exams are generally worth an average of 60% that most students are happy with, so long as they’ve done the work throughout semester. In terms of getting feedback, some staff are great, others often don’t provide comments though. But if you do want to know more be sure to ask them! Biology is a bit of a killer with ancillary fees as well, but students said that it is crucial that you do part with your pennies, as they are often for crucial material. Some costs that you should account for include very expensive text books, lecture notes and prac manuals, lab materials (including a sexy lab coat) and the expenses associated with field trips. If you are having any financial difficulty, come by the SRC offices, on Level 1 of the Wentworth Building, as we can give you short-term loans to help with financial difficulties.

The biggest problem cited by students is the high weighting of exams and low weighting of continuous assessments. Having to write reports on aaaaall of the hours you have spent in the lab also takes a lot of time and effort, and is just not a very fun way to spend one’s time. Students studying chemistry also advise to work out what you want to study in senior years early so you do a relevant sequence of subjects but also don’t be afraid to try new subjects. Many who like chemistry from high school find that Biochemistry subjects are more enjoyable to themso try them out! You will also need to invest in various equipment to do well including textbooks, safety glasses and a lab coat. The expenses can rack up pretty quickly, so make sure you plan for these in advance. Finally students advise to make sure you turn up to lectures not only because the lecturers are great but the online notes provided aren’t that helpful. You will also thank yourself for it in the obscenely highly weighted final exam.

Pro Tips: - Plan your specialisation early, but don’t be afraid to experiment in first and early second year. - Study early for exams, or you may very well be screwed. PaG e 3 8

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11



According to students, Geosciences ROCK! The problems expressed by students in the Counter Course survey this year related not as much to the course work or lecturers, or even the workload, but to administrative decisions by the Faculty Administration, which will see severe course cutbacks in this Department.

There are only 10 types of students in this University, those who love IT subjects and those that don’t. If you laughed at that gag, chances are you fall into the former category. Many students decide that IT just isn’t for them and drop out, but if you are one of the brave souls who have joined with your guild to complete this quest, it is considered very rewarding and enjoyable. IT is especially good at USyd because of the sexy equipment in the School of IT, with a great lecture theatre and computer labs.

Students in this School generally give positive reports of their experience and learning. Those who are particularly passionate about the discipline say that the Honours program is particularly fantastic. Junior units, though, were not found to be lacking, with subjects GEOS1003, ‘Geophysics’ with Tom Hubble and Geoff Clarke being particularly well reviewed. Environmental Science, though described by one student as an “artsy science,” which we assume is pejorative, it was held in high regard.

The introductory IT advanced course, INFO1903, ‘Infomatics: Advanced’ was reviewed very well, probably one of the best first year subjects to be done in science and engineering. James Curran always gets universally excellent reviews. If you can hack (ANOTHER PUN) the increased workload, the advanced subjects are generally considered to be better taught. This is especially true as tutorials are of a much higher quality, with many more engaged students.

For students who are locked inside a lab for three hours at a time, respondents were (almost alarmingly) positive about the experience. Practical elements of the course were among the most enjoyable sections, as they related most clearly to individuals’ areas of interest. Geoscience students often get to go on interesting field trips. Some of the wicked places that you get to rock out include the Great Barrier Reef, New Zealand, Central Australia and Orange (some would argue less rocking). While some trips may be better than others, overall they are excellently rated. However be warned that these are often very expensive and the costs quickly add up.

It isn’t all sunshine and Macbooks in this Department, though. Tutorials were pointed to as a severe problem in this discipline. The overall issues with the tutorial program are a lack of answers provided in regards to tutorial problems and the difficulties some tutors had in trying to communicate solutions and ideas to students. Luckily, in first year this is significantly helped by student mentors from second year and above helping out. But after that you’re on your own. Sorry.

Despite the many positive reports, students do still have a lot of problems studying Geosciences. These range from many unhelpful lecturers who either don’t respond to emails or withhold feedback on assessments. Some students worrying claim to have been misled in the information preceding an exam. If you have any of these problems, you should see one of the caseworkers in the SRC, level 1, Wentworth Building.

IT is certainly a subject that requires a lot of practice, don’t expect to be able to solve assignment problems in a day – make sure you start well in advance. As always attending lectures and submitting assignments are good ways to ensure passing. In regards to textbooks, second hand or online sources are generally recommended, except for specific programming languages where it may be helpful as a future reference book.

Unfortunately due to difficult relations with the school some students recommend looking at other universities to study in this area as courses are getting restructured here at USyd. However with a tight knit student community and a couple of wins already, we see no reason that students can’t keep winning and enjoying their studies. The Education Officers would love to be of assistance if you are having problems with course cutbacks, email us at

The IT Society is also incredibly supportive and excellently run. Not only do they run a mentoring program for first year students, they also run many games night to cater to the extremely nerdy side of most IT students.

Thet love diodsj dsoidsds r y d klmdsm dsklmlds dskfjndsksd your sdkndskjnsd dsnsdnsd sdkjn dskjn sdkjn’ dskjdsnknds dsjkn jdshbdsjhbdsjhb government seoijsf.

This page has been edited courtesy of Sen. Stephen Conroy.

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 3 9

Science MATHS


If 4U Maths just wasn’t enough punishment for you in high school, you will be glad to hear that the University offers many forms of medieval torture Mathematics for students so inclined. Maths is one of the most studied units at this university as it is a requirement for all Engineering and Science degrees. While this does mean that first year lectures are often packed, later years begin an aggressive process of streaming (survival of the fittest), which drastically reduces their size.

The School of Medical Science is one of the largest in the uni and covers

In sneaky Mathematical tactics that we would expect from this Department, most of the first year subjects are only worth three credit points, but often cram in a disproportionate amount of work. Some students felt that these subjects should be worth six credit points individually. We do give props to the Maths Department, though, for such an ingenious solution to increasing student workloads.

a diverse array of majors. You will find that most students in Medical Science have aspirations to move on to Medicine when they finish their degree, and it is certainly one of the best pathways if you are that way inclined. As with any area of study, some subjects are better than others and students are well advised to do some research and find out what to expect by students who have previously taken the same units of study. Students felt that third year subjects were the best in the school, although the workload is particularly demanding. The teaching staff got an excellent wrap from students, in particular Scott Byrne. You should also watch our for any units of study taught by staff of the Faculty of Medicine.

The excellent news is that in first year there are programs for students of various levels of ability, from those who haven’t done maths since year ten, to special programs for talented students. First year tutors are generally considered “helpful and approachable,” but particularly look out for Jenny Henderson, who is apparently excellent. In senior years, there are two streams available – normal and advanced. If you can cop the extra work, students recommended taking advanced because it generally has better subjects and lecturers. Daniel Daners, Leon Poldian, David Easdown, Alex Moley and Anthony Henderson all received top marks for any unit that they teach.

One of the main problems in this discipline is that, due to the lack of first

While maths doesn’t have as many contact hours as most science subjects, to excel you need to spend many hours practicing. It is important that you attend the lectures and the tutorials in order to keep on top of the workload. Students also said that it is difficult to survive without paying to purchase the lecture notes.

sit down with your tutor or course coordinator, and they should be able to

year subjects, students felt that the second year workload took them by surprise, as did the insane number of contact hours. For Science students to complain about long contact hours, you know they must be preeeetty bad. They also include uni on a Friday, which we think should probably be made illegal. Assessments were also found to be a bit of a problem in Medical Science, particularly insofar as feedback is often lacking. If you find this problem, talk it through with you. Another problem that students found that they were pretty harshly affected by bell-curving in this discipline. Particularly in second and third years as your Med-Degree is in sight, things get pretty hectically competitive. Students definitely recommended getting on top of assignments early! (Though that sounds unlikely, right…)

Assessments in maths generally consist of assignments, quizzes and exams. Assignments are generally lowly weighted, while exams have a weighting of between 60-80% so if you don’t like exams you are well advised to consider studying something else.

You will be happy to hear, though, that unlike many other schools and departments in the uni, Medical Science is pretty up with technology. You will find that most of your subjects are recorded on Lectopia, which is amazing. Some students reported having technical difficulties, but with

Be Warned: You’re in for 8am lectures for the first two years of maths. Have fun with that. PaG e 4 0

the brand new free wireless (YESSSSSS) at uni, you will probably find that you can just download the lectures when you are at uni.

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

Science PSYCHOLOGY Psychology has one of the biggest first year intakes in the University, with over 400 students enrolled in first year courses. They were also, interestingly, the most enthusiastic respondents to the Counter Course Survey. Psychology is certainly not for everyone. Elements of the major, particularly the compulsory statistics elements, can be dry and challenging. However, the large cohort seem genuinely enthused by most of the course, and it gets generally positive reviews. Both junior units, PSYC1001 and PSYC1002 got rave reviews as being “interesting,” “engaging” and “well organised.” In terms of senior units, the biggest wrap was for PSYC3014, ‘Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience, which was described as “the best undergraduate PSYC course.” Some students felt that Psychology senior units were a bit “dry” and “repetitive,” but on the whole people felt that the discipline was, at least, interesting.

strangely fact-heavy closed-book examinations do little to prepare students for the practicality of working as a psychologist, symptomatic of the (somewhat unfortunately) theoretical approach taken by the entire Department. With such a large candidature, overcrowding in both tutorials and lectures is a massive problem in the Department of Psychology. For some of the subjects, the solution is to have the same lecture on three times in one day, which is actually pretty convenient, unless you get stuck in the overfull afternoon slots. Some less successful experiments to solve overcrowding were to live video-stream the lecture into another lecture theatre simultaneously. Nice work with the creativity, Psychology Department, but it somehow feels like a band-aid solution…

The Department was described as technophobic by an alarming majority of students, with very few courses recording their lectures or making lecture slides available online. This is Respondents raved about two lecturers even worse considering that certain lecturers in particular: Lisa Zadro of PSYC2013 (of PSYC1001, for example) were described and Caleb Owens of PSYC1001. as “a bit of a bitch” about attendance. The Perhaps it was because they reminded Department has further incurred the wrath students of their mothers and fathers? of the SRC’s Education Department as it told Who knows. But, whatever the case, they students that critical discussions of certain were described as “enthusiastic,” “excellent subjects’ lack of online resources on WebCT communicators” and “inspiring,” so get on Freud. Your mum. was “inappropriate”, and some of the student board! On staff generally, the consensus was comments were removed. UNACCEPTABLE! that lecturing staff were largely good, but that “Tutors in psychology can be extremely great, yet others are not so – luck of the draw, really.”, which So whether it is their pathological love for their own mother, mildly is probably of little comfort to you if you are lumped in an overcrowded sociopathic tendencies or whether it is just all the voices inside their tutorial with an awfully incompetent tutor. heads, Psychology students love this shit. If you are that way inclined too, the Department is one of the better ones in the Faculty of Arts, so Students also felt that the assessment in Psychology was particularly approach freely. onerous. Common complaints were that exams frequently just required a recitation of facts and figures, with little opportunity to display students’ genuine knowledge of the course. Another criticism was that such

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 41

SCA SYDNEY COLLEGE OF THE ARTS Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) is housed in the beautiful sandstone campus at Rozelle, which formally housed the Callan Park Lunatic Asylum for the Mentally and Criminally Insane. Counter Course survey results indicate that little has changed. On the whole, students raved about the B Visual Arts Programs, the facilities available and the teaching staff. There were a few ‘typical Art Student’ responses, our favourites being: “It would have been lovely if we were able to make artworks without an assessment deadline looming,” and that a particular supervisor was “like an underrated indie band, he’s putting in the hard yards for you as a student…only instead of teaching you how to rock and roll real hard on the gee-tah, he’s teaching you how to make music with still images.” Err… thanks guys… The program at the SCA from second year is pretty much the same, no matter which is your weapon of choice – A ‘Studio Major’ for 12 credit points, some studio electives and extension units, and some theoretical units to round it off. Students praised the “freedom” and the “creativity” in these units of study, both in practical and theoretical areas. In the past, theoretical units of study have had a bit of a rough trot in the Counter Course survey results, but most people this year seemed to agree that teachers go out of their way to make them interesting.

“I paint as a degree. beat that.”

Due to the nature of the degree, a lot of your time is spent in independent studio work, preparing your major works. Overall, students were fairly positive about this process, but did note that some of the mentors (particularly in the Fine Arts disciplines) were a bit rubbish. Students said that sometimes motivation was a bit of an issue with self-directed learning, but if you find a mentor and a project that inspires you, it shouldn’t be too hard to get motivated. Students recommend that you “spend as much time as you can in the studio and don’t skip class.” All this studio time and playing with paints won’t come cheap, though. The cost of materials and supplies for the major work alone (that is, without the $400 odd dollars you will blow on text books) can be between $1,000$3,000, depending on the medium you are using. Students undertaking study in Photomedia should also beware that previous students have noted that it is “all but essential” for you to get a Mac with Photoshop on it at

PaG e 4 2

home to complete assignments. Students had a bit of advice in getting around this, such as “find suppliers yourselves, and do some negotiation if you can to at least lower the costs,” and “Get a job. Save your money. It’s expensive.” The SCA also has some scholarships of its own, which tend to range from around sCa guys just feel so many feelings. $300-$5,000, which is pretty sweet. They can be found here: Just remember – they close around mid-April each year, so GET IN EARLY! Another common complaint from students was about the modes of assessment used in this faculty. Not only is the marking system used irritatingly opaque and subjective (“But what IS art…”), but the assessments themselves are beyond strange. The final assessment for your major project is largely based on a 15-30 min interview with some of your supervisors where you ‘present’ and are quizzed on your art. Students commonly complained about this assessment practices, many expressing that they felt they did not receive the mark they deserved. Ok, so maybe this degree is pretty expensive to undertake, and sometimes the staff are a little disorganised, but there is nothing like three years in a lunatic asylum to bring people together, and the tight-knit group of students at the SCA are very passionate about what they do. So, if you never really grew out of the finger painting stage, SCA sounds like a pretty cool place for you to indulge.

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

Vet Sci VET SCIENCE If you are looking to become the next Bondi Vet then you have taken the first step, all you need now is a set of weights and an Eastern Suburbs postcode. Vet Science is one of the most all-consuming degrees on offer – it will own you. Students have recommended that you take some time off before commencing study, not only to take a break but also to save some money for all of the extra expenses that you will incur. There are three options available to you when you start this degree. You can have enough sleep, a social life or good marks. But you can only have two of the three - its up to you. The first two years of the degree are mostly theory and are criticised for not having enough hands on time. A common refrain in the Counter Course survey was “even though we have pracs, we need more practical experience”. But as you progress theory makes way for more and more practical experience – until you (finally) hit the 5th year placement – so stick with it. Your final year placement is what it is all about. You are placed with either a private practice, government department or teaching hospital. Watch out however as you wont be able to work and you will probably need to buy some things during this year. Our advice is to save your pennies, beg if necessary or check out if you’re eligible for Youth Allowance. Interestingly you still pay the university fees for the pleasure of working full time for nothing… Because prac work (which h a p p e n s throughout your degree) is so intense, it is very important that you build a rapport and feel comfortable with you rotation supervisor. If for whatever reason you have a problem with you supervisor, you can request to change rotation. This is something that the SRC can help you with, so come and talk to a caseworker if you are having trouble finding the right placement.

Another thing to watch out for in the Vet Sci degree are hidden costs. Apart from textbooks (around 5 per semester), you will also need: stethoscopes, dissection kits, thermometers, boots and lab coats. We know it sucks, but VetSoc (more on this later) can help with discounted surgical instruments and Bayer products. The SRC’s Second Hand Bookshop may also come in handy if you’re looking for some second hand textbooks to cut costs. There was a very mixed response about the Vet Sci staff this year. One student said that most of the issues in the course were a result of the lecturers. Some are described mildly as “unorganised” while other are apparently “unable to teach”. But the news is not all bad, there are some who have been highly praised. So look out for: Lisa “fantastic” Ahlstrom, Jan “approachable” Williamson, Jacqui “amazing” Norris and Murray “outstanding” Thompson. Also interestingly, the anaesthesia unit doesn’t put everyone to sleep – and is quite worthwhile. One of the worst elements to university life is of course exams and as a Vet Sci student you will cop it worse than most. One student had eight – yes eight exams in the exam period. Even worse, some units have just one assessment, generally closed book exam worth 100% of your final mark. You have been warned, study hard. Make sure to get involved with VetSoc. Because of the small faculty and the huge number of contact hours, you will be spending a lot of time with your peers and the sense of community provided by the events, publications and support is invaluable. If you’re doing this degree because you used to play with stuffed animals and thought that it was mega fun, watch out because “you wont be cuddling puppies and kittens. You’ll be cutting up dead animals”.

Pro Tips: • Attend all the lectures • Study, study, study • Cramming = impossible

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 4 3

SRC Special Consideration + PLagiarism SPECIAL CONSIDERATION: A policy to help you in your studies

Special Arrangements

The University’s exact statement on special consideration is that “assessment

Special arrangements are available for students who are unable to meet

practices are designed to ensure that conditions are fair to all students”.

assessment requirements or attend examinations. Applications for special


arrangements have to be lodged BEFORE the date of the assessment Therefore, special consideration is available to students who

or exam – how long before varies from department to department, but

experience illness or misadventure immediately before or during

naturally a good rule is to have your application in as early as possible.

an exam or assessment. We’re going to say it now – there is

Some situations that may qualify you for special arrangements include: you

NO guarantee that you will be granted special consideration.

sustain an injury which prevents you from writing or if you have a sporting,





cultural or political commitment. Remember that any application MUST This is only a basic guide to special consideration, each faculty have their

have supporting documentation to prove the veracity of your claim.

own policy. So make sure you are familiar with the one that is relevant to you. You must apply for special consideration within 5 working days of the

Special arrangements for assessments or exams usually result in one of

exam or assessment deadline. You fill out the special consideration form

the following outcomes:

Misadventure: something that unnecessarily disadvantages your studies, e.g. an accident, family stress, emergency, etc.

• • • If

Alternative dates for submission of assessments (extension) Provision of alternative assessment tasks


Alternative examination times/arrangements







y for


arrangements, come down and see the SRC caseworkers – they are the most qualified people to deal with Uni admin.

Any ongoing disability, illness or health problem (including things like


arm) may allow you to register with Disability Services. This registration

include proof of your situation, e.g. something from your doctor, a police

will mean that a Disability Services Officer can help assess what needs

report or a statutory declaration by yourself. In the rare occasion where

to be put in place to ensure that you can study on an equal playing field.

your supporting documentation cannot be obtained within 5 working days, hand in your application on time with an explanation about the


supporting documentation and an estimation of when it will be available.









specialised in


help sitting

such in


smaller exam room, having breaks during exams, longer due dates





may vary. Some faculties offer successful applications a supplementary Contact Disability Services at 9627 8422.

good idea to know what your faculty may do, but not essential. The important part is getting the application in within 5 working days.

PaG e 4 4



and give it to the relevant person in the faculty. Your application must

exam; others look at adjusting the previous exam (if you sat it). It is a


Long Term Illness or Disability

depression and severe anxiety as well as temporary incapacity, i.e. a broken

The outcome of a successful exam special consideration application


C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11











SRC Plagiarism SRC HELP caseworkers have done heaps of work in the past helping students across many faculties who have run into trouble with allegations of plagiarism. The University takes plagiarism allegations very seriously. Basically, there are two types of plagiarism:


when you know what you’re doing. You know you’re taking a








Dishonest plagiarism (intentional plagiarism). Basically this is risk and don’t kid yourself that what you’re doing is educational,


Negligent plagiarism (mucking up or forgetting referencing and quoting, not understanding fully what is required). SRC HELP say

Medical Certificates: are not accepted in an application for special consideration. only a professional practitioners Certificate will be accepted

that it is not unusual for students to make mistakes when referencing and quoting and therefore can be found to have plagiarised. The SRC HELP caseworkers can give you advice and support if you receive an allegation of plagiarism and advocate for you where necessary.

Contact them on 9660 5222 or

If you want to avoid the issue completely then you need to get to know the faculty guide to referencing. Some departments (annoyingly) do it differently within faculties, but there are some general things to keep in mind: Using ideas or concepts read in a book Reference where you got them at the end of the sentence or group of sentences where you do this.

Using exact words from a text, article, newspaper, speech etc. Put quotation marks around those words and a reference at the end of the sentence. Bibliography List all references with all the relevant information in the bibliography at the end of the assignment.

As we mentioned

earlier this differs between departments, and some can be super anal – so make sure you check what style your department is after. You HAVE to do all of these things (and more) every time you write an assessment. If you don’t, you are plagiarising. The marker needs to know what you should get credit for and what is someone else’s work.

Statutory Declaration: a written statement where you make a legal declaration that you’re telling the truth, kinda like crossing your heart and hoping to die What awaits if you plagiarise

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 4 5

University USyd-tionary Absent Fail: Occurs when you don’t attend required number of tutorials or meet certain standards set by the Unit of Study. Make sure you read your Unit of Study Outline to check the requirements for attendance and assessments.

Credit Point (CP): Measurement of how much a Unit of Study is ‘worth’ or how much work per week will be required to complete it. In the Faculty of Arts this is about 30 minutes per week per credit point, Faculty of Engineering is more like 3 hours per week per credit point.

Academic Board: Peak decision-making body in the University on all academic subjects, such as curriculum, academic standards, policy research, degrees and units of study offered. Academic Board reports to Senate. Many students sit on Academic Board including the President of the SRC and a student representative from each Faculty.

Dean: Head administrator of a faculty. Can generally be found in Faculty Board meetings, Senior Executive Group and cocktail functions for the high achievers in your faculty.

Admin Assistant: A person in your Faculty, School or Department to whom you have to submit paperwork. Many students claim they are unhelpful and don’t like assisting students with their enquiries. Assessment: A task that evaluates your knowledge or performance in a particular Unit of Study. These are generally not fun things and require you to study. Exams are potentially the most hated form but long research essays, quizzes, tutorial participation and practicum reports are other ways Units of Study determine your marks. Black Board: The online Unit of Study web site for the Business Faculty and now the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Census Date: A date set by the government whereby the University reports your enrolment details to government. Withdrawal from units after this date means you still have to pay HECS and you will receive a Discontinue Not Fail or Discontinue Fail if you withdraw after this date. Centre: A bunch of academics inside a faculty or school working on some cross disciplinary project. Centres generally offer excellent Units of Study, eg United States Study Centre or Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. Chair of Department: Head administrator of an academic department. Sometimes the best lecturer in the Department. Compulsory Unit of Study: Unit of Study that you must enrol in to complete your degree or major. If you fail to meet these requirements you will fail.

PaG e 4 6

Department: Smallest academic unit, generally the level at which Units of Study are taught and administered. Discontinue Fail (DF): The result you receive in a Unit of Study if you withdraw after a date determined by your faculty. A Discontinue Fail counts on your academic record, so try to avoid these. Discontinue Not Fail (DNF): The result your receive in a Unit of Study when you withdraw after the census date and before a date determined by your Faculty. Does not count on your academic record. Elective Unit of Study: A Unit of Study which you choose to do. It can either be for your major or in a different discipline if your degree allows. Pick enjoyable electives. Faculty: Largest academic unit at the university, answerable to Academic Board and the Senate. Faculties develop and offer degrees, meaning your enrolment is actually looked after by them. Be warned, they create some good degrees and others that just have long and good sounding names. Head of School: Head administrator of a school. Honours: Awarded to students for outstanding performance in a degree. Depending on your faculty, Honours may be awarded on academic achievement or an additional year of research based learning and a thesis. Lectopia: The university’s Which unfortunately not every

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

lecture lecturer

recording system. takes advantage of.

University Lecture: Something that is generally held in large groups in large halls.

Seminar: A cross between a lecture and a tutorial. Many Units of Study replace tutorials with seminars to have larger class sizes.


Senior Executive Group: A committee consisting of the ViceChalleor and the Deans of every Faculty. The most senior committee in the University.

A qualified academic who teaches a Unit of Study.

Major: A collection of Units of Study from the same subject area studied to form a major (generally 36 senior credit points).

Mature Age Student: A student who has enrolled at this university over the age of 21. Unfortunately they have a reputation for asking annoying questions. Minor: A short collection units of study from the same subject area, generally 24 credit points, sometimes 18 credit points. MyUni: The online administrative portal for your degree. From MyUni you can access details about your enrolment, exams, your emails and online Unit of Study websites. Placement: Period of extramural study, involving practical study of the theory component of a Unit of Study in a ‘real-world’ setting. Placements are common in Education, Medicine and Veterinary Science. Satellite Campus: Teaching campuses of the university outside the main Camperdown/Darlington Campus. Most other campuses have specific specialisation such as Health Sciences, Nursing and Music. Generally they are less cool than main campus. School: Administrative level between Faculties and Departments. In most cases, schools are purely administrative bodies that organise student services and allocate resources to departments. Generally you won’t have much to do with schools as they are generally just an administrative body. Senate: Peak decision-making body of the university. It passes resolutions on everything from the university’s stance on plagiarism and intellectual property, through investing the university’s money.

Sydney University Sport & Fitness (SUSF): The Sports Union on campus, so if you want to go to the gym or take a relaxing swim they are the union to join. They also have many sports clubs which you can get involved with. Tutorial: A small class in which students discuss and interact with concepts presented in lectures. Unit of Study (UoS): These are subjects you are required to study in order to complete a degree at the University. Their workload is defined by credit points, a standard subject of 9-12 hour workload is 6 credit points.. Each UoS has a course code and a level, for example a 2000-level subject is a second year subject.

University of Sydney Union: The USU is the main service provider on campus and administers the Clubs ad Societies Program. You should definitely get involved with USU if you want to enjoy cultural life outside of the classroom. Vice-Chancellor: Head Executive of the University of Sydney. The VC, with the help of the Senior Executive Group, makes sure that resolutions passed by Senate and Academic Board are adhered to. WAM: Weighted Average Mark - a calculation of your mark, wherein your results are weighted according to the year of study; so third year results are weighted more heavily than your second year results which are weighted more heavily than first year subjects.. This may be used to determine your eligibility for honours in some departments, be sure to investigate this. WebCT: The online Unit of Study web site system for most faculties but is gradually being phased out.

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 4 7

SRC FREE MONEY?: A handy guide for students

Tim Matthews & Al Cameron, Education Officers It is a well established fact that Centrelink is a god-forsaken black hole of

Under the Centrelink definitions of “Full Time Study” you basically have

a bureaucracy, designed primarily to complicate and/or make worse the

to be enrolled in 75% of the actual full study load (in most departments

lives of those that depend upon it. If you are just a little bit confused by

that is 3 units of study). However, if you are doing 66% of the full time

the system of Youth Allowance than you are doing well. If it is like it was

study load and get a dispensation from the Registrar’s office (www.usyd.

written in a foreign language, you are most certainly not alone. We have Centrelink may exempt you.

prepared what we hope is a plain-English and easy to understand guide from several hours spent trawling the Centrelink website.

1. What is Youth Allowance?

3. What income/assets may prevent me from getting Youth Allowance?

Youth Allowance are Centrelink payments designed to help young people

a. Income

who are studying, undertaking training, looking for work or who are sick. Many students find Youth Allowance to be of great assistance in their degrees. Provided your payment is not augmented or reduced by another

- You can earn $236 per fortnight before tax and your Youth Allowance receipt will not be affected. - If you earn between $236-$316 per fortnight, payment is reduced by 50c/$ - If you earn in excess of $316 per fortnight, payment is reduced by 60c/$

Centrelink program, or in any of the billion ways listed below that it can be reduced, payment rates for Youth Allowance is $212.70 per fortnight

b. Liquid Assets

if living at home, and $388.70 per fortnight if you are not.

You are able to accumulate $5,500 or more in liquid assets as an individual. Basically, that covers anything you are able, or could be able

You may also qualify for other Centrelink payments (i.e. Rent Assistance,

to spend, including any monies owed by an employer. You can still apply

Job Seeker payments, etc.) To understand your availability for these other

for Youth Allowance over this threshold but there may be a waiting

payments, visit

period before your payments commence.

2. Am I eligible?

Liquid assets for Youth Allowance can be discounted by the cost of

If you are aged between 16 and 24, or older then sixteen and still completing your degree full time, then you are eligible for Youth Allowance.

NB: this article was written by a student, with the handy help of the awful Centrelink Website. If you are actually going to commit to anything, you should seek advice from one of the srC’s caseworkers. PaG e 4 8

items/expenditure which is vital for study. The Centrelink website lists: - Up front course fees - HECS - Union fees - The cost of text books - The cost of any tools or equipment required to undertake the course, including computer software - Expenses directly related to any field trips you need to undertake for your course The High Court ruled 2010 that study expenses also count as tax deductions for students. Thankyoooou High Court! What a win for students.

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

University 4. Reporting Earnings b. Parental Income Test If you are on Centrelink payments and receiving an income you have to report

This will determine the rate of payment for your Youth Allowance.

your income to them EVERY TWO WEEKS. Make sure you do this. Or they will fuck your shit up old school. (They will withhold payment, but if you

c. The Family Actual Means Test

don’t let them know two fortnights in a row your payments are discontinued.)

Only applies if your parents are self-employed, have a business loss or an interest in a trust or company. The test measures what your family spends

There are also certain programs that can offset this threshold further,

and saves over a certain time. It will also determine your rate of pay.

including allowances for casual employment, up to a certain amount of income. For more information, visit the Centrelink website.

If you have any siblings also in receipt of Youth Allowance, your parents’ income is divided between you and your siblings. Once this

5. Am I legally independent according to Centrelink?

amount reaches a certain threashold, your payment is reduced by 20c/$.

7. HELP!?!?!?!!!?!?!?

The legal age of independence for Youth Allowance payments, as of January 2011 is 23 (TAKE NOTE: It will drop to 22 in January 2012).

Ok, ok, ok. Calm down. Everything is going to be fine. If you are still having difficulties, you should drop by the SRC offices on Level

Other ways you can considered to be independent include: having a

1, Wentworth Building and have a chat to one of our caseworkers.

dependent child, being married or previously married, being made

If you can’t come in to the offices, or you are at one of the satellite

legally independent, homelessness, and certain other provisions for

campuses, email us at, or call on 9660 5222.

regional young people living out of home. Rather than summarising it all here, I would suggest checking out the Centrelink definitions online ( ya_independent.htm) if you are unsure as to whether you qualify. What we can tell you is that previously, if you took a gap year and made over $18,000 you would qualify as legally independent. This is no longer the case, unless you live in a remote area, so be careful.

6. How does my parents’ income affect me? If you are not classified as legally independent, the income of your parents and the net assets of your family are taken into account in the following ways:

a. Family Assets Test Basically,



cannot exceed $598,000.






if the Src caseworkers can’t help you, have you considered the High court? Good friends of students.

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 4 9

University USYD BY THE NUMBERS 112 10% 16.1% 14 19 40 18 16 49.2% 32 51.5% 30 44.1% 19.3% 20 22.7% 61.9% 73 44 14 12 55 7 19 1 17 25 10 17.1% 83.8%

students commented on the usefulness of the Libraries of students found that there were enough readers in the library of students found that there were enough text books in the library students cited a lack of computers students had problems with the internet students’ favourite part of the Uni is the buildings and grounds students in particular liked the sandstone students hated on the Cumberland Campus of students felt that their study loads were reasonable most of the time students cite timetabling as a problem of students felt that staff were available for consultation most of the time students cite WebCT as a problem of students experienced problems with Faculty administration services of students felt that their classes were overcrowded “most of the time” students wanted lectures online of students had “regular and prompt” feedback after assessments of students felt that assessments were “sometimes” unfair students cited the USU as the best thing about the University students raved about their clubs and societies program students “love” Manning Bar students love theatresports students love the University’s cultural experience students love Taste Baguette students HATE student elections student commented on the Fair Trade Campaign. They were not in favour. students talked about accommodation issues students talked about college tudents specified problems with affordability of their degree of students found the extra costs associated with their units of study negatively affected their ability to pass the units of study of students were required to pay such extra costs to pass units of study

17.2% 1

of students were never taught about plagiarism and academic honesty

380 40 48 25 53

students were able to correctly identify Michael Spence as the VC

PaG e 5 0

We asked students what the best and worst things about the university were. this is a snapshot of their responses.

student believes that you will go to gaol if you plagarise

people had to Google who the VC was students referenced the lesser university, UTS students praised the University’s “prestige” students recommend that you attend another uni C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

University The Student Representative network (SRN) Ok, so we here at the SRC are all about repping for students. We think

within the Faculties of Business, Education and Social Work and Science

it’s seriously the best thing going around. Everyone knows that the SRC

this year. So hopefully Student Representation will be coming to a Faculty

is here to represent you, and to lend a hand when necessary but what

near you!

you may not know is that, for the previous year, the Faculty of Arts has implemented, in conjunction with the SRC, a system of Student

If you are elected as a Student Representative, don’t worry – you

Representation at the Department level. We think this programme has the

will be given all the resources and information you need to make

capacity to greatly improve the way that student feedback and interests

sure you are equipped for the role. And the education officers are

are communicated to academics across the University.


These Student Reps, elected every six months for yearlong terms, sit

As we continue to expand and improve the program in 2011, there will

on the Board of the Department to provide student input and vote on

be more opportunities for students to step up and put themselves forward

your behalf. The board is the decision-making body in each department.

as candidates for Student Rep positions. We want more students to get on

They decide things like which Units of Study get cut and when, they

board so that student’s opinions are being heard where they need to be!






answer grievances about particular academics, tutorial sizes or assessment regimes. Basically, it is the sort of board that any student who cares about

The Student Representative Network will, as it grows, become one of the

the quality of their learning experience should hope engages with student

most important channels through with students can voice dissatisfaction


with their subjects. It is really important that you get the most out of your time at Uni. So get involved!

The role of the Student Reps is to liaise with the student body, primarily through online communications, to identify student opinion with respect to the Department and its administration. And then to raise it a meeting of the Department Board. Even though the program in 2010 was still in its pilot phase, there were some extremely positive results. Student representation in Philosophy and English was particularly strong with Departments very receptive to the issues raised by students.

the Srn can only function with your feedback - so make sure your opinion is heard!




and the

programme will


to be expanded and improved. We’re to





Getting Angry About Your Education? the education action Group is the place to be! this is a collective run by the Src to provide a forum for student feedback on educational issues. Meetings will be held weekly all year. if you are interested in getting involved, email us at education.


StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 5 1

The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) Legal Service Legal has a solicitor on Darlington campus to provide free legal advice, representation in court and a referral service to undergraduate students at Sydney University. Knowing the law can be tough without getting some help first. If you would like legal advice, representation in court or simply need to know who to talk to, the SRC Legal Service can provide help free of charge. The SRC Legal Service solicitor can assist you with a wide range of legal issues such as: • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Family law (advice only) Criminal law Traffic offences Insurance law Domestic violence Employment law Credit & debt Consumer complaints Victims compensation Discrimination and harassment Tenancy law Administrative law (government etc) University complaints Other general complaints

Note: The solicitor cannot advise on immigration law but can refer you to migration agents and community centres. For Family Law and Property Relationships Act matters we can refer you to solicitors who charge at a fair rate. The SRC’s operational costs, space and administrative support are financed by the University of Sydney.

PaG e 5 2

Appointments Phone the SRC Office to make an appointment 9660 5222 Drop-in sessions Tuesdays & Thursdays 1pm-3pm (no need for an appointment) Location Level 1, Wentworth Building (under the footbridge on City Road) Darlington Campus NEED a Justice of the Peace? Here is a list of JP’s on campus: directories/jps.shtml If you are a postgraduate student please contact SUPRA or phone 02 9351 3715

Students’ Representative Council, University of Sydney Level 1 Wentworth Building, Uni of Sydney 02 9660 5222 |

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

E V A S on


Ap e h C s k o o b t x get your Te Current second-hand text books on sale now!

• We buy & sell textbooks according to demand • You can sell your books on consignment • We are open to USYD students & the public


Search for text books online Call 02 9660 4756 to check availability and reserve a book.



her R

nue Ave


oad Main Gate







Butl e enu

v in A


BOOKS Sell Buy Exchange

Level 3


NEW Location! Level 4, Wentworth Building

(Next to the International Lounge) Hours: Mondays to Fridays 9am - 4.30pm Phone: (02) 9660 4756 Email:

SRC Ask Abe Dear Abe,

Hi Abe,

I was driving to an exam when my car broke down. When I told my lecturer what happened he didn’t believe me. I don’t know what I can do to avoid failing that assessment. I really need those extra marks to get me over the line.

My lecturer talked about make sure our enrolment was right before the HECS census date. I think all my subjects are in order, but I don’t what the census is. Do we have to fill in a survey or something?



Dear Special,

Dear Incensused,

The best thing to do in this situation is to apply for special consideration. Download the form from your Faculty website. Hand it in within 5 working days. Do not be late handing in this form. You will need to include any proof that you have of the incident. Where your car broke down you may be able to provide a receipt from the tow truck driver or NRMA person. You should also fill out a Statutory Declaration. This is a legal document that tells your story and declares that you are telling the truth. Please note that if you are caught lying in a Statutory Declaration you are in breach of the law. If you were too sick to do the exam or too sick to study in the time leading up to the exam, you could also apply for special consideration. The for is the same, but you would need to see a doctor to get a Professional Practitioner’s certificate. This is where the doctor assess how severely affected you were for the exam. If the doctor is unable to make an assessment, fill in a Statutory Declaration. If you need help with these forms ask an SRC caseworker. However, do hand it in within 5 working days whenever possible. If you absolutely cat get it in on time, talk to the SRC.

The HECS census date is like a deadline for universities to process the subjects that students are doing. Despite its name it applies to all students as a deadline for finalising their subject choices. Whatever you are enrolled in, is what you have to pay for. It is also the last date that you can drop a class without academic penalty. The HECS census date is the 31st March in semester one and 31st August in semester two each year, or the weekday before if it falls on a weekend. Make sure that you make your changes as early as possible to avoid any mishaps. International students have different dates for fees. However, the HECS census date applies to them for dropping subjects without academic penalty. Check your handbook, ask a faculty advisor or ask the SRC if you are unsure. Abe


Ask Abe offers students the opportunity to ask questions on anything that may affect their “welfare”. these can be as personal as a question on Centrelink payment, to as general as a question on the state of the world. If you would like to ask abe a question, send an email to

PaG e 5 4

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

SRC Thanks To You, if you filled out the survey SRC Ninja Star Stress Balls Ross “Mad Dog” Leedham



Ideas Scooter


Antoine Dodsen




LingSoc Beck


No Thanks To

Bombay Sapphire Adam

Everyone who didn’t fill out the survey Facebook our gainful employment getting in the way

sleep deprivation

Gin thieves

StudentS’ repreSentative council

paG e 5 5

University Who is Michael Spence? pompous overachiever an american economist and recipient of the 2001 nobel Memorial Prize in economics

the silver fox Vice Chancellor of course I guess the guy who won the srC election, judging by all this. dIdnt Vote For HIM tHouGH

according to Google, He’s the Vice Chancellor

he lives in all of us chronic spammer :(

emperor Palpatine aka darth sidious

a secret identity for a vigilante rogue?

Look, if you went home with the wrong guy last night, its not my problem.

the seventh Horcrux

pseudonym: the ibis that steals your sandwiches king of the Wookiees

“the Man”, sorry “dr the Man” or “dr Vice Chancellor Man”

Vice-Chancellor, and my sugar daddy. Give it to me spence doesn’t live on engineering therefore i dont know him big boss Man of the university/terminator no idea - I’d Google him but I think that’s cheating? did you know he went to oxford? I hear it’s much better than sydney uni. oxford oxford oxford He was the first Australian to go into space

LeFtY bIas!!!!!

PaG e 5 6

a reptilian life form, alien to earth, who has decided to disguise himself as the Vice Chancellor of sydney university in his systematic program of world domination.

C o u n t e r C o u r s e H a n d b o o k 2 0 11

The University of Sydney Student’s Representative Council acknowledges the traditional owners of this land, the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. We stand on this land today as beneficiaries of an incompensated and unreconciled disposession which occurred over 200 years ago. Many of the descendants of those dispossessed live just down the road in abject poverty, and as young people it is important to recognise how this history of dislocation and disenfranchisement has contributed to the inequity we observe in contemporary society, particularly in the area of education. We acknowledge both our privilege and our obligation to redress the situation at best we can: to remember the mistakes of the past, act on the problems of today, and build for a future for everyone who will not call this place home, striving always for practical and meaningful reconciliation. If you are reading this, you are standing on Aboriginal land. Please recognise and respect this.

SEE us a t the SRC O-WEEK STALL www.src.


Students’ Representative Council The University of Sydney BECOME A MEMBER! Join in person at O-Week SRC stall, SRC Office or SRC Bookshop phone 02 9660 5222


SRC Books - Cheapest books on campus!

• Centrelink • Academic Appeals • Discontinuing/Withdrawing • Show Cause • Exclusion • Tenancy • Fee Refunds • Harassment & Discrimination • International Students • Plagiarism & misconduct

Free Legal Advice

• Buy & sell your textbooks • Search for books online SRC website Wentworth Level 4 (next to the International Lounge)

Emergency Loans

$50 emergency loans for students in need

Student Publications

• Referrals • Discrimination & Equal Opportunity • Employment law • Minor criminal matters/traffic offences/ fines • Victims of violence • Debts

ASK US ABOUT The SRC’s operational costs, space and administrative support are financed by the University of Sydney.


• Honi Soit weekly newspaper • International Students Handbook • Orientation Handbook • Counter Course Handbook • Growing Strong - Women’s Handbook

Student Rights & Representation

SRC Representatives are directly elected by students each year to stand up for students’ rights on campus and in the wider community.

Find the SRC at...

Level 1 Wentworth Building (under City Rd footbridge) Ph: 02 9660 5222 If you are at another campus, email:



n Sta


Student Central wentworth building

Counter Course Handbook 2011  

Counter Course Handbook 2011,

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you