Page 1

contents Section 1

getting started Section 2

academic essentials Section 3

social essentials Section 4

personal essentials Section 5

professional essentials Section 6

admin essentials

02 10 15 17 21 24

welcome to UON

Congratulations and welcome to the University of Newcastle (UON)! We are excited that you are now part of UON and we know that during your studies you will be presented with opportunities to change your own life and make a difference to people in the communities we serve. University life will be both challenging and rewarding. We will be with you every step of the way to support your success but remember, the best students make the most of all that is on offer both inside and outside the classroom.

how to use this guide Starting on the right foot is very important and this guide has been put together by UON students and staff to share our knowledge. It is a handy reference booklet for new students and contains hints, tips and information to put yourself on the track to success. The guide is organised to highlight the different elements of your University experience – academic, social, personal and professional success. To help you get the most from this guide look for the following symbols:

This means you can look up this location on the map at the back of the guide 

When you see this it means there’s a handy tip for success

This symbol shows you the best keywords to search for more info on the UON website

getting started Connect with us online Understanding your program Academic calendar Finding your way Transport Safety on campus Orientation

getting started

connect with us online Activate your account Firstly, you must activate your NUaccess account to use the University computers, system or online services. This can be done from any computer using your Application Number as the username and your date of birth (DDMM) as your password.

Logging in to your account Once your NUaccess account has been activated you can login using your student number prefaced by a ‘c’ e.g. c1234567. If you don’t know your password or are having trouble logging in for the first time then you can get IT help through the 17triplezero IT Service Desk (02) 4921 7000.

Wi-fi access The University’s campuses offer good wi-fi access both indoors and outdoors. To set up your own device on the University’s wireless network: Select the “eduroam” option Enter “” and your UON Hub password. Select OK After a few seconds, the status will show as connected.

‘wireless access’

myUON portal This is your gateway to UON. Access NUmail, UONline, CareerHub, myHub, UONPrint, MyLibrary and more.


myHub This is where you will enrol in your courses, update your personal details, pay fees and view your financial records, timetable, academic transcript and any scholarships you may have. You can also check your weekly schedule here.

‘myHub’ | 3

getting started

UONline UON’s virtual learning environment that provides access to online teaching technologies. Blackboard: Here you’ll find course outlines, assessment requirements, lecture recordings, grades, submission options for electronic versions of assessments, discussion boards and more. At the start of each semester the courses you have enrolled in will be automatically added to your Blackboard – visible under ‘My Course Sites’. Echo 360 is where you can access recordings of past lectures as a study revision tool. Turnitin is where you will submit your assignments electronically. Turnitin uses text-matching software to help you reference correctly and avoid plagiarism and academic misconduct.

Student email NUmail is UON’s student email service and is automatically set up when you enrol. Official UON correspondence will be sent to this email address, so make sure you check it regularly or have it forwarded to one of your other email addresses. You can access NUmail through myUON. FYI: Always remember to include your full name and student number in your emails to help staff identify you quickly and easily.

4 | the essentials

FYI: Make sure to check out ‘Other course sites’ on Blackboard for online study skills courses!

Social media and other digital communication Student Central – your first point of call for all things student related – communicates across a range of channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. Make sure you get involved to keep upto-date with the latest details. Search “UON Student Central” on your favourite social channel. We also support AskUON – the online knowledge base that you can search for answers anytime – and offer online chat if that’s how you’d prefer to get help and advice.

Mobile apps There are a number of useful UON apps that you may wish to download onto your Apple or Android device – myUON and Blackboard. Other apps of interest to students include Uni Tune In for study help and Opal Travel for public transport details.

FYI: Some of the best advice comes from other students and in this year we are launching the UON Navigator – – as an exciting way to share blog articles, podcasts and videos produced by our many talented UON students.

Student number: The University ID number (7 digits) on your student card that you will use throughout your University studies including for login and identification on assessments. Student card: A form of University photo ID that you will need to borrow books from the Library, register attendance at events and score great student discounts. You also need it for identification for exams and collecting assessments. You can get your student card from Student Central on campus. Remember to bring some other form of ID with you. Program: The degree you are studying toward, e.g. Bachelor of Arts. Course: A subject. The program you are studying has a designated set of courses you must successfully complete to graduate. Each course has a unit value – usually 10 or 20 units. Course Outline: A document outlining the learning outcomes, assessments and expectations for a course. It’s one of the first things students receive for each course at the beginning of semester and tells you how the course will be taught – lectures, workshops, tutorials, laboratories, etc. Find it on each course page in Blackboard.

Program Plan: Outlines the courses you should be enrolled in for each semester and any pre-requisites or assumed knowledge you may need. Grading Scale: UON uses a seven point grading scale, where a High Distinction (7) is the highest grade awarded and a Pass (4) is a passing grade. Full-Time Enrolment: A minimum of 30 units per semester, unless you are an international student. International students need to maintain 40 units per semester unless otherwise approved. Part-Time Enrolment: 10 or 20 units of study per semester. Visit our online glossary for a complete listing at

FYI: Stay on track to graduate – find your program plan in myUON and follow it when enrolling. If you need advice about your program requirements you can email | 5

getting started

understanding your program

getting started

academic calendar


first weeks


first assessment due

make friends

census date

uni break


final assessments


For most students, the academic year will consist of Semesters 1 and 2. Each semester consists of 13 weeks, broken up with a mid-semester break and the exam period at the end.

Census date The date by which you need to finalise enrolment requirements each semester.

‘census date’

6 | the essentials

Academic penalty date The date by which you need to withdraw from courses without affecting your grade.

‘key dates’

It’s normal to find campus difficult to navigate when you first start so we’ve given you a map at the back of this guide.

Building names and rooms are commonly abbreviated, for example DG27 is located in D Block (D) on the Ground Floor (G) in room 27. | 7

getting started

finding your way

getting started


FYI: You need to reapply for your Opal Concession card each year.

There are numerous options to get to campus including walking, cycling, bus and car.

Travel concessions If you’re a full time, on-campus student you may be entitled to a travel concession. AskUON if you would like to check your eligibility. You can apply for a student Transport Concession Entitlement Card via Transport NSW. Visit their website for an application form and further details. ‘student travel concessions’

Parking Parking at our Port Macquarie campus is free. Parking can be a challenge if you don’t have a game plan and can be a stressful way to start your day. During the first few weeks of semester, you should aim to arrive on campus around 8am. The majority of spaces will be filled by 9am. Unless you have a special parking permit or RMS Mobility permit, you must always park in the ‘general’ parking areas. Also make sure not to park in staff parking and empty areas of grass, otherwise you will receive a hefty fine. ‘student parking’

8 | the essentials

Motorcycle parking There is free parking for motorcycles at all campuses. Motorcycles must park in marked motorcycle parking bays.

Cycling Uni is easily accessible by bikes. Once you’re here, there are bike racks to use. ‘cycling’

Our campuses and facilities are safe places to visit, study and work. However, everyone should be vigilant to keep them safe. Security Services are on site from 7.30 am to 8. 30pm Monday to Saturday and are here to help you during an oncampus emergency. Call the emergency line on 0409 456 7610. For off-campus emergencies, contact 000.

FYI: Take care not to leave your belongings unattended and use well-lit paths after dark. Our Campus Care program provides support in managing inappropriate, concerning or threatening behaviours in a safe and confidential environment. Call 49218600. ‘Campus Care’

orientation What happens at orientation Orientation is held during the week before semester starts and a great way to find out everything you need to know about UON. At Orientation you will have the chance to learn more about your program of study and meet your fellow students.

FYI: UON students who attend Orientation are better informed and more likely to succeed in their first semester than those that don’t.

Why you should attend Attending Orientation is a great opportunity to meet staff and students who will be taking your university journey with you. A number of workshops are on offer to help you develop your academic skills and make you familiar with UON’s online systems, plus there are plenty of social opportunities to meet some new people and make some friends. It’s also a great time to familarise yourself with the campus. | 9

getting started

safety on campus


academic essentials Choosing your classes and enrolling Textbooks and course readers Develop your academic skills Library Academic success

10 | the essentials

choosing your classes and enrolling

FYI: Block out weekly study

time for each of your courses. Be prepared to spend around 10 hours per week per 10-unit course (including your class time).

you’re enrolling in for the semester you can start planning your timetable. View the 2017 timetable by searching ‘timetable’ in myUON and searching for each of your courses. Make a note of your class times in a weekly planner. Multiple times are available for tutorials, labs, seminars and workshops. Pick at least two different times for each course as popular times tend to fill up quickly. When enrolment opens you will be able to enrol online through myHub.


textbooks and course readers Your Course Outline will list the required textbooks and course reader you may need for your course. Textbooks can be purchased at The Co-op bookshop and and delivered to your home or you can visit the Co-op bookshop in the Lake Innes Shopping Village.

For second-hand books, check out Textbook Exchange – The University of Newcastle Facebook page for textbooks from other UON students, or try the national Student VIP Textbooks Exchange. | 11


Before you enrol, check your Program Plan on myUON to see what courses you need to study each semester. Click on the course links in the plan or take a look at the Program Handbook to find out specific information about each course, including the required contact hours. Once you’re clear what courses


develop your academic skills UON offers a large range of free resources to help you prepare and succeed academically.

Academic Survival Skills Online Academic Survival Skills Online is a great way to prepare yourself to think, read and write like a student. Through step-by-step online modules you will learn to make sense of uni texts and lectures, plan and write an academic essay, understand referencing and academic integrity and use online libraries for research.

‘Academic Survival Skills Online’

Preparation and Bridging Courses Prep courses are designed to improve your academic skills and refresh your knowledge prior to commencing your degree. They cover a range of areas including mathematics, statistics, linguistics, grammar, computers, chemistry and human biology. Courses generally run for 15 hours over one week and some are even offered online.

‘UON Prep bridging courses’

Academic Integrity Module All students must uphold the University’s five values of academic integrity while studying at UON: Honesty, Fairness, Trust, Responsibility and Respect. To help students avoid plagiarism and academic fraud and to uphold academic integrity, all new students must complete an Academic Integrity Module before the end of their first term of study. The module is a 30-minute test completed in UONline.

‘Academic Integrity Module’

Learning Development Support The Learning Development team are there to support your study. Dedicated Learning Advisers can provide help with essay writing, study skills, English language skills and mathematics and statistics. Self-help resources, dropin clinics, workshops and student consultations are available to prepare you for UON success.

‘Learning Development’ FYI: UON Prep and Bridging

Courses are free for UON students!

12 | the essentials

Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) and Online PASS (OPASS) academic

The PASS program gives students the opportunity to discuss course content, compare notes and review weekly material with other students. A Student PASS leader who has achieved high marks in their course runs the sessions. OPASS is online and accessed through Blackboard.


FYI: One hour of group study with PASS equals three hours of studying on your own.

library No matter what campus you study at, you will have access to more than 1.3 million items including 380,000 books and eBooks, and over 80,000 electronic journals. Whether you want to study in peace or start brainstorming that group assignment, there will be an area catering to your needs with silent, quiet and group study zones available.

FYI: Learning to use the Library is an essential uni skill, so get in early and book a Library tour. These tours run during Orientation and the first few weeks of semester and will ensure that you don’t waste time feeling confused when you use the Library.

FYI: ‘Uni Tune In’ is a free app

designed to help university students improve their study and academic skills. | 13


academic success 1

Manage your time Get your free yearly planner at Orientation or from Student Central and use a diary to manage your goals. Go to class. There is no substitute for going to class. By actively engaging with your tutor and peers in critical discussion, you’re more likely to get a grasp on difficult content. A variety of times are available to make it as easy as possible to get the most out of your degree.

Stay focused. Full-time university study is like a full-time job. Prioritise study over other activities until you adjust. Schedule study time when you are most alert and set up a dedicated study space at home. Try to finish assessments at least one week before their due date, leaving you time to review and pick up on any mistakes or seek help.

Maintain balance by making time for family, friends, rest and relaxation.


Be proactive

Take responsibility for your journey.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Attend Orientation.

Make sure you ask questions so you understand what you’re learning. Teaching staff are there to help you succeed.

Take advantage of opportunities to develop your skills. Look for personal development opportunities outside the classroom.


Set up a support network

Make friends with your classmates. Get to know your academics – they’re a valuable source of support and guidance.

14 | the essentials

Find the support services. If in doubt, Student Central is your first port of call.

social essentials uni is better with friends Student Mentors Volunteering NUSA

uni is better with friends


Student Mentors If you’re feeling a little lost during your first weeks of university or need someone to answer your questions, sign up for a Student Mentor. The Student Mentor program connects first year students with experienced students. Mentors will keep in contact with you every two weeks for the first six weeks of semester to help you find your way and give you tips for starting out at uni. Mentors are also available to meet up with you, have a coffee and chat.

‘student mentors’

Volunteering If you’re looking to add new skills and experience to your resumé or to have fun and meet new people then volunteering is for you. There are volunteering activities to suit most interests, so get involved.


Newcastle University Student Association Inc. (NUSA) NUSA is the undergraduate student association and enhances the student experience by providing representation and advocacy.


16 | the essentials

Finding somewhere to live Financial survival Your wellbeing Other services on campus | 17


personal essentials

finding somewhere to live Moving out can be a daunting yet exciting experience. If you’re thinking about taking this step towards independence, there are a number of accommodation options open to you depending on your situation. We recommend starting your search early to make sure you find a place that is best suited to your needs. UON provides an off-campus accommodation database with listings of rental premises in surrounding suburbs.



financial survival Living on a student income can be tricky at times. You will need to make a budget and learn how to stick to it, but we can help. If you need financial support, consider:

18 | the essentials

Seeking advice from Student Central Applying for a Scholarship Applying for a Student Loan

‘financial help’

your wellbeing Student Advisors Student Central’s Student Advisors help you access all of UON’s support services. They can help create an individualised plan aimed at helping you succeed in your studies. They can also provide direction on your enrolment and will check in with you to ensure you’re staying on track for success.

‘student advisors’

Managing your mental health


The Wollotuka Institute is the University’s Indigenous cultural and academic centre and offers a range of support for Indigenous students.

‘Wollotuka Institute’

Disability support If you live with disability, or have an injury or a health condition (permanent, temporary, episodic or fluctuating) that may affect your ability to study, register with Disability Support Services for free, confidential advice. Services include: Assistive technology support Advocacy Auslan Exam support

‘disability support’

LGBTI+ support The University has an ALLY network comprising of students and staff. The ALLY network raises awareness of LGBTI+ issues on campus and promotes a more welcoming, diverse and inclusive culture at UON.

‘ALLY’ | 19


Your mental health should always be a priority. UON Student Support can help with lots of different questions or concerns and connect you to the right people, including disability support and student loans. They can also link you with counsellors who provide free and confidential assistance for personal or study related issues. Students at Port Macquarie can access support services through the TAFE Careers and Counselling Service who provide free and confidential assistance for personal or study related issues. If you aren’t able to get to campus to see someone, online counselling options are available.

Indigenous support

other services on campus Food and drink A cafeteria operates on campus during semester times to make sure you’re well catered for as you go about your day. Hot water is also available from the Student Central area in B Block.

Computing facilities Computers are available for your use in Student Central, the Library, and the Out of Hours Computing Centre.

Printing A Papercut printing solution is in use at the TAFE campus. When you receive your student ID card, you can obtain a printer DOT on your card from Student Central. Students can activate their card the first time on any printer located in the library or in buildings. For future print jobs, students will need to tap their student card on the RF reader on a printer and the printing job will be released. The printer queue is deleted each evening.


‘printing and photocopying’

20 | the essentials

professional essentials your future starts here


Build your employability Careers and Student Development


CareerHub Student exchange Student governance | 21

Your future starts here Build your employability Getting a job after uni and starting your dream career is a key goal and something that can motivate you throughout your studies. Students who work part-time during their studies develop valuable skills and are more likely to gain employment after graduation. Working and studying are complementary and Student Central can help you ensure your time commitments are manageable.


Careers and Student Development The Careers and Student Development team can help you find part-time work and build the skills you need to enter your chosen profession or industry. They offer a resumé checking service and a variety of workshops on how to build marketable skills. They also have information about jobs on campus, providing students with short-term or casual paid experience at UON. The Careers page on the Uni website also has a range of help sheets on topics like how to ace an interview and what should be included in a resumé.



22 | the essentials

CareerHub The CareerHub job search site advertises casual, part-time and permanent jobs, work experience, graduate programs and volunteering opportunities.


Also referred to as ‘student mobility’, studying or participating in a volunteer opportunity overseas is an enriching experience that yields both personal and career benefits.

‘study overseas’

UON has a range of opportunities for students to become involved in governance bodies that contribute to the teaching, learning and business of the University. Joining such groups allows you to expand your network and can teach you valuable skills that make you more employable.

‘student governance’

FYI: UON students have access to a free online leadership skills course called Generation Governance. Visit | 23


Student exchange

Student governance

admin essentials Where to find help Student policies and forms Your contact details Are you ready?


Campus map

24 | the essentials

where to find help Student Central UON Student Central is the area of the University that focuses on student experience, support and services. We believe that the best student experience comes when students feel supported academically, personally, professionally and socially. Student Central provides services that ensure students can access everything they need for a successful, productive and rewarding university life. From financial, counselling and career support to student life, we’ve got you covered. Student Central can put you in contact with the right people and make sure all of your questions are answered.

ASK US. Visit Ask UON

CALL US. Phone 1300 AskUON

VISIT US. Visit Student Central

IT help desk IT Support can be contacted by reporting an issue online through the serviceUON or via phone from Monday-Friday (University business days) 8am-6pm on +61 2 492 17000.

‘IT services’

IT can assist you with problems related to: Student email


Student accounts

Wireless networks


Downloading software

admin | 25

student policies and forms The University has a range of different rules and policies that apply to both students and staff, including the Code of Conduct. The UON Policy Library is available online and is best viewed by audience. Find policies relating to students on the University website.

There are also a range of student related forms and guides that are accessible from the UON website, such as those needed to change your name or request leave from study.

‘student forms and guides’

‘student policies’

your contact details


You need to keep your contact details up to date in the University system. We need to be able to get in contact with you for important things like enrolment, fees, support and, when you get there, graduation. Keep your contact details up to date in myHub.

26 | the essentials

are you ready? We’ve covered a lot of information in this guide. Find out if you are ready for Day 1 by working through the checklist.

get connected Activate student account

Like and follow UON social media

Login and get familiar with UON systems

Download apps

prepare academically Review Program Plan Organise timetable Enrol in courses Look at the course outlines

Complete the Integrity Module


Do a prep course Get textbooks and course readers Check out the PASS schedule

orientation Attend Orientation

Take a tour of the library

Find Student Central

AskUON a question

Go on a campus tour

Participate in social events

admin basics Get your Student Card

Provide Tax File Number via myHub

admin | 27

useful locations Student Central



The Wollotuka Institute



28 | the essentials

Port Macquarie Campus J







































The Essentials - Port Macquarie  

Your guide to first year success at the University of Newcastle.

The Essentials - Port Macquarie  

Your guide to first year success at the University of Newcastle.