Upsides of studying at home: Pyjamas, privacy, peace and quiet, Netflix, bed…

Downside of studying at home: How much study did you actually do?

Trekking to campus can sometimes be an effort, but the atmosphere of studying around other students has a tendency to switch you from procrastination into productive mode. Or maybe you don’t want to study near other students and read your textbooks in a Fortress of Solitude. Either way, you can find both of these on campus!

As a fifth-year University of Newcastle student (bless the length of the Bachelor of Laws), out of the goodness of my heart I’ll share with you the best study spots on campus. (Well not the ABSOLUTE BEST ones – don’t be fooled into thinking I would let you know all my secrets!)

PSA: As a Callaghan/NeW Space student, I can only vouch for these campuses – sorry Ourimbah, Port Mac and Sydney!

Quiet study

NeW Space

The geometric complexity of NeW Space and adjoining University House means there are plenty of study crevices for you to hide away in – you just need to know where to look.

The most obvious, not-so-secret Silent Zone is the back part of the library. With a range of desktop computers and spaces to use your laptop, it serves its purpose well. Bonus points for also being on the same level as the Student Kitchen – there’s no assignment a cup(s) of tea can’t help with.

“But there’s so many people in the Silent Zone of the library,” you shriek.

If you’re looking for somewhere secluded with a side of spooky, sashay on over to University House. To all you younglings, this may just be an old maze of a building, but for us Uni elders, it once was a bustling old maze.

University House is a rabbit warren of vacant rooms, just waiting for you to sprawl all your textbooks, highlighters and other study essentials across its desks. So hop to it if want some solid, private study time.

It may seem like there aren’t many quiet areas to study at NeW Space, but many of those large spaces are in fact ‘Quiet Study Zones’. For example, the common areas on Levels 4 and 5 of NeW Space are actually labelled ‘Quiet’ – so next time you’re studying there, try and keep noise to a minimum!


You know that old-book smell? The silent zone of Level 2 of the Auchmuty Library is the embodiment of that scent. Surrounded by volumes upon volumes of dusty Law Reports (which have gone the way of the dinosaurs since the invention of Austlii), you can’t help but feel spurred on by all your fellow students. Plus, being surrounded by other students in the type of environment where you can hear a pin drop, it makes you feel pretty guilty for sitting on Netflix or laughing at memes. For once, peer pressure might actually be a good thing.

A secret study spot I learnt about from a friend of a friend of a friend, is actually the McMullin Building on Shortland side. With many of the faculties which once called the building home having moved to NeW Space, this means there’s often empty rooms. My source also told me there’s a top-secret microwave somewhere in the building, but don’t quote me on that.

Group study

NeW Space

Unfortunately, my favourite group study spot at NeW Space must be everyone’s favourite – because good luck getting a table! When you enter the library, hang a left and you’ll these great blue booths, which can easily seat six students. The way each booth is contained somehow makes them all feel somewhat private, and they’re definitely more work-conducive than sitting outside Fast Fuel.

If you’re sick of missing out on a group study area though, why not book one? You’re able to reserve the private study rooms in the library for one hour each day. So if you’ve got four people in your group, that means four hours of exclusive study space time. Truly, the business class of study rooms. You can also book these group study rooms online at Auchmuty, Huxley, Ourimbah and Port Macquarie!


Imagining Auchmuty Library without the Learning Lounge is like trying to remember Westfield Kotara before they did the rooftop expansion. You can, but it’s simply not as good.

While there are multiple group study spaces at Auchmuty, the Learning Lounge definitely takes out the top spot. It’s new and modern (as opposed to the group study space on the opposite side of the library), has multiple TVs so you can display your assignments on the big screen, has a Student Kitchen and to round things up is open 24 hours. Also purely from an aesthetic perspective, you won’t find a better view at Callaghan.

The downside of uni is that if you don’t have classes in a particular building, chances are you just won’t ever go there. While that’s totally reasonable, it means you’re missing out on some ace study spaces.

One of the most state-of-the-art study areas on campus is in the Social Science Building. It’s in a fab location – being less than five minutes from the Maths carpark, while also right around the corner from the Shortland Hub. Similar to the Learning Lounge, it’s geared with a Student Kitchen, computers and large monitors – what else could you ask for?

If you’re not a Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment student, chances you haven’t seen the massive refurb they did last year to their main buildings. And it may just be one of the best kept secrets on campus. With MULTIPLE student kitchens and a mixture of modern quiet, silent and group study spaces – it has everything you’re searching for on campus (except a coffee shop). Next time you’re looking for a place to study at Callaghan campus, I’d recommend hitting up EF, EA or ES.

~Nature~ study

NeW Space

Escape the confines of the glass prism and spend an afternoon studying at Civic Park. One of the small joys of studying at Newcastle City Campus is having one of the region’s best parks literally across the street. If you really need an excuse to study outside, research has proven natural daylight and fresh air circulation can improve your concentration. So next time you’re prepping for exams, ditch the library for a warm spot in the sun!

If crossing the road is too much effort (after all, by Week 12 everything feels like an effort), there are plenty of spacious balconies at NeW Space. You just have to know how to reach them. The easiest one to access is on Level 1, near the Student Kitchen.


Wow, finding somewhere to study outside at Callaghan is truly a struggle. It’s almost as if the entire campus isn’t surrounded by greenery?

But where are the best spots?

The grassy knoll where the Drama Theatre used to be is central to everything. The ICT Building also has its own private courtyard which is neat. Over on Hunter side, Park on the Hill always brings the good vibes. I think I might leave this one up to you though!


Sarah James is a third year Bachelor of Communication/Laws (Honours) student. Newcastle born and bred, in her spare time she loves discovering hidden foodie gems and traveling to new places.

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