This article comes from someone who has been around the enrolment sun many times. I’ve learnt what you need to do to be prepared, how to avoid all enrolment pitfalls and consequent panic, and probably the most important lesson of all in hindsight – despite how much I thought I screwed it up at the time, I ended up enrolling in everything just fine. So here is all the enrolment wisdom I can muster up in a step-by-step process to ensure you are as prepared as you can be to enrol in your courses next semester, and for the rest of your degree.
Step 1: Download your transcript from myHub (Continuing Students)
Your transcript is a list of courses you’ve already completed. You obviously don’t want to be enrolling in the same course again, and you also need to make sure you’re only enrolling in courses that will count towards your degree (for instance some degrees only allow for 100 units of 1000 level courses, so you need to know how many you’ve already done – more on this later). This is where it’s good to have an official copy of what you’ve already completed in your program.
You can find your transcript on myHub via myUNI on a computer or using the myUNI app.
Here’s some screenshots to help you get to your transcript:
Heads up: it may take a couple of minutes for your transcript to load, so hit refresh if you need and be patient with it.
Step 2: Open your Program Handbook
The Program Handbook shows you a list of the courses you need to complete to get your degree. Some courses will be core courses, which means every student in the degree must complete these. You may have the option to choose a major, which means you’ll complete another set of courses in order to have been deemed successful in completing that major (and also your degree).
Within this major, courses can be:
- Compulsory courses (you have to do these to finish the major)
- Directed courses (usually there’ll be a list of a few courses, and it’ll tell you to pick some of the courses in this group to complete the major. For instance, if it says “Choose 20 units from the following directed courses”, you need to pick either two 10 unit courses or one 20 unit course from the group to complete this requirement).
You can also choose to complete a minor, which is a smaller set of courses than a major, but still helps you specialise in an area that you’re interested in.
There’s something to keep in mind though – in order to complete your degree, you need to comply with the Program requirements. Your Program requirements are like a set of rules you need to follow when completing your studies, for instance, “No more than 100 units at the 1000 (first year) level”. If you enrol in something that doesn’t fulfil the Program requirements, it won’t count towards your degree, and you’ll need to be dropped from it.
You can find your Program requirements on your Program Handbook page. Either select “Academic requirements for program completion” from the menu on the left-hand side, or keep scrolling down the page. They’re also included in your Program Plan (which we’ll get to in a sec).
After you’ve done all this, you might still have units you need to complete, for which you can choose electives. You can generally choose an elective from all courses available at the Uni that don’t have any prerequisites or special conditions applied to them, however choosing electives related to your program of study is recommended as it can help support the main focus of your degree. A full list of courses offered as electives can be found in the Course Handbook.
Now knowing all this, it’s a good time to make a list of all the courses you’ll need to complete for your degree. Write out:
- Your core courses
- What major you’d like to do, and the directed courses you need to complete for this (if you have the option)
- If you want to do a minor, all the courses specified in that minor (if you have the option)
- Any other electives you’ll need to complete the unit requirements of your degree.
You can find your Handbook on the Degrees page: www.newcastle.edu.au/degrees
Search your degree and then click the “Your Program Handbook” button, and then scroll down to the “Program Structure” section (or select it from the menu on the left-hand side).
Step 3: Open your Program Plan from myUNI.
Your Program Plan is essentially a visual to-do list of all the courses you need to successfully complete to finish your degree, in the order you need to do them. I printed mine off and ticked off my courses as I completed them, and found it super handy because it told me what courses I needed to do in what semester. Make sure you follow the Program Plan for the year you commenced study.
Here’s what a Program Plan could look like:
Not only is it easy to read, but it’ll list your courses in the right order.
Generally, we recommend enrolling in 1000 level courses in your first year, 2000 level courses in your second year, and so on. The courses are designed in a way that builds your knowledge as you progress through your degree, so you don’t want to be doing a 3000 third-year course in your first year, or before you’ve completed the prerequisites to enrol in an advanced course like that.
Make sure you pick the Program Plan for the year you started studying. If your program has changed in the past few years, you can find the transition documents on the Program Handbook webpage.
You can also find the Program Plan on your Degree page.
Step 4: On your Program Plan, cross off what you’ve already done, and fill in the rest of it.
Look at all the subjects (if any) on your transcript and cross them off your Program Plan. You’re done with those!
For the rest of your courses, you’ll have to write them into the plan (if they haven’t already been written in, such as for core courses for instance).
The rest of the squares – whether they be Major courses, Directed Courses, or Electives, you’ll need to pick what you put in each empty box, making sure you’ve completed all the prerequisites for that course, and that the course will contribute to you completing your degree. Like I mentioned earlier, if you can only do a total of 100 units of 1000 level courses for instance and you’ve completed all those, if you pick up an elective that is a 1000 level course it won’t count towards your degree. You can work this out yourself using all the information in the Program Handbook, but if you’re not sure, you can always talk to your Student Progress Advisor and they’ll make sure you’re on track.
Step 5: Check the timetable to see if your courses are offered next Semester.
You now need to make sure all the courses you’ve chosen to enrol in next Semester will actually be running then.
You can do this by searching them in the Course Timetable.
You can also see when they’re running next in the Program Handbook.
If they’re not running in the next Semester and you can’t find a suitable alternative, it’s best to have a chat with your Student Progress Advisor to make sure you enrol in your courses in the right order, stay on track, and graduate on time.
Step 6: Enrol!
That’s it – you’re ready for enrolment day! Keep an eye on your student e-mail and our social media channels for when enrolment opens. You can also check enrolment dates on our website.
Until then, we play the waiting game.