Student Learning

Welcome to Victoria. This may be your first time at uni or you may be returning to study. Mature age students often worry that they are not as prepared for uni as school leavers, but in actual fact your life experience and the skills you have gained along the way give you a real advantage. You do face challenges, but you can overcome them.

"How am I going to fit everything in?"

Mature age students have to juggle many more responsibilities than school leavers. You are much more likely to be working and/or have children and therefore are more likely to have less time to spend on your studies. It is important to prioritise and to set realistic goals.

  • Plan ahead - use study timetables to set out your assignment deadlines:

    - Allocating time (PDF - 172KB)

    - Week planner (PDF - 205KB)

    - Year planner (XLS -38KB)

  • Expect that study will include more than just lecture times – add on at least 2 hours for every one-hour lecture or tutorial: Suggested study routine (pdf PDF - 229KB)

  • Ensure your partner, family and workmates understand what you are expected to do: 21 Ways to get the most out of Now

Link to time management workshops

"I don't know anyone here."

You can often feel isolated from your peers because you tend to spend less time on campus. Make contact with other students in your tutorials. Our Study groups ( PDF, 554KB) handout tells you how to form your own study group. Our PASS programme enables you to study collaboratively and to meet people.

"I haven't written anything since I left school."

Developing your academic writing skills is crucial for your time at university. The ability to construct a good essay or report involves understanding the process and the conventions of academic writing. You may feel a bit rusty or lacking in confidence but remember, academic writing is a developmental skill that will improve with time and practice. Student Learning can help with individual assistance and/or workshops. You can have a 50 minute individual appointment at Student Learning (you need to book ahead for this as places fill up fast) or drop into the library for a quick 15 minute chat.

Check out our academic writing handouts

"There is so much reading. How will I do it all?"

Academic reading can be difficult but it is essential for finding out what the experts have to say about your subject and for shaping your own thinking. As well as writing skills, you also need to develop reading strategies. Attend a workshop or see a learning adviser.

Check out our academic reading handouts

"I'm new to postgrad study. Help!"

Student Learning offers postgraduate seminars at both Kelburn and Pipitea campuses in the first weeks of each trimester. Go to Information for postgraduate students to find out more.

The positives may not look like much but they definitely count:

  • You know why you are here! You therefore tend to be more motivated than the average school leaver. You tend to be clearer about your reasons for studying and you are more committed to your course.

  • Your experience so far has meant you have gained skills in dealing with people and managing your time. Use the skills you already have and be open to developing new ones. Good luck and remember, help is available.