This series of posts are on a few things that I wish I had known going into VCE. First up I want to define a couple of words that will probably be thrown at you:
Bachelor: this is the name of a basic university degree, so while you do a Victorian Certificate of Education at high school, at uni it becomes Bachelor of Science/Biomedicine/Arts etc.
Major: this is kind of like your specialty. Mine is Human Structure and Function and it involves a collection of subjects that give me a wide knowledge in how the body is put together and how it works. There are heaps of majors on offer at uni e.g. pharmacology, zoology, chemistry and many, many more. Most people start of doing the same subjects at first year but once they get to second year people start to specialise.
BSc or BSci: the abbreviation for the Bachelor of Science. This is what appears at the end of your name.
Honours: generally a fourth year of study. An honours year can only be completed after a Bachelors degree. It differs from your Bachelor degree because it involves a research project as opposed to coursework i.e. going to lectures.
Breadth: These are kind of like your electives at high school. The new Melbourne Model has made it compulsory for students in the Bachelor of Science to take subjects outside of the degree, for example a language. It gives students a broader range of knowledge.
Lecture: The main method of teaching at uni. Basically you sit in a very big room with a few hundred other students while a lecturer talks to you about a particular topic. Many lecturers have different teaching styles. Some like to have powerpoint slides which you can print out beforehand and take with you to add notes to. Some use overhead slides (common in chemistry with lots of diagrams). Some will ask questions and others will wonder around the lecture theatre while giving a talk (so sit in the middle where they can’t get to you).
Tutorial: A much, much smaller class. Around 20 students usually. Here your tutor will take you through some questions. This is a great time to ask questions and work out where you need help.
Laboratory/Practical: That time of week where you can get your hands dirty. You put the knowledge you learnt in a lecture into a prac e.g. learning about the anatomy of the upper limb and then going to dissect one.
Some helpful links:
If you want go to Melbourne and do a Bachelor of Science this is your point of call: http://studentcentre.unimelb.edu.au/eastern/
A list of all the majors on offer for the Bachelor of Science (BSc): http://studentcentre.unimelb.edu.au/eastern/course_information/majors/bsc/majors_-_structures_and_contents