Welcome New Students in 2013
Welcome from the Head of School
Welcome to The University of Sydney and particularly the School of Civil Engineering. You are entering a new phase of your life. Your university education and the network of colleagues you create will be the foundations of your career.
Our first chance to meet you will be in the main enrolment period of Tuesday 22 - Thursday 24 January 2013, and we invite you all to attend the "Welcome to Engineering" activities on Wednesday 27 Feb 2013.
Our lecturers at The University of Sydney are world leaders in the field of educating young Australians and international students to achieve their goals. We look forward to working with you to acquire the skills necessary to excel as an engineer.
Acquiring these skills is not a one way street. It is your responsibility to ensure you take full advantage of all teaching available, to attend and participate actively in all lectures and tutorials, and to ensure assignments are submitted on time. By working together and sharing a team spirit, we will all stand proud on the day you enter The Great Hall to graduate and take your place as a civil engineer ready to go anywhere in the world.
I encourage you to participate in discussions during lectures, to interact with fellow students and staff and to engage in the social activities of the University.
I encourage you to take advantage of the resources The University will provide for you at enrolment time and in Orientation Week (Wed 27 Feb - Fri 1 March 2013) to help you in the transition to the University lifestyle.
Thank you for your confidence in choosing Civil Engineering at The University of Sydney.
Prof Kim Rasmussen
Head of School
Guide to Civil Engineering for New Students
In what units of study should I enrol?
We can address your enrolment and unit of subject selection questions in person when you enrol.
There are standard enrolment menus that most new students will take in their first year.
Combined degree students in Science and Arts should be considering their majors, as you will be enrolling in a Science or Arts unit in place of one of the engineering units each semester. While it is good to know this on enrolment day, you will be able to change this before lectures start on March 5.
If you wish to learn more about degree and course plans, and descriptions of all units of study, please visit CUSP, the Course and Unit of Study Portal.
A brief outline of the straight Civil Engineering degree can be viewed here: The Rough Guide
Studying Civil Engineering at The University of Sydney
"We employ graduates not for what they know, but for what they do when they don't know" according to one company that employs many engineers from The University of Sydney.
Our engineering programs are designed to produce engineers who are both well educated in the fundamentals and have acquired problem solving and design skills to allow them to work in a large range of industries. They will have sufficient technical knowledge and generic skills to solve those problems "that they don't know".
Our degrees offer:
- technical knowledge in breadth and depth across a variety of civil engineering disciplines
- graduate attributes in the areas of Research & Inquiry, Information Literacy, Personal & Intellectual Autonomy, Ethical, Social & Professional Understanding, & Communication
- a commitment to lifelong learning recognising that engineering is continually advancing and will change during our lifetimes.
At The University of Sydney we want to do much more than just teach you how to use technology – we want you to be able to change technology. We hope that you will be able to do more than use existing knowledge, software and design codes – but instead to push the boundaries to find solutions to the problems of today and tomorrow – such as climate change, transportation infrastructure, population changes, renewable and sustainable design, and water.
We do more than just teach. A key part of our jobs is to perform research, and it is an integral part of every university’s role to uncover knowledge to benefit society. We believe it is important to keep our undergraduate students informed about and involved in our research. We hope that many of our brightest minds take an active role in research at some stage of their careers.
Shared responsibilities in your study
At The University of Sydney our aim is nurture your ability to show independent and critical thought. The teaching relationship you had with your teachers in high school is different to the relationship you will have with your lecturers. Lecturers should be considered as your peers or facilitators as you learn. You are expected to take an active role in the learning process.
Students have a responsibility to:
- Attend and actively participate in the learning opportunities offered.
- Devote a suitable time to their studies – both on campus and at home study.
- Act ethically, honestly and professionally.
- Tell us about any problems you have as early as possible.
Our staff have a responsibility to:
- Provide guidance and information through access to suitable lectures, notes, textbooks and online material.
- Make expectations and outcomes clear.
- Provide reasonable and timely feedback on assessments.
- Act ethically, honestly and professionally.
Successful learning and study
Active involvement is the key to success. Whether it be in lectures, tutorials, studying in the library, the more active you are in the learning process, the more you will understand and retain knowledge.
While we present much of our information in the form of verbal lectures and printed notes, the reinforcement of concepts is best done through active participation, such as examples, discussions and working with fellow students. When lectures or tutorials involve some of these active tasks, take them seriously and be actively involved, as these learning methods are the most effective.
The learning pyramid illustrates the effectiveness of various learning methods.
An Engineering degree from The University of Sydney will do more than just teach the equations needed to design a building. There are many generic skills or graduate attributes that will be developed over the course of your study.
- Research and Inquiry. Graduates will be able to create new knowledge and understanding through the process of research and inquiry.
- Information Literacy. Graduates will be able to use information effectively in a range of contexts.
- Personal and Intellectual Autonomy. Graduates will be able to work independently and sustainably, in a way that is informed by openness, curiosity and a desire to meet new challenges.
- Ethical, Social and Professional Understanding. Graduates will hold personal values and beliefs consistent with their role as responsible members of local, national, international and professional communities
- Communication. Graduates will recognise and value communication as a tool for negotiating and creating new understanding, interacting with others, and furthering their own learning.
Visit our attribrute page for full details.
Skills progression throughout your degree
Professional engineers are required to take responsibility for engineering projects and programs in the most far-reaching sense. This includes the reliable functioning of all materials and technologies used; their integration to form a complete and self-consistent system; and all interactions between the technical system and the environment in which it functions. (Extracted from “Skill development layers for Design and Problem Solving in the EA Stage 1 Competencies” - Engineers Australia
As you progress throughout the degree, we move from teaching and memorisation of facts, to the ability to undertake creative design. We encourage you to assess the changes in your skill levels as you progress through your uni degree.
The Bloom’s taxonomy pyramid shows the type of activities that demonstrate your progression to a professional engineer.
The University pays serious attention to safety. You must also play your part in ensuring safe working conditions.
Our safety page has full details.
What else is there to know?
There is a lot to take in as you start uni. We don't expect you to read or memorise every university rule, policy and regulation now.
However it is important that you read and save official emails, letters or handbooks from the university, and know where on the web you can find information.
Here's a start: