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Institute of Early Childhood

What is it like to Study at IEC

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Getting to know each Unit

At IEC (and across Macquarie University) your subject content is organised into 'Units', known by a code and unit title. You can read more about the core first year IEC units by following the links to the right.

At the beginning of semester, you will be provided with a unit guide (or 'outline') for each of your enrolled units. You will also be given access to the associated  iLearn unit websites. The unit outline and website are key information sources and contain essential information including:

  • The expectations and learning outcomes that you need to demonstrate
  • The content of the unit (that is, the topics that you will be studying)
  • The required assignment and information on how your work will be assessed
  • Text books and required readings
  • Names and contact details of the unit convenor (the academic staff member running the unit) and members of the teaching team.

Organising your study time

At university, you are responsible for your own study progress. You are provided with study materials, tutorial exercises, lectures and other learning experiences that will help you to work progressively through each unit. This means that you need to invest time to work through the content. As a general rule, you need to invest around 9 hours per week for each 3 credit point unit that you are enrolled in. For example:

  • ...if you are studying 4 units as an internal student, you will probably have 3 hours of face-to-face time, made up of lectures and tutorials for each unit. This leaves 6 hours per unit of independent study, which you spend doing readings, assignment preparation, participating in study groups and so on.
  • ...If you are studying 2 units as an external student, your time commitment will be averaged out over the semester as you work through readings, attend your on-campus session/s, listen to online lectures and so on.

While we use the term 'independent study', remember that this does not mean that you are on your own. Study works best when you get to know other students and find time to chat about study, work and life in general. Your lecturers and tutors are also available to meet with you if you need to discuss any aspect of your work. Please don't be shy to contact them!

Finally, remember that all units are different!
Your lecturers and tutors have different teaching styles and use different teaching techniques, content varies across units, as do expectations and outcomes. The information in each unit guide and website will help you to work out what is what!