What to expect at university

During your first few months at university you will experience many changes and a new lifestyle. Here is an overview of what to expect.

Is university for me?

Universities are diverse places with people from all sorts of backgrounds. There are people just like you already succeeding at uni.

Spending time on campus and connecting with other students makes the transition to uni easier and boosts your academic success.

It’s all about finding your tribe and feeling like you belong—and we have plenty of ways to make it happen, from orientation through to sport, clubs and events.

What is undergraduate study?

Undergraduate study is usually your first course of study at a tertiary institution. At QUT, you can complete a bachelor degree or a double degree.

Bachelor or bachelor honours degree

A bachelor degree will broaden your knowledge in your field of interest. Most bachelor degrees take three to four years to complete, studying full-time. In your degree, you might study one or more majors. Your course may give you the option to specialise with a major, or choose some elective subjects to pursue your specific interests. Majors are detailed areas of study within your course (for example, a Bachelor of Science with a major in Chemistry, or a Bachelor of Business with a major in Economics). Some of our courses are bachelor honours degrees, which is a higher-level qualifications with advanced content throughout the course.

Double degree

As an undergraduate, you can also study a double degree. This is a combination of two bachelor degrees that you study at the same time (for example, a Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Paramedic Science). Double degrees usually take between four and five and a half years to complete, studying full-time, which means that you can graduate sooner than if you study two degrees separately.

What if I change my mind about my course?

If you start a course and decide that it's not for you, you can always change your degree. You may even be able to get advanced standing (credit) for subjects you've already completed.

Talk to staff in your faculty as soon as possible to avoid academic or financial penalties.

What if I don't get into the course I want?

There are options to help you get into the course you want to study. You could switch into your dream course through a different degree course or diploma, or a TAFE and QUT combined qualification; or you could see if you meet the criteria for an admission pathway.

I'm not sure what I want to study

If you're unsure what to study, we can help.

What will my classes be like?

Your classes

Your learning is designed to include a blend of on-campus classes as well as online activities.

You might attend lectures, tutorials, workshops, practicals, lab sessions or other types of classes.

Online learning may include interactive lectures and discussions, simulations, workshops or other activities and access to readings and resources.

You may also participate in work-integrated learning as part of your course, working with an industry or community partner on relevant projects or activities, or have opportunities to study overseas.

At university, you are expected to be an independent learner - keeping up with your reading, assessment pieces and developments in your field, actively participating in your learning activities and seeking advice when you need it.


Your timetable will depend on the course you select and whether you are studying full time, part time or online.

You may have the flexibility to select from different days and timeslots to attend on-campus activities and/ or complete online tasks at your own pace. Day and evening classes are offered for some courses so you may be able to attend classes at times that suit you best.

For an average unit (subject), you will spend about 10–12 hours per week engaged in on-campus, online or practical activities, self-directed learning including reading and learning tasks, reflection and completing assessment tasks. Full-time study is usually three or four units each semester and part-time study is one or two units each semester.

I don't want to study full time

You might have the opportunity to complete your degree in different ways:

  • Internal: attend your classes on campus.
  • External: study from home, including distance education and online.
  • Full-time: you're enrolled in at least 3 units.
  • Part-time: you're enrolled in 2 units or less.

What types of assessment can I expect?

You will usually have a number of assessment tasks for each unit, such as written or oral assignments (individual or group), mid-semester and end-of-semester exams, or practical tasks. For an assignment, you might need to complete a task such as a set of drawings in architecture, and research the background of the topic using academic literature. Exams might be multiple choice, short answer, long essay or a combination.

How can I prepare for uni?

There are many ways you can get ready for university:

  • attend one of our on-campus events such as Open Day
  • hear from our students on the student blog to find out about life as a student
  • our START QUT program offers high-achieving students the chance to experience university and extend their studies in Year 12 by studying up to two QUT units.

Orientation week

Orientation activities are held before classes start, and is essential for your transition to university life.

You can take a campus tour, get enrolment help, or attend workshops to help you confidently start university. You'll have a faculty orientation program that will explain everything you need to know about your course, and give you a chance to meet lecturers and faculty staff.

Orientation is also a great way to meet other new students, sign up for clubs and explore the campus. There will be activities such as BBQs, concerts and competitions.

Life as a student

There's more to university life than study. At QUT you can make friends and immerse yourself in the university experience with:

  • regular events, festivals and activities including the QUT Ball, Dragon Boat Regatta and TEDxQUT
  • more than 150 clubs and associations including sporting, international, political, religious, faculty, recreational and special interest clubs
  • social sport and recreational activities to suit all fitness levels - you can play for one of QUT's premier sporting clubs or even compete in the university games
  • coffee or lunch in stylish food courts and cafés
  • fitness facilities including swimming pools, gymnasiums and sports courts
  • personal and professional development through leadership, volunteering, community and campus contribution projects
  • overseas exchange and international projects.


If you're moving to Brisbane for study, you'll need to start thinking about your accommodation options well before you start university.

Our complete accommodation service offers advice and access to a vacancy database.

Our campuses

Navigating a new environment is never easy and a university campus is no different. It is important to attend Orientation, held the week before classes begin, so you can meet other new students, explore the campus and its facilities, access online resources and learn about managing your study. Each campus also has a HiQ Service Point which is a good starting point for all queries.

You could also visit your campus before you start studying, and get a head start on finding your way around. You can also get to know our campuses  by attending events like Open Day or Discover QUT.

Transport and getting around

All QUT campuses are well serviced by public transport. Free shuttle buses link our Gardens Point and Kelvin Grove campuses, making inter-campus travel easy and affordable - no matter where your course is based.


One of the first things you'll do once you accept your offer is access HiQ, which allows you to enrol in your units, select your timetable, and review your fees and book list.

We also offer:

  • wireless internet access on all campuses
  • 24-hour computer labs at Gardens Point and Kelvin Grove
  • in-person, online and phone IT support seven days a week
  • online IT training for you to work through at your own pace.

We're here to help

Our staff are here to help you make the most of your studies, navigate any uncertainties and provide support to help you achieve your academic, personal and career goals.



HiQ is your place to go for student services, support and general enquiries.

Need answers? Take a look at our frequently asked questions at AskQUT.

To start an online chat with us, please make sure pop-ups aren't blocked on your web browser.

Gardens Point

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