Australian Catholic University - ACU reviews

(4.01) 136 reviews

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The first thing that grabbed me about this particular course was its subject offerings. I was looking for Arts and Sciences, with particular interest in Psychology, Youth Work (counselling, social work, ethical research, etc.) and Drama. This university was the only institution in central Melbourne that offered both of these areas as face-to-face units on campus in the single Arts course.

The location of the university and it's small campus allows for a tight-knit community culture, and as an undergraduate, this was wonderful. The drama subjects were run by knowledgeable and experienced professors, and provided me with challenging, social and practical experiences that I have taken into my profession as a Drama.

Some of the subjects were similar, however. For example, I took ""The production process"" in my first year, and then ""Theatre production"" in my third year. One was meant to be an introduction to devising and applying stagecraft in the pre-production, production, and post-production process, and then by third year, we were meant to be able to independently plan a public theatre event. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and intense experience. Some of the subjects I took seemed to be fillers that year.

In my third year of drama, I had to elect film studies, which was basically a first year media subject, and in second year I had to opt for something called ""Art and Culture"" which was interesting but not a drama subject. As for Psychology, everything was much more established and on point! I took ""learning and behaviour"", ""social psychology"", ""abnormal psychology"" which was AMAZING, ""Statistics"" (which you need to take in any psychology course, by the way), and ""lifespan development"", just to name a few. They built upon what I had learned in VCE Psychology but also, these were high pressure subjects and there was A LOT of churning out reports and working very hard. I would still recommend it, though, especially if you are like me and want to do two very different majors!

Youth Work was just fabulous. I took a minor and have made lifelong friends with those doing the Bachelor of Youth Work. The subjects have truly helped me to better understand wellbeing, active support and protection of young people of different cultures and experience which directly influences my career as a secondary school teacher. One stark negative I have with the course I completed was that they had a compulsory core set of units that nursing and Arts students had to do and these were based around Catholic values. The ones I elected weren't explicitly about the religion, but there were some that were! I recall one unit called ""What Christian's believe"", but I took ""Music and Spirituality"" which turned out to be a lot about sacred architecture and art/icons related to the Christian Church. They also have a program called ""Our World, Community and Vulnerability"", which is all about human dignity, human flourishing and social justice. Because I had to take this, I had no room for a 12th psychology unit, which would have gotten me a ""Psychology specialisation"", ie: Bachelor of Arts (Psychology).

You also need to do a unit on community engagement (this happens to align with the Catholic side of the uni but it wasn't explicit) which includes 120 hours of community engagement. I did mine at a local school playground created to give low income refugee background families a backyard to play in as most of the locals lived in government housing and high rise flats with no playing area. Others did there's at the Brotherhood of St Lawrence op shop, African Reaading Club with Save the Children Australia, or some other place that involved engaging with the community. It was actually fabulous and gave me some much needed work experience on the resume!

The administration at ACU is average (I found the course outlines and marking rubrics inconsistent, which I now notice a lot more after completing a Master of Teaching) and the food is OK. There isn't much in the way of social groups/societies, but they have a good gym and it is a lovely place to be. They focus on cultural respect, human dignity, research and compassion. I loved the course and I have made lifelong friends and colleagues.

My advice to future students is: Consider your travel, and make sure you check out the subject structure and unit offerings as well as the outlines or overviews to make sure you chose what is right for you! Do the units that you are most passionate about!! Pack your lunch and don't waste too much money. Enjoy your time at university and document it well. It will fly by.

Completed in 2015

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Positives: Practical components and lab classes

Negatives: I’m not sure it’s for me

My advice to future students is: Don’t rush into anything AND most important don’t pressure yourself or be pressured into a course you’re not happy with. Do you first.

Completing in 2022

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Positives: Lots of placement opportunities. Great tutors. Small class sizes (without being too small)

Negatives: Having to spend mass amounts of money to be able to go on placement

My advice to future students is: Make the most of everything uni throws at you

Completing in 2021

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Positives: Studying what interests me, great field of work/team work

Negatives: Requires a lot of time & dedication

My advice to future students is: Only do it if you’re passionate!

Completing in 2020

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Positives: Practical time to practice skills rather than just theory

Negatives: There is a lot of information jammed into one week so you may practice a skill once but not have time in following weeks to practice it again

My advice to future students is: Study from day one... I know it’s boring and you think you can jam it all in later, but when it comes to later years you’re expected to know the things you learnt in first year and you’ll wish you studied harder and payed more attention

Completing in 2020

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Positives: The course provides a lot of practical knowledge that could be required in the many fields that we can enter into. The lecturers have years of experience in their fields that help provide us students with an idea of what it could be like outside of the actually course.

Negatives: When deciding on places to complete prac, there aren’t any suggestions provided to help guide us through the process.

My advice to future students is: Make sure that you stay on top of all your study and don’t leave things to the last minute. Everything will come up really fast and you will feel like you are drowning. Also make sure you ask questions when you are not sure of anything. The lecturers are here to help and are always willing to give you their time of day

Completed in 2019

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Positives: I really enjoy prac. Going to hospitals and gaining experience as it is my passion. It reinsures me that this is the career I definitely want to do.

Negatives: There are a lot of skills that need to be signed off. There are a heap of requirements in order to be deemed competent to become registered. This can be quite stressful.

My advice to future students is: Do nursing before midwifery as there isn’t much employment for direct entry midwives at the moment.

Completed in 2019

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Positives: Broad range of knowledge, intense, always kept interesting

Negatives: Time consuming

My advice to future students is: Time manage well

Completing in 2020

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Positives: You are very hands on and they really help you

Negatives: No

My advice to future students is: Show up to lectures

Completing in 2020

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Positives: Super hands on and practical whilst relevant to current practices

Negatives: Completing a unit on how to research ( evidence for practice hlsc122)

My advice to future students is: Definitely study with acu! And a double degree is so beneficial

Completing in 2021

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