Frequently Asked Questions

Each of the below tabs is an expandable section of FAQs for the benefit of current and intending Education students. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for or have any further enquiries relating to your program within the School of Education, please contact the School office at education@unsw.edu.au.

What does UNSW offer?

Q: Why should I become a teacher?

A: Teaching is a vocation, not just a career. If you are passionate about your subject area and enjoy sharing your knowledge with others then you will find teaching a rewarding experience. A liking for and ability to build rapport with children/young people is also important. In terms of financial rewards, there are good starting salaries which can be found on the NSW DEC website.

Q: Are UNSW teaching qualification recognised overseas?

A: Teachers trained in Australia, and particularly NSW, are highly sought after all over the world, both by English-speaking countries, such as the UK and America, as well as by non-English-speaking countries. UNSW students have an excellent rate of employment upon graduation, and they have cemented our international reputation as an exemplary teacher-training institution.

Q: Does UNSW offer preservice primary education?
A: Yes, our new Master of Teaching (Primary) program. Our preservice teacher training courses will qualify our graduates to teach in schools in Australia and overseas.
If you are already a qualified, accredited primary teacher wishing to undertake advanced study you may be interested in our Master's in Education, Master's in Educational Leadership or Master of Philosophy.

Which program should I choose?

Q: I have no existing qualifications and I would like to study to become a secondary school teacher?
A: You should apply to study in one of the four or five-year full-time dual-degree programs offered within the School of Education.
These are the Bachelor of Arts/Education, Bachelor of Commerce/Education, Bachelor of Design (Honours)/EducationBachelor of Economics/Education, Bachelor of Fine Arts/Education, Bachelor of Media Arts (Honours)/EducationBachelor of Music/Education, and Bachelor of Science/Education.

Q: I've finished my Bachelor's degree and want to teach secondary or primary-age students. What do I have to do?
A:
Master of Teaching.  Entry into this program is assessed on an individual basis only after a formal application is made to the University. However you can make a self-assessment here.

Q: What is the structure of the Master of Teaching?
A: The MTeach is a 1.5-2 year program. The first year is normally taken full time over three terms and the second, undertaken part-time while you are teaching. 

Q: I'm already a teacher, how can I become qualified to teach an additional subject?
A: The Graduate Certificate in Teaching is suitable for practising secondary teachers looking to qualify to teach additional subjects or methods. Classes take place in the evenings/after school hours. However, in order to complete the program you must already be working at a school that will allow you to carry out your Advanced Professional Practice internally. It is also essential that you have already completed or are currently completing the relevant disciplinary studies. See here for more details.

What is the application process?

Q: How do I apply for undergraduate study?
A: Domestic applicants applying for an undergraduate program all apply through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).
A:
International applicants currently undertaking an Australian Year 12 qualification (either in Australia or offshore) or the IB onshore, or the NZ NCEA apply via UAC International.
A: Other international applicants apply through UNSW Apply Online.

Q: What are my options if my ATAR isn't high enough to get into my undergraduate double degree of choice?
A: You may find that enrolling in a degree that is appropriate to your desired teaching area/s (e.g. Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science) provides a good pathway to your Education program of choice. After you have completed the required minimum units of credit (UOC), if you have a sufficiently high grade average, you may apply for an internal program transfer into one of the Education double degrees.

Q: When do UAC applications close for undergraduate entry into programs in Term1, 2019?
A: Applications for the Main Round of offers for domestic students will open in September/October 2018 and UNSW will make the majority of offers in December and January for Term 1. For international students applying directly via UNSW Apply Online, the official closing date is 30 November 2018, however late applications will be considered if there is space available.

Q: How do I apply for postgraduate coursework study?
A: All postgraduate coursework applications should be made via UNSW Apply Online. This includes all the Master of Education and Master of Educational Leadership programs.

Q: How do I apply for research-based studies?
A: All prospective applicants for research-based studies within the School of Education should first contact the School for more information. They will be advised on how to apply correctly. Email education@unsw.edu.au.

What can I expect as a student?

Q: What is the timetabling like for preservice Education courses?
A: The method courses, which are taught by practicing teachers, will normally be scheduled between 4pm and 7pm. Other preservice education courses, will generally be taught between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Except for the second year Masters of Teaching classes are run in online and intensive mode, as the students of that program are expected to be teaching full-time. See calendar (PDF) for Masters of Teaching (Primary) and Masters of Teaching (Secondary).

Q: I’m halfway through my Bachelor of Arts, and have decided I want to teach. What should I do?
A: You may be able to transfer into a dual award with the Bachelor of Education (BEd). You will probably receive advanced standing for some of your discipline courses, however you will need to complete the first and second year education subjects as outlined in the study program provided to you, as they are prerequisites of the third-year courses.

Q: I’m doing a BA/BEd, and am uncertain about my course choices and degree structure. Who do I talk to?
A: For all enquiries related to the courses in your major and minor and your overall course structure and progression, please contact the UNSW Arts & Social Sciences Student Centre by phone on (0)2 9385 2289, or via the Ask a question form.

Q: Do the programs stay the same from year to year?
A: To ensure we offer the best standard of teacher training, we continuously evaluate and improve our programs. If this happens while you are partway through your program, do not worry! If the program has been altered to develop our pedagogy, you will continue along the pathway you originally enrolled in. If the program structure changes due to outside influences (e.g. a change in teacher accreditation requirements), your program will be modified so that you will still be qualified to teach your methods upon graduation. See here for program plans.

Q: What is the duration of the practical component of my Bachelor of Education degree?
A : All students must do at least 80 days of professional experience. In Year 2, students undertake 15 days of Professional Engagement as a classroom assistant in a school or educational organisation to get to know the different forms of educational provision in NSW and to understand the needs of a variety of learners. In Year 3 and 4, students normally take 65 days of Professional Experience/internship.

Q: How many hours of study per week are involved in preservice Education courses (lectures, tutorials and self study)?
A: This varies from course to course. Contact hours (i.e. lectures and tutorials) for a course usually total 36 hours. Each course also requires an average of six hours of self-directed study and assessment per week.

Q: Are there assessments for intensive courses before the start of the scheduled lectures?
A:
Yes, intensive courses always require a small graded assessment task to be completed in advance to meet federal government requirements and to ensure you are appropriately prepared for the intensive nature of the course by reading and reflecting on key issues. You should check your Moodle when you enrol for the assignment information as well as the course outline. See here for course outlines.

Q: What if I am an EAL/D student and need extra help with English?
A:
UNSW Arts & Social Sciences now has a Personalised English Language Enhancement Program (PELE) to help you take responsibility for your own English language enhancement. This is a free 10-week program that consists of lectures and tutorials. See if you are eligible here.

The Learning Centre at UNSW also offers individual consultations, academic skills workshops, Conversation Café groups, online academic skills resources and Academic Skills Plus, a General Education course that helps students develop their academic skills and gain academic credit. See here for more details.

Master of Teaching FAQs

Please follow the link to view our MTeach Self Assessment and FAQs.

Master of Education and Graduate Certificate in Education FAQs

Q: What is the purpose of the Master of Education and Graduate Certificate of Education programs?
A: Completing a Master of Education (MEd) degree can add to your qualifications and make you more attractive to your current or prospective employers. Many teachers will receive acknowledgement of completion of a MEd with a higher salary level, as you will become five-year trained. As a teacher, your MEd can also count as a substantial part of your 100 hours of professional development requirements to maintain professional competence with NESA.

Q: What are the entry requirements?
A: At a minimum, you are required to have:

  • a recognised Bachelor degree, AND
  • a recognised qualification as a "four-year trained" teacher and accreditation with BOSTES (NSWIT) or another state's accreditation body.

Q: What are the closing dates for applications?
A: For Term 1 - 30 November 
A: For Term 3 - 30 May
Late applications may be accepted after the closing dates subject to the availability of places.

Q: How do I apply?
A: Use the UNSW Apply Online service at www.apply.unsw.edu.au.

Q: Can I complete the Master or Graduate Certificate of Education by distance?
A: These are not distance programs. Nevertheless, some courses can be taken online. With strategic timetabling and course selection, it is possible to complete some programs by combining courses offered online with some visits to Sydney during the school holidays. See question below for flexible learning options.

Q: What are my options for flexible learning?
A: Some courses are offered intensively during the school holidays. There are also a number of blended courses, which require one to two Saturday or evening workshops combined with online learning. You can also choose from a variety of self-directed courses, which do not require attendance at classes. For your current options see the Masters Timetable (PDF), which includes the delivery style of each available course.

Q: How much does the Master of Education and/or Master of Educational Leadership cost?
A: These programs are among the few postgraduate coursework programs at UNSW that offer Commonwealth Supported Places. This means the government makes a contribution towards the cost of domestic students' education.
For more information, see here or contact the student financials team via csandfees@unsw.edu.au.

Q: How long does it take to complete the Master of Education and/or Master of Educational Leadership?
A: You can complete the Master of Education with one year of full-time study. Part-time students will take longer to finish their degree, but can reduce the amount of time needed by attending intensive holiday courses and other flexible options.

Q: Can I combine the Master of Education with other degree programs?
A: Yes. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers a Combined Masters degree.
You can combine any MEd specialisation with any of the Masters degrees listed at the link above. If you're an international student, this means you'll be doing a two-year degree, which allows you to apply for post-study work rights in Australia.
For more information visit DOHA.

Q: Can I get advanced standing for previous tertiary study?
A: You may receive advanced standing for previous tertiary study for up to 50% of the courses in the Master and Graduate Certificate programs. The full University guidelines for postgraduate advanced standing can be found here.

Q: Does the Master of Education allow me to become a teacher in high schools?
A: The Master of Education is not an initial teaching qualification. If you want to obtain a teaching qualification, you need to complete a Bachelor of Education or a Master of Teaching. The Master of Education is designed as a professional development course for already qualified teachers and education professionals.

Q: Will the Master of Education allow me to pursue a research degree?
A: Yes. Depending on your performance in the program, you may be granted entry into a Master of Education, Master of Educational Leadership or a Master of Philosophy. However this is an option only if you complete a research project, a research methodology course and your results are at least a Distinction average.

Higher Degree Research confirmation progress review FAQs

Q: What is the Confirmation Progress Review (CONFR)?
A: If you are a new PhD student, you will need to confirm your candidature by completing a confirmation review (CONFR). This usually happens 6 to 9 months after the census date of your first term of enrolment.

Q: What is the point of a CONFR?
A: Like the Annual Progress Review, the CONFR helps you to review and measure your progress since starting your candidature, and helps you to carefully plan your research for the following year.

Q: What does the CONFR process involve?
A: A formal seminar presentation, where you present your research to academic staff and your colleagues, and a separate panel review meeting where you can meet with the review panel alone (i.e. without your supervisor).

Q: Why can’t I just do a CONFR in writing instead of giving a seminar presentation?
A:
The CONFR presentation, as with the annual progress review, helps you to develop your presentation skills. Presentations are an important part of your research training, and the CONFR is an ideal opportunity to practise these skills. It is a positive and productive process, where you can gain meaningful support and constructive feedback from academic staff and fellow students. The School of Education encourages you to use PowerPoint. Please remember to bring your presentation on a USB as connecting a laptop to the system often creates delays.

Q: What do I need to do before the CONFR?
A:
You need to complete your review form, which will be emailed to you via the Annual Progress Review online system. Make sure your supervisor completes the review form and that your co-supervisor is given a chance to comment on it. This is the administrative process and does not constitute your review.

You also need to provide the following in writing for a CONFR:

  • An outline of the key milestones achieved since you started
  • An outline of key objectives and milestones for the next 12 months
  • A timeline and milestones for completion of the thesis
  • A literature review of the research area
  • A detailed research proposal including a justification of the research, an assessment of the resources required to support the research, and a statement of how the research will be conducted in accordance with the UNSW policies for intellectual property, OHS and ethics

Q: What is the point of the face-to-face panel review?
A:
There are a range of benefits:

  • It gives you the chance to have your research and supervision reviewed by an academic panel independent of your supervisor
  • It provides a safe environment where you can raise any issues that are holding back your progress
  • It will help you to develop research goals for the following year.

Q: What are the possible outcomes of a CONFR?
A:
The panel’s recommendations may be one of the following:

  • Satisfactory: the research is on track and you may re-enrol
  • Marginal: Some milestones have only been partly achieved. New milestones will need to be set and you will need to complete an interim review within the next 1 – 3 months.
  • Unsatisfactory: Your research is at risk of not being completed. With your supervisor, you need to set a plan of action and detailed milestones. An interim review should be planned for within the next 6 months.

Q: Where can I get help?
A:
While your supervisor is your primary contact for any queries regarding the content of your CONFR, both the School of Education faculty office and the Graduate Research School office can provide details on CFR policy and procedures. The following resources contain useful information:

Honours FAQs

Please follow the link to view our Honours FAQs.

Professional Learning FAQs

Q: How do I register my professional learning course for maintenance of accreditation purposes with NESA (formerly BOSTES)?
A: Register your attendance of any of our courses with NESA online at http://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/home.  The School of Education then validates all registrations on a monthly basis, based on attendance records.

Q: I am a postgraduate student. How do I register all of my completed subjects for maintenance of accreditation purposes with NESA (formerly BOSTES)?
A: You should submit proof of enrolment and successful completion of subjects and programs on an annual basis to NESA in accordance with their UG and PG Studies Policy Document. Please read the document carefully to properly understand you responsibilities as a student.