how to survive final year (Sem 2, 2021)

This academic webinar was held by the club which included insights from Monash staff and alumni about CPD, FYP & Civ Prac, and PostGrad/Research/Masters opportunities available at Monash University. 

How to Survive Final Year:
Q+A Responses

Old-Fashioned Clock

CPD

Responses by Theresa Scott and Dr. Anna Lintern 

How many supporting docs do you need for final submission?

You need supporting documents for any experience that is greater than 35 hours in length. There is some guidance on what kinds of documents can count on the website: https://www.monash.edu/engineering/current-students/professional-development/continuous-professional-development/frequently-asked-questions

Can you submit CPD if you have required hours before final year?

You can submit your CPD once you've finished all the hours/reflections, so if you want to submit it in your penultimate semester that would be fine, you will just need to self-enrol in the S1 2022 Moodle site.

Is there much value in submitting activities/experiences worth 1-2 hours due to skill reflections/documentation requirements. Should we focus on putting more effort into longer duration CPD experiences?

The longer duration activities are certainly easier to count on Student Futures. If you are doing a bunch of 1 - 2 hour activities in the same area (for example Engineers Australia events / online courses) then you could bundle those together in one longer experience, and list the individual events/courses in the description.

I have my payslips from my engineering-related casual job (~500 hours). Would I need to submit all my payslips to provide evidence? Also would this be enough to complete CPD in one go?

This can be submitted as a single experience for your 420 CPD hours and will count as Engineering-rated CPD - all skills and reflections will need to be associated with this experience. You will need very detailed supporting documentation, including payslips from your start and end dates of your employment. You will also need to provide evidence of what your role was and your achievements - this can be requested from your employer on letterhead, offer letter or email. 

If you are in a student club, is it better to collate all the hours and then submit it altogether, or in parts for every meeting/event through the year?

I would recommend you collate all these together. You can always list significant events/accomplishments in your description of the experience.

What happens if you're unable to complete CPD before you're graduation date, can you still do it after the fourth year and then graduate after CPD is completed?

You can do this, but we highly recommend you try to complete your CPD within the usual timeframe. If you can't submit on time, you will be rolled over into the next assessment round and your graduation will be delayed.

I would recommend seeking unpaid experience, hackathons and virtual internships. Talk to senior academics for assistance!

Look for Engineering related volunteer opportunities - maybe teaching kids about how to code etc. Also have a look at the list of suggestions on the website: https://www.monash.edu/engineering/current-students/professional-development/continuous-professional-development/cpd-experience-suggestions

Image by ThisisEngineering RAEng

Final Year Project

Responses by Dr. Anna Lintern

** FOR FURTHER FYP QUESTIONS PLEASE CONTACT ANDREA OR CATHY FROM THE FACULTY **

How do you choose a supervisor and topic?

There will be a database/website of projects and potential supervisors. You will get specific instructions in the Faculty communications regarding how to submit your preferences.

If FYP becomes a 12 credit point unit next year, does that mean we have to do an extra subject (compared to the 2017 coursemap)? This would mean that I need to be at uni an extra semester longer!

Based on your coursemap, you will be given specific instructions. I have been told that students who have only 1 semester left (ie. set to finish after semester 1 2022) will most likely not have to extend their degree. However, you will be receiving official communications regarding this from the Faculty in the next few weeks. If there are any concerns, please contact the Engineering Student Services team (Andrea and Cathy).

Does your FYP topic have to be a novel idea?

We are not expecting you to get a nobel prize out of your FYP, but yes, it does have to be something that has never been done before. It could be something like developing a new technique, or applying a technique to a new case study/new situation. Your supervisor will propose the topics - and will help guide you to think of your project objectives if you are struggling.

What's the prereq for FYP? Can you complete it without having done all level 3 units?

As academics, when we advertise our projects, we usually say what prerequisites are required. If you are doing a double degree/ have a complex course structure - you can check what prerequisites are required for an FYP topic that interests you and check against what you've already studied. You can also email the prospective supervisor and ask what level 3 units are required for the topics that interest you (if that info isn't readily available on the topic description).

Does it matter if [your project] does not link with desired specialisation?

For your degree/course progression it does not matter. I would recommend (personally) to do a topic in a specialisation that you are interested in working in in the future - just because it gives you some in-depth experience and skills in that area. But, I've had students who have done water-related projects with me, that have gone onto work in structures/construction!

Since the FYP is taking the space of a second unit, does that mean that we do one less elective? (for straight eng)

No, you will be taking one less core unit (CIV3204). This will all be communicated to you by the faculty in October, so please sit tight for this. Students will be receiving quite specific instructions/advice from the faculty depending on what stage they are at in their course (e.g., if they have done CIV3204 yet or not), whether they are single/double degree, whether they are a mid-year entry student. Please follow faculty advice, and email Andrea or Cathy in the Faculty office if you have concerns. 

Throwing Caps

Masters/Research

Responses by Dr. Edoardo Daly and Dr. Alexa Delbosc

How do you go about applying for a masters? How difficult is it to enrol in a masters degree?

You can find details about the enrolment requirements at https://www.monash.edu/engineering/master-engineering.

Does a typical masters timetable look the same as an undergraduates ?

The time commitment per unit is similar. Units tend to have teamwork and practical applications. If you already took 2 level-5 electives in year 4 of your bachelor's degree, you only need to take 3 units per semester. Work Integrated Learning can be taken outside the semester.

How much does Masters cost?

Do postgrad students usually have enough time to work part-time? Would there be some opportunities at Monash to work part-time?

Many of our PhD students have part-time jobs, either as practice class assistants or in industry.  But you need to devote at least 4 days/week for a full-time PhD.

Do you have to do a masters to do research or can you go straight into doing a PHD?

You don't have to do a Master's degree first, although most of our international PhD students have done so.

What is the best way to go about obtaining summer research experiences if you would like to explore research and have ago? Any helpful tips to obtaining these opportunities and how much of a critical factor is wam?