Encountering a new academic system.

I thought I would write this blog for those who are considering studying in Sweden or Australia and are wondering what to expect in terms of studying.  Hope this helps

Studying in Sweden varies quite a lot from Australian Universities. Namely the amount of subjects you study. In Australia I study a double degree; therefore I take 5 subjects a semester. In Sweden I am studying 1 course which is usually divided into several modules. Each module runs for 4-5 weeks and you have assessment at the end/ or during these weeks for the content in that module. Once completed the next module begins. This has definitely taken some getting used to because for the past 4 years I have studied topics quite in depth during the period of 13 weeks. This often gives me a better idea about the topics I should write about in my assessment because we spend so long learning about that topic before we start writing. Whereas my current module, I have spent a few hours learning about each regional legal system (European, African and Inter-American) and now will write a 10 page PM on anything relating to these regional legal systems. Very different to back home where I am usually writing law hypotheticals and when we do write essays (not PM’s) we are usually given a question and quite a detailed criteria sheet.  I definitely miss the old criteria sheets in Australia as they outline what is required of the student to receive the different marks.

Another difference is the grading system. I believe different universities in Australia also have different grading systems, but at Griffith University (Brisbane) the grading system is quite different to here. Upon completing an assessment you can receive a High Distinction (100% – 85%), Distinction (84% – 75%), Credit (74% – 65%), Pass (64% – 50%) or a Fail (Less than 50%). This is different to Sweden where you will receive a Pass with Distinction, Pass or Fail. I am still not sure what percentage you must get to receive the former. Although this may have been outlined for others I am not sure. I say this because I am studying Human Rights II, a B level course where all the students have already studied the first year (A level) subjects where I imagine this was outlined.

Another difference between Australian universities than those of Sweden (Malmö) is that in Australia the timetables do not change. You will have your lecture the same time every week in the same room and this is the same for tutorials (sometimes held fortnightly). In Sweden, each week changes quite considerably in times of timing and also location of classes. Further to this, classes can be cancelled or modified the day of the class.

Hope the above provides useful = ]

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