Academic Advising at Melbourne

Build connections through conversations about your experience, learning and goals.

Knowing that you have an academic adviser dedicated to your progress and success can sometimes be just the reassurance you need to get engaged, reach out, think differently and feel connected. Your adviser is here to provide you with guidance and support to make sure you are making the most out of your experience at University!

Why is academic advising important?

Navigating the opportunities and challenges of university can be a lot to think about on your own. Advising meetings are a space for you to share your thoughts on your current university journey with someone who’s been there. Many of you have told us that you want to connect with an academic staff member in your faculty to share ideas, talk about your goals and passions, and work through any challenges. That’s exactly what academic advising is for.

What are the benefits of having an academic adviser?

Having an academic adviser who gets to know you across the course of your degree means that you can:

    • Build a support network with your adviser so you know who to turn to when you need help
    • Share your university journey and experiences with someone interested in your progress
    • Be referred to specialist resources and university support services that are relevant to you
    • Identify co-curricular opportunities, activities and events to grow and develop your skills, knowledge and networks
    • Gain insights into future career paths and plans that will help you decide what you want to do next
    • Develop a relationship with someone who is a leader in their field and can inspire you to think differently about yourself and the world
    • Develop your analytical and critical skills by challenging your assumptions and extending your perspectives
    • Evaluate your personal interests and abilities so you can plan your degree effectively
    • Gain a valuable supporter and guide who can connect you with your faculty, the University community, research opportunities and industry contacts

What do students have to say?

Photo of Yiping

“My adviser is the most encouraging and supportive person. They are always there to listen, and navigating my studies and life at university is a lot easier with their guidance.”

– Yiping, Bachelor of Biomedicine

Photo of Liam

“The meetings were really insightful, and it was great to get a different perspective on my current situation, future plans and learn about the resources and options available to me at university.”

– Liam, Bachelor of Commerce

Photo of Ann-Vu

“I love participating in the Academic Advising Program! It's great to know that you have someone willing to support you all throughout your university career.”

– Ann-Vu, Bachelor of Arts

Who is my academic adviser?

Meet an adviser: Alex Andrianopoulos

Meet an adviser: Alex Andrianopoulos

G'day fellow thinkers. Looking forward to catching up and discussing science, careers, politics, music or whatever you like. I'm a geneticist who studies a pathogenic fungus that infects humans. Happy to help in any way I can.

Your academic adviser will be an academic member of staff in the same, or a similar, discipline to your area of study – such as a lecturer or professor with experience in teaching and undertaking world-class research in their field. As you complete your meetings, your academic adviser will become a friendly face on campus, someone you can call on for advice, or even ask for a reference at the end of your degree.

Once you have been paired with an adviser in your first year, you will receive both an email and a notification on my.unimelb that will include information about their field of expertise and their role at the University.

What will I talk about with my adviser?

In meetings with your adviser you can talk about whatever you like! To help focus the conversation, we recommend you prepare for your meetings by reflecting on these questions:

  • How are you finding your studies (enjoyable, challenging, inspiring)?
  • Are you finding university to be what you expected it to be?
  • Do you feel settled here, in class, amongst your peers, amongst your teaching staff?
  • What are your personal interests and passions, and have you been pursuing these at university?
  • Do you feel like you are making the most of your time at university, or are there still things you want to get involved in?
  • Do you have an idea of where you want your studies to take you?

When, where and how will I meet my academic adviser?

Your first meeting with your academic adviser will be in the first year of your studies – this will be held on campus or online, as a group meeting with other students.

  • For most students, you will have your first meeting in your second semester of your studies
  • For some, you might be introduced to your adviser in the first semester of your degree, based on commencement date or prior study

After this, you will have a one-on-one meeting for the next three semesters. Meetings will be scheduled for you, taking your timetable into account. All details can be found via the Academic Advising page in my.unimelb.

Your group meeting

For most students at the University, your first academic advising meeting will take place with you, your adviser and a small group of other students from your course. It’s a chance for you to reflect on your university experience and discuss what’s been working (or not!), as well as strategies for success with your adviser and peers! 

  • How will I know when my group meeting is?

    Your group meeting will be scheduled in MyTimetable at a time that is convenient for you, based on your University timetable, as well as your preferences. To ensure you are allocated a group meeting time that fits around your classes:

    1. Log into MyTimetable
    2. Select your preferred time: Once you have logged in, locate the Academic Advising Group Meeting option AAAM00101 in Enrolments. Select your preferred meeting days and times during the preference entry period. For detailed instructions, visit the preference entry page
    3. Select on-campus or online: If you are studying on campus, you should preference on-campus meetings. If you are studying remotely, you should preference online
    4. We’ll confirm your meeting time: Shortly after preferencing has closed, your academic advising meeting will show in your class timetable and the Academic Advising page in my.unimelb. We’ll also get in touch by email to let you know your adviser and group meeting time, and find some more information about you!

Your individual meeting

Most of you will start your individual meetings in second year. Now you’ve got your first year at uni down, your second year is a pivotal opportunity to refresh, rethink and refocus on what’s important to you. Your adviser can be a great sounding board for you as you make decisions about what areas of study really excite you, what’s not quite what you thought it would be, how you really want to spend your time, and what skills, networks and knowledge you want to develop. 

  • How will I know when my individual meeting is?

    These meetings will be scheduled in MyTimetable at a time that is convenient for you and your academic adviser, based on both your University timetable and your personal preferences. To ensure you are allocated a meeting time that best fits around your classes and other commitments:

    1. Watch for your email: For most students, this email will be sent to you early in Semester 2, and will contain a link for you to select your preferred meeting time
    2. Select your preferences: Choose from the list of times that your adviser is available
    3. Confirm your meeting time: Shortly after preferencing has closed, your academic advising meeting will show in your class timetable and the Academic Advising page in my.unimelb. We’ll also get in touch by email to let you know when and where your meeting will be.

Frequently asked questions

  • How will I know who my academic adviser is?

    Academic advisers come from a range of academic divisions, including faculties, graduate schools and research institutes. Academic advising is linked to a specific undergraduate degree program, so your adviser will be a lecturer, professor or researcher from the same, or similar, discipline to your area of study. Your faculty will take care of the matching process for you and provide information via email and the Academic Advising page in my.unimelb.

  • I have never met with an academic outside the classroom before – what if I feel nervous?

    It’s natural to feel a little nervous when meeting someone for the first time. Academic advisers are excited to work with you, to help you to feel connected and supported through your degree. They have all been students, just like you, and have navigated some of the challenges of the university environment. While the classroom is central to your experience at Melbourne, meeting an academic outside this setting is a great opportunity to learn from them beyond the usual tutorial experience, and for you to share your own experiences and knowledge with them.

  • How will I know when to meet with my academic adviser?

    You will meet your adviser for the first time in your first year. You will schedule your first meeting (group meeting) with your adviser the same way you book yourself into classes at the start of the semester – by entering your preferences in MyTimetable! You will then receive confirmation via email of when and where this group meeting will take place and you will also be able to see it on the Academic Advising page in my.unimelb and on MyTimetable.

    After your group meeting, you will meet with your adviser once per semester for the rest of your degree. Individual meetings are scheduled slightly differently to your first group meetings. You will receive email at the start of each semester instructing you to preference a time for the individual meeting that doesn’t clash with your lectures and tutorials or other personal commitments. The meeting will be organised based on your preferences and the details of the meeting will be confirmed via an email. Once the meeting has been booked, the details will also be available on the Academic Advising page in my.unimelb and visible on MyTimetable.

  • What will we talk about?

    These meetings are spaces to have honest and open conversations with your adviser about really anything you like! It’s a great opportunity to share your experiences and reflect on your student journey. To give you an idea, here are some topics that you could discuss:

    • How you are adjusting to life at the University of Melbourne
    • How to make the most out of your university experience and the opportunities that are available to you beyond the classroom
    • University services that can provide academic and personal support to you
    • General study planning and tips, academic progress and achieving goals
    • Professional goals, capstone and subject options, career readiness
  • Do I need to prepare for my meetings?

    Arriving to your academic advising meetings prepared will help you get the most out of the conversation and build a meaningful relationship with your academic adviser.

    Before your first group meeting, you’ll be asked to prepare by reflecting on and responding to three questions about your current journey at University and your experience so far. Use this activity to help think about topics you would like to discuss when you first meet with your adviser.

  • What if I am running late to my meeting?

    If you’re running late, please let your adviser know immediately via their email. It is an expectation that you will attend your academic advising meetings. As a busy student, you will have demands on your time that you need to prioritise. Academic advisers have a lot of professional responsibilities, so it is important for you to make every effort to attend your meetings and be on time.

  • How long will I have my academic adviser for?

    You will start meeting with your academic adviser in your first year and will continue to meet with them once per semester in the second and third year of your degree.

    In some specific circumstances, your academic adviser may change during your degree. If this happens, you will be notified as soon as possible via email, along with details of who your new academic adviser is.

  • Can I stay in touch with my academic adviser after the program finishes?

    If you wish to maintain the connection with your adviser beyond the program, for example, to stay in touch after you graduate, you are more than welcome to! Some students continue to catch-up with their adviser in person, while some prefer to check-in a few times a year over email. We recommend you discuss how you wish to keep in touch directly with your adviser during or after your final one-on-one meeting in your third year.

  • Why is my adviser taking notes during the meeting?

    Advisers may choose to take brief notes about your meetings to help them keep track of key topics discussed. Only your adviser can see notes they take about your meetings and any notes taken will not be connected to your student record.

  • Are meetings confidential?

    Meetings with your adviser are designed to support your growth and development, and are a safe space for you to discuss goals you might want to consider, and any challenges encountered. There may be some cases when an adviser needs to disclose information to help you receive the best help and support you need.

  • Why does Academic Advising appear on my Study Plan?

    You may notice that the Academic Advising modules appear in your Study Plan. This is just a way for Academic Advising meetings to be scheduled in MyTimetable – treat it like all your scheduled classes as part of your regular timetable.

    The Academic Advising Program is not a subject. However, it is important for your growth and development, network-building and success as a student at this university. It’s an opportunity that you don’t want to miss out on!