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Starting Health Sciences First Year FAQs

If you're embarking on your first year of University study you probably have a few questions!

The Enrolment FAQs database on the University of Otago website can answer your questions about the following:

  • Enrolment and registration
  • Study dates for the year
  • eVision
  • Timetables for lectures and laboratories
  • Preliminary Lectures
  • Course Approval—process and venues
  • Timetable clashes
  • Finding your way around campus

Here are a few frequently asked questions (FAQs) about starting Health Science First Year (HSFY):

How do I Course Approve?

Please read the Course Approval FAQs on the University of Otago website

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What is the English Diagnostic Test?

Please refer to the Health Sciences English Diagnostic Test FAQs on the Department of English and Linguistics website

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Do I have to keep to my preliminary lecture time?

Yes. You must keep to the preliminary lecture time you have been allocated.

The St David Lecture Theatre, where the Preliminary Lectures for HSFY take place, holds a maximum of 500 people. However, the total intake of HSFY students can be triple this number.

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Do I have to go to the lecture and laboratory stream times I have been allotted?

Yes. You must keep to the lecture and laboratory times you have been streamed into, unless you have a timetable clash (please see the Enrolment FAQs above).

HSFY is a very large class, and streaming everyone into times that do not clash with other papers is a huge task.

If you discover that you have a clash with something outside the University, you will need to visit the paper's course administrator. Please note that you will need to provide a valid reason, and physical proof as to why you cannot attend at this time.

Re-streaming information will be available on Blackboard at the start of Semester One and Semester Two.

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How do I find my Semester One timetable for HSFY?

Once you have completed course approval, your timetable will be available in your eVision portal and is usually finalised on the Friday before formal lectures commence.

Study timetable information on the University of Otago website

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When do I have to choose the optional eighth paper for HSFY?

HSFY students can do an optional eighth paper in Semester Two.

  • You do not need to decide about this until the end of Semester One
  • You can add your optional eighth paper via your eVision portal
  • A HSFY Handbook will be available via Blackboard for you to refer to throughout the year

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Should I bring anything to the HSFY preliminary lecture?

Please bring a pen and paper to the preliminary lecture (as there will be important dates and names to write down).

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Can I ask questions during the HSFY lectures?

Yes, you can ask questions during any HSFY lecture. However, due to the large class-size, you may feel a little embarrassed putting up your hand or interrupting the lecturer.

If you don't manage to ask a question during lecture, you can contact the course convenors/lecturers directly, or visit them during their office hours, and they will happy to help you.

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Can I buy older editions of HSFY prescribed course textbooks?

Yes, for some HSFY papers you can buy older editions of the prescribed HSFY course textbooks. However this varies from paper to paper. You will be told during the preliminary lecture which editions are allowable for each HSFY paper.

Visit the University Book Shop website for a list of the prescribed / recommended course textbooks and their editions.

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How do I find a tutor for HSFY papers?

To find a tutor for HSFY papers you can:

  • Check Blackboard
  • Talk to HEDC Student Learning Development
  • Approach the Course Administrator
  • Ask your laboratory demonstrators if they do any tutoring work, or know someone else who does

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Should I buy some old HSFY lecture notes I've seen for sale?

No. It is not a good idea to buy old HSFY lecture notes or study materials as they can be counter-productive to assisting with your studies.

Everything you need in order to pass HSFY is given to you in your lectures.

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What is PeerWise?

PeerWise is a study tool that allows students to:

  • Design multiple choice questions
  • Get feedback on questions they have written and answered
  • Attempt questions written by other students
  • Learn from their peers

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When do I receive HSFY assessment dates?

HSFY students receive all their assessment dates during the preliminary lecture, and they will also be available on Blackboard.

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How do I get a lab coat?

You can buy at lab coat at the Archway Shop. Alternatively, you can look for one second-hand (please check noticeboards for this).

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I’ve heard that HSFY is a tough year—do you have any tips for success?

HSFY can be a busy and demanding year. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure your success:

  • Remember that the preparation and study that you do outside of lectures and laboratories is crucial to your success, the following resources are useful in helping with this:
  • Get into a study routine straight away
    • Spend a bit of time before lectures and laboratories pre-reading the subject matter that will be covered
  • Take charge of your own learning and form a study group (3-6 students) with other HSFY students
    • In addition to aiding your learning, this will teach you invaluable teamwork skills
  • Make use of resources such as PeerWise, HEDC Student Learning Development, and Blackboard
  • If you start struggling, please get in contact with paper convenors as soon as you can—please do not wait until the end of the Semester, as that may be too late

Please contact the Health Sciences Admissions Office if you have any further questions about the HSFY Programme.

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What are my options for withdrawing from HSFY?

Before the last day to withdraw from Semester One / Semester Two papers

If you wish to withdraw from HSFY before the last day to withdraw from Semester One / Semester Two papers, you will need to complete a Change of Course form.

If you are withdrawing due to exceptional circumstances, you will also need to complete an application for withdrawal under exceptional circumstances.

If you are considering university study before re-enrolling in HSFY, please contact the Health Sciences Admission Office, as you could risk your eligibility to rejoin the programme.

After the last day to withdraw from Semester One / Semester Two papers under exceptional circumstances

If you wish to withdraw after this date, under exceptional circumstances, there are two parts to this process:

Part one

You will need to complete an application for withdrawal under exceptional circumstances.

Part two

If you intend to seek approval to re-enter HSFY, you may do so up until 14 days prior to the first examination.

To request approval to re-enter HSFY you will need to forward a copy of your application for withdrawal under exceptional circumstances to the Health Sciences Admissions Office.

Exceptional circumstances are generally referred to as one of the following:

  • Illness or accident
  • Bereavement
  • Other special circumstances beyond a students control

Documentation is assessed by the Director of HSFY. If it is deemed that a student has been seriously impaired during their studies, then approval may be given to re-enter HSFY.

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What do I do if I am impaired during HSFY?

Contact Student Health Services and/or the Health Sciences Admissions Office, and let your paper coordinators know as soon as possible.

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How do I apply for Special Consideration for final exams?

You may be able to apply for Special Consideration for final examinations if you have suffered unexpected and significant impairment.

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