For Michael, the Diploma in General Studies offered the best of both worlds

Hi my name is Michael, and I’m currently a Bachelor of Science student at the University of Melbourne. I had no idea what I wanted to study when I finished high school. I was tossing up between science and commerce, and I was even considering undertaking a double degree. Then I discovered the Diploma in General Studies at Melbourne Uni.

The diploma offered me the chance to sample both disciplines before I committed to a degree and moved to the city. It also helped that I received a significant scholarship, which made the diploma far more enticing than a double degree at another university.

The Diploma in General Studies is a one-year course, based at the Dookie campus. Throughout my time at Dookie, I always felt supported in my academic endeavours and I also made lifelong friends in the process. In addition to this, I was given many opportunities to engage in extracurricular activities that I would not have been able to do if I went straight to a city campus.

The Dookie campus - located between Shepparton and Benalla in Victoria

For example, I was selected as a student leader for the ConocoPhillips Science Experience program where I helped organise an agricultural science camp for high school students. As a high school leaver with minimal work experience outside of hospitality, these opportunities really helped to develop my leadership skills and self-confidence, differentiating my skillset from other people of my age.

The transition from high school to university was something that I was initially quite fearful of. Coming from a small town in regional Victoria, I knew I would have to leave my family and move to Melbourne to pursue my education, but when the VTAC offers came out, I didn’t feel quite ready to make that step. As the Diploma in General Studies was taught at Dookie, the diploma offered a seamless transition to tertiary study for me since the campus was close enough to home that I could easily visit my family, and the class sizes were small enough that I didn’t feel like just a number.

Having studied both science and commerce subjects in the diploma, I realised that a science degree was best suited to me. So when I finished the diploma, I moved to Melbourne to study the Bachelor of Science.

Graduation ceremony for my Diploma in General Studies

One highlight of my science degree would have to be the opportunity to engage in discussion with people from other degrees through breadth studies. This helped me develop critical thinking skills and changed my perception of the world on many occasions. I also had the opportunity to complete various subjects in zoology, engineering and even multiculturalism through my breadth studies.

Now in my third year, I have found that my main interests lie in geography and spatial sciences and I’m hoping to enter into a masters program in spatial engineering at the University of Melbourne or a similar program overseas. This will allow me to become a land surveyor or possibly a GIS analyst, blending my interests in maths and technology with my love of the natural and built environment.

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