Guide for new postgraduate coursework students commencing Nursing and Midwifery programs

College of Healthcare Sciences Student Resources Guide for new postgraduate coursework students commencing Nursing and Midwifery programs

Guide for new postgraduate coursework students commencing Nursing and Midwifery programs

Welcome to JCU Nursing, Midwifery & Nutrition [NMN]. The following guide for new students outlines the steps to enrolment and preparations that you can undertake prior to the course start date.

Formal offer of enrolment

All approved applicants will receive a formal offer of enrolment from JCU Admissions. You will need to accept your formal offer of enrolment online via eStudent by the due date, wherein you will be admitted to the course. You will also have the option of deferring or rejecting your formal offer. Detailed instructions will be included with your offer.

Accept your offer and activate your JCU enrolment online

Students who have accepted their offer will then be required to activate their online JCU Computer account, complete necessary online government funding application forms, and self-enrol into subjects online. Please visit the New Students website for detailed instructions.

Student ID cards

It is recommended that students undertaking clinical practice and sitting formal examinations obtain a JCU Student ID card. Local students can obtain their student ID card from the JCU Student Enquiry Centre in either Townsville or Cairns. If you are studying off-campus, you can request an ID card by completing and submitting a Request for Student Identification Card.

Purchasing textbooks

The textbook requirements for each subject are available online approximately two months prior to the course start date at the Co-op Bookshop (search by subject code).  Students can order online and click and collect texts from the Co-op on-campus in Townsville or Cairns, or have delivered.  Students may also find second-hand copies of the texts via online bookshops. It is important that you purchase the correct current edition of the text, as your study guide will refer you to specific page numbers of the text.

“The Mariner” Postgraduate Student Handbook

To prepare for your course, please read through The Mariner Postgraduate Handbook. The Mariner is a complete guide to your studies at JCU, from the initial enrolment process, across the duration of your studies, through to the finalisation of your award. Your study materials will refer you frequently to The Mariner as an essential resource to assist your studies.

Distance education mode of study

Studying in a distance education course is no harder than internal study, but it is different. Much of the responsibility for studying falls on you, the student, and the presentation of subject material is in a variety of formats – online delivery, clinical workbooks, webinars, and other audio-visual materials. Students are required to have internet access to download subject outlines, study modules, readings, complete learning tasks and access online resources.

At home you will have contact with the University and staff by email, internet, or telephone. Face-to-face lectures and tutorials are replaced by online study guides, workbooks, online discussion boards, webinars, Skype, audio-visual materials and, at times, other delivery formats. You work at your own pace, within limits, at whatever time of the day suits you and whenever you choose. You will find that in the off-campus situation you need to set aside a considerable amount of time for reading, revision and the preparation and writing of assignments. Some of you may have to make sacrifices and reorganise your family, work and social life to cope with the extra demands on your time and responsibilities. It is important to sit down and discuss your plans to study with those who will be directly affected by your choice to further your education. Whether this involves family, friends or work colleagues, these people need to know that over the next year or two there will be late dinners, some disruption to holiday plans and extra expenses to the budget. Even if you are an organised person, at various times throughout the year you will be under considerable pressure to meet assignment deadlines and to cope with your existing responsibilities at the same time.

It is difficult to be definite about how you should study and how much time you should allow for study when each individual is different and has unique study skills, habits and "learning environments". Your previous experience and knowledge of subject matter, the level of difficulty of a subject, and simply how you feel at a particular time of the year are just some of the obstacles that may affect your study pattern. Remember, if you can honestly take account of the costs, time and demands that distance education study incorporates, there is nothing to stop you from embarking on this journey of knowledge and personal growth and being successful at this new role you have chosen.

Study materials

Your study materials consisting of subject outlines, study modules, guides and readings are available online via the LearnJCU online learning platform approximately two weeks before commencement of the study period (see Study Period dates).  Students must be enrolled on the eStudent JCU student system before they will have access to the subject materials, therefore it is important to accept your offer promptly, and enrol online into your subjects via eStudent.

Minimum IT requirements

As a minimum, students should have access to the latest versions of the following configurations on their computer (desktop/laptop, PC or Mac) to enable full functionality of LearnJCU and associated learning technologies. These are taken from the current GACTF Standard Operating Environment and would need to be updated as patches and new versions are released:

PCs: Microsoft Windows operating system, Microsoft Office Suite - Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Publisher, Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Adobe Flash Player, Shockwave Player, K-Lite Codec Pack, QuickTime Player, Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe PDF Reader, Audacity, Windows Media Player, VLC Player, Sophos Anti-virus.

MACs: Mac OSX, Apple Development Tools & iPhone SDK, Terminal, Microsoft Office - Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Adobe Flash Player, Shockwave Player, VLC Player, Stuffit Expander, Adobe PDF Reader, iTunes, iMovie, Sophos Anti-virus.

Internet: Access to an internet connection with a minimum download speed (actual) of 512kbps.

Refer to the LearnJCU Supported Browsers and OS webpage for current system compatibility and you can also perform a LearnJCU Browser Capability Check on your current system.

LearnJCU online delivery platform

Online subject resources for nursing and midwifery students are available via the LearnJCU online learning platform utilised by JCU. All students will have access to each subject they are enrolled in. The subject sites include announcements from lecturers, subject outlines, study modules, readings and additional study materials. Communication functions such as group email, discussion boards, and webinar facilities are also available. In distance (flexible) learning mode, students are required to utilise LearnJCU and participate in online learning activities.   Written assignments are required to be submitted online via the LearnJCU platform.

JCU Email

All JCU students are issued with their own JCU email address at enrolment. All email messages generated from JCU are sent to your JCU email address (not to your personal home email address). You will need your JCU login ID & password to access your email. Email is the most effective form of communication between students and staff and where required, the university will contact students via JCU email. Therefore it is important for students to check their JCU email at least once a week. Students can also set up JCU email for mobile devices.

Orientation for New Students

GetReady4Uni is designed primarily for undergraduate students at our Townsville and Cairns campuses. Postgraduate students studying at JCU for the first time are also encouraged to complete the program. It may also be of some use if you are studying by flexible delivery.  Completing this online program is a great way to start your JCU experience. It will help you make the most of your time at university - so you learn as much as you can and enjoy the experience. Throughout the program, you will see videos, text, demonstrations, exercises, and podcasts. We suggest all new students complete this program before you start your studies.

The Learning Centre

The Learning Centre is a support program offered to all JCU students through the Directorate of Learning, Teaching & Student Engagement. The program helps to ensure you have the best possible learning experience during your time at JCU.  

The Learning Centre offers all JCU Students: a drop-in help service at the Learning Advice Desk at the Townsville and Cairns libraries; access to learning advisors for one-on-one discipline specific consultations; pre-semester workshops to help you prepare for university study; study skills workshops throughout the semester in Townsville and Cairns, and online resources for refreshing your learning, reading, writing and maths skills.

Finding Resources and Performing Literature Searches

At postgraduate level you are expected to be competent at searching online databases to find and retrieve literature. You are also expected to include reference to other literature in your written assignments (other than the readings provided).  The JCU Library provides online guides on how to find journal articles.  The Nursing, Midwifery & Nutrition LibGuide provides a select list of Nursing & Midwifery resources available in the JCU Library and on the Web compiled by the Division Librarian.

Off-Campus Library Service

All external students of JCU who live further than 50 kilometres from both Cairns and Townsville are eligible to use the Off-Campus Library Service.  Please refer to the Off-Campus Library Service website for services provided.

InfoHelp Services

InfoHelp is JCU's 'one-stop information shop' for assistance with resolving computer problems and locating Library resources.

Further Assistance

Please visit our Ask Us site for answers to commonly asked questions at any time of the day or night. These answers are designed especially to help future and current students. To locate Nursing, Midwifery & Nutrition Course Advisors, visit the NMN Assistance Directory.