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Posts Tagged ‘University of Sydney’

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

What do your music preferences say about your study habits?

It’s well known that certain human behaviours such as eating, having sex or shared social moments lead to a release of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

“Dopamine is a very common neurotransmitter, sometimes called a feel-good neurochemical. More accurately, it is released in response to a rewarding activity, and its presence helps drive our motivation and reinforces the activity that led to its release,” says University of Sydney Professor Alais.

What do your music preferences say about your study habits?

What you listen to may affect how you study

Now music can be added to the list, since it’s been found that listening to emotionally engaging melodies also results in the release of dopamine—one of few intangible practices to do this.

Prof Alais discussed a behavioural study on rats to demonstrate the relationship between dopamine and motivation.

“Given two pathways to find a food reward, rats with high dopamine levels took the effortful path to receive twice the amount of food, while those with low levels took the easy path and received less food,” he says.

So, how does this relate to studying?

“When you are sitting down to study, boosting dopamine through music is good because it will increase your motivation levels. The satisfaction you feel when reaching your study goals will be intrinsically rewarding and reinforce your willingness to study,” Prof Alais explains.

“For the maximum dopamine boost, you should choose music that gives you a positive emotional response,” he suggests. “People who are happy and less stressed are going to feel better and therefore learn better.”

Certain music can boost memory

In neuroscience there are several networks in the brain including the executive attention network and the default mode network, the latter being more active when you are calm and inwardly focused.

“In this reflective state you are more likely to imagine and visualise things; you can find connections between information and memories. You are less focused on logical sequences and instead on broader associative connections that can help you encode things in a richer network.”

And visualisation is apparently the best way to memorise things.

Alais gives the example of how famous Roman orators from times before cue cards harnessed the power of visualisation to recite their extraordinarily lengthy public speeches utilising the default mode network of their brain.

“They would model the sequence of their speech off their house which they knew backwards. They would use this to create an order for their talk and in each room of the house they would mentally input a couple of object cues,” the University of Sydney professor explains.

“They only had to remember the sequence of their speech in global terms (e.g., the route they would take to walk around their house) and the rest of the information would flow on from there.

“The imagination is a powerful tool and it’s one that we don’t use enough.”

In order to reach this part of the brain Alais suggests we need to remove extraneous stimuli.

“In order to switch off your externally focused frontal lobe and achieve a more reflective headspace you can meditate, practice mindfulness, take a walk or listen to calming, ambient music.”

Music with lyrics and complex technical sequences is more distracting, making it harder to reach this reflective inner state as you will be focused on outside factors.

“You can’t ignore someone speaking to you, even through song; so often the logical part of your brain that you’re trying to use when you’re studying is conflicted. You’re detracting from your focus.”

Alais suggests avoiding music with lyrics or that compels you to move physically, “choose music that flows over you rather than grabbing you.”

Work over twerk, if you will.

Tunes can be even more distracting if you have a background in music, something Professor Alais can attest to having worked for six years as a live sound engineer while an undergraduate and PhD student.

“If you are musically trained, you are probably a very analytical listener. You will likely engage more with the music and analyse the rhythm, key, chord changes, instrumentation etc. Something ambient may be better for you to reach that inner default mode network. Or perhaps a genre that is outside your area of expertise.”

What about personality and music preference?

Only a small amount of research exists, but what’s there suggests people can be broadly categorised into three types: empathisers, systemisers and those considered a little bit of both.

Empathisers were found to enjoy pop music because it speaks to the emotions with lyrics and in using rhythm and beat to convey mood. This type of person enjoys the global effect of the music rather than isolating aspects of it. A systemiser, meanwhile, will be more scientific in approach and therefore enjoy complex forms of music like jazz or electronica which requires some effort to decode it.

So as you settle in for another study session, give an extra thought to the tunes you choose because it’s proven that listening to certain music can indeed help you out come exam time. For Professor Alais nothing beats the Bach cello suites.

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Find out how you can study science at the University of Sydney. Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston for more information at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Monday, June 12th, 2017

Sydney School of Public wants to know if dogs make people happier

The effect of dog ownership on adult human health is the focus of a new pilot study by the University of Sydney.

Sydney School of Public wants to know if dogs make people happier

Do dogs make people feel happy?

Led by Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis from the Charles Perkins Centre and Sydney School of Public Health, the research team is seeking 100 non-dog owners to participate in the trial—people who are considering owning a dog as well as those who have no interest in doing so.

“Dog ownership is very popular in Australia with over 40 percent of households owning at least one dog,” Associate Professor Stamatakis said. “While anecdotal evidence suggests dog ownership is beneficial for human health, there is currently scant scientific evidence to back up this perception.

“Our research will provide valuable insight into the health benefits of dog ownership which could support programs promoting and enabling dog ownership as a means to increase physical activity, improve general health and prevent cardiovascular and mental illness.”

Differences in physical activity, cardiovascular and metabolic health, and psychosocial well-being will be assessed for three groups: participants who acquire a dog within one month, after an eight-month waiting period, or do not adopt at all.

Over the course of eight months, participants in the Physical & Affective Wellbeing Study of dog owners (PAWS) pilot will be asked to complete a small number of questionnaires over the phone and visit the Charles Perkins Centre or be visited at home three times for some simple physical measurements.

“These initial results will also inform the methods of a much larger trial, the first controlled trial to examine the health effect of ‘real world’ dog ownership,” Associate Professor Stamatakis explained.

What is public health?

Public health is society’s response to threats to the collective health of its citizens. Public health practitioners work to enhance and protect the health of populations by identifying their health problems and needs, and providing programs and services to address these needs. Studying in this field as an international student gives Canadians an understanding of the public health realm on an international scale, making Australia a top choice for Canadians.

At the Sydney School of Public Health, the Master of Public Health program is open to students from health and non-health backgrounds. Public health is

  • preventing disease;
  • promoting health; and
  • prolonging life.

Program: Master of Public Health
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intakes: March and July
Duration: 1 year
Application deadline: Candidates are encouraged to apply a minimum of three months prior to the program’s start date.

Entry Requirements: A successful applicant for admission to the program requires

  • a minimum four-year full time degree or equivalent qualification from the University of Sydney or an equivalent qualification; or
  • a shorter degree from the University of Sydney or an equivalent qualification, and non-degree professional qualifications and/or substantial relevant experience and/or other relevant qualifications.

Apply to the Sydney Public Health School!

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If you have any questions about studying at the Sydney School of Public Health, please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Public Health Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com.

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

University of Sydney explains the value in a graduate certificate or diploma

When considering a postgraduate degree, the choice isn’t only deciding whether to do a master’s degree (coursework) or a PhD (research). There are other postgraduate study options that could help you achieve your goals.

University of Sydney explains the value in a graduate certificate or diploma

Learn more about how you can study at the University of Sydney

If you’ve been out of university for more than 10 years but are interested in returning to study, you should consider a graduate certificate or a graduate diploma—a great way to further your education and the perfect step toward obtaining a master’s degree.

A crucial question to ask yourself is what do you hope to achieve by pursuing postgraduate study? The University of Sydney examines reasons to help decide where postgraduate study could lead you.

At its core, a postgraduate qualification can provide opportunity to take the next step in your career by upskilling and deepening your knowledge of a chosen field, or even launching into a new career direction. It may also be the catalyst for you to expand your horizons or pursue a personal ambition. Your motivations for postgraduate study are a useful guide when choosing which course is for you. With this in mind, a graduate certificate or graduate diploma are valuable options to consider.

You can try out postgraduate study to your level of commitment

At first glance the key difference between a graduate certificate versus a graduate diploma versus a master’s degree is the duration. Generally speaking, a graduate certificate would take six months of full-time study, a graduate diploma one year, and a master’s degree one to two years.

What is often overlooked about a graduate certificate or diploma is that they are embedded qualifications, meaning they will count towards the higher qualification should you decide you’d like to expand your knowledge further. The units studied, and by extension your time and money, can all contribute towards the completion of the higher degree.

In effect these degrees give you more flexibility over your level of commitment. With a minimum of six months’ study, you can choose to complete your postgraduate qualification with a graduate certificate, or potentially progress to a diploma and/or master’s degree.

You can invest to your needs

Graduate certificates and graduate diplomas are usually a subset of the units offered in a master’s degree, which is part of the reason they are embedded courses.

A graduate certificate will typically offer you the essential or core units of study. This is a great option if you are looking to extend your existing knowledge base or upskill in a certain area.

Building on from the graduate certificate, a graduate diploma will provide you the additional units needed to expand or deepen your knowledge in your chosen study area. As a guide, a graduate diploma is typically one year of full-time study or 48 credit points. This is equivalent to what would constitute a major at the undergraduate level.

If you are looking to gain professional qualifications for your next job or to attain specialised knowledge and skills, then a master’s degree could be for you. Depending on the degree in question, you may be able to tailor the qualification to your specific interests with electives, or a research project and potentially gain entry into a PhD.

There’s no need to make the decision from the outset if you’re unsure. Start your study and gauge for yourself.

Not eligible to apply for a master’s degree? You can still start one! Not all pathways to a master’s degree are the same. If you have the intention of completing a master’s degree, but don’t meet the entry requirements, look to the embedded graduate certificate or graduate diploma. These qualifications tend to have different entry requirements to the master’s but can be considered for admission into the master’s degree upon successful completion.

Are you considering studying at the University of Sydney but not sure where to start? Contact OzTREKK at info@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355 to find out which study option is best for you!

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

University of Sydney ranks number one in sport, physiotherapy and rehabilitation

The University of Sydney has been ranked first in the world in the recently released 2017 QS subject rankings for the new category that comprises physical therapy, sports therapy and rehabilitation.

University of Sydney ranks number one in sport, physiotherapy and rehabilitation

Deputy Dean (Strategy) Prof Michelle Lincoln, Dean Prof Kathryn Refshauge, and Deputy Dean (Academic) Prof Sharon Kilbreath celebrate the news (Photo: University of Sydney)

The subject areas are encompassed by a range of disciplines within the Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences.

“We are enormously proud to have been recognised in this way by our peers in academia and employers of our graduates,” said Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences Professor Kathryn Refshauge.

The QS subject rankings score universities around the world on their reputation with employers and academics, as well as measuring the productivity and citation impact of the publications of academics (also called the ‘H-Index’) as an institution and citations per research paper.

“The QS rankings are a particularly rich ranking system because it takes into account all aspects of our work: education, research and employability of our graduates.

“These rankings reflect performance across the whole faculty, from professional staff to academics to students,” said Professor Refshauge.

The Faculty of Health Sciences offers a range of undergraduate and graduate entry courses in the disciplines included in the ranking category, such as exercise and sport science, exercise physiology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech pathology.

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Are you interested in studying at the Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com for more information about your study options.

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

University of Sydney teaching and research excellence recognised in QS Subject Rankings

The 2017 QS Subject Rankings, released March 8, rated three University of Sydney subjects in the top 10 globally (sports-related, nursing, and anatomy and physiology) and 31 more subjects in the top 50 globally, including education (11th in the world) and law (13th in the world).

University of Sydney teaching and research excellence recognised in QS Subject Rankings

Sydney Law is ranked #13 in the world!

Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Garton said the results were an outstanding achievement and cemented the University of Sydney’s place in the top one percent of universities in the world.

“The breadth and depth of disciplines at Sydney is unparalleled in Australia and we are proud that so many of them have been recognised for their quality internationally.

“We are thrilled to be number one in the world in the new category of sports-related subjects, (which encompasses physiotherapy, sports therapy and rehabilitation) and among the best for many other medicine, health and humanities related subjects.

“These results cement our place as one of the best places to study and conduct research in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.”

Professor Garton said the university would continue to strive for excellence, with a bold plan to transform the undergraduate experience and an unprecedented investment in research, including new funding programs to support researchers to test new ideas and world-class facilities in which to conduct research.

“We aspire to be the best education and research institution in Australia and among the best in the world,” Professor Garton said, adding that Sydney is already home to some of the world’s best and brightest students and researchers.

He pointed to Sydney architecture students who are designing Sydney’s next skyscape and Sydney dentistry students who are improving oral health and reducing obesity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities as well as university researchers who are working across traditional discipline boundaries to look at diabetes from new and more holistic angles.

The QS Subject Rankings score universities around the world on their reputation with employers and academics as well as their H-index as an institution (the H-index is a metric that attempts to measure both the productivity and citation impact of a publication) and citations per research paper.

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Find out more about studying at the University of Sydney!

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Sydney Undergraduate Experience has officially launched

The University of Sydney is pleased to announce it has officially launched the Sydney Undergraduate Experience.

Sydney Undergraduate Experience has officially launched

Learn more about studying at the University of Sydney

The Sydney Undergraduate Experience is a new approach to undergraduate education, combining academic rigour with real world application. It reinforces the university’s commitment of creating an unparalleled learning community where students are given the best academic environment and opportunities that allow them to excel. Through multi-disciplinary learning and real-world experience, every student will gain an understanding of how to think critically, collaborate effectively and apply influence anywhere in the world.

The Sydney Undergraduate Experience has been designed to create resilient graduates with the foundations for leadership and a global perspective.

Specifically, the curriculum changes will reinforce the university’s positioning as a leading university in the Asia Pacific region and will see the university deliver

  • a wider range of subject choice;
  • interdisciplinary study options encouraging students to integrate their developing knowledge, skills and personal values; and
  • more professional learning experiences, such as internships and other work integrated learning experiences.

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Discover more about how you can study at the University of Sydney!

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

University of Sydney rehab sciences seminar tonight at University of Toronto

University of Sydney Health Sciences Information Sessions

University of Sydney rehab sciences seminar tonight at University of Toronto

Attend a Sydney Health Sciences Seminar

Would you like to further your studies in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology or another health science field?

Attend an upcoming University of Sydney Health Sciences information session between March 28 and 30 and get your questions answered!

Venue: University of Toronto, Bahen Centre, Room 2175
Date: Tuesday, March 28
Time: 6 p.m.

Venue: Simon Fraser University, Halpern Centre, Room 114
Date: Wednesday, March 29
Time: 5 p.m.

Venue: University of British Columbia, Woodward Building, Room 3
Date: Thursday, March 30
Time: 5 p.m.

Be sure to RSVP for a Sydney Health Sciences Information Session!

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Please contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355 for more information.

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Interested in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology? The University of Sydney would like to meet you!

Are you interested in a career in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology or another health science field?

University of Sydney Health Sciences Seminars

Don’t forget to RSVP for the University of Sydney Health Sciences Information Sessions!

Then you are invited to discover why the University of Sydney is a world leader in health sciences education and research!

Attend an upcoming University of Sydney Health Sciences information session between March 28 and 30 to find out what world-renowned health sciences teaching looks like!

Please RSVP here to save your spot!

University of Sydney Health Sciences Information Sessions

Venue: University of Toronto, Bahen Centre, Room 2175
Date: Tuesday, March 28
Time: 6 p.m.

Venue: Simon Fraser University, Halpern Centre, Room 114
Date: Wednesday, March 28
Time: 5 p.m.

Venue: University of British Columbia, Woodward Building, Room 3
Date: Thursday, March 30
Time: 5 p.m.

Study Health Sciences at the University of Sydney

Program: Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Semester intake: March
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: TBA. For the 2017 intake, the application deadline was September 30, 2016.

Apply to Sydney Occupational Therapy School!

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University of Sydney Master of Physiotherapy

Program: Master of Physiotherapy
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Duration: 2 years
Semester intake: March
Application deadline: Applications are usually assessed on a rolling basis (as they are received). The sooner you apply the better.

Apply to the University of Sydney Physiotherapy School!

Be sure to RSVP for a Sydney Health Sciences Information Session!

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Would you like more information about the upcoming Sydney Health Sciences seminars? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

Sydney Health Sciences asks, which sport and fitness course is right for you?

Are you interested in health sciences? You’ve got a wonderful selection of study areas to choose from: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology…. But have you considered exercise and sports science?

Sydney Health Sciences is known for world-leading health sciences education and research. The discipline of exercise and sport science focuses on the integration of exercise and physical activity into health care, sports performance, disease prevention and rehabilitation.

Graduates have the opportunity to utilise principles such as biomechanics, musculoskeletal rehabilitation and gait analysis to evaluate and improve the performance of a diverse range of athletes.

The career paths followed by graduates are many and varied and depend mostly on the specific interests and aspirations of the individual. Broadly defined, the areas of employment entered by recent graduates include the sport industry, fitness industry, health industry, occupational health and safety, public health, rehabilitation, research and technology, education and medical insurance.

University of Sydney Master of Exercise Physiology

Sydney Health Sciences asks, which sport and fitness course is right for you?

Dr Ollie Jay is the Director of the Thermal Ergonomics Laboratory and a Senior Lecturer in Thermoregulatory Physiology at the Faculty of Health Sciences. (Photo: University of Sydney)

The Master of Exercise Physiology is designed to produce graduates who possess the knowledge, competencies and clinical experience required for safe and effective clinical exercise practice.

Students will explore metabolism and physiology, human motor learning and control, the principles of exercise programming, nutrition, and musculoskeletal principles of exercise. Integrated clinical practice instruction, practicums, and case studies will provide the advanced skills and experience essential for professional practice.

Clinical placements are undertaken in both the public and private sectors. Students will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the career path they have chosen, and its place in the contemporary health system.

Program: Master of Exercise Physiology
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: March
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: TBA

Apply to the University of Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences!

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Find out more about studying the Master of Exercise Physiology at the University of Sydney. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Health Sciences Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

University of Sydney offering $10 million in new scholarships for international postgraduate students

International students will have even more reason to choose the University of Sydney for their postgraduate research degrees, with the announcement of 40 new fully funded PhD scholarships available from 2017.

“We want to attract the best students from anywhere in the world and these new scholarships—growing to an investment of $10 million per year—will help us do that,” said Associate Professor Ross Coleman, the university’s Director of Graduate Research.

University of Sydney offering $10 million in new scholarships for international postgraduate students

Find out how you can apply for a Sydney scholarship (Photo: University of Sydney)

“The university was founded on a principle of meritocratic admission and we are pleased to build on this foundation with these new PhD scholarships,” said Associate Professor Coleman.

“Graduate students are future researchers and high-level thinkers who will help solve the problems facing the world, as well as making new knowledge available to everyone. These new scholarships will help more of the cleverest people do their PhD studies with us.”

The new scholarships will be available to all international postgraduate research students in any discipline, and students will be considered for the scholarships when they tick the scholarship option on their application to study. Scholarship winners will be selected on the basis of academic performance in qualifying degrees and any prior research experience.

Like all University of Sydney centrally awarded postgraduate research scholarships, these new scholarships will be available all year with no application closing dates. The best students will get a scholarship offer in less than two months from submitting their application to study.

The new scholarships follow the same allocation as the federal government’s Research Training Program scholarships, which are for both domestic and international postgraduate research students. The university’s new international student scholarships include

  • tuition fees for the postgraduate research degree;
  • a stipend to assist students with their living costs while undertaking their postgraduate research degree; and
  • an allowance to assist students with ancillary costs of their degree, including relocation costs to Sydney, thesis printing and academic publication costs, and overseas student health cover costs.

“The value of a PhD is in the capacity of the doctoral graduate to identify and think through difficult problems. By increasing the number of funded PhD scholarships for students to work with our world-leading researchers, the University of Sydney is investing significantly in a better future,” said Associate Professor Coleman.

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Would you like more information about research degrees available at the University of Sydney? Contact OzTREKK Australian Research Programs Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com.