Skip to content

Succeeding in Computer Science

If you have a problem that is interfering with your studies you should seek help as soon as possible. You should also seek help if you find yourself falling behind. Don't assume you'll sort it out yourself or catch up during the break. This is a common assumption among students, after all, you are all bright students or you wouldn't be here. Unfortunately, our records show the approach of sorting it out yourself often leads to failing a course. So talk to someone if you find yourself falling behind, even if you don't think it will make a difference, you may be surprised and you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

There is a lot of background that you are just supposed to know, like how to take notes in lectures, how to manage your time in such an unstructured environment, when to apply different mathematical techniques, etc. If you are doing what seems reasonable but, you do not always have the knowledge you need to solve the problems you are given, you are probably missing something. Whatever the problem is, there are a range of people who can help you get back on the right track.

Getting help with your Computer Science Courses

If you have a problem with a specific course, then you should make an appointment to see the lecturer for that course. You can also ask questions in your courses' online forum. Your lecturer may have several hundred students over the various courses they teach and teaching is just one part of their job - they are also researchers. Chances are they aren't going to notice and chase you if you are falling behind. You need to contact them. It's not that they aren't interested, but they'd rather spend time doing something productive like helping students or researching future computing than tracking students. So take the initiative and book a time to see them or ask online.

Computer Science Learning Centre

The Computer Science Learning Centre (CSLC) provides help to any Computer Science student in learning programming. The CSLC is designed primarily for first and second year students, but will be useful to any student who is learning programming for the first time. Experienced third year and postgraduate students work in the centre, providing free tutoring support.

The CSLC is also a useful place to study, providing additional computers on which to work, and group study facilities.

General Study Help

The University provides a range of support services for study skills, writing and maths for students.

The University's Writing Centre provides a range of academic support services for students, such as language skills support and workshops on a range of topics including developing understanding of assessment, and study skills.

The University's Maths Learning Centre provides a range of academic support services for students on studying and using maths.

The Writing Centre

The Maths Learning Centre

The University provides general support for students to help them address any issues that are impacting their studies.

If you have a more general study problem that isn't related to a particular academic topic, then seek the help of a student advisor in the transition and advisory service or an international student advisor. They can help you with a wide range of issues, from accomodation, to financial, personal or health issues and adjusting to University study. They are on top of all the support that the University offers and can get you to the right services and give you the encouragement and accountability to succeed in your studies. They can also set up support for you and save you having to explain the situation to lots of people. So definitely talk to them if you find you're not 100% on top of your studies. If you feel awkward making an appointment with them because there isn't anything specific that is 'wrong', tell them we told you to see them. If you prefer, a school course advisor can set up an appointment for you.

Support for New Students

Support for Current Students

Support for International Students

School of Computer Science

Level 4, Ingkarni Wardli
North Terrace Campus


T: +61 8 8313 4729
F: +61 8 8313 4366

Find Us Online

University of Adelaide on Facebook   School of Computer Science blog   School of Computer Science YouTube