I feel like I have been planning out this post in a while now. But I’ve just been waiting to completely finish my course at RMIT as well to write it.
Just for reference, I completed a Bachelor of Arts (Majors: Media & Communications and Spanish & Latin American Studies) at The University of Melbourne right out of high school – 3 year course. This last year, I completed a Diploma of Business (Public Relations) at RMIT – 1 year course.
Obviously I didn’t complete the same degrees at both universities. One was a Bachelor and the other a Diploma. That’s why I’m going to focus on overall points about the universities rather than course content (although I might make a separate post for that as well).
Disclaimer: These are all my opinions based on my own experience.
At Melbourne Uni, most tutors and lecturers are academics. They have studied to teach and continue their own research. A lot of the work at Melbourne was quite theory-based (ie. writing essays). The educators have a great understanding of the content they teach, however they rarely explain how it can relate to anything other than research for your assessment. In general I found the educators a little detached from the students. Few of them would offer assistance and would expect students to work everything out for themselves.
I found RMIT educators a lot more helpful for me personally than Melbourne. Again, this could just be chance. But, most of the tutors I had at RMIT went out of their way to help students; not just with assessments, but even general career related concerns. All of the tutors I had at RMIT also had a career in the field of PR or something related.
After finishing my degree at Melbourne Uni, I honestly felt really lost. I didn’t feel prepared for any kind of work related to PR (even an internship). Melbourne Uni courses are generally designed to lead to a Masters degree (which is something I didn’t want to do). I actually had a pretty negative experience trying to get an internship through Melbourne Uni. I had been trying to chase down faculty that could help me get industry experience for months. No one I spoke to helped at all and after all that time, I was left really disappointed.
After that experience with Melbourne, I enrolled into the course at RMIT. The educators their had a lot of industry connections and were also willing to help me find an internship anywhere I wanted. Of course I had to put in effort as well, but they were there for support and to give me advice. I completed a great 3 month internship while I was studying and even now that I’ve graduated, my teachers still keep in touch and send through emails with different opportunities.
Honestly, both unis are pretty great in term of their campus and they’re both in the city, so there’s always something to do in your free time.
One of the main things that sold me on Melbourne Uni was its’ awesome campus. It’s so beautiful (especially in the warmer months), lots of good coffee options and plenty of different areas to chill in. Melbourne Uni is like a town in itself and I don’t have any cons about it in this category.
RMIT on the other hand is a lot smaller and a lot of the buildings are scattered around and you don’t get a lot of those open spaces like you do at Melbourne Uni. It’s also a lot more central (a 2 minute walk from Melbourne Central) which is probably why it’s smaller. There are a lot of areas to sit and chill as well, but most of them are indoors. Having said that, it’s never been an issue for me because I enjoyed walking around the city anyway.
I feel like the main difference between the two universities is that RMIT is mostly all digital, whereas Melbourne still encourages students to do a lot of their research through books.
At Melbourne Uni, you could easily get by without bringing a laptop with you which is what I did for the most part. Melbourne had computers which you could book in all of their libraries. This was super handy for doing research and working on assessments because you had your own little booth and access to books as well. However, the facilities and environment seemed very old in a lot of the libraries.
Unlike Melbourne Uni, RMIT has a much more modern environment and their facilities are all new. They have plenty of study areas around campus which all have power points so students can plug in their laptops (and same goes for the class rooms). Students are encouraged to do their research online for the most part, using the library portals.
I kind of wish I had a little more insight before I chose which uni to go to. But both have ultimately helped me in a positive way overall.
Feel free to share your own thoughts or leave questions below.
Talk soon xx