You don't just have to take our word for it that our graduate programs are interesting, innovative and educational - our past and present students are quite prepared to tell you too!
Graduate Exit Questionnaires
In order to help us improve the student experience, every student completing a graduate degree is asked to provide anonymous feedback on all aspects of our programs. Following is a selection of comments from recent graduates in response to being asked what were the best overall aspects of their graduate experience:
- It was a great refresher on the theoretical topics in archaeology as well as an opportunity to study with like-minded people. The flexibility was wonderful and the course content engaging! I have been highly recommending Flinders Arch Department to fellow archaeologists for future study! (Graduate Diploma in Archaeology)
- I REALLY REALLY enjoyed the [ARCH8801] field school, it was fantastic. Also ARCH 8019 was exactly what I needed to broaden my knowledge and skills and refresh myself on heritage management, so thank you, they are both fantastic courses and the opportunity for external topics that you have provided is really great for those of us who work full-time. I am so excited! For the first time ever, I can see my archaeology as a career rather than an interest and I hope that this will open some doors for my future work. (Graduate Diploma in Archaeology)
- [There were an] interesting range of subjects that have been critical in gaining employment in the field of archaeology - Delivered and presented by committed and dedicated teaching staff (who listen and offfer advice!) (Graduate Certificate in CHM)
- The opportunities [the degree] provided to meet industry professionals and gain ‘real’ experience – this gave me a good indication of what I would/could be doing after I graduate. (Graduate Diploma in CHM)
- My Directed Studies placement ... was interesting, challenging and very rewarding. (Graduate Diploma in CHM)
- [The Master Classes] gave an opportunity to meet up with other people, which becomes particularly important when doing distance education topics. They help you get work ready; even opening doors for other opportunities and ideas. (Graduate Diploma in CHM)
- Directed Study was an excellent opportunity to work with industry partners, write a report and undertake research, without having to do Honours. (Graduate Diploma in CHM)
- The graduate topics further enhanced my understanding of cultural heritage management policies and practices – it also allowed me to meet and network with people within the discipline. (Graduate Certificate in CHM)
- Course content was relevant to my work as a government cultural heritage officer. The lecturers have worked as archaeological consultants and understand the needs of practitioners and have developed courses that are relevant and useful. (Graduate Certificate in Archaeology)
- Access to content via distance learning enabled me to acquire a qualification that is necessary to the job I am currently doing. (Graduate Diploma in Archaeology)
- [The best overall aspect of my graduate experience was] [the] ability to access post-graduate studies leading to recognised qualifications that allow you to change and progress your career. (Graduate Diploma in Archaeology)
The field schools were a very effective way to gain experience as an archaeologist that I could apply in my work. (Graduate Certificate in Archaeology)
Below are testimonials from students in the various programs offered at Flinders University, talking about things such as their experiences of certain topics, the staff in the department, what they like about living in Adelaide, initiatives offered by the department to enhance their learning, and what they gained from pursuing their degrees here.
Darren Kipping, a Master of Maritime Archaeology student from Canada, was happy to describe for us some of what he considers to be the best elements of the graduate programs in Archaeology at Flinders:
Studying archaeology at
could not have been a better choice. The archaeology department is full of professional and experienced staff who are tremendously approachable and this allows a student to connect in the archaeological community. The well-structured classes engage in modern archaeological thought and principles over a wide array of topics. The master classes offer even more for a graduate student, be it 4WD advanced training, advanced total station training, or simply a specialty lecture from a world renowned archaeologist, the options are all available to a graduate student. The city itself is a bright spot on being an international student at Flinders. Adelaide is a very metropolitan city of one million people, offering great pubs and nightlife (not to mention the best beer in Australia), which also attracts the best bands and festivals, but with waterfalls, beaches, hiking, camping, surfing literally minutes away, still doesn’t have the feel of being too urban. Studying at Flinders University offers a unique experience of being an international student without ever feeling like one, that is to say not feeling misplaced or out of touch, which may occur in other places. Oh and coming from Flinders University , I can confidently say that the almost year-round warm weather is definitely a nice touch! Darren Kipping, Master of Maritime Archaeology, 2008 Canada
Crystal Henry, a Master of Archaeology student, had the following to say about how a 'Directed Study' topic was different to other learning options:
The major difference between Directed Study and other topics is that it is very independent and open. The student is given a project, but must make decisions on how it will be accomplished and be motivated enough to follow through with no (or very few) in between due dates. As the pace and extent of the project is dependent on the student, it requires a different level of concentration. It helped me better pace my work so that everything is planned, organized and written as I go. Procrastination is not an option in this class. It is also through an industry partner and will be read and utilised outside the limited student-teacher circle. The fact that it is used outside of the classroom (and is archived on campus) means that it can be used on a resumé - which cannot be said for your general Uni paper. I find it much more fulfilling to research a project with actual use besides assessment. Working through an industry partner also gives the student a glimpse of the heritage/archaeology industry and the way it is viewed outside of class. It has more grit; less theory and more action. I really enjoyed the Directed Study topics because they give a student the chance to experience the work world from the comfort of Uni. Crystal Henry, Master of Archaeology, 2007
Jenni Lennox, another Master of Archaeology student, had similar things to say about the Directed Studies topics:
I really enjoyed both the Directed Studies that I completed in 2007 (I completed one each in CHM and Archaeology). With my CHM DS I was able to produce a piece of work that I felt could truly be useful for people wishing to compile a profile of their property. My Archaeology DS allowed me to work closely with my Industry Partner - the Adelaide City Council - and I learned a lot working with them. Both my Directed Study topics provided a very rewarding experience as I felt that I was completing work similar to what I would do when working in the industry - I was given a brief and then completed the work.
Elaine Mun is a graduate of the Archaeology program, who completed an internship at the world heritage listed Naracoorte Caves in South Australia. She had the following to say about her internship experience:
My eight week internship program at Naracoorte Caves World Heritage site was insightful. My initial intention was to attain work experience in the field of heritage management and learning to understand the structure of working on a World Heritage site. But the program had offered me much more than that. Not only have I had the unique opportunity to work side by side with the site manager in day to day managerial work; I was also given the freedom to expand my work interest whenever I see fit. I was involved in almost every aspect of the business; from managerial work, guiding both show and adventure caving tours to general maintenance of the site. Working at a World Heritage site enabled me to further understand the role tourism has to play on such a significant site. I got to learn the most effective and useful conservation practices and methods used on the site. Steve Bourne, the site manager and his staff were helpful and most importantly generous in sharing their knowledge with me. I was also encouraged by the site manager to attend various conferences and participate in lectures held on parks to get an insight into research as well as managing events on parks. The first hand knowledge enabled me to contribute effectively at meetings and planning sessions. Also, through meetings and conferences, I got to meet people from different fields and get precious advice and knowledge. Elaine Mun, Archaeology graduate, 2008
In 2008 Zach King from Ohio commenced a Graduate Certificate in Archaeology as a precursor to entering the Master of Maritime Archaeology program. As part of his program, he attended an Archaeological Field Methods topic run at the Coorong in collaboration with members of the Ngarrindjeri Nation, the Indigenous Traditional Owners of the area, and had the following to say:
Working alongside the Ngarrindjeri and getting their perspective, as well as hearing about their land was probably the greatest aspect of the Coorong field school. The Ngarrindjeri were a friendly group, willing to answer questions and discuss issues. I personally believe the importance of this is to allow the Indigenous people of an area to have a say and witness what is going on, and see the results, as well as to learn about archaeology and how its interpretation will affect their history and culture. After all it's their country we're digging up. More students should get involved due to how humbling the experience is. Overall I found it to be a great way to familiarise myself with the country and the community. Zach King, Graduate Certificate in Archaeology, 2008
Peter Ross, a Canadian student in the Master of Maritime Archaeology program, is a recent graduate who completed a thesis looking at fish traps and fishing technology of the Ngarrindjeri people of the Coorong region. He says:
The faculty in the archaeology department are very friendly, encouraging, and supportive. It was quite a straightforward matter to suggest a research project that straddles interdisciplinary boundaries, in my case between maritime archaeology and Indigenous archaeology. The master classes have been a highlight for me this semester, with inexpensive or free instruction ranging from underwater photography to advanced Total Station use to tours of Indigenous rock art sites. Peter Ross, Master of Maritime Archaeology student, 2008
Nicole Ortmann, another Master of Maritime Archaeology student in 2008 had the following to say about what it is like to live in Adelaide whilst pursuing her degree:
There are so many great aspects to studying at Flinders, not the least of which is the great view of the ocean and the city from the library. The Archaeology department staff go out of their way to provide little extras that are so important to you enjoying and making the most of the your studies. The weekly Master Classes are a great way to get know other archaeology grad students, as are the various barbeques held throughout the year; seminars and special lectures provide you with the opportunity to hear about the many different topics of research being explored throughout Australia and meet the people who could eventually give you that all important first job! The staff in the International Students Services Unit are friendly and genuinely interested in making sure that your university experience is the best it can be, whether you have just arrived or are almost finished. The weather is as cheerful as the university's staff and the beaches offer great sand, great surf and great diving. I'm a huge fan of seafood and there is plenty of great fare to be sampled - and plenty of choices on offer for accompanying beverages, with the best Australian wines in your back yard! Nicole Ortmann, Master of Maritime Archaeology, 2008
Benjamin Holthorf graduated with a Masters of Maritime of Archaeology in 2008. He is currently working as the curator of the Maritime Museum of the Great Lakes, Ontario, Canada.
Flinders is a great place to study. The university is in a beautiful city with a laid back lifestyle. The archaeology department is very professional with approachable faculty. Studying for a Masters degree in Maritime archaeology at Flinders allowed me to network with professionals from around the world. The faculty arranges and encourages students to go to, and participate in frequent outside lectures and practical projects. The department also arranges interesting and very useful Masters Classes for more practical experiences than are found in the traditional classroom. The classes expose students to the history, current trends, theory, and many other aspects of Maritime Archaeology and most importantly include all aspects of the discipline, from ships and shipwrecks to prehistoric sites underwater, as well as terrestrial maritime infrastructure and related maritime sites. This broad perspective has been great for me and had allowed me to find work in a related field where the varied topics of study at Flinders will serve me very well. Benjamin Holthorf, Master of Maritime Archaeology, 2008
Rhonda Steel graduated from Flinders University after doing her undergraduate study in New Zealand. She is currently working as a project officer with Heritage Victoria, Australia.
My course at Flinders provided me with the opportunity to study maritime archaeology, a subject not available in New Zealand Universities. At first I was concerned about studying via distance learning from Flinders while living in South Korea, however it turned out to be a great opportunity for me. I was able to work full time and further my education. The classes were well organised and all the required information was sent to students at the start of term. As a distance student it can be difficult finding information, but the maritime archaeology staff at Flinders were always helpful (via email!) and I owe a true debt of gratitude to the lovely library staff, who never failed to help me find the articles I required, and send them to me on time. The program provided study in a broad range of maritime archaeology topics, and assignments were tailored in a way that allowed students to focus on research areas pertinent to their interests. One of the highlights of the course was the field component, this enabled students to put into practice skills studied in class, and meet other professionals in the field. It was also great for those of us from overseas to meet the other students and teachers involved in our course. Overall I really enjoyed and benefited from my time at Flinders University. Rhonda Steel 2009