Peer Mentoring

We understand that beginning your first year at University can be challenging. It involves adapting to new experiences and expectations, both academically and socially. You may have many questions already, like:

  • Where can I purchase textbooks?
  • What is Arc?
  • Is Uni 'harder' than the HSC?
  • Where do I obtain my ID card?
  • Where do I buy a lab coat?

The Faculty of Science is committed to ensuring that you are provided with assistance to ease your transition into university life by providing various Peer Mentoring Programs. There are a number of programs available:


Mentoring Programs

Faculty of Science Peer Mentoring Program

The Faculty of Science Peer Mentoring Program is available to students in the majority of undergraduate degree programs (the exceptions are listed below). The Program operates across the first semester and also includes social activities such as an Orientation Week BBQ and an activity such as a Trivia night early in the session, providing opportunities for students to meet other students (mentees and mentors). Information about peer mentoring and the benefits of actively participating in such a program can be found below in the FAQ section.   

If you have any questions about the Science Peer Mentoring Program please contact the Science Learning and Teaching Unit by email via

You can register for the 2020 program by filling in the survey here.

Bachelor of Psychology and Psychological Sciences Program

The School of Psychology offers a peer mentor program as part of a first year course. A small group of first year students will be mentored by a third year student within the Bachelor of Psychology and Bachelor of Psychological Science programs. You will be contacted by the School regarding this program if you are eligible and there is no need to register.

Eligible Students: Bachelor of Psychology (3432) and Bachelor of Psychological Science (3435) only*

For further information: visit the School of Psychology website

* Please note: Students who are completing a Psychology Major within the Bachelor of Advanced Science or Bachelor of Science degrees can participate in the Faculty of Science Peer Mentoring Program.


School of Materials Science and Engineering Program

This Peer Mentoring Program runs during Semester 1 each year. In this program a senior student mentors a small group of first year students. You will be contacted directly by the School if you are completing an eligible degree program. There is no need to register.

Eligible Students: Materials Science and Engineering Programs only (3135, 3136, 3137, 3138)  

Further information: visit the FAQs on the School of Materials Science and Engineering website.


School of Optometry and Vision Science Program

The program revolves around social interaction and support rather than academic tutoring and involves final year Optometry students mentoring first year students.

Eligible Students: All Vision Science students (including students completing a Bachelor of Science (Vision Science Major) or Bachelor of Advanced Science (Vision Science Major)).

For further information: email the School of Optometry and Vision Science.



What is a peer mentor and mentoring?

A mentor is generally a more experienced student, passing on their knowledge, tips, ideas and skills to a less experienced student. Mentoring is different to friendship. Mentoring has a specific purpose, and the relationship is entirely focussed on you - the mentee.

Mentoring is not tutoring, although it does provide you with an important support structure to help you make the transition to university life while you 'find your feet'. Mentoring is an informal process.

Benefits of a mentor program

Being part of a mentor program you:

  •     are provided with the opportunity to meet and talk with other new students to the Faculty of Science
  •     benefit from hearing how other new students are managing their transition to university
  •     will get the chance to consult with a more experienced student (the mentor)
  •     have the opportunity to find resources and other areas of support quickly and easily
  •     can get an insiders view of the campus and tips on how to make the most of campus services and facilities
  •     can ask any question you may have about university life - no question to small, big or silly!


Who are the mentors?

Trained and experienced senior science students who know all about the challenges of being a new student at UNSW.


What are the benefits of having a mentor?

Comments from first year students involved in past UNSW mentoring programs:

"My mentor is really caring and helpful and we email each other very frequently. "
"Help is always there whenever I need it."
"We have been emailing each other whenever I had some questions and got good responses."
"My mentor has been very helpful whenever I need a help. "
"Thank you for providing such Mentor/Mentee program. It help me a lot."
"I had a peer mentor in first year and found the experience helpful and insightfully for a variety of reasons"