Depending on the course you have chosen you may spend a few hours or almost every hour of the week at lectures and tutorials. The difference at university is that you are relatively unsupervised and will have to meet project deadlines under your own steam and therefore have to be well self-motivated.
You will most probably do projects or exercises on your own or in a team so become familiar with the library and the computer rooms! Also remember that your tutors are there to help and support you throughout your degree so develop a good relationship with them - after all they may end up becoming your academic reference you need to give to a future employer!
On degree and postgraduate courses:
The teaching and learning methods you are most likely to encounter include:
This is the most formal, traditional teaching method. How to make the most of your lectures:
Seminars are small discussion groups: a number of students (about 8 to 16) join their lecturer or tutor to discuss a particular topic and exchange ideas. Seminars usually last one to two hours. Unlike lectures, attendance is often obligatory.
How to learn from seminars:
Tutorials usually take place weekly and last about an hour. You meet with a lecturer or tutor, either on your own or with one to three other students, to:
If you are on a postgraduate research programme, you will spend little or no time in lectures, seminars or tutorials. Instead most of your time will be spent on independent research.
There will be four main stages to your research programme:
Throughout the process, you should have regular meetings with your supervisor. He or she will want to know how you are progressing, and can offer guidance and suggestions on your research and dissertation.
Towards the end of your course you will then have to consider your career and/or other options for when you finish.
Some graduate jobs demand a specific degree subject, especially in the fields of science and engineering. However, a high number of advertised vacancies ask for graduates from any degree subject, which means that you will have lots of career options whatever you decide to study.
Most students view their degree as a key stepping stone, and many graduates end up in graduate jobs not related to their degree. Postgraduate conversion courses exist for many professions including accountancy, law, teaching, and social work, for those studying non-relevant degrees.
So many people have degrees these days that you will need to stand out from the crowd when applying for graduate jobs. Employers want new recruits to be able to add value straightaway. If you can demonstrate that you have already achieved a certain level of competence, you will be far more likely to get the graduate job you want.
It is never too early to start thinking about your options. You should use your time at university to get a range of experiences that will stand you in good stead when you graduate. Remember that your main priority is your coursework or revision for exams, so don't spend to long making yourself marketable.
This is question we get asked a lot. Obviously the best response is to work as hard as you can and the grade you achieve will be the result of the effort and commitment you put in. Based on our experience in graduate recruitment:
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