‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’.-Nelson Mandela
There are approximately 200 universities in the United Kingdom, attracting students from all around the world for various reasons. These reasons are varied; to explore new horizons, to develop abilities beyond their university course or to build a strong network for future career development. However, many students do not know what to expect from higher education life in the UK or from the structure of their chosen course. The aim of this blog post is to provide a brief understanding of the university activities, lectures and tutorials.
First of all, UK courses are structured differently from most universities around the world. Students are expected to focus more on self-learning and self-preparation, due to the fact that the average lecture time is no more than 10-12 hours per week. The lecturers briefly present the curricular topics via PowerPoint presentations and cover only the most important bits. The rest of the information can be found in the textbooks at the library or online, inside the multiple up-to-date articles, which are available for free for each UK student. What is more, students have access to an online platform, Moodle, where they can find all previous lectures and some additional materials. Apart from the lectures, all courses are required to attend tutorials/seminars, where students and lecturers discuss the teaching curriculum.
Secondly, students might be involved in many team-work exercises – group projects, such as presentations, reports, essays, business plans, etc. Some of the group assignments can last from a week up to a whole academic year. These projects are extremely effective, in terms of preparing students for the labour market and showing them how to work with other people from various backgrounds and cultures. When graduating and moving towards employment, the assignments mentioned above will come in handy as any industry requires its employees to attend regular business update meetings, conferences, trainings. This prepares to become future leaders, making them more confident in expressing their opinions publicly.
Furthermore, most of the courses do not have examinations, but students are required to complete individual assignments, for instance, essay, reports or other interactive projects. All assignments contribute to the final grade, which is formed of all tasks, activities and exams happening throughout the academic year.
Moreover, the majority of the coursework must be submitted via an online platform (Turnitin usually), in order to be graded by the lecturers. This requires access to a laptop or desktop computer, and having some basic computer knowledge. The process is fairly simple and will be explained to you at the beginning of the course or during the induction period. Feel free to ask questions, as lecturers are always willing to help.
Apart from the lectures and assignments, students can benefit from many university services or activities. For example, most universities offer career services, where advice for future jobs is provided. There are multiple seminars offering CV building, cover letter writing, academic writing and many more, which aim to help students with every aspect of job finding.
The universities are not all about academic work, but also social life. There are numerous societies, where students can enjoy their hobbies, can meet people with similar interests, can develop networking skills or simply have fun. The purpose of these societies is to offer non-academic entertainment and help connect and explore the full range of a student life in England. These could be as involved as a Photography and Journalism Society or culture-related like an African dance society. Additionally, there are many student bars, open spaces, cafes on every campus. For those interested in sports, there are various sport facilities, gyms and dedicated societies.
To conclude, UK universities encourage their students to work on personal and professional skills, to learn interactively, to build connections and to be a part of the whole academic society, where they are always welcome and can always find the support they need. Studying in the UK is an exciting experience, but slightly different compared to other educational systems across the world. According to a University of Roehampton student:”Getting involved with extra-curricular activities and being part of the spirit of the University, will make your journey even better”.
Don’t hesitate to try something new, join a university in the UK and experience a life-changing journey, full of exciting activities and positive surprises. You won’t regret it! 🙂
If you want to apply for a UK university, please visit: https://studybritannia.com/contact-us/