It is useful to understand that there are differences in teaching styles at university, compared to school, college, or other educational environments. Classes tend to be much larger in scale and 200 people in a lecture hall can be quite normal. There are also a range of other teaching environments such as seminars, tutorials and office hours which you can learn more about here.
Practical sessions – Workshops:
Tutorials usually in some courses may be an alternative term for seminar, but usually implies a one to one (or a very small group) meeting with course tutor or personal academic tutor. Its main function is to assist the student in the ongoing process of producing work and developing its direction rather than presenting work formally as in a seminar.
Field trips and work placements:
This form of teaching delivered by an academic or technical member of staff has as its primary emphasis on not so much the question ‘what to do’ but the question ‘how to do it’. The range of technical demonstration and induction would be as diverse as the practices within the programme. One main function of such demonstration is to ensure the safe use of workshops and processes in the school. The amount and depth of such instruction will vary depending on the particular area and its needs but the aim is also to ensure that all students:
At university, students are expected to set their own learning agenda, and take responsibility for organising and prioritising the different study activities. You will also need to decide what to learn, and how deeply you need to understand it. However, this does not mean you should always learn alone! Many courses have group work, seminars, peer learning schemes and group tutorials to help students learn from and with one another.
If you are a full-time student, you should allow the same amount of time for study as for any other full-time job – that is, at least 35 hours a week. But it is very unlikely that your formal teaching sessions will take up the majority of this time. Teaching time varies between courses but for each module that you undertake, you should be provided with a module handbook on studencentral. In your module handbook there is an outline of how much time you will spend in lectures/labs and approximately how much time you should be dedicating to independent study.
Most lecturers/tutors are happy to receive queries via email, to contact a lecturer with a query, you should:
The Personal Academic Tutoring scheme is designed to ensure that all students have regular opportunities to review their personal, academic and career development.
Click here for the full text of the Personal Academic Tutoring Policy (63k pdf). How the policy is delivered varies between Schools, so please read the advice here in conjunction with local guidelines.
How does it work?
You will normally be assigned a personal academic tutor at the beginning of your degree. Your personal academic tutor will be one of the academic staff in your school, usually someone who teaches on your course.
Your personal academic tutor is there to keep an eye on your overall academic and personal welfare and to advise you about other sources of help in the university such as Student Services, the Academic Study Network on Studentcentral and the Students’ Union.
You will usually get a chance to meet your tutor during induction week or soon afterwards, and will then have one or two scheduled meetings a year to review your academic progress. You can also contact your tutor whenever you need advice on any matter, or to let them know about issues affecting your work or wellbeing.
However supportive your tutor may be, remember that it is your responsibility to use the tutorial system as effectively as possible.
Get to know your tutor early on and discuss concerns before they turn into problems.
Think about what you want to discuss and write it down. Your department may use a form to help you record issues.
Try to agree a short list of actions by the end of the session – practical steps that you can take towards your goals. Writing them down will help you review your progress later.
If your academic performance is adversely affected by ill health or serious personal difficulties, then your tutor may suggest that you submit a Mitigating Circumstances form to the Course Examination Board. (You will find details of this procedure in your Student Handbook.)
Some useful links to other services at the University of Brighton
NUS advice on managing your time as a student