In case you don’t know, I study English at the University of Nottingham and am in my second year. My university experience has taught me lots, to say the least. I can safely say that I’m loving uni so far. But I have realised some things that I probably should have asked at the open days, back in June 2017…
Where are my lectures?
I’m not sure about your uni but at Nottingham we have set buildings for set subjects. For instance, The Sir Clive Granger Building is for Geography and Economics students and The Trent Building is for English students like me. Logically, I thought I would be in Trent for all my lectures and seminars, right? Oh how wrong I was. The majority of my 9ams last year were in Physics (sorry, but that’s gross). It is, of course, not a major issue. But when you thought you would be taught in the postcard perfect building that is Trent (give it a google and you’ll see what I mean) it’s a bit sad when you end up in the concrete monstrosity that is Physics…
Will the modules be taught by one lecturer?
Call me naive, but coming from A Levels and having one teacher for every subject, I just assumed uni would be the same. Again, oh how wrong I was. In my first year, each week was taught by a different member of specialised staff. However, when I got to second year the modules became way more specific. These tended to be taught by one lecturer. This suited me a lot more because the teaching became way more personal. There were no more emails saying ‘I am in your first year module…’ because the teaching staff got to know us as they saw us each week.
When will I be assessed?
This might sound a bit of a weird one because the normal question to ask is, ‘How will I be assessed?’. However, I think that the timing of assessments is equally important. A lot of my friends have assessments throughout the semester, which means they have quite an intense period of weeks when an essay is due but they have a more relaxing holiday period. However, my English degree at Nottingham is assessed by numerous essays that are due after the holiday periods. This means that yes, I do have longer to complete them and can take it a bit ‘chill’ (as chill as a degree can let you.) But I don’t really get a good, decent holiday or break.
In the semester I have work to be doing for my lectures and seminars but in the holidays I often have numerous big essays to complete on top of exam revision. Personally, I am not really a fan of this style of assessment but everyone is totally different. It’s just a case of deciding what works for you and what doesn’t!