My best advice for choosing modules

My best advice for choosing modules

It’s that time of year: the time we pick what we want to do next year. As dramatic as it sounds, the decisions you make in the next few weeks will determine the next year of studying. Whatever year you’re in, I want to offer you my best advice when picking modules for the upcoming year. Hopefully, this will make sure you have the best year and don’t regret those choices…

Research the type of assessment.

This is probably my best piece of advice for you: make sure you know how, and when, you will be assessed. If you are like me, then exams are the absolute worst. I don’t know about you but I much prefer coursework. It means I have an extended period of time to think about my ideas and make appointments with tutors to get all the guidance I possibly can.

However, some of you out there prefer exams which is completely okay. I understand that you would rather get the assessment over and done with and not have a period of intense stress writing 3000 words in what seems like no time at all. If you’re more of a coursework kinda gal, there is nothing worse than having 3 exams come at you all at once. Knowing the type of assessment might be the deal breaker between a module you actually enjoy next year and one that you can’t wait to see the back of.

My best advice for choosing modules

Don’t pick it just because your friend is.

The age old classic, I’m afraid: don’t pick a module just because you’re best friend is doing it. How many times have we been told that? Honestly though, speaking from experience, it can be good to be in modules with friends but I wouldn’t recommend it for various reasons. Firstly, it might not actually be your “thing”. Just because your BFF is into romantic literature doesn’t mean it’ll float your boat. Sorry.

Secondly, it can actually be quite intense – especially if you’re doing the same reading each week and the same assessments. It could actually make for a competitive atmosphere that might not make you very productive in the long run. Of course, if your friends happen to be picking the same modules then great! But don’t choose something just because someone else has.

My best advice for choosing modules

Ask ALL the questions.

Time for another classic saying: ‘you don’t know unless you ask’. Trust me on this one, ask your tutors at module fairs or via email any question you might have during the period of time you have in which to decide next year’s modules. No question is too small.

Who’s taking the lectures? Which seminar tutor will I have? How much time will I have to spend in seminars? Academic staff are literally employed to answer all these kinds of questions and they’ve heard it all before! This means you can make a really informed choice about your modules next year – which can only be a good thing!

I really hope your choices next year are great! Have fun choosing them!


My best advice for choosing modules

Harriet Swift

Employability Writer. Harriet studies English Literature at the University of Nottingham and writes a weekly column focusing on graduate employment.

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