This post is courtesy of Study London.
Studying in the UK can be quite different from studying in your home country. To help you get familiar with what will be expected of you, here is an overview of a typical UK academic year at undergraduate level.
The majority of undergraduate and postgraduate courses start in September or October. This is the beginning of term one. Many universities split the year into terms, but some also use semesters. There will be a ‘fresher’s week’ which is a week full of events designed to help you settle in. From the second week, your lectures will begin.
It is important to realise that at UK universities, you are expected to do a lot of studying in your own time. So make time to go over the material you covered in your lectures and add to this with some extra reading.
It can be useful to look at the previous essay questions or exam papers for your module to get an understanding of what will be expected from you. You can normally find these on the university intranet, or ask your lecturer.
During these months, you will be very busy going to lectures, seminars and tutorials. It is important to take notes of everything as you go along. This will help you when you need to write your essays and prepare for exams. If you have problems with this, many universities offer free study skills sessions which include guidance on note taking.
From the middle of December to early January, you will have term holidays which usually last around three weeks.
January is the start of term two. In January and February, students are normally very busy with reading and writing assignments. It is a good idea to form study groups with your friends. Meeting at the library with a group of students for two or three hours a day can help you focus and it’s great to share ideas with your friends.
Some students also have exams in January. It can be difficult to prepare for exams as well as write essays for your assignments. Create a study timetable to help you focus and allocate time to each of your tasks.
A number of universities also offer courses starting in January and February.
Your essays and other coursework assignments are normally due at the end of March and after this you will start focusing on upcoming exams.
Your university will publish your exam timetable in March or April. Check your timetable carefully and speak to your tutor should there be any problems. It is not uncommon for two exams to take place on the same day.
Term two usually finishes at the end of March or early April, and there will be two or three weeks of holidays. You are expected to use these holidays to prepare for your exams.
It’s term three and it’s time to write your exams! The majority of exams take place in May and June each year. Make sure you know exactly what date and time your exams are and where they are taking place. Allow plenty of time to get to your exam. If you are late, you will not be able to write the exam.
Some universities also have exams in early July. However, for most students July and August means holiday time! Your exam and coursework results will be released in the middle of July.
If you have failed an exam or coursework assignment, you will be given another chance to pass. Exam re-sits usually take place towards the end of the summer to give you enough time to prepare. If you have failed a module, speak to your tutor to find out what you did wrong.
If you pass all your modules, you can simply relax for the summer or start building up your CV by working or completing an internship.