Lectures? Seminars?

Hi everyone!

Hope you’ve all had an amazing January. This week I’m going to be giving you a little bit of an insight into what the lectures and seminars are like at university.

Some of you might not know what lectures and seminars entail, and sometimes they can be completely different depending on what course you decide to do.

In this post I hope to give you a little bit of an overview and help you understand what class sessions might look like for you.

In English Literature we currently study three modules a semester, and we have a certain amount of contact time each week- that’s basically the amount of time we spend in class with tutors.

For me it’s 4 hours per module, and 12 hours a week in total. It may not sound like a lot compared to your current timetable, but one of the major differences about university is the amount of independent work that you have to put in. This free time helps you do that without over-stretching yourself.

Each module I study has a one hour lecture followed by a one hour lecture workshop, and then a 2 hour seminar later in the week.

So the lecture will be delivered by one of your tutors and it will provide an overview of the main discussions point each week. It will introduce new ideas for you to keep in mind, and is a chance to make some helpful notes for yourself.

A little tip: most tutors make their lecture slides available online so you don’t have to copy everything down, just key points.

For my course each lecture is followed by the workshop. We move into smaller groups, and use this time to start discussions about the lecture, or to clarify things we don’t understand.

Workshops are also usually when your tutor will set you reading for the week. Often you have a few days between a lecture and a seminar, so you can go away and do some research before the seminar.

Seminars are used to take the new ideas and theories for the week even further. It’s basically a chance to discuss ideas with your peers and enhance your understanding.

Seminars are much less informal than the classes you may be used too. Tutors will usually prompt you to take over the discussions, and this is a really rewarding experience.

I hope this has helped with your understanding of how typical university teaching and learning works, and if you have any questions about lectures, seminars or anything else don’t hesitate to ask!

Quote for the day: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” -Benjamin Franklin

Until next time! 🙂

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