At university, the way you learn may be different from at school or college. A stronger emphasis is placed on teaching you to apply information. This means, for example, being asked to answer questions where there's no right or wrong answer, but scope for opinion and debate.
You will be encouraged to read widely, to question and analyse what you have read, and to discuss openly your own ideas in seminars and tutorials. The main teaching and assessment methods in British universities are:
Lectures can be given to quite large audiences, especially during the first year of a degree, or to quite small groups as in the case of students who attend specialised options in their final year.
You would not usually ask questions in the middle of a lecture, especially if large numbers of students are involved, but many lecturers will invite questions at the end.
Many lecturers make their notes available online after a lecture through the University's web and e-learning tools and this can help to supplement the notes you take during the class.
In labs, you may be asked to work as individuals, in pairs or in small groups. In most cases, you'll be asked to 'write up' your work and this will generally be assessed with the mark contributing to your overall exam result. Usually, you have to attend your practical classes in order to pass.
Depending on the type of degree you are doing, you may do a major project, which will generally be in the final year. Students normally choose, within the confines of the project, how much time to spend on it. In some cases, students are asked to give a formal presentation on the results of their project.
Many programmes of study include online components, which can be an assessed part of the degree.
The University of Manchester has a virtual learning environment (VLE) called Blackboard. This means you might study online using material created by your lecturers, download papers and take online tests, or access relevant audio and video material.
Seminars and tutorials
A seminar is usually a talk or presentation on a subject, by either a tutor or a guest speaker, which is followed by questions and answers.
Tutorials usually involve small groups exploring areas in a more informal way and can include students being asked to undertake certain tasks. Larger tutorials may involve students working through question sheets with staff on hand to help with difficulties as they arise.
Some degree programmes, such as Medicine, Nursing and Dentistry, use problem-based learning. This means study is centred on patient problems, encouraging self-education and development of critical faculties and communication skills.
Early experience of hospital and community placements where appropriate is also provided for students in these subject areas.
Depending on what you are studying, you may go on field trips and visits in the UK and abroad. There may be an additional cost for this. For more details, see the webpage for the individual degree programme you are interested in.
Most degree programmes will involve some form of continuous assessment of students. This means that marks obtained for essays, projects and laboratory work during the year are taken into account when deciding the final mark.
You may have to sit written exams as part of your degree. Exams are usually two hours long. Examinations are probably the most important method of assessment you will face at University and knowing how to deal with them is an essential skill that you will develop.