11 August 2015
Before coming to Lancaster I was aware of what modules I would have in my first year, but unsure of what my weeks would look like. This post will give you a snapshot of the contact hours law students have and how they are distributed.

Monday:

Timetabled:

A one-hour Lecture for EU Law

A seminar for Tort Law

Monday’s begin with a lecture and essentially kick-starts the week with a session of note taking and reading. Aside from the lecture, I am timetabled to attend a seminar. Lancaster offers seminars as another form of teaching and these are smaller classes. Preparatory reading and exercises direct the flow of the seminar. Personally I have found seminars are largely student led as it depends on the answers and questions you have, with the tutor being there to assist you and direct your learning. This is one of the greatest differences from sixth form lessons where the teacher stood in front of the class and often ‘spoon fed’ us the answer. Here the tutors are assisting you in discovering an answer or opinion individually.  Aside from those two hours, I prefer to spend Monday’s making sure my work is completed for the upcoming seminars. Writing lists and ticking completed tasks has become an essential part of staying on top of my work.

Tuesday & Wednesday

Timetabled:

NOTHING (yes, that’s true)

Tuesdays and Wednesday are my days of complete independent study, as I have no timetabled sessions. There will be other first year students who you may come across who do not have this luxury, but it depends solely on when your seminars fall as each group has a different day/time. Essentially I was very lucky.

Whilst this does mean no early morning starts and I have the choice of doing nothing (choice being the operative word), there is a lot of private study that needs to be completed. I prefer to spend my time in study areas like the Library or the Learning Zone to get myself in the right mind frame, but it’s also a great place to meet up with other Law students or work in study groups.  Lancaster offers great facilities so you can work in environments that suit you and to be honest, no one can sit in their room and work all the time as the same surroundings can get boring.

Additionally you also get time to join societies, do voluntary work and anything else you wish. It’s really important to have a balance and have some ‘down time’, so you enjoy your university experience and work effectively. On Tuesdays I have my weekly Amnesty International meeting in which we prepare for the campaign we are involved with. Our recent campaign was to raise awareness on refugees in Syria facing atrocities from ISIS. I would recommend doing anything you’re interested in as Lancaster has a wide variety of sports and societies available, and there will definitely be something for everyone.

Thursday:

Timetabled:

A two-hour Lecture for Criminal Law

A Seminar for Criminal Law

A Seminar for EU Law  

Thursdays are my busiest days. For Law students, lectures are available as a starting point and you then need to do further reading around the introduced topic yourself. If however looking at my timetable you are concerned that I’m not having enough sessions and probably watch movies all the time, that’s not exactly true. Law students very quickly come to understand that there is a lot of independent study time because there is so much to learn. The rumour is true when they say law students do read a lot, and reading can only be done in your own time.

Friday

Timetabled:

A two-hour Lecture for EU Law

A two-hour Lecture for Tort Law

Fridays end with two lectures; lots of note taking and thinking ‘TGIF’. By this point, everybody is ready for the weekend.

Overall I have 10 hours contact time per week and a lot of hours of independent study. As law students we truly are gifted with a week that enshrines the importance of what we study.