At Lancaster your studies will involve working in groups, sharing your opinion in class and doing independent research in order to write essays and complete other assignments. Lancaster University recognises that some international students need guidance on how to develop study skills suited to UK higher education and so makes study support available to all.
- Lectures are common and can be attended by up to 300 students in the first year. You should take concise notes which you can use as the basis for additional study on your own.
- Tutorials and seminars are usually attended by much smaller groups of students. You will be invited to join in with discussion of a topic. You will probably have been asked to prepare some work in advance. All students are urged to contribute to the discussion, and you should not be afraid to state your views.
- Self-guided study means that you will need to read independently using a reading list provided by your lecturer. You will not be given detailed instructions or a timetable – it is up to you to read as much as you think is necessary to prepare your assignment. If in doubt, though, seek advice.
- Laboratory classes are also timetabled as appropriate to the subject.
Please be aware that attendance at all timetabled events is compulsory.
Research Study Methods
Postgraduates undertaking research degrees (PhD, MPhil, MRes, etc) will not normally attend classes, though arrangements are sometimes made for them to attend parts of postgraduate courses. Students work closely with their supervisor who will give guidance on reading and experimental work. Regular contact with the supervisor is very important. It is also important to get involved in departmental activities, such as seminars, talks by visiting speakers and conferences.
Assessment and examinations
Your department will give you information that explains how you will be assessed, including the use of coursework and written examination.
The Learning Zone
The Learning Zone is located centrally on Alexandra Square and is accessible at all times of day and night. It provides a relaxed environment in which students can work in groups. A laptop loan service, run by ISS Service desk, is located in the Learning Zone, and pods are available to book for meetings, presentations and group work.
The University Library is open at all times of day and night throughout term-time, providing access to books, study space, PCs and printers. The online library of more than 300,000 electronic journals, e-books and databases is accessible whenever or wherever you are.
A team of information assistants is available during service hours to help in person, by phone or by email. Expert subject support is provided by a team of academic liaison librarians.
The Library Building is undergoing an exciting and extensive refurbishment which is due for completion in January 2016. The building will offer full services throughout the refurbishment and additional study space will also be made available on campus.
Books, photocopying and stationery
You will need to buy some books associated with your course. The complete reading list for any course will usually consist of a large number of books, but you won’t be expected to buy them all. Many will be available for loan in the library. Check with your tutor if you are unsure which books should be purchased.
You will also need to budget for photocopying. The amount you do will depend on your subject and the availability of books and articles.