STUDYING IN THE UK: TEACHING AND LEARNING METHODS
On degree and postgraduate courses, you do not have to attend all your classes all the time, and you have much more time to study on your own. Your instructors/teachers/lecturers will not always provide you with answers. Instead, they will show you ways to find the answers yourself. You will not always be dealing with facts, and there will not always be right or wrong answers. Classroom teaching may be much less formal than you may be used to. You will be encouraged to ask questions, join in discussions, and even argue with tutors. The teaching and learning methods you are most likely to encounter include lectures, seminars and tutorial, and research. Lectures are the most formal, traditional teaching method, whereas seminars are small discussion groups of about 8 to 16 students who join their lecturer or tutor to discuss a particular topic and exchange ideas. Seminars usually last one to two hours. Unlike lectures, attendance is often obligatory. If you are in a postgraduate research programme, you will spend little time in lectures, seminars and tutorials. Instead, most of the time will be spent on independent research. When your research is complete, you write a dissertation about it. A typical dissertation should explain what you set out to learn and why, how you conducted your research, what you discovered through your research, and what conclusions you have reached. This stage can take several months for a Master’s degree, or a year or so for a doctorate.