Prepare For Academic Study
The academic environment varies from country to country and often each institution will have their own set of standards for academic study. The UK education system may differ significantly from what you are used to. In order to be successful in your study abroad journey, you will need to be prepared to adapt and learn new skills.
Once you have arrived and enrolled at the university, you will have lots of support getting used studying at degree-level study – starting with an induction with your department. This webpage aims to give you an overview to help you prepare in advance of your arrival.
Some Things to Consider
To undertake a degree in the UK it is essential to have a laptop/computer to support you through your studies. Many resources (including class handouts, presentations and eBooks) will only be accessible online. Additionally, all your assignments will need to be submitted online.
Tip: As a University of Chichester student, you will have free access to the Microsoft Office software. Once you have set up your IT account and arrived in the UK, seek support to install this on your personal device.
The University uses a VLE system called Moodle. This is where tutors will post important information relating to your modules and you can find support for your studies. You are expected to check your Moodle pages regularly and your tutors will track this.
Be prepared for a range of assessment formats. Depending on your course/subject, you will be expected to produce essays, deliver presentations, create videos or creative pieces, and undertake both practical and written exams. Some of your coursework will be independent, but you will also be expected to do group work.
An integral part of the UK academic culture is to undertake independent study outside of classes. You are expected to research around a subject to increase your understanding of a topic and develop your own ideas. Many international students are surprised by the amount of work that is expected outside of the classroom. Your tutors and academic adviser will guide you as to how to approach and manage your work.
Regardless of your level of English, you will come across many new terms as you undertake your degree. Please rest assured that it is normal to feel overwhelmed by new terminology, make sure to take note of unfamiliar words and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many terms will be course specific, but you can find a glossary of UK educational terms here.
At the university of Chichester we follow a strict Student Attendance, Engagement and Absence Policy and will monitor your attendance throughout the year. Please keep this in mind when deciding where to live and if you are planning to work alongside your studies. You are expected to arrive on time to lectures/seminars/tutorials and engage with the sessions.
Degree Structure and Grading System
How your degree is structured will depended heavily on what programme you have chosen to study. You can view the academic dates, which include term and semester patterns.
Undergraduate degrees are typically completed in three years (levels 4-6), with students choosing a specific subject area to focus on. Undergraduate degrees can be in one subject (single honours) or two subjects (joint honours). Sometimes, if a work placement or foundation year is integrated into the course, it will take 4 years to complete.
- Grading/class system at level 4-6 (Undergraduate):
70%+ – Excellent (1st Class)
60%+ – Good & Average (2:1)
50%+ – Acceptable (2:2)
40%+ – Weak Pass (3rd Class)
– 40% – Fail
Postgraduate study includes Master’s degrees (level 7) and doctoral degrees (level 8). A Master’s degree can be completed in one or two years, with students specialising in a particular subject area. Doctoral degrees, also known as PhDs, are typically research-focused and can take between three and four years to complete.
- Grading/Class system for level 7 (Masters):
70%+ – Distinction
60%+ – Merit
50%+ – Pass
– 50% – Fail
- Class system for level 8 (PHD):
Pass with no corrections
Pass with minor corrections
Pass with major corrections
TIP: If you want to get ahead, why not reach out to your programme co-ordinator? They may be able to recommend reading materials around your subject that will support your preparation. Contact the Support & Information Zone to ask who your programme co-ordinator is.