Written by Alannah Woodley
BA (Hons) English
When applying to university a common question is what are lectures really like?
Hopefully this blog will enlighten you a little more!
Each module you take at university will be made up of lectures, seminars and workshops. They are all slightly different with regards to their learning based structures and outcomes. Lectures generally focus on the bulk material of the unit with a specialised lecturer giving a presentation on information to you. These normally last for 1-2 hours but some courses can go on for longer. The information that you take down from lectures are built upon and consolidated in seminars where you have the chance to ask lecturers for help where unsure.
Suggested reading certainly comes in handy when it comes to lectures! Reading around your topic will put you at an advantage and can set you ahead of class mates that are getting lost in lecture slides! Usually suggested reading lists can be located on ‘my BU’ within the specific unit tabs. These will provide you with a context to the lecture information helping you consolidate your knowledge further.
Lectures are also a chance to meet new people as some are mixed with other courses and seminar groups. For example I am studying BA Hons English yet most of my lectures are shared with Communication and Media students as well as Journalism.
Lectures are structured so that you can take notes in a way that works best for you. Bringing in a
laptop is one of the most popular ways to take notes as it allows you to write a little quicker than by hand. This could be on a blank word document or you could edit the lecturer’s powerpoint and add extra notes that they say verbally to the class.
If you prefer writing by hand you can also do so, the best way to keep your notes organised is to buy a notepad with dividers or file them when you get home so as not to lose stray sheets. If you are a verbal learner you could use a Dictaphone to record the lecture and listen to it again at home or in the library and take notes from that.
Lectures are really about channeling your own learning to personal preference! I hope this has given you a deeper insight into university lectures!