An overview of what you can expect from your first few weeks at university.

First week  

The Welcome Programme details the activities which you will need to attend during the first two weeks. Some of these sessions will need to be attended by everyone on the course, while some will only need to be attended if you are studying the specific subject listed (these are highlighted in grey). The first week is focussed on what you need to know about the course, people you need to meet and finding your way around. 

During your first week you will meet:  

  • the Course Director and other key staff involved with running the Natural Sciences degrees like the Subject Advisors for each subject you study. 

  •  your Personal Tutor and find out where to find them and how to arrange meetings with them if you need to see them. 

  • your Peer Mentors and find out how they can help you to adjust to university. 

  • students in your year of the course and people in your hall so you can start to make friends.  

You will find out more about:  

  • the structure of your degree programme. 

  • where to find the timetable and how to understand what you need to attend. 

  • where to find important information about the course and the university. 

  •  where to go if you need help and what to do if you are unwell. 

  • the campus, where teaching rooms and labs are and where you can go between classes to work and spend time with others on your course. 

  • the city, how to get there and find your way around, where students like to hang-out. 

  • societies and sports and how to get involved. 

Second week 

There are two weeks for welcome this year which has allowed us to spread out the schedule a bit more. The second week is focussed more on study skills and social activities. 

During the second week you will meet: 

  • NatSci Soc and the Peer Mentors with more social activities taking place. 

  • Students from other years of the Natural Sciences programme. 

  • People from some of the central services you might use. 

You will find out more about: 

  • what to expect from learning at university. 

  • study strategies you will need to be successful. 

  • opportunities to make the most of your time at Nottingham through volunteering and representation, personal development and the advantage award. 

Week 3

Teaching will start in the third week and you will have introductory sessions for your semester one modules. Changes to streams and modules are possible up to the end of this week, so if you find that one of your subjects or modules is not quite what you were expecting it is possible to change this during this week. 

You will have a personalised timetable for your teaching but be advised that there are some classes that might not show at the beginning of term (as they do group splits for some tutorials and labs later in the semester) and some classes might not show at all as some tutorials and workshops are not shown on the main timetable. We will advise you how to import your timetable into Outlook calendar so you can add in any extra classes, meeting and tutorials that you need and see everything in one place. 

Teaching and learning  

We will be using a blended approach to learning, using a combination of digital and in-person sessions in semester 1. The approach to blended learning across the different subjects on Natural Sciences will include:  

  1. Content – material which would previously have been delivered in lectures will usually be taught using a range of digital methods including pre-recorded videos, written materials and activities. These will be supported by live classes to review and discuss the material covered. In small modules it may be possible to run classes face-to-face (most first year modules are large groups). 

  1. Computing practicals and workshops – in most cases these will be run as live face-to-face sessions with demonstrators available to talk you through any issues that you are having with the work. There will be an online option for students who are unable to attend in person.  

  1. Laboratory practicals – these will run as face-to-face teaching sessions. There will be additional regulations in place such as one-way systems and restrictions to numbers at specific instruments/workstations. There will be an online option for students who are unable to attend in person.  

  1. Fieldwork – most fieldwork in the first year is undertaken towards the end of the first year or over the summer period when hopefully restrictions will be more relaxed. This work may be restricted to local areas and within the UK as opposed to further afield.  

  1. Tutorials (individual and group) – in some cases these will run as live, online sessions, but in other cases it will be possible to run these as face-to-face sessions (depending on staff and numbers involved).   

Libraries and IT Facilities will be available for students to use in-person for independent learning with guidance in place to ensure safety. There will also be online access to these facilities with a wide range of ebooks and ejournals available as well as software via the virtual desktop. Our IT Support Teams will provide support for students for all online learning facilities.  

Faculty of Science

Natural Sciences

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