Studying Effectively
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Engaging with academic staff

Learning at university is, in many ways, a partnership.  To work well for you it requires your active involvement and for you to take the lead in working with your tutor and lecturers. They are very knowledgeable in their area and keen to discuss the subject. To make the most of those opportunities you need to prepare for discussions by doing the reading and coming up with questions. At university the staff are not there to make sure you do the work - that's your responsibility.

There are three key ways you can contribute to developing good communication and a productive working partnership with academic staff:

Be active in your studies

Prepare for and attend all scheduled teaching sessions, and take an active part in discussions. You will learn best by planning ahead for future sessions and by knowing what's in the whole module rather than by waiting to see what happens when you turn up.

Preparing for classes 

"Personally I find, sort of, going into lectures with the lecture material already in front of me so you can just annotate and make quick notes..."


Look at what else you can get involved in

Take responsibility for finding out about the wide range of clubs, societies and services that are available to and appropriate for you. Make use of these services as your individual needs and circumstances require to support your study or widen your range of activities. You should be able to gain knowledge of what provision is available through the ongoing induction process in your School and via contact with your personal tutor.

Keep your school informed

As a student you have a responsibility to keep your school informed of circumstances that may impact on your progress and which may require personal support at either a School or University level. It will be your personal tutor who will discuss the extenuating circumstances process with you if, for example, your studies have been affected by a short-term period of illness and you need adjustments to your examination arrangments.  They will also direct you to any additional sources of advice for longer-term support where appropriate. 

Hear from students

Getting feedback on your understanding

"When it comes to exams, you can do past exam papers, even though you're not asked to. You can give them to the tutor in charge and he will happily sit down with you and go over it ..."

Private tutorial between a lecturer and postgraduate


Further reading

Types of teaching

People who can help

Talk to someone in your school or a specialist support service


Studying Effectively

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