Studying Effectively


Seminars are an important part of many academic programmes and provide an opportunity for a group of students to discuss and analyse a range of new material, ideas and concepts together with the tutor. In some schools such classes are referred to as seminars and in other they are called tutorials.

It is usually the case that students are asked to take a very active role in their seminars and all students will be invited to speak and contribute in discussions. In this way, it is not only academic understanding that you will gain but also the chance to develop a wide range of personal and key skills.  These may include how best to communicate and present your views and to build your confidence when speaking in front of other students.

The purposes of seminars

The specific purposes of seminars and tutorials vary enormously across the University and from discipline to discipline. It is important that you familiarise yourself with any guidance provided by your school. Purposes may include some of the following:

  • Providing an opportunity to explore a topic in depth
  • Surveying and critically evaluating different viewpoints
  • Developing a wide range of communication and study skills
  • Building confidence
  • Easing communication between students and tutors.
Seminars and tutorials


Further reading

Preparing for assessment

Reading and interpreting sources and data 

Studying at university

Being organised


  • Presentations and posters

more from Academic Support study resources

People who can help

Talk to someone in your school or a specialist support service


Studying Effectively

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