Learning and assessment
How you will learn
When you begin studying at university, you will probably find that you cover material much more quickly than you did while studying for your A-levels. The key to success is preparing well for classes and then taking the ideas you encounter further in your own time.
Lectures – provide an overview of what you are studying, using a variety of audio and visual materials to support your learning.
Seminars and workshops – give you the chance to explore and interact with the material presented in lectures in a friendly and informal environment. You will be taught in a smaller group of students, with discussion focusing on a text or topic you've previously prepared.
Workshops are more practical, perhaps through exploring dramatic texts, working with digital materials, or developing presentations.
Tutorials – individual and small-group tutorials let you explore your work with your module tutor, perhaps discussing plans for an essay or presentation, or following up on an area of a module which has interested you.
eLearning – our virtual-learning system, Moodle, offers 24-hour access to teaching materials and resources.
All new undergraduate students can opt into our peer mentoring scheme. Your peer mentor will help you settle into life at Nottingham, provide advice on the transition to university-level study and help you access support if needed.
Find out more about peer mentoring
"Going to university is a daunting prospect. Lots of people will be moving away from home and living independently for the first time. It is so important to have people you can speak with about your concerns and queries, and that is why the peer mentor scheme is so brilliant. I used the scheme in my first year and learnt some valuable information into the academic and social side of university life."
- Emily Hall, BA English
Over 95% of our class of 2020 graduated with a 1st or 2:1 degree classification. Source: UoN student outcomes data, Annual Monitoring (QDS) Analyses 2020.
In 2021, four academic staff from the School of English were awarded Lord Dearing Awards for ‘High levels of commitment to teaching and learning’.
- Field trips
How you will be assessed
Our courses are modular, with mainly full-year modules in the first year and mainly semester-long modules in the second and final years. Assessment for most modules takes place at two points, around the middle and end of the module.
Assessment methods – this is based on a combination of coursework, including essays, close-reading exercises, research projects and dissertation, oral and performance presentations, and formal examinations. The precise assessments vary from one module to another and across the years of your degree.
Project-based dissertation – on this course you can choose to do a project-based dissertation, for a more hands-on approach to your research.
More about the project-based dissertation
Feedback – the opportunity to discuss ideas and coursework with your tutor is an integral part of your studies at Nottingham. Whether by giving feedback on an essay plan or discussing the results of an assessment, we help you work to the best of your ability. There are appointed days in each semester to get feedback from tutors, as well as other opportunities to discuss pieces of work.
- Portfolio (written/digital)
- Written exam
Contact time and study hours
You’ll have at least the following hours of timetabled contact a week through lectures, seminars and workshops, tutorials and supervisions.
- Year one: minimum of 13 hours
- Year two: minimum of 10 hours
- Final year: minimum of 8 hours
Your tutors will also be available outside these times to discuss issues and develop your understanding. In the latest National Student Survey (2021), 91% agreed that 'I have been able to contact staff when I needed to'.
We reduce your contact hours as you work your way through the course. As you progress, we expect you to assume greater responsibility for your studies and work more independently.
Your tutors will all be qualified academics. The largest first year lectures are typically attended by up to 300 students, whereas the corresponding seminars are of 16 students. In years two and three, lectures may include up to 170 students, and seminar groups may range from 12 to 24.
As well as scheduled teaching, you’ll carry out extensive self-study such as:
- reading books and journal articles
- doing preparation work for seminars
- researching your assignments in the library
- collaborating with fellow students
As a guide, 20 credits (a typical module) is approximately 200 hours of work (combined teaching and self-study).
This course is also available part-time. Ordinarily you will study 50% of the modules each year, taking 6 years to complete your course. It may be possible to complete within 4-5 years by taking more modules each year.
Teaching ordinarily takes place on University Park campus Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm. Timetables are normally available shortly before the start of each term, when you can commence module selection. Up until that point we will only be able to give you an indication using a 'typical' timetable.
You will receive the same teaching and learning support as a full-time student, and the same timeframes to complete each module's work.