Style & Timing of Work
Style & Timing of Work
A wide range of types of activity are used in order to aid learning new knowledge and techniques. Some of these are familiar from earlier years; others involve the acquisition of important non-technical skills. The activities include:
- reading hand-outs, books, journals and conference proceedings;
- writing essays and reports;
- attending lectures, seminars and tutorials;
- discussing subjects with individuals and groups;
- giving oral presentations;
- leading discussions;
- working in groups;
- trying practical exercises;
- planning, researching and writing up a dissertation/thesis topic (for some degrees);
- designing systems and perhaps experiments for projects (for most degrees);
- project design and management (for most degrees);
- critical assessment and evaluation.
Experience shows that balanced effort across all activities generally leads to a better overall performance than concentration on one or two areas. Members of staff guide students towards relevant types of activity in most contexts, but students should exercise individual initiative in order to maximise the learning possible in a limited time. 4th year courses are full-time courses and the onus is on students to use the time productively. For administrative purposes, "full-time" means that students are assumed to be available during normal University hours throughout the academic year. For the purposes of this document, "full-time" is taken to mean that work notionally occupies an average of about 40 hours for each of the teaching weeks.
It is important to realise that different students will be able to do different amounts of work, and therefore achieve different results, in a given time; equally, the total amount of time which students actually devote to their work will vary. It should be stressed that, in general, students have the final say in deciding how to organise their time effectively; this is a useful skill in itself. Some general advice on how to manage your time effectively can be found in the section on time management of this guide.
Members of staff guide students towards relevant types of activity in most contexts, but students should exercise individual initiative in order to maximise the learning possible in a limited time. Increasingly, students should find themselves called on to apply what they've learnt, be analytical and critical about material presented to them, to relate distinct topics and to be creative. These are increasingly the abilities on which they will be judged.
Mid Semester break. There is no longer a break in the middle of Semester 1. A positive by product of this is that all Semester 1 courses will finish a week earlier than before allowing students time to concentrate on consolidating their project work before the Christmas break.