Tips for Studying in the UK

Tip 1:Seek advice! Make sure you use the facilities available to you that are provided by the university you are attending. All universities in the UK, and I guarantee this, will have extensive support structures available for students. This ranges from writing support, to support with avoiding plagiarism and CV writing. At some universities you can receive one-to-one help, including help with English (this is good not just for international students). You have paid for the course, take advantage of the university’s facilities. The UK National Student Survey (also known as the NSS) which is backed by the British government has seen some improvement in the support available to students with universities vying for position in the NSS rankings.Tip 2:In the UK marking criteria rule! The vast majority of assignments will have specific marking criteria. This is what your assignment will be judged against. Make sure you thereforea) Understand the criteria;b) Work on the assignment with the criteria next to you.This is such a simple tip that can make a massive difference to your grades.Tip 3:In contrast to educational traditions in many other countries where only a core text is used, in the UK it is common to be required to read extensively around your subject. Whether it be a report, essay or presentation you need to provide evidence of wider reading. This is done by citing sources in your work. These can be books, academic articles or industry reports. It is OK to reference websites but better still to reference academic sources. Remember, there is no official quality control for websites but there are for academic journals and, to a lesser extent, for books too.Tip 4:Do not simply regurgitate what others have said. As per previous point, some educational traditions place a lot of emphasis on rote learning. In the UK however, while you may get away with simply describing others’ thoughts in your first year, as you progress through higher education you will need to compare, contrast, and analyse also. The marking guidelines should be clear on this, i.e. whether you need to critically evaluate, compare or discuss. Again, if in any doubt speak to your lecturer/tutor who will be more than happy to help you (provided you have made some effort in understanding the requirements). According to UK quality benchmark statements (set out by the Quality Assurance Agency) students should progress through their studies from ‘basic level’ skills to more advanced levels of critical analysis and evaluation in the final year.Tip 5:Do not study in isolation! I am not saying this just to ensure you enjoy your studies, although I hope you do, but you will get so much more out of your time at university if you mix with others on your course. This also means moving out of your comfort zone and, if you are part of a large international community, you should venture beyond the group of people of the same nationality as you. British students should be more adept at understanding what is required. After all, they are used to the British education system. Chatting to UK students might provide you with insights you would otherwise not obtain (for example, which lecturers require what, which books are most relevant, etc.).Tip 6: Inform yourself about which university you would like to study at. The UK government has supported the collation and presentation of key information on each UK university ( Unistats ). This is the official website for comparing UK higher education course data and covers a whole range of issues such as overall satisfaction with the course, average salary six months after the course etc. As with all data, they need to be interpreted with care, however, there is probably something here of value to the prospective student.