Student Advice

Lecture

Uni Compare  · Oct 21st 2021

Undoubtedly, when prospective candidates dream about attending university, they imagine all of the movies and television shows they know to create one, exaggerated view of what a university lecture and life as a student is like.

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Although, most students would love to party all night, sleep all day and live in an amazing and huge dorm room while at Uni, this will most probably not happen! Which means you’ll also need to prepare for your first month at university, same as you would if you went on a university open day.

What is a university lecture like?

What is a lecture?

Undergraduate students who are studying taught degrees will conduct independent learning alongside lectures, seminars and tutorials. Lectures tend to have a high number of students in a big room or lecture theatre or lecture hall.

They typically have at least one lecturer who will speak to the class and has less interaction with others throughout, but you’ll adjust pretty quickly, maybe not straight from your inaugural lecture, but you will adapt easily.

What is a seminar?

Seminars are hosted for smaller numbers of students and will allow group work and discussions throughout. There may still be a teacher reciting a large amount of information to students in a large classroom, but they value and expect feedback and participation from their students – which some teachers assess.

Lecture halls vary in size from hosting 50 students to hundreds, and you’ll find even if there are lots of fellow students, you tend to sit in the same area every lesson.

What is a tutorial?

Tutorials are a one-on-one session that students book with their lecturers and personal tutors. They aim for specific and individual tuition, and most universities allow students to have one or two of these tutorials per class module.

The majority of the time, individuals use this time to discuss previous coursework and assignments, gather constructive and in-depth feedback as well as talk about plans regarding future assessments (which is no different to how you would prepare for NVQs).

If you find yourself struggling with any of the terms used, be sure to check out a university terms glossary and see if that can help you, too.

What is a uni lecture like?

What is a lecture theatre?

A lecture theatre (sometimes referred to as a lecture hall), is a large room or hall that is reserved specifically for lectures and university teaching.

These are almost always tiered in terms of seating and will be designed to seat a specific number of students. There is very rarely room for practical work or demonstrations, so it will almost always be exclusively for theoretical learning.

Undergraduate students who are studying taught degrees will conduct independent learning alongside lectures, seminars and tutorials.

How to reference a lecture

When citing a lecture or a seminar, you will need to give a number of details, such as:

  • Speaker’s name
  • Title of the presentation
  • Date
  • Venue
  • Sponsoring organisation (if there is one)x
  • Location

You may not even be choosing to cite a lecture by your university professor, you may be citing a totally different lecture, so make sure you include these details.

The information about the lecture

Universities will have an online portal for their undergraduates to use, that includes module information, lecture presentation slides, handouts, independent reading excerpts/links/PDFs and an electronic submission system for essays and coursework – if that module requires students to submit their work electronically.

The page for each class module is usually uploaded and monitored by the teacher themselves, meaning each one may include different information.

What is a lecture like?

Before the university lecture

Most students do not think about the time before the uni lecture or about the university lecture hall itself, they daydream about huge lecture halls, with hundreds of students – which can be the scenario in some cases – with a vast amount of knowledge entering their brains.

However, students, if they want to completely apply themselves to their course, and have the best chance to achieve good grades, will have to conduct independent study.

Independent study has many pros and cons, and in most cases, is when students have to complete academic readings of journal articles, or academic textbooks prior to the class. It can also include creating and planning presentations, as well as completing research and preparing questions for discussions.

There is a big leap between and studying A-Levels and a degree at a university level just like there was in the jump from GCSEs to A-Levels, and the academic readings that most courses expect their students to complete reflect this.

A lecture theatre (sometimes referred to as a lecture hall), is a large room or hall that is reserved specifically for lectures and university teaching.

In the lecture hall

Lecture halls vary in size from hosting 50 students to hundreds, and you’ll find even if there are lots of fellow students, you tend to sit in the same area every lesson. This means that you should weigh up the best place for you to sit on your first couple of lessons before everyone gets settled in their ways!

The front is handy for eager students who want to speak to the lecturer between breaks and after classes, or wish to have a better position for viewing and hearing the lesson. However, sitting at the front also places you in the spotlight for when the teacher looks around the room for participation.

Sitting in the middle of the row is ideal for having a decent view of the entire theatre, but it will also feel as if you are enclosed in your space, and if the need to go to the bathroom arises then you could be stuck there for the duration!

Then, if you decide to sit on the end of the row you have to let everyone pass if they arrive after you, but the quick exit can make all the difference. Once you attend a few lessons, you’ll be able to weigh out the options and begin to understand the lecture hall etiquette, this will be the best way to get the best out of classroom lectures.

Get your questions answered by sending them an enquiry now.