Welcome to our quick guide to what you can expect from campus life at Glasgow Caledonian.
At university in the UK, your timetable will be made up of a combination of lectures, seminars, labs and practical work, as well as independent study. Hours of work vary from programme to programme, and there will be days where your timetable is completely full as well as days when you have very few, or no classes at all.
Lectures are designed to be an initial step to introducing different topics to you. With up to 200 people in the room, you are usually expected just to listen and take notes whilst the lecturer speaks, rather than ask questions or have a discussion. Lectures usually last an hour.
A seminar, or tutorial, is designed to expand on the lecture topics. While styles of seminar vary from subject to subject, there are always a relatively small number of students (approximately 12) and you are free to ask questions and discuss issues covered by the lecture. In some cases, you may be asked to prepare a paper that will be used to start the discussion.
In subjects such as engineering, science and computing, you will receive tuition in laboratories using either IT or other equipment necessary to learn the subject. This will usually be done in a small group, using high technology equipment under the supervision of trained staff.
You will be assessed using a combination of coursework and examinations. During each semester, your coursework – in the form of essays, written assignments or practical lab work - lets you demonstrate your grasp of the subject throughout the course. Coursework marks count towards your final overall score in a subject (eg coursework might be worth 30% and examination worth 70% of the final grade).
The semester system splits the academic year into two parts. Both Semester A and Semester B each last approximately 15 weeks. Twelve of those are spent being taught in lectures, labs and seminars, and the final three weeks are used for exams. Semester A begins in September and Semester B in early January.
Within each semester you will usually complete three modules. Each module will cover a specific topic, most of which are compulsory parts of your programme. After Years 1 and 2 of your programme, you will be given more module options to choose from. To complete a module, around 175 hours of work is necessary prior to your exam. Half of this time will be spent in class and the other half spent in private study or research in the library. At the start of each semester you will be given a class timetable, which will let you decide when it is best for you to study privately.
The culmination of your hard work at university is the graduation ceremony that takes place in the wonderful setting of Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Graduations take place during July and November, and around 3,700 students graduate each year. Whilst the graduation ceremony marks the end your studies, it of course does not have to mean the end to your relationship with the university or the friends you've made. After graduating, you become a member of the Alumni Association which organises events and helps you keep in touch with your friends and the university as a whole.