Studying at Queen's
Thinking about applying?
The following section contains important information you should consider before beginning your application process, including:
CHOOSING YOUR SUBJECTS
ADVICE AND SUPPORT
TEACHING, LEARNING AND ASSESSMENT
CHOOSING YOUR SUBJECTS
For a typical three-year degree (also known as a programme) you will take the equivalent of six Level 1 modules at Stage 1, followed by the equivalent of 12 modules at Stages 2 and 3, with your choice of module governed by the requirements of the degree; and provided that:
- You meet the necessary criteria (if there are any) to take the modules
- It is possible to timetable both classes and examinations for the chosen combination of modules
- There is a place available in the class
However, you need to be aware that admission to some high-demand subjects at Stage 1 or Stage 2 may be restricted to those who have applied for and been accepted into those courses through UCAS.
Many students will wish to follow degree programmes where the choice of modules is more limited – eg Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Law, Engineering, and Accounting – because of the needs of the professions concerned.
In some academic areas you may be able to study for a Joint Honours Degree (equal numbers of modules in two different subjects).
STUDYING FOR A DEGREE/THE MODULAR SYSTEM
The academic year is divided into two semesters and also includes an assessment period and a development period. Assessment and development activities also take place during the semesters.
Most degree courses consist of the equivalent of 18 modules, normally taken over a period of three years (three Stages). Full-time students take the equivalent of six modules each year, with choice governed by content of the degree course. Modules may be either semester-long or year-long. Some subject areas offer opportunity to study abroad as part of the Erasmus or other exchange programmes.
A number of degree courses are more than three years in duration, because they include a work placement or a year abroad. Some subject areas offer extended undergraduate degree courses (e.g. the MEng four-year degree).
ADVICE AND SUPPORT
You will receive a Welcome Pack by post which will contain registration information. Students will also receive information regarding Welcome activities and the ViceChancellor’s Welcome event for students and parents.
A personal tutor will be assigned to you when you enrol. He or she will meet with you and will be available to support you in your general academic development during both Stages 1 and 2. Personal Tutors are also able to signpost centralised support services that are available and relevant to you in the Student Guidance Centre.
Should you encounter an academic or other difficulty that could affect your academic performance, you are encouraged to talk to your Personal Tutor and the relevant subject lecturer about this. If they cannot assist you, the Personal Tutor will be able to refer you to someone who can.
As you progress through your course, your Personal Tutor will also encourage you to participate in extracurricular activities, such as Degree Plus, designed to enhance your employability and add value to your Queen’s experience.
Career and employability development
For your career and employability development you will find guidance information on the careers website and a range of opportunities and activity to get you involved, advertised on the student portal MyFuture. These services are provided by the Careers, Employability and Skills staff which includes careers consultants, who work with your schools and who you will meet through employability workshops and programmes as well as one-to-one career guidance consultations, most of which takes place in the Student Guidance Centre.
You will also be allocated an Adviser of Studies who will support and guide you in making module choices and in discussing other formal issues relating to your academic progress.
For further details about modules, consult the Course Catalogue.
Each module will involve assessment and this may be spread throughout each semester – assignments, essays, practical reports, projects, etc. Examinations, if required, are normally held during the assessment period towards the end of the second semester, although a small number of programmes will have examinations at different points in the year depending on accrediting or professional body requirements
University life is built on a real partnership between students and staff working together to ensure an outstanding educational and transformative experience.
The Student Charter sets out what you as a student can expect of the University and in return, what would be expected of you. It enables an environment where those expectations can be met and your ambitions realised.
TEACHING, LEARNING AND ASSESSMENT
You may find that the approach to learning, teaching and assessment at university is different from that experienced at school or college.
You should make use of the opportunities and support available to help you to make this transition and to gain the best degree you can.
There is an increasing use of technology to support learning, teaching and assessment throughout the University, enabling you to follow up, in your own time, topics and ideas introduced in lectures. As such the university promotes innovative methods of teaching and assessment to enhance the quality of your learning experience.
Teaching and learning on campus, as well as in a virtual environment, can take a number of different formats: lectures, tutorials, seminars, practical instruction and laboratory sessions can all play a part in your learning.
Practical instruction, laboratory and fieldwork are normally associated with science and engineering related subjects, while the creative arts may provide opportunities for students to take part in performances and use industry-related equipment.
Small groups will usually meet regularly with a tutor to discuss their subject, their work and opinions in depth. This will encourage you to share and ‘test’ your knowledge – ie checking the relevance of your reading and the basis of your arguments.
The University places considerable emphasis on teaching informed by research of national and international standing as part of this learning process.
Each of your modules will involve assessment – assignments, essays, practical reports, presentations, projects, examinations, and so on. You will get feedback on academic work from your lecturer or from other students.
This feedback is designed to help you reflect on, and improve, the quality of your work. If you need help to improve your academic skills, contact the Learning Development Service for support and guidance.
Transferable Skills and Degree Plus
The University is committed to ensuring that students not only graduate with a good degree, but also develop a range of transferable skills necessary for challenging and successful careers. Courses are therefore structured to help you realise your full potential and provide opportunities for you to develop skills in critical analysis, communication, digital literacy, team working and time management.
Social responsibility and global perspectives are fostered within and beyond the curriculum. Queen’s has strong links with many companies and organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors, and through the MyFuture careers management system advertises to students a wide range of graduate jobs, placements, internships, skills sessions, careers events and employer presentations.
The Science Shop provides opportunities for students from all University departments to engage in career-enhancing projects with non-profit organisations through their course.
The University offers many models of placement learning ranging from one week to a year in length and these reflect the diversity of degree programmes available. Some may include work abroad.
Opportunities also exist to study for a semester or a year abroad under international exchange schemes. Students are encouraged to enrich their Queen’s experience by taking part in the University’s extracurricular programme that includes involvement in clubs and societies, part-time work, volunteering, student ambassador roles, peer mentoring, vacation employment, careers programmes, language courses, international opportunities and entrepreneurial activities.
These contribute to the Degree Plus Award, which has been designed to enhance your employability through the recognition and evidence of your extracurricular achievements.
Your academic and extracurricular achievements will be formally recorded by the University on your Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR).
Development Weeks are a new addition to the academic year and are a concentrated period for you to have time and space outside the academic timetable to develop extracurricular learning.
This period of learning is supported by Degree Plus accreditation. It is also an opportunity for students to create activity and share this with their peers. Student-led activity is both funded and accredited. The Development Weeks website has further details on how this initiative is evolving.
Make use of the opportunities available – the more you get involved, the better your Queen’s experience will become.