How will I be taught?
As a Birmingham student, you are joining the academic elite and have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts in their fields. Throughout your studies, you’ll be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner, thriving on challenge and opportunities to think for yourself. At first, you may find these new ways of working and learning a challenge, but we’ll help you to make the transition and you’ll soon be benefiting from some of the most highly regarded teaching in this subject in the country.
From the outset, you will be assigned your own Personal Tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies, providing academic and welfare advice, encouraging you and offering assistance in any areas you may feel you need extra support to make the most of your potential and your time here at Birmingham.
Student Mentor and Buddy Scheme
Our enthusiastic established students act as mentors to our new Music students. This provides you with a friendly face to help you settle in.
Academic Writing Advisory Service
The Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) will provide you with individual support from an academic writing advisor and postgraduate subject-specialist writing tutors. You’ll receive guidance on writing essays and dissertations at University-level which can be quite different from your previous experiences of writing. Support is given in a variety of ways, such as small-group workshops, online activities, feedback through email and tutorials.
Lectures explore a particular text, topic or context, often involving brief factual descriptions and outlining major questions and interpretations. Their main purpose is to challenge and stimulate, encouraging you to come to your own conclusions based on further reading and seminar debates.
Seminars, workshops and studio work are interactive sessions that develop subject-specific skills such as harmony, counterpoint, composition, analysis and historical understanding, as well as generic skills such as communication and essay writing.
Instrumental and vocal lessons are one-to-one and usually take place at the Birmingham Conservatoire. All our students receive a scholarship for lessons on two instruments.
Supervised self study.In your final year you’ll undertake your independent self study module. We support you in this through a series of workshops, as well as one-on-one supervisions with a tutor who’ll be an academic expert in your chosen topic
Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is an excellent tool for supporting our academic modules, allowing you to share thoughts on assignments with other students via the discussion group facilities, and even submit your work electronically.
Enquiry Based Learning (EBL) means that learning is driven by the shared enquiry of students and tutors. This places you, the student, at the centre of your own degree: you learn through involvement and ownership, not simply by being a passive recipient of information thrown at you. We believe that this is the best way of learning while you’re at Birmingham as it’s very effective in enabling you to acquire the key skills and attributes that are valued by employers: creative and independent thinking, self-motivation, self-organisation, team-working, goal-setting and problem-solving.
As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.
Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, from scheduled teaching in lectures and small group tutorials, to self-study and peer group learning (for example preparing and delivering presentations with your classmates).
To begin with you may find this way of working challenging, but rest assured that we?ll enable you to make this transition. You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues, and a formal transition review during your first year to check on your progress and offer you help for any particular areas where you need support.
Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching; you’ll be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject, and find things out for yourself. We’ll enable you to make the change to this new style of learning, and the way that you’re assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time here at Birmingham.
During your first year you will part take in a formal ‘transition’ review with your personal tutor to see how you are getting on and whether there are particular areas where you need support.
To test your knowledge and develop your core skills we use a range of different assessment methods, including essays, compositions (on paper and in electronic files), teacher reports, instrumental/vocal recitals, end-of-year examinations, listening tests, critical reports on concerts and programme notes.
At the beginning of each module you’ll be given information on how and when you’ll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You’ll receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, highlighting the positives of your work as well as any areas that need more attention, so that you can learn from and build on what you’ve done.
Assessment varies across modules and can include:
Examinations - usually taken at the end of the year in which the module is taught
Coursework - this could be continuous or at the end of the module, and is assessed in a variety of ways.
Class tests - some lecturers set regular class tests which could be written tests, group presentations or computer-based tests providing instant feedback.
Research projects are assessed by, for example, interim reports, a final written report and oral presentations.
During your first year you will undergo a formal 'transition' review to see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you need support. This is in addition to the personal tutor who is based in the School and can help with any academic issues you encounter.
At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed for that particular programme of study. You will receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from, and build on, what you have done. You will be given feedback on any exams that you take; if you should fail an exam we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is made available to enable you to learn for the future.