This video explains the difference between lectures and seminars and how undergraduate students are taught at Birmingham.
Title: Lectures and seminars
Duration: 3.25 mins
S1 My course is Social Policy and it’s taught through seminars and lectures – and lectures are where you just listen to lots of information and I have about eight or nine contact hours of that – and then I also have seminars which are a chance to discuss, and dissertation meetings which is a chance to have one-to-one contact time with your tutor and they help you out with any problems you may have.
S2 I do Chemical Engineering and the course compromises of about 20 plus hours of lectures per week including laboratory and tutorial sessions as well. The structure is basically where you go to lectures; you take down notes and the tutorial sessions are sessions where you can ask questions about specific parts of the lectures you don’t understand, or, parts of the course that you’ve been taught that you don’t necessarily understand either. And you also have a personal tutor who you meet with like, you know, I think about twice a term and you have an opportunity to speak to them about any problems you may be having with the course, you know, any material that you may not understand, you can actually go to your personal tutor and you can talk with them, you know, about anything that you are finding a bit difficult.
S3 My course, because I do Mathematics and Psychology, it’s mainly lectures and example classes so I have about thirteen hours of lectures a week, two hours of computer labs where you just use mathematics on computer software and about three to four hours of example classes where you just talk about problems with postgrads if you’ve got problems with the work and you have to hand in exercises, things like that.
S4 My Chemistry course is taught with mostly labs. We’ve got about a day and a half of labs and about twenty hours a week of lectures and during the course of the year as well we have tutorials, which are just smaller group sessions where we talk to the tutors and we get to talk about the course content. We get to ask any questions on a one-to-one basis and we just get to interact more with the other students as well.
S5 My course is taught with lectures and labs mainly. We don’t have many seminars or tutorials. I mean, they are in the timetable so if you need any help with any of the theory you can go and sit in and get extra help from PhD students or the course teachers. At the beginning of term, we have about fourteen contact hours where we have a lot of lectures and we go through theory and through the slides and we have reports for that for coursework.
S6 The way that you’re taught at university is quite different from sixth form and colleges and things like that because you basically have a few lectures but you also have seminars, and lectures are usually your whole course, meeting up and just receiving information from one of the lecturers on a particular topic and then seminars are where you meet in small groups and you’re asked to kind of discuss the range of ideas that you heard about in your lecture and to just go through things in more detail; so you get a better idea of what the course is about.
S7 At university your timetable will consist of a mixture of lectures and small group teachings, which are also known as seminars. Depending on your course the number of people in lectures may vary. For my course we have about 400 people in a big lecture theatre. In the small group seminars again, depending on your department, it varies between 10 people to about 20.
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