As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts.
Taught by academics who are finding innovative solutions to big issues, you will have access to the latest knowledge and thinking by studying at Birmingham.
We use a variety of approaches to help you learn during the course of your degree. Your teaching will involve a mixture of dedicated and innovative small group experiences with fellow Liberal Arts and Sciences students, and studying alongside other students in your Major field or optional modules. Throughout the programme, you will move between different Schools and departments across the University, whilst retaining a home and core support network within the Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences team.
Depending on your Major area of concentration this may involve some, or all, of large and small lectures, small group seminars and/or laboratory work. You will interact closely with the core Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences advisory staff and fellow students as part of both your core and extramural development.
From day one, we will help you to adjust to university life and studying at degree level. You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including academic staff and welfare tutors who can help with issues relating to your studies and your personal welfare. You will also undergo 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.
Our Academic Skills Centre also offers you support with your learning. The centre is a place where you can develop your mathematical, academic writing and general academic skills. It is the centre's aim to help you to become a more effective and independent learner through the use of a range of high-quality and appropriate learning support services. These range from drop-in sessions to workshops on a range of topics including note taking, reading, writing and presentation skills.
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.
Contact time will vary depending on the modules you select and your level of study. In year one, the Liberal Arts and Sciences compulsory modules involve 2 hours per week, with your additional contact time dependent on your choice of subjects and portfolio of modules. Typically, students Majoring in the Arts and Social Sciences can expect around 10 hours a week, with the remaining time allocated to research, preparation, and assignments. If you are Majoring in the Sciences, formally timetabled work rises to about 30 hours per week.
As you progress through your studies, you are typically expected to undertake a higher level of independent guided study and your formally timetabled contact hours will adjust accordingly. Contact time for Liberal Arts and Sciences students is supported by the advice and guidance time scheduled with your personal tutor, and in your final year you receive individual supervision in support of your dissertation or independent research project.
During contact hours, you will have the opportunity to work in small groups, to build relationships with your tutors and fellow students, and to receive one-to-one feedback on your assignments.
Assessments - you will be assessed in a variety of ways to help you transition to a new style of learning. At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed. Assessments methods will vary with each module and could include:
- coursework, such as essays
- group and individual presentations
- and formal exams
Feedback - You will receive feedback on each assessment, so you can learn from each assignment. You will also be given feedback on any exams that you take. If you should fail an exam, we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is provided to help you prepare for future exams.