How is Education Organized at Universities in The UK

There are a huge number of training courses, training programs, and educational institutions in the UK today. Regardless of which educational institution or program you have chosen, the process itself will be organized almost the same way, using standard forms of the training organization.

In teaching at universities and colleges in the UK, the methods or forms of organizing students ‘ work described below are used. It should be noted that depending on the course, the program and the weekly load will be different because each faculty and course has its schedule.

For example, in some courses, students must attend lectures throughout the week, in others – only a few hours a week are given to lecture classes, and the rest of the time is devoted to independent work. Students from any course may struggle with academic writing, that’s why many students use to improve their academic performance.



One of the forms of organizing training at a university and college in the UK. A feature of lectures in universities in the UK are: large classes, usually lasting about one hour, where the teacher talks about the subject, and students take notes of the material being presented. More than 100 students can attend the lecture. The peculiarity of the work at the lecture is taking notes of the material, students do not have the opportunity to ask questions and hold discussions. Lectures, as a rule, are intended to:

  • Present new material, which will later be analyzed in detail at seminars and practical classes, or independently by the student;
  • Presentation of the general basics of the course, explanation of the main topics of the subject being studied;
  • Providing new information on a particular subject that is not included in textbooks or the curriculum;


Seminars differ from lectures in the number of students involved in them. These are small classes where students and a teacher discuss a topic. Seminars often last longer than lectures at universities in the UK. The topic of the seminar is known to the student in advance, so seminar classes require additional independent work from the student.

The main task of the seminar is to discuss a specific problem of the subject being studied. Unlike studying at universities in Europe, students do not have to provide the correct answer, first of all, they must understand different arguments and points of view on the same question, and conclude.

During the seminar classes, you will learn to think critically and analyze the topic from different points of view.



Tutorials are meetings of a student or a group of students with a curator, a teacher, which are aimed at giving the student guidance on a certain topic, subject, or task. A consultation with a teacher will help you understand the work that you are doing or have completed, or help you solve problems that have arisen while studying a certain subject.

Practical work

Some courses at universities in the UK include such forms of work as practical seminars, laboratory classes, workshops, or training. These classes are designed to give you practical theory experience and develop practical skills.

Most often, you will work individually in these classes, but there are classes in which you will have to interact with other students.

Practice or intership

In some courses, you will need to gain practical skills while working at an enterprise or, for example, in a hospital. These classes will be held as part of the curriculum.

Most programs include internships – the opportunity to work for a certain time during training and gain the experience, knowledge, and skills necessary for further employment after graduation.
The internship is not a mandatory part of the program, the availability of internships in the educational process is determined by the university and the course of training.

Independent studies


Independent work is an integral part of studying at a university in the UK, as well as in the British academic culture. It can be conducted individually by a student or in a group of students to research a certain topic, write an essay, conduct an independent study or prepare a presentation. The main task of independent work:

  •  Help you develop critical analysis and problem-solving skills
  • Develop students ‘ research skills (for example, find relevant books and articles)
  •  A more detailed study of a certain topic by the student, the development of his own opinion, ideas

Written work

Foreign students are not used to doing properly written tasks. If you are planning to study at a university in England, you should know that there will be a lot of them.

There are several types of written works that are used in the educational process:

  • Essay
  • Project or dissertation (A long essay based on extensive independent research, data collection, or experiments)
  • Problems (for example, many mathematical problems).

Written works are often evaluated


Other projects and tasks
In some courses, you may be offered to produce work in other forms. For example, you can write a computer program, prepare a poster report on a topic, or prepare practical work.

Forms of control

Exams and assessments
In educational institutions in the UK, various forms of monitoring the student’s level of knowledge are used:

Closed examinations – in which you can not use books and textbooks to prepare an answer to a question or a series of questions;

Open examinations – during which you can use books and textbooks to prepare an answer to a question. In some cases, students are allowed to get a task and prepare it at home;

  • Essays, individual projects, or dissertations
  • Group projects
  • Presentation at the seminar
  • Presentation or report on the work performed (for example, an art show or musical performance)
  • Practical exercises (for example, in laboratories or hospital wards).

Some types of work are “constantly evaluated”, which means that instead of exams at the end of the year, your progress is evaluated and noted throughout the entire learning process.

Support of students during their studies at the university

Do not worry if the process of studying at a university in the UK seems difficult to you, or it will be difficult for you to cope with all the tasks. Educational institutions provide the necessary support for students and thus ensure the successful study and completion of the curriculum by students.

Do not be afraid to ask for help from consultants, academic staff. During the training, you will be assigned a personal mentor who will help you understand the education system, as well as to adapt to the educational process.