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How Teaching works in the UK (& Nottingham) Top Tips for Postgraduate Students – How to Succeed in Your Studies Lara Meredith – Professional Development.

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Presentation on theme: "How Teaching works in the UK (& Nottingham) Top Tips for Postgraduate Students – How to Succeed in Your Studies Lara Meredith – Professional Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 How Teaching works in the UK (& Nottingham) Top Tips for Postgraduate Students – How to Succeed in Your Studies Lara Meredith – Professional Development

2 All Resources For This Presentation Induction/International- Students2

3 Congratulations!

4 Keeping Your Studies on Track

5 Question How different are you expecting studying at Nottingham to be from your previous experiences? 1 →→→→ →→→ 5 →→→→→→→10 Not very different →→→ Very different

6 What do you think will be different? Complete this sentence “I think ………..will be different”  Swap papers around so you don’t know whose you have  Read out what is on the paper if asked.  What some other students thought  mod_studying/mod_studying_1.html mod_studying/mod_studying_1.html

7 Uni of Nottingham & International Students  Over 30,000 students  Approx 8,000 Post-grad students  Over half post-grads are international

8 UK System of Studying  Undergraduate Degrees  Postgraduate Taught Courses Includes PG Diploma, PG Certificates and taught Masters  Research Masters by Research (MRes or MPhil)  Doctoral Degree (e.g. PhD/DPhil etc.)

9 Degree Structure - PGT Courses, Modules & Credits  PGCert – 60 credits  PGDip – 120 credits  Masters (MA or MSc) – 180 credits (no more than 75 per semester)  Module handbooks / Course handbooks.  Post-Graduate Student Advisors

10 Semesters and Terms Autumn Semester 21 September 2009 – 22 January 2010 Spring Semester 25 January 2010 – 18 June 2010 Autumn term 21 September – 11 December 2009 Spring term 11 January - 1 April 2010 Summer term 4 May – 18 June 2010

11 Top Tips For: Getting the Most Out of UK Teaching Methods  Lectures  Seminars  Tutorials  Practicals  Supervision

12 What can you do?  Before the lecture  During the lecture  After the lecture

13 What can you do?  Before the seminar  During the seminar  After the seminar

14 Independent Study  Learning to become an independent learner  Don’t expect ‘rote learning’  Demonstrating independent thought (backed-up by evidence)

15 What do Supervisor’s Expect? Supervisor’s expect their students to  Be independent  Produce written work that is not just a first draft!  Attend regular meetings  Be honest when reporting on progress  Follow the advice they give  Be interested and excited by your work

16 Do not expect!  Your supervisor to take the initiative  That they will become a replacement parent  They will make major contributions to your research and thesis  That they will give you very detailed direction and guidance  That the supervisor will have a high level of knowledge in your specific area  That they will proof read and re-write your work

17 Quiz & Break  You have 10 minutes to Do the quiz with your neighbours Have a stretch Go to the toilet  After the break – Assessments & Academic Writing

18 Developing your Critical Thinking  Critical thinking is the process of applying reasoned and disciplined thinking to your subject.  To do well in your studies you need to think critically about the things you have read, seen and heard.  Critical thinking is essential for high grades.  You can learn to become a critical thinker.

19 Developing your Critical Thinking Take in the information Understand the key points and arguments Compare similarities and differences between the ideas you are taking in Bring together the different sources of information Develop arguments, and draw conclusions, Use the understanding you have gained in assignments and projects

20 Developing your Academic Writing  Academic writing has a clear purpose, either an exam question to answer or a research project to report on. Most academic writing in English is linear.  Every part contributes to the main line of argument, without digression or repetition.  What ever kind of writing your are producing, you, the writer, are responsible for making your line of argument clear and presenting it in an orderly fashion so that the reader can follow.

21 Developing your Academic Writing Understanding the Question It is important to have a clear understanding of what you are being asked to write:  Analyse - Separate down into its component parts and show how they interrelate with each other  Annotate - Put notes on (usually a diagram)  Assess - Estimate the value of, looking at both the positive and negative attributes  Comment - To make critical or explanatory notes/observations pdf

22 Developing your Academic Writing Academic writing is a difficult skill for all students to acquire…so…  Attend a workshop  Talk with your lecturer  Practice writing  Write first, revise later  Learn from good writers  Talk about writing with other students  Use your PC to improve your writing  Learn from textbooks  Learn new words  Use new words

23 Developing your Academic Writing – citing and referencing References should include the following  The author or editor  Year of Publication (in round brackets)  The title  The edition if other than first  The place of publication  The publisher’s name  E.g. Kittel, C. (2005) Introduction to solid state physics. 8 th ed. New York: Wiley

24 Developing your Academic Writing – Avoiding Plagiarism  2.2.1 It is an academic offence to present someone else’s work as being one’s own. (The University of Nottingham, Quality Manual)  It is important to understand that even though you may not mean to plagiarise, it would not be right that you are given credit for work that is not your own, even if it was done in error.  It is possible to be in violation of the university's rules on plagiarism because you have been careless or inadequate in the way you have cited your sources.  To avoid the confusion of appearing to have plagiarised, it is better to make sure you have understood the conventions expected in citing the words and work of other people.

25 Marking – A rough guide  70+ - Distinction  60-69 – Merit  50-59 – Pass (Masters)  40-49 – Pass (PGDiP and PGCert)

26 Assessment – understanding feedback Lecturer feedback will usually tell you,  How good the assignment was  Whether it achieved what the lecturer wanted.  What could have been improved

27 Assessment – Understanding feedback “You have given an adequate introduction to this topic based on your reading.” “You write in a clear, academic style, following the conventions in almost every respect” “Your summary of the various sources is through. Ideally you would integrate these more, rather than referring to the various people one by one in each section. Translation: The word adequate means good enough. The marker is saying that what you have written is fine but not great. The marker is also suggesting that you may not have read enough texts. Translation: Academic style = University writing, in almost every respect = most of the time Translation: You need to change your academic writing style a little and bring together summaries of sources otherwise the assignment becomes too long winded.

28 General Advice  If you don’t understand – ask your tutor, lecturer, supervisor or Director of Studies  Expect to have to work hard to understand and respond to new academic expectations  Use the on-line materials on the handout to get to grips with all aspects of your work

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