UoN UnderGrad StudySkills 2011

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  • 7/29/2019 UoN UnderGrad StudySkills 2011


    Study Skillsand other useful infoA handy guide for new Undergraduates(1st Year, Direct Entry Years 2 & 3)

    2011School of Biosciences

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    This handbook is available in alternative formats.Please contact Kathy Wilsonby emailing Kathy.Wilson@Nottingham.ac.ukor telephone 0115 951 6002to request an alternative format.

    Paper made from FSC accredited material

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    Study Skills

    1. Organising Your Time 702. Tutorials 753. Making Notes 774. Efcient Reading 805. Report Writing 836. Essay Writing 907. Virtual Writing Centre 1058. Plagiarism and Paraphrasing 1129. Working in Groups 121

    10. Giving Effective Presentations 12711. Revision and Exams 13012. Study Skills Books 137

    Support and Guidance

    1. Academic Tutoring 1382. The Tutorial System 1413. Student Guild and Students Union 1504. The Counselling Service 1515. Academic and Disability Support:

    Information for Students with Disabilities 1536. Student Advice and Representation Centre 1557. Careers 156


    Useful Contact Numbers 166

    Index 169

    Introduction and Welcome 4

    Background to Study and Social Life

    1. The Educational Process 102. Social and Community Life 113. Student Commitment 13

    Your School and Your Studies

    1. Teaching Staff 162. Course Structure 21

    3. Module Codes 304. Marking Conventions and Progression 365. Extenuating Circumstances 506. Key Staff List 527. Complaints Procedure 548. Ofce Hours 55


    1. Safety and Security 562. The Libraries 573. IT Facilities 594. The Portal and Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) 625. Amenities 636. Sports Facilities 647. Shuttle (Hopper) Bus 678. Bonington Hall (Sutton Bonington) 67

    Page No. Page No.





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    Some of the material for this book originated in a project in the Faculty of Engineering, developed withnance from Enterprise in Higher Education and co-authored by Jon Binner, Mark Curry and MarkDale. Editions for Biosciences, 1995-2008, were written and edited by Jeff Atherton, Mark Dale,Frances Gilbert and Martin Luck and included material adapted from items provided by Rob Clarke.

    Thanks to all the students and staff who discussed the design and content with us for the 2011edition.

    Students and staff of The University of Nottingham are allowed to make copies of these pages forteaching and personal research without prior permission.

    Designed in the U.K. by Eight Days a Week Print Solutions Ltd

    Printed in the U.K. by Ratcliff and Roper Print Group




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    Introduction and welcomeWelcome to the School of Biosciences at The University of Nottingham

    We want you to make the most of your time at university, to feel at home in theSchool and to be successful in your studies here.

    This handbook has been prepared to help you understandthe nature of the work ahead, to cope with some common

    problems of university life and to make the most of your timeas a student.

    Many of the sections contain information which you willneed to know straightaway. The value of other sectionswill become apparent after the semester has started.

    We have aimed to make this handbook a reasonablycomplete reference document that you can dip intofor useful advice as and when you need it. We updateit each year and would welcome your comments orsuggestions.

    email to kathy.wilson@nottingham.ac.uk




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    Health Warning

    You can have too much of a good thing. If all the advice in this handbook seems rather daunting donot despair. You will soon get the hang of things at university and succeed like thousands of studentsbefore you. No matter what happens, dont panic!

    Also, this handbook gives general guidance only. You may well nd you are required to do things in aslightly different way for different modules. Whenever this is the case the module conveners should tellyou, but if in doubt, ask them!



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    The School of Biosciences

    The School of Biosciences is based within the Faculty ofScience on the Sutton Bonington (SB) Campus and University

    Park Campus (UP).

    Sutton Bonington Campus is situated about 10 miles southof Nottingham and houses the Divisions of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences (Environmental Science students arelocated at the University Park Campus), Animal Sciences, FoodSciences, Nutritional Sciences and Plant and Crop Sciences. TheSchool of Biosciences has over 800 undergraduate students and

    about 340 research and taught postgraduate students. The campusis shared with the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science.

    The School has a reputation for high quality research and teaching. In 2008our research excellence was recognised independently as being of internationalimportance, and we received a mark of 23 (from a possible 24) in the most recentHEFCE assessment of teaching quality.

    One of the rst people you will meet is your Personal Tutor. Your Personal Tutor will be a member of academicstaff with whom you have regular meetings, sometimes as part of a group. Your Tutor is there to give you helpand support in person as well as guidance in academic matters. You should make every effort to establish agood working relationship. Your Tutor will provide you with details of your exam performance and it is essentialthat you discuss your progress, in condence, with him/her at regular intervals.




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    The University operates a modular system, taught over semesters. Thisis explained below, with further details in the Catalogue of Modules(available at modulecatalogue.nottingham.ac.uk/nottingham), andthe Student Course Handbooks. Teaching is largely through lecturesand practical classes but demonstrations, videos, essay writing,

    case studies, computer assignments, seminar presentation, tutorials,poster presentation and project work play an increasingly importantrole as the course progresses.

    Assessment is by examination and coursework; the proportions ofthese and the nature of the coursework vary from module to module.During your rst year you will usually take two sets of examinations.Those at the end of Semester 1 will be the rst indication to you and

    your university teachers of how you are progressing in your studies.However, you may nd that some of your modules are year-long andtherefore only formally assessed at the end of semester 2. Marksachieved in the exams at the end of Semester 2, together with thosefrom Semester 1, will determine whether your progress is satisfactoryand if any particular subject areas need strengthening.

    If your progress is unsatisfactory, you will be given one opportunity to

    resit any failed modules - both coursework and examinations. Marksfrom Semesters 1 and 2 do not contribute to nal degree classication.



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    Here are a few pieces of free advice; they come from fellow undergraduatestudents and from academic staff who helped us prepare this document.

    Most lecturers teach at a faster pace than you may be used to from school or college. Develop goodnote-taking skills early in your university career.

    Lectures are progressive, i.e. each one builds on the last. Missing lectures is therefore dangerous, as isignoring things that you didnt fully understand at the time.

    Module Conveners may issue a book list. Check with academic staff and 2nd and 3rd year students whichare the most valuable to buy. You may not be able to afford them all. Books on your reading lists can beborrowed from the Libraries.

    You should expect to work outside of class time. This may include reading, rewriting your notes, doingcoursework, writing reports, etc.

    Dont be afraid of asking questions in lectures. Lecturers like to know that students are following what theyare saying. The question you ask may be exactly what other students were wondering but were afraid to ask.Most lecturers will provide opportunities for questions. You can also ask for help outside of lecture time.

    Dont be afraid to approach staff for help. Their ofces are accessible to you (knock and wait) and they havetelephones and email. They are busy people but a large part of their work involves dealing with students.

    Make use of their time, advice, experience and expertise.

    Remember that activities continue after the exams and that you are required to remain at the University untilthe end of each semester.




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    Never hesitate to see the lecturer if you are having difculty with his/ her module or dont understand why you were given a particularmark.

    Handing in coursework late means losing marks. 5% will be lost forevery working day late.

    The School has an undergraduate Learning Community Forum withstaff and student representatives from each year. Use this system tomake constructive comments about your course.

    If you become ill and have to miss more than a couple of days, or acoursework deadline, or if your performance in an exam is affected,

    go to see