Skills Hub

Teaching and learning at Sussex

Teaching formats

Students learn in a variety of ways and, as a result, certain teaching methods are more suitable to help you achieve particular learning outcomes. Learning outcomes are what you should be able to know/understand/do if you successfully complete the module. You will come across a range of teaching styles and approaches during your course. The most common teaching and learning methods are:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Exercise classes
  • Laboratory and practical work
  • Group work
  • Independent study

During your second and third years, there will normally be greater emphasis on seminars and project work. In the final year, you will usually carry out an in-depth, independent study of a particular topic. This allows you to develop a specialist interest or expertise to complement a broader understanding of your chosen subject.


Second-year of the Foundation Year plus MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering

View Aron's student perspective


On my course most of the time we sit in lecture theatres and we have a few hours reserved each week where we do group activities or we go and do practical work together - and basically put the theory of what we have learned that week in to action.


Second-year Maths

View Charlie's student perspective


In a week of study at University I have lectures and workshops as well as a tutorial with my Academic Advisor so in total that is 17 hours of contact time a week.

Getting the most from teaching

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes are what you should know/ understand/ be able to do if you successfully complete the module. All modules at Sussex have stated learning outcomes.

Make sure you look at the learning outcomes for your modules and for your entire degree course. As you progress, you will find that the learning outcomes for each module will require you to demonstrate a greater depth of knowledge.

All modules are assessed to check your whether you have met the learning outcomes. Each assessment has assessment criteria which describe the standard achieved. You need to read these criteria so that you understand what you need to demonstrate to gain the best grades (see

 (see Assessment and grades at university). 


University is about you taking control of your learning, so it is essential to attend all the sessions for each module. Attending the teaching sessions will provide you with the necessary information to do well in assessed work.

Many teaching sessions, such as seminars, rely on there being enough people to take part in the discussion. You will probably be asked to prepare for some sessions, such as reading a piece of text, completing a set of problem sheets or preparing a seminar presentation. Doing this work will enable you to get the most out of the session.


Independent learning

The majority of your learning will take place outside of teaching sessions through independent study. Much of your learning at Sussex is your responsibility.

To progress well, you'll need to use the available learning resources, participate in discussions and practical or group work, and work for assignments and assessments.

In your first year in particular, your tutors should provide guidance on how to study effectively outside of formal teaching time. Your development as a learner is a continual process. As the demands of study change throughout your time at Sussex, you will need to reflect on how you approach particular tasks. Look at the useful tips and advice from other students to help you develop your academic skills.



Second year of the Foundation Year plus MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering

View Aron's student perspective


Studying independently means you actually have to get up and learn things yourself. Lecturers will expect you to know certain things, like background things for the course. They'll always be listed in the course notes and if you don't know any of them, it is your job to make sure you understand it so you can get on with the course well.

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