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


You will usually receive a combination of these methods, along with time for private study. During your second and third years there will normally be greater emphasis on seminars and project work, and in most cases, the final year involves an in-depth, independent study of a particular topic. This allows you to develop a specialist interest and expertise to complement your broader understanding of your chosen subject.

Aron

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

View Aron's student perspective

Transcript

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.

Charlie

Second year Maths

View Charlie's student perspective

Transcript

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

All modules at Sussex have learning outcomes associated with them. Learning outcomes describe the threshold standard needed to pass a module. You need to read the learning outcomes for each module so that you understand what the essential learning is for your module and what you are expected to know, understand or do when you successfully complete the module. It is not only important to look at the learning outcomes for the modules you take, but also the learning outcomes for your degree course. As you progress through your degree you will find that the learning outcomes for each module will require you to demonstrate a greater depth of knowledge. In order to measure your learning and assess whether you have met the learning outcomes all modules will be assessed. Each assessment that you are set will have associated assessment criteria which describe the standard achieved. You need to read these so that you understand what you need to demonstrate in order to gain the best grades (see Assessment and grades at university). 

Attendance

As university is about you taking control of your learning, you have particular responsibilities within a teaching session on your course. It is essential that you attend all the sessions for each module. Attending the teaching sessions will help you to succeed in your studies and will provide you with necessary information to help you do well in assessed work. Many teaching sessions, such as seminars, rely on there being a sufficient number people present to be involved in discussion. It is also likely that you will be asked to do preparatory work for some sessions, such as reading a piece of text, completing a set of problem sheets or preparing a seminar presentation. If you don't prepare for these sessions you will not get the most out of your learning experience.

Independent learning

The majority of your learning will take place outside of teaching sessions. Independent study, guided by lecturers, will help you to prepare for and follow up on topics in greater depth. This is particularly important when undertaking an assignment e.g. a coursework essay, a presentation or preparation for an exam. Much of your learning at Sussex will, therefore, be your responsibility. How you use the learning resources available to you, the extent to which you participate in discussions and practical or group work and how you tackle assignments and assessments will all contribute to how well you progress through your degree. Your tutors should, in the first year in particular, provide guidance on how to study effectively outside of formal teaching time. Your development as a learner is a continual process and, as the demands of study change throughout your time at Sussex, you will need to reflect on how you write and how you approach particular study tasks. This website contains some useful tips and advice from other students to help you reflect on and develop your study skills.

 

Aron

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

View Aron's student perspective

Transcript

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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