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UG Workload Statement

Success as an undergraduate student depends on you being able to make the transition to self-motivated, independent learning. Programmes are designed to assist you in this development, in many cases by starting with units in which timetabled teaching, such as lectures and practical classes, provides the foundations of knowledge and skills in a subject, moving on to individual research-based work. Over time you will be expected to take increasing responsibility for your own learning, guided by the feedback on your work that you will receive. At the heart of your studies at every level there must be regular and disciplined individual reading, reflection and writing and it is this skill of independent studies, above all others, that will serve you best when you leave the University.

Most programmes use credits and a 20 credit unit broadly equates to about 200 hours of student input. This includes all activities related to the teaching, learning and assessment of taught units.

A component of this is the time that you spend in class, in contact with the teaching staff, which includes activities such as lectures, laboratories, tutorials and fieldwork. Some of this activity may be online and could consist of activity that is synchronous (using real-time environments such as Blackboard Collaborate) or asynchronous (using tools such as tutor moderated discussion forums, blogs or wikis).

In some programmes there are field courses and/or placements that will take place in concentrated periods of time.

Outside scheduled activities you are expected to pursue your own independent learning to build your knowledge and understanding of the subjects you are studying. Such independent activities include, reviewing lecture material, reading textbooks, working on examples sheets, completing coursework, writing up laboratory notes, preparing for in-class progress tests and revising for examinations.

We recognise that many students undertake paid employment. To achieve a sensible balance between work and study, you are advised to undertake paid work for no more than 15 hours per week in term-time.

Professional Programmes

Many undergraduates in the Faculty of Health Sciences will be following the professional programmes of:

For these professional programmes, full time attendance is compulsory unless absence is formally approved. Academic activities are timetabled throughout the 5-day week and student workload is around 40 hours per week on average. Where possible, students in the early years are permitted Wednesday afternoons for sport and extra-curriculum activities. This may not be available in later years of professional programmes as when a student progresses through the curricula there is an increasing exposure to clinical and professional activities. Students in clinic or on placements may need to stay later than core times of 08.00 – 18.00 or even overnight to observe out-of-hours activities. This increasing exposure to clinical activities means that students on these professional programmes often have longer term dates than the University standard. Individual years within programmes are likely to vary in length (for example because of the timings of placements) and further information on this will be found in individual programme regulations. Another important point to note is that many of the assessments sit outside of the standard University examination timetable and are likely to be more frequent meaning that students will more oftentimes be engaged in revision activities and self-directed learning.

Faculty of Health Sciences

Faculty Assessment and Feedback Statement for Undergraduate Students. University of Bristol access only.