Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Study skills for success

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) prepare a useful guide to help you prepare for study in the UK.

Study skills for success

Studying in Leeds

Teaching style

Academic culture in the UK can be very different to the teaching styles you may have experienced in your home country.

Here, at the School of Politics and International Studies, we value independent thinking and critical judgement, and design our courses to develop these valuable qualities in our students.

An integral part of our style of teaching encourages you to assess arguments yourself, examining whether they are coherent and well-supported by evidence. We expect you to question and challenge conventional perspectives, and contribute your ideas and thoughts to group discussions.

In order to develop this approach, you will need to direct your learning through your own reading and research, working independently and studying on your own for significant periods of time. This will require you to manage your time and workload effectively.

Teaching structure

We teach many of our POLIS courses through lectures and seminars.

A lecture is a large class -- sometimes with over a hundred students -- where a tutor or lecturer talks at length about a specific subject, and students listen and take notes. Lectures guide you through course materials, introduce you the latest up-to-date thinking about a subject, and give you an overall view of the topic in question.

In contrast, seminars are smaller affairs where a group of students will discuss a pre-agreed topic with a tutor or lecturer. Seminars are designed to stimulate debate, and explore different perspectives about an issue.

To assess our courses, we ask for written work, usually produced through independent study. This may include essays, a project or a dissertation. Depending on your course modules, we may also set a final exam where you have a set time to answer a number of questions.

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