Getting ready to study
Studying at university might be a little different from what you're used to at school or college, and if you are an international student it may be very different from what you are used to, but don't worry – your tutors know this and will give you plenty of help and support to help you adjust. And remember that everyone else is in the same situation too!
Check out our FAQs below as a starting point to make sure you're prepared. If there's anything you don't understand, our jargon buster A–Z is here to help.
- How is uni different from school or college?
- How are courses taught at Kingston University?
- What about assessments?
- How will my course help me prepare for the future?
- Does Kingston offer an induction programme?
University is a chance to study new ideas in ways that may be different to those you're used to at school or college. At Kingston we want you to enjoy your subject, but also experience new ways of thinking and working so that you'll learn the skills you need for your future.
At university you'll be able to make more decisions for yourself than at school or college, which means that you can focus on the things that really interest you. You'll study more independently, with less contact with your tutors.
This means that you'll have the freedom to develop your own ideas and opinions – you won't be marked down if you disagree with your lecturers and tutors – but you also have to take responsibility for your workload and for motivating yourself! To help you in this, we provide a wide range of resources and support, including an induction programme known as Freshers' Week. Find out more depending on which faculty teaches your course.
There are a series of pre-arrival videos available to help international students to familiarise themselves with living and studying in the UK.
Most taught courses are delivered through a combination of:
- lectures – the most formal method of teaching and an opportunity for the whole student group to be taught together. Many courses are built around a series of lectures;
- seminars – in which a group of students and their tutor talk through ideas and discuss topics in depth;
- tutorials – smaller group discussions in which you can ask questions, check your understanding, solve problems and discuss work assignments;
- group work – in which you collaborate with other students on a project or prepare for a presentation;
- laboratory/practical classes and fieldwork for science or technology students – you usually work in partnership with another student and write a report afterwards; and
- our virtual learning environment (StudySpace) – which includes interactive learning and social networking.
The number of teaching sessions will vary according to your subject, but they will normally take place on most days of the week. You'll have to study independently for the rest of the time, so you'll need to organise your time efficiently and develop good study habits.
However, patterns of study differ between courses so you'll be able to find out exactly what applies to you after you've completed the online part of enrolment.
We use a range of assessments to give you the best opportunity to demonstrate your achievements. This means that your entire degree doesn't just depend on how well you do in your final year exams. For example, we might also use:
- a project so that you can show you know how to apply research;
- an unseen exam to show your understanding of the breadth of a subject;
- a dissertation to examine your ability to sustain an original argument; or
- an essay to encourage you to read widely to answer a specific question.
However, assessment differs between courses so you'll be able to find out exactly what applies to you after you've completed the online part of enrolment.
It may seem strange to start thinking about leaving Kingston University already! But the time will pass very quickly and it's important to make sure that you're prepared for the future.
Whatever your reasons for coming to Kingston, personal development planning (PDP) encourages you to make the most of your time here. This is an opportunity to reflect on and record your progress as you journey through your course. PDP involves identifying the skills you need to help maximise your potential, considering questions such as:
- Where you are now?
- Where you want to be?
- How you can get there?
Yes, we do – our main induction programme is known as Freshers' Week and is designed to introduce you to university life. Your initial welcome to Kingston University consists of the following:
- enrolment and registration – all students must complete a formal enrolment process to become a Kingston University student;
- a welcome and orientation programme for international students – to introduce you to the University, life in London and teaching techniques in the UK;
- a campus and course induction run by the faculty that teaches your course – to introduce you to your studies and the University services on offer; and
- a series of social events run by the Students' Union – to help you settle in and get to know each other.
Once Freshers' Week is over and teaching starts, your tutors will focus on the skills you need to study at university. So your introduction to studying at Kingston extends well into the first semester of teaching – we won't expect you to have gained all the study techniques you need by the end of Freshers' Week!
Which faculty teaches my course?
Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture
Here you will find a creative and stimulating environment, which encourages collaboration between the different disciplines.
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The Faculty offers a flexible combination of economics, humanities, performance and social sciences.
Faculty of Business and Law
The Faculty enjoys close links with both local companies and international partners.
Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education
The Faculty's partnership with St George's, University of London means it can offer a wide range of health and social care courses.
Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing
The Faculty's courses are supported by research and consultancy. The Faculty is also well-equipped with specialist labs and other equipment.