Students in a design workshop

StrathlifeWhat it’s like studying at University

All our courses are taught by a combination of lectures and small group seminars and tutorials. They may also involve lab work, practical lessons or placements depending on your course. You’ll get more information in your course or department handbooks.

Formal academic teaching is only one side of learning at university. Another is independent study – learning to work by and for yourself. This is essential if you really want to get a deeper understanding of your subject. We’ve designed the Strathclyde curriculum to help you develop as an independent learner.

Don’t worry if it’s all a bit new to you as all students are offered guidance and support throughout their studies.

Students in a lecture

How many hours per week will I be attending lectures and classes?

This depends on the course you’ve chosen. A degree in history might involve a small number of scheduled lectures and seminars each week, typically 8 or 9 hours. Your commitments on a mathematics course may require you to attend more than 20 scheduled hours per week. 

This does not mean that some students are working harder than others. Some courses with fewer scheduled hours demand a higher proportion of independent study.

Your attendance

It’s important that you attend your classes as detailed in your timetable. There are situations where absences from the University can be approved. These cover both short term and longer-term absences where formal interruption of study may be appropriate.

Discussions on approved absences should initially take place with your department. The outcome of these discussions will be reported by the department to Student Business. On the rare occasion that you may not be able to attend and when it may adversely affect your performance, you should inform Student Business who will in turn inform the relevant departments. If you require time out to celebrate faith/belief festivals, please let your department know.

For further information on absence from University please go to our academic policies & procedures section.

Classroom protocol

We’re committed to providing a safe learning environment where dignity is respected and discrimination or harassment does not occur on the basis of:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race, religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • socio-economic background

No student should intentionally be made to feel threatened or excluded from participation in a class.

Please show respect to fellow classmates and staff by following our protocol:

  • attend all scheduled lectures/seminars and practical sessions such as labs, including any additional learning and teaching sessions
  • arrive on time and remain in class until the end of the session. If you need to leave early for any reason, please let the tutor know before or at the beginning of the class
  • try not to disrupt the class by coming in late or coming and going from the classroom during the session. Students arriving late, without justified reasons, may not be able to join the lesson
  • refrain from consistently interrupting another speaker and listen to the ideas of others with respect
  • do not be rude or make personal attacks on individuals during group discussions
  • get permission from the tutor if you wish to record the lecture. The recording must only be used for personal study
  • do not bring food into the classroom, other than for medical reasons, eg  if you have diabetes. The tutor will let you know if you can bring in drinks as it depends on the rules of the room you’re in
  • let your tutors know of any specific requirements you have eg the need to pray at any time of the day
  • ask for permission from students and staff before taking any photos in the classroom
  • on any visit to an external organisation/place remember you’re acting as ambassadors of the University
  • refrain from smoking on premises as this is prohibited in all University buildings
  • follow all emergency instructions and health and safety procedures
If you have any concerns or worries please let your tutor or appropriate University staff member know.
Language Centre in the Curran Building

Are there opportunities to study other subjects?

We encourage study across subjects and taking on extra-curricular opportunities. On many of our degree programmes you can take classes outside of your department, letting you develop new skills and ideas. All undergraduate students have the opportunity to choose 20 credits of classes freely from all those on offer in the University.

Some courses also offer the opportunity for studying abroad, or to spend a year in industry.

There’s also opportunities to continue learning languages or to start a new foreign language through our Language Centre. Some courses offer language modules as part of the degree, but there’s also courses available for you to go to in your free time.