What proof of English language should I have?
The most common English language test. Exams are taken normally twice a month and results are released 13 days later. Most universities accept an overall grade of 6.5 and above. Some universities may require a higher grade for specific degrees, such as the LLB Hons Law, where they may ask for a grade of 7.00 or above. The condition to obtain a 7.0 in the Writing part is very common for the LLB Law degrees.
You can find out more on the IELTS website: https://ielts.britishcouncil.org/CountryExamSearch.aspx
Cambridge Proficiency CPE
A transparent, coherent and comprehensive reference instrument. The result of over twenty years of research, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment (CEFR) is exactly what its title says it is: a framework of reference. It was designed to provide a transparent, coherent and comprehensive basis for the elaboration of language syllabuses and curriculum guidelines, the design of teaching and learning materials, and the assessment of foreign language proficiency. It is used in Europe but also in other continents.
You can find out more on:
- CEFR Cambridge equivalence of B2 FCE, C1 CAE: https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams-and-tests/cambridge-english-scale/
- IELTS C2 CPE: https://www.ielts.org/ielts-for-organisations/ielts-scoring-in-detail
It is accepted as an English language test. Universities usually require a grade of 80 to 105 for graduate studies.
Please use the links for the TOEFL, TEST DATES, EXAM DATES, EXAMINATION CENTRES ONLINE MATERIAL ETC)
GCSE O’LEVEL ENGLISH WITH GRADE A is also accepted in lieu of the IELTS by some universities.
How are lectures delivered?
Lectures are normally delivered in amphitheaters and students also have tutorials which are seminars in smaller groups of students where the tutor role is to strengthen and consolidate the acquired knowledge. Students have the opportunity to ask questions and be confident when they prepare for the exams.
Students are assessed by written exams once or twice a year and written assignments. They work independently but in small groups as well. A self-guided approach is encouraged which progressively helps the student mature, think critically and explore his own interests.
All students right from the beginning of their studies, have a Personal Tutor who should always be the student’s point of reference. This is the one all students should seek assistance in case they have any problems personal, health, academic or otherwise. He is the one who will do his best to solve problems that occur and who will provide useful advice about any worries or concerns the student might have. In any case, should students face any unexpected problem they should inform the university immediately so that a solution can be found as soon as possible. There is really no use hiding away.
How long is the academic year?
Courses usually start in mid-September and end in June with the final exams. Most Universities close for Christmas holidays for 3 weeks, Easter holidays for about 2 weeks and there is a long 3-month summer holiday. Most students seek summer placements for some weeks shadow professionals in organisations to gain valuable practical skills which will help them with their degree courses. A growing number of students attends degree courses with industrial placement, the so-called sandwich courses, which are gaining popularity over the last years. There are 2 Reading weeks per academic year. One in each term before the examination periods. It is a good opportunity to revise the material, spend time in the library and study independently as there are no lectures during that time.
How about exams?
Exams are normally taken at the end of each term; January and May. Those students who do not manage to pass an exam in the January or May session can retake the exam in July. This is the second attempt. There are different university rules and regulations for retaking modules or transferring to another institution. Students should talk to their personal tutor and before deciding the best option for them.
Am I insured as a student?
Once you matriculate, you are given free health insurance and free access to the university health center by the NHS. There are health provisions for all EU students. All students as soon as they register in the University Health Center, they are assigned to a GP. The latter can prescribe medication if needed. Eye examinations and dental care, that are not covered by your private insurance scheme, will have to paid by the student.
Can I work part time and study?
All students can work part-time while studying fulltime. The British law allows students to work part-time; that is 20 hours per week, as long as they are enrolled in a full-time university degree. This gives all students the opportunity to familiarize with the British culture, make friends and acquire experience which will certainly prove useful in the future.
New students can easily find job opportunities at the University, for instance working part-time in the library, in the halls of residence or the Student Union shops. Some students though prefer working during the weekends so they study undistracted during the week. However, all students should bear in mind that university study is demanding and the work hours should not impede the course of studies.
Tips and Useful Advice for all University Students
Just to lay down and reiterate some ground rules about email contact with tutors…
1. Anything personal to you that affects your academic life
Anything personal to you that concerns your academic life, please meet, phone or email your Personal Academic Tutor first and foremost. If you’re having any trouble at home that is affecting your study and you need advice, contact him/her. Also if you need any personal one-to-one advice about Academic Regulations – academic decisions, intermission, resits, course transfer, credits, etc. This is all your tutor’s area of expertise. And always take action early – don’t leave it until later! Best always to quote your full name and your student ID number to the tutor in any message or email, preferably in the subject line.
By all means let other tutors know who need to know, too!
If you have to be absent for any reason, please email the tutor(s) whose session you will be missing, citing the reason and cc’ing the relevant person (professor, Academic Registry, Departmental Staff).
3. University email accounts
University communication should really be done via internal university email accounts/portals. There are privacy issues around university business. If you don’t access your university account regularly, do so now. Consider changing its settings, so all mail there is then forwarded to your private account, etc.
4. Email addresses
Please use tutor’s university email addresses, never personal ones (unless he/she has asked you to). The emails are usually easily found on the University’s website.
5. Organising your emails
Professors and academic staff receive a large volume of emails weekly and rely on the subject line to help them as an inbox guide. So if you ever “reply” to a tutor on a message about a matter unrelated to that message’s original subject line (or “header”), it’s liable at some stage to get buried or missed! Just compose a new message with a new subject line (so starting a new thread or “conversation”). Or just change the subject line so it describes what you’re emailing about. This is the way the world works. Thank you.
6. Email hours
Patience, please!!!! Expect an email back during the hours 9.00 am – 6.00 pm, but not straightaway or same day. Tutors have teaching, marking, and their own research to do, as well as administrative tasks. This is on top of their own family lives at home. And weekends and due holidays. And some are only in once a week as they are visiting professors or work part-time at the University. So if it can wait until teaching time, so much the better.
This is Higher Education!!! It’s different from Further Education or sixth form. It’s a university, where consideration, deliberation, evaluation, and reflection are always in order. Respect! No raised voices. And sending an email to a tutor isn’t like posting on Facebook or a Tweet. Words need to be written with care. Always reflect on what you’ve written before you send it. Is it as clear as it could be? Does it need to be sent? Should it be worded like that or could you write it differently?