We know a lot about what helps students get the best degree results and the best employment outcomes.

Everyone is different and everyone's circumstances are different, but there is national research, as well as research that we have done about our own students, that tells us what kinds of behaviours seem to go hand in hand with success.

We know that student success requires:

High attendance

Students who miss classes do not do as well as those who attend. It’s not the same intellectual activity as reading up on lecture notes. If a student is unable to make a class due to an unexpected circumstances, they need to get in touch with their School Office. This is recorded in the University’s attendance monitoring system and the student needs to ensure they find out what was missed from the University’s online system, Unilearn, and/or their lecturer.

Preparing for sessions and background reading

Students are more likely to learn from the lecture, seminar, lab session or workshop if they have prepared by, for example, doing the recommended background reading, preparing for presentations and discussions or completing set work. This should be a priority.

Students attend different kinds of study sessions such as formal lectures, small group seminars, discussion groups, workshops, practicals, supervised and independent activities, one-to-one tutorials to discuss progress and group tutorials. Some of these are regular weekly sessions and others are at intervals. Individual timetables are always accessible to students online and they are expected to manage their own independent study time and there are plenty of spaces around the University library for this.

Regular and disciplined independent study times

Recommended independent study time is a minimum of 35 hours per week (including scheduled classes) but on top of travelling time and other commitments.

One of the biggest differences between school/college and university is the amount of time students need to spend studying independently in order to succeed. 

At university students are learning to solve problems, undertake independent research and think independently.  These are skills that employers require from their graduate staff – they need graduates who can be relied on to work on their own initiative, read complex material and work out which parts are relevant to the business in hand, or decide what theories or formulae to apply to a technical problem. That’s why it is so important that university students schedule plenty of time for independent study.  We suggest students allocate a minimum of 35 hours per week to their studies – it may be that only 12-15 of those hours are formally scheduled – the rest is working on assignments, undertaking background research and practising skills.

Even if the timetabled classes at university are over, study time is still essential and crucial. Students need quiet places to concentrate and study. You could support this by thinking about:

  • Is there a space at, or near, the student's home that can be used regularly for quiet study?
  • How could a regular pattern of planned independent study be made into a fixed habit?
  • How can family and friends agree to support these study times?

When a student has their timetable, why not have a chat about when, where and how planned independent study can be made possible?

Time spent in the library and study spaces using library resources

Independent study spaces might be in:

  • The library
  • University IT rooms 
  • Designated private spaces at or near the students’ living space, this could be a dining room, a living room or even a bedroom. It simply needs to be a space where a student can access IT facilities and have space around them for paperwork and books

There will be times where there will be intensive long hours needed to completed work. Even if the day at university is over, study time is still needed.

To complete assignments students need to know how to find the newest ideas on the subject, prepare balanced arguments, read complex information or formulae.

The University of Huddersfield library offers:

The library has around 357,000 books and over 500,000 e-books plus academic journals. There is an electronic database SUMMON helps students find this material where ever they are. In the library there are 954 silent/quiet/group study spaces, 24 hour computer rooms open all year with 513 computers and 108 laptops ready to be loaned.

The library has around 357,000 books and over 500,000 e-books plus academic journals. There is an electronic database called SUMMON that helps students find this material where ever they are.

In the library there are 954 silent/quiet/group study spaces, 24 hour computer rooms open all year with 513 computers and 108 laptops ready to be loaned.

For more information about our library resources please visit the Library website.

Responsibility for own progress

Students need to be aware that they are responsible for organising their own study times. This planning will become very important so that work does not pile up and they know when deadlines happen. It is much, much harder to do assignments and projects at the last minute at university level. There are many sources of support to access. Each student has a Personal Academic Tutor, who they will be allocated to, and we recommend a proactive approach in meeting and responding to messages from this tutor.

Study is done in 'modules'. Often a few modules run at the same time across the timetable, so the student may be doing several modules at a time.