LJMU English intern Isobel Currie tells you what to expect in classes at LJMU.
The average university day at LJMU differs massively from that at Southern. If you’re studying on the English programme, for example, each of your modules will usually be timetabled for three hours per week. Usually, you’ll start with a lecture for 50 minutes with 10 minutes break at the end. (Science programmes have a different schedule.) Lectures tend to be a single tutor speaking at the front of an auditorium to all the students registered on that module (this can be up to around 200 students).
Generally students don’t contribute to lectures, unless called upon by the tutor. Tutors also often make announcements before or after the session – regarding events, room changes etc. Seminars are usually straight after lectures, and run for an hour and half to two hours, depending on the subject, the tutor and the contributions from you and your fellow classmates. They will feel more familiar to you, as they work in a similar way to your classes at Southern. A seminar leader will create discussion amongst a group of twenty or so students week’s theme or book. This is your chance to give your opinion and contest others, so the more you give, the more you will get out of these sessions. Timetables and reading lists are issued at the very beginning of the semester (and are always available on LJMU’s Virtual Learning Environment – currently Blackboard, just like Southern), so that you can plan your reading and preparation.
During both lectures and seminars you will need to make notes. Some students use notepads and some use laptops. All presentations your lecturers use appear on Blackboard shortly after the session, for you to print out or use to make extra notes. The Blackboard site for each module will provide you with lots of material for research.
Each module is semester-long, and has a maximum of two assignments. Though your seminar tutor will usually set you tasks during each class, these are aimed at sparking discussion, and do not contribute to your final grade. Deadlines are given at the start of semester so you are expected to know when they are due. Word count differs depending on module and assignment type so can range from around 1000-3500 words. There aren’t any essays or assignments given that will not contribute to your final grade for the module.