Studying in Edinburgh – what to expect
Regardless of which programme you wish to study upon, please be aware that the style of teaching at Edinburgh may differ from what you have experienced at your home institution.
Teaching methods here will be a combination of lectures and tutorials/seminars, with laboratory work for science-based courses.
Lectures and tutorials/seminars
For most courses, lectures form the main teaching framework.
Lectures provide a guide to the subject matter and set out the foundations on which you are expected to build. Lectures vary considerably in size. Class sizes at undergraduate level tend to be larger than those at postgraduate level.
Tutorials and seminars consist of smaller groups of students and provide opportunities to develop themes and discuss problems, usually through written work.
You may find that you have fewer hours of direct teaching than you are used to. In such cases, you will be expected to study in the library, work through the course reading list and demonstrate your learning in essays and exams.
As an undergraduate visiting student at UoE you can expect 12-15 contact hours per week if you are planning to take courses in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and 20-25 hours per week if you are planning to study courses in the College of Science and Engineering. Your standard study week at Edinburgh will be around 40 hours in total (contact hours + your independent study).
It is important to establish a good working routine so that you use time effectively.
The University of Edinburgh offers a range of resources to help support you academically during your studies here: