During the Academic Year
Information on support resources and study skills for student parents
At the start of the academic year, depending on the school or deanery you are in, you will be assigned tutorial times. Sometimes you may be able to choose which tutorials to sign up for – allowing you to choose a time that suits your circumstances. If however your area simply assigns a time slot to you that doesn’t suit, then this can be changed. You should contact the member of staff overseeing tutorial allocations to request a change. If you have any problems with this then your student support team is ideally placed to advise you.
As the academic year moves on, it is important to be pro-active in securing the academic or pastoral support and guidance that we sometimes need. Please remember to get in touch with your PT, student support team and The Advice Place when you require advice or guidance. The University also has a Student Counselling Service; please make contact if you need to talk with someone.
Your academic skills will develop throughout the academic year – this is a learning process so please be generous and allow yourself time for this to happen. If you would like to address particular study or learning issues to help you in your development, then the Institute for Academic Development runs excellent classes throughout the year.
We now think about being able to manage our University commitments and our own personal commitments – how might we start to do this? Current student Steve Anderson reflects on managing these two areas.
Firstly, be under no illusions that it will be challenging. My advice would be make sure you are up to speed on all parts of your studies before they commence, or you will find it tricky to catch up, as what happened to me. If you’ve never studied at uni level before – again like myself -, expect it to be a step or three up from any previous level of study, and it’s unrelenting from week 1. In terms of time allocation, treat it as if it was a full-time job. I’d say give yourself three hours of prep per class, and I had 11 (50 minute) classes a week in year 1, so around 40 hours a week. (NB I study Philosophy & Politics. This guidance may vary depending in what you study.) The advantage over a job is that you can be (somewhat) flexible over when those hours are. To end on a positive, I’ve found having children gave me the motivation to get into uni in the first place. It’s not easy, but I’ve found both being a parent and a student to each be a privilege. This motivation can be a really good tool to get me through the tougher moments. p.s. Be open with your Personal Tutor. I wasn’t until I had to be, and I found it really helpful. Good luck.