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    I have had some very mixed opinions about university and the workload you will have to do.

    I know it varies from uni to uni and course to course but how did you find uni, particularly that of the first year. How much of a step up (or step down) was it from your A levels.

    I have had mixed opinions from people doing completely different course with even those doing biochemistry and even medicine at UCL and they said it has been (not finished yet) very easy compared to a levels.

    I have also had the opposite reactions from those doing biochemistry and physics who say the step up is incredibly hard.

    I then have friends who have done 'softer' (hate that word) subjects such as geography, psychology, English. Again a mix for both and some have said that there courses are unbelievably easy whereas some have said that the step up is much more challenging.

    What is people's personal opinion particularly of the first year because I feel once the first year is over I will be able to cope with the challenges.

    I will be doing geography at Leeds by the way and it states on the website that you should be doing a minimum of 40 hours of independent studying on top of 16 is hours of lectures/seminars/group work ect. To me this sounds way too much work especially for your first year which 1 doesn't normally count to your grades and 2 for an experience that most students/freshers will be completely new to.

    Just wanted some general opinions and don't put stupid messages such as 'you are going to be doing geography? Why are you complaining that is a doss subject and so easy'
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    Arts: easy
    Science: hard
    Social sciences: half way in between?
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    I don't think I did 40 hours independent study for the entirety of my first year in psychology..I thought first year was particularly easy, especially when they tell you in doesn't count and you only need 40%, though the step up from year 1 to year 2 was probably the biggest step between stages in my academic years.
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    (Original post by Mpagtches)
    Arts: easy
    Science: hard
    Social sciences: half way in between?
    But like I said I have had some people say that the sciences well as in biochemistry and medicine were easy. Quite surprised by this though.

    I also have a friend at Leeds who does physics he just says the workload is quite a lot but the actual content is quite easy. That may change in his second year though.
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    (Original post by shezshez)
    I don't think I did 40 hours independent study for the entirety of my first year in psychology..I thought first year was particularly easy, especially when they tell you in doesn't count and you only need 40%, though the step up from year 1 to year 2 was probably the biggest step between stages in my academic years.
    OK. Do you think this is because people don't have to study psychology to do it as a degree?

    So first year was getting everyone to a basic level of understanding.
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    (Original post by kingdoo)
    OK. Do you think this is because people don't have to study psychology to do it as a degree?

    So first year was getting everyone to a basic level of understanding.
    Supposedly first year should get everybody to the same level of understanding as each other for many subjects unless of course you had to study the exact subjects previously to get in.
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    Anyone know how challenging a degree in teaching is...?
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    (Original post by claireestelle)
    Supposedly first year should get everybody to the same level of understanding as each other for many subjects unless of course you had to study the exact subjects previously to get in.
    Do you feel this was why the transition from the 1st to 2nd year was so challenging? Because 1st year was too easy?
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    (Original post by kingdoo)
    Do you feel this was why the transition from the 1st to 2nd year was so challenging? Because 1st year was too easy?
    a different poster called it challenging, i didnt find it that way myself:P
    Yes it was harder and needed more hours put into it but think i d settled into uni study by that point so i didnt find it that bad to be honest.
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    A couple of things to bear in mind:

    - The first year of a degree is generally designed to bring everyone up to the same level. Some will find it easy because it can occasionally rehash A Level content, to make sure that the entire cohort has the right grounding in the basics. Just because somebody finds the first year easy, it doesn't follow that they're going to be able to sleepwalk through the second and third years. If you don't get into good study habits in the first year, the second year can be a shock.

    - Coasting through the first year because it doesn't count towards your final degree classification, is a mistake. Employers (or other unis if you go on to postgrad) will ask to see your full transcript. This will show all module marks for all three years. It can provide documentary proof that you're the sort of person who only works hard when it suits them. In addition, staff at your current uni will be writing your job/postgrad references. If you're the sort of person who only works hard when it suits them, they might decide to mention that in your reference. If you make a really bad impression, they can refuse to give you a reference at all.
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    I really struggled with a level (mostly with biology ) so university is a lot easier for me, especially not having exams (I'm doing health and social care).
    I dont stick to the recommended learning. 3 days a week I have uni 9:30 - 3 then on my other two days I do 4 - 6 hours work and that's it unless work piles up but generally this has worked for me in first year..
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    A couple of things to bear in mind:

    - The first year of a degree is generally designed to bring everyone up to the same level. Some will find it easy because it can occasionally rehash A Level content, to make sure that the entire cohort has the right grounding in the basics. Just because somebody finds the first year easy, it doesn't follow that they're going to be able to sleepwalk through the second and third years. If you don't get into good study habits in the first year, the second year can be a shock.

    - Coasting through the first year because it doesn't count towards your final degree classification, is a mistake. Employers (or other unis if you go on to postgrad) will ask to see your full transcript. This will show all module marks for all three years. It can provide documentary proof that you're the sort of person who only works hard when it suits them. In addition, staff at your current uni will be writing your job/postgrad references. If you're the sort of person who only works hard when it suits them, they might decide to mention that in your reference. If you make a really bad impression, they can refuse to give you a reference at all.
    Yeah i understand that. I got A*A*B at a level but I did do a huge amount of work particularly during exam season and was initially predicted ABB but told to expect less than those grades. So I have the work ethnic. I just feel like I don't want to do that much revision/work in my first year because I feel I will miss out on all the life experiences there.

    I also realise that employers like those who are consistent.

    I also find it interesting how you say that some people coast their first year but will tend to find years 2 and 3 hard if they didn't make any decent study habitats beforehand. Whereas my friend from UEA said his biochemistry degree got easier and easier and thought his final year was so easy. He was probably within the minority though.

    I would also like to ask whether courses that mainly consist of coursework i.e. my course every year is 70%+ coursework and the rest examination whether that is easier or are exams generally easier. In all honesty I prefer coursework rather than exams anyway but would like to know whether people tend to do better on coursework or on exams?
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    (Original post by kingdoo)
    OK. Do you think this is because people don't have to study psychology to do it as a degree?

    So first year was getting everyone to a basic level of understanding.
    Yeah, possibly. I guess the reason I found the step up from year 1 to year 2 more challenging is the lack of effort I put in for first year...
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    (Original post by Hevachan)
    I really struggled with a level (mostly with biology ) so university is a lot easier for me, especially not having exams (I'm doing health and social care).
    I dont stick to the recommended learning. 3 days a week I have uni 9:30 - 3 then on my other two days I do 4 - 6 hours work and that's it unless work piles up but generally this has worked for me in first year..
    That's still quite a bit of work per week, but I guess that is because you have to do a lot of placements and things for health/social care. Would you say on average you did a lot more work than other people both independently and also anything that was supposed to be compulsory such as lectures.
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    (Original post by kingdoo)
    I just feel like I don't want to do that much revision/work in my first year because I feel I will miss out on all the life experiences there.
    It's just a matter of finding a balance. You can work hard and play hard. Working/revising doesn't preclude a very active social life.

    I also find it interesting how you say that some people coast their first year but will tend to find years 2 and 3 hard if they didn't make any decent study habitats beforehand.
    I didn't say "will", I said "can". It's not a definite but it is risk - maybe you'd be OK, maybe not. Plenty of my colleagues struggled in the first term of the second year and some of those never got their marks back up to first year levels.

    Whereas my friend from UEA said his biochemistry degree got easier and easier and thought his final year was so easy. He was probably within the minority though.
    Think you've answered your own question there. Different people will find different things difficult. You can't assume that your experience would be the same as his, even if you did the same degree.

    I would also like to ask whether courses that mainly consist of coursework i.e. my course every year is 70%+ coursework and the rest examination whether that is easier or are exams generally easier. In all honesty I prefer coursework rather than exams anyway but would like to know whether people tend to do better on coursework or on exams?
    Again, it's down to personal preference and aptitude. I much preferred coursework and got my best marks there - my memory tends to be patchy, making exams a bit of a nightmare. However some of my colleagues were awful at time management, making coursework difficult. They found the sudden death hit of exams much easier. There's no answer to your question, because again, different people find different things difficult.
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    I found the work to be different- and far more time consuming, than most A-Level work rather than necessarily harder, this was doing International Relations. History coursework at A-Level was an exception but that aside, most A-Level work I could bash out in a couple of hours. Where uni coursework was concerned however my first essay took me a week to read for and a week to write. Once I got the hang of things I did get quicker- but still only down to a week for the whole thing unless I didn't have that amount of time left before the deadline (usually when I had multiple deadlines at once).
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    (Original post by kingdoo)
    That's still quite a bit of work per week, but I guess that is because you have to do a lot of placements and things for health/social care. Would you say on average you did a lot more work than other people both independently and also anything that was supposed to be compulsory such as lectures.
    Yeah I definitely worked a lot harder than other people and got the best grade in my year (there's only 25 on the course). Nothing was compulsory but there were a few emails sent out because of people not attending. I had one lecture with just one other person, which was pretty embarrassing.
    Thing with the first year is as long as you pass it doesn't matter what you get but it'd be really hard to go from a third to a 2.1/1st in second year
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    Hevachan makes a good point about attendance. Some unis monitor lecture/seminar attendance. If you miss too many, you can be withdrawn (thrown out) for "failure to engage with the course" before you even get as far as first year exams. Not all unis have formal monitoring (mine didn't) but if they do, be prepared for non-attenders to be picked up on it.
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    I absolutely can't stand it when people say Psychology is an easy degree when they have 0 experience of studying it.

    I've just finished my first year and got a comfortable 2:1. My workload wasn't huge but the content difficulty varied. The social stuff was easy, just a lot to remember, whereas I found the statistics module quite challenging and had to work hard at it.
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    Regarding BAs:

    It all comes down to how much you want to do the work. If you are engaged in the topic and read around it for pleasure then you will find it challenging (it's higher education) but completely doable. If you have trouble organising your time, fail to keep track of which work is required for when, and generally have a loose connection to your course, then you will find it not just hard but impossible to get a first and probably a two-one.

    I speak from experience, as someone who willy-ed around during his first year and subsequently decided to leave after failing my first year.

    It is work: all you have to do is focus and put in the hours. If you fall behind you can catch up but you will have to make sacrifices in other areas of your life. If you have a learning difficulty then your uni should assist you, so really there is no reason to "fail" should you put in a considerable amount of effort.
 
 
 

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