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What is a university lecture like?

What to expect from your lectures

Studying at uni is totally different to studying at school or college; that much you know. But what's it actually like going to a uni lecture?

To find out, we caught up with James, a first year economics student at University of East Anglia, and ducked into his 9am lecture (on introductory statistics for economists, as it happens).

Every lecture is different, of course. The style of lectures you attend will depend totally on the subject and also on the lecturer. But watch the video below for a taster of what it's like in a university lecture.

What's a lecture like? Full video transcript

>> JAMES: Hi, my name's James, I'm a first year undergraduate economics student at UEA and I want to show you what a lecture's like today, so follow me. 
[camera follows James into the lecture theatre. Highlights from the lecture shown]

So that was a lecture, I hope you enjoyed that. Let me answer some questions you might have.

>> TEXT: What has surprised you most about lectures?

>> JAMES: I'd say that lectures are less formal than I thought they would be and that when you're in lectures you cover more content than you would do at college and that content moves a lot faster.

>> TEXT: What are the lecturers like?

>> JAMES: So the lecturers are very approachable. Different lecturers have their different methods. You can always contact them after lecture but sometimes you can email them and you can use an app to also ask questions.

>> TEXT: How many lectures do you have a week?

>> JAMES: So I have six lectures a week and they all last around 50 minutes. That's also accompanied by seminar groups and workshops where we will work in smaller groups on what we've already done in lectures.

>> TEXT: What three tips would you give students?

>> JAMES: So my first tip for students would be to prepare before the lecture. My second tip would be to make sure you stay engaged while you're in the lecture. And the third one to bring a spare pen because someone always forgets a pen!

>> PETER: My name's Dr Peter Dawson. I'm a lecturer at the University of East Anglia.

>> TEXT: How did the lecture go?

>> PETER: I think the lecture went really well. I think the students were engaged throughout and they liked the real-world examples we introduced to really get across the concept.

>> TEXT: What techniques do you use to deliver your lectures?

>> PETER: Things like audience response systems, whether these are the handheld devices or devices which are available through mobile phone technology, really engages the students and they feel part of the lecture. It also gives me immediate feedback in terms of whether I feel they've caught the concept, they understand the concept and if they haven't we can then go back and then revisit some of those concepts again.

>> TEXT: What are your top three tips for students in a lecture?

>> PETER: So my top tips for getting the most out of lectures are: number one, try and do some preparation before the lecture; number two, review the material that you've got and number three, most importantly, never fall asleep during the lecture!

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