Academic Problems

Even though we start university with every intention of doing well and fulfilling our potential, sometimes things go wrong. Just because you're struggling, doesn't mean that you shouldn't be here or that you'll never complete your course. Listed below are a few examples of the most common academic-related problems encountered by students. In all cases, you should speak to someone as soon as the problem arises so that we can provide you with the necessary support and advice

I've just started and I don't like my course

If you realise within the first few weeks of starting your course that it just isn't for you then speak to the Admissions Office about alternative programmes that you may be eligible to transfer to.

If you're not sure about which course or subject area you would like to move to, it might be a good idea to make an appointment with a Careers and Employability Consultant who will be able to talk through future career options in subject areas of interest.

Any changes made to your degree programme after the October mid-semester break, need to be discussed with the Student Programmes Office.

I'm not enjoying parts of my course

There might be things that you can do to tailor your degree programme to more effectively meet your needs or expectations, for example, select an alternative option choice, or switch to a combined degree programme. As well as the subject content, many modules vary their assessment methods so this could mean more exams if you like exams, or more assignments, if you prefer essays. The Student Programmes Office can advise on the potential opportunities available to you or alternatively, speak to the Adviser of Studies within your academic School, as well the Advisers who are responsible for other areas that are now of interest to you - School Advising Teams.

I'm struggling to fit my studies around my work/family commitments

We appreciate that many students have other commitments outside of university. This can include having to look after your children, caring for a loved one, or working part-time to support yourself financially during your studies. Did you know that there may be allowances that can be made, dependent upon your personal circumstances? The Student Programmes Office can advise of the alternative options available to you, which may include deferring your exams or taking a short leave of absence from your studies.

You should also chat through your circumstances with your Adviser of Studies so that they are aware of your situation.

Student Learning Services also offer one-to-one advice and guidance on all aspects of academic study skills which may help you manage your time more effectively.

I'm struggling with my assignments/exams

Struggling with exams or assignment deadlines? Getting help early is the key to ensuring that you can avoid getting too stressed before an assignment deadline or in advance of sitting your exams. Your Adviser of Studies or Module Tutor may be able to help by pointing you in the direction of some additional learning materials, or alternatively consider whether a later submission deadline can be arranged to suit your circumstances.

Student Learning Services also offer one-to-one advice and guidance on all aspects of academic study and skills, including: essay writing, giving presentations, how to study effectively and efficiently, critical reading and writing, revision strategies and exam techniques, note taking, and citation/referencing plus how to avoid plagiarism. 

The Counselling and Wellbeing service have information on how to cope with exam pressure.

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