We challenge, empower and work with you to reach your full potential both while you study and once you have graduated.
We ensure that you actively influence your own learning and we also provide opportunities for you to shape your own educational experience through feedback.
Our innovative teaching methods bring learning to life and our leading academic experts will challenge you to help you develop into an informed and critical thinker.
Studying at university is different to school and we support you to make that transition and grow in confidence.
The different ways we teach
Exactly how you learn at Newcastle depends largely on your subject. Find out about the different ways we teach by expanding the sections below.
Lectures (large group teaching)Lectures (large group teaching)
A lecture is a presentation from an academic expert to a large group of students. Listen to them introducing a topic and sharing their expert knowledge.
You will be directed to additional information - perhaps online or in the library - and leave with great ideas so you can study the topic further in your own time.
Some lectures may be interactive. For example, your lecturer may ask you to vote on a question using wireless keypads and then discuss the results.
Many lectures are recorded by our recording system, ReCap. This means you have the chance to listen to the lecture again. This is helpful when you are revising, or if there is anything you have not understood at the time.
Seminars (small group teaching)Seminars (small group teaching)
A seminar is a small meeting of students from the same degree, led by a tutor.
Engage in lively discussions about lecture material and your personal research; challenge your preconceptions and develop new ideas.
This will help you develop a deeper understanding of particular subjects, as well as developing your skills in communication, presentation and problem-solving.
Small group learningSmall group learning
Tackle a challenging project with other students and deliver findings to your class; test and reinforce your understanding and develop skills for the workplace.
Fieldwork and field visitsFieldwork and field visits
Fieldwork and field visits offer an excellent way to apply your studies in a practical way or observe and learn from professionals working in your chosen area.
Locations vary according to their purpose, from a visit to industry to an archaeological dig, and may include residential locations abroad.
You will normally be expected to keep a record of your learning in the field through a field diary, portfolio, coursework or field presentation, for example.
Practical workPractical work
Get hands on experience using industry-standard equipment or techniques to prepare you for your professional future.
Practical work encompasses a wide range of teaching including:
- laboratory work
- artefact handling
- science- or engineering-based lab classes
- problem-based classes in a wide range of disciplines
- IT workshops
This practical work is important in the development of subject-specific skills and other professional skills such as communication and information technologies.
It takes place in specialist facilities. We spend millions of pounds on making sure you have everything you need to bring what you have learnt in the classroom to life. Some of the facilities we have, particularly in science and engineering, are funded through research grants so you’ll be using the very latest equipment available. This is often the same (or better) than the industry is using.
You can take a virtual tour of many of our academic facilities.
Self-directed studySelf-directed study
University study is about growing as a critical thinker; someone able to communicate and evaluate opinions and ideas.
Independent learning is an important part of your university experience. It helps you develop in key areas like independent thought, problem solving, research skills and organisation. These skills appeal to a wide range of employers and are one of the reasons top employers recruit university graduates.
Our degrees are designed to to allow you to take greater responsibility for your learning at each stage.
You will have increasing freedom of choice over what modules you study as your course progresses. A major self-directed project in your final year relies on you using your own initiative to plan and carry out research in an area of particular interest to you.
Private study is essential beyond your scheduled teaching hours and set assignments. You will need to be proactive with further reading, seeking out study materials beyond the set texts on your reading list.
Support for self-directed study
We provide lots of support to help you make the transition from school leaver to independent learner.
Academic study skills are taught at the early stages of your degree, to provide a solid foundation for your future study.
Immerse yourself in our fantastic self-study facilities and explore your own path through the subject, developing unique expertise according to your interests.
Our award-winning Library Service and Language Resource Centre, provide all the resources you need for self-directed study and our social work spaces mean you can work together with friends on group projects.
Your personal tutor can provide guidance on a wide range of study issues.
Get involved in researchGet involved in research
You will undertake a research project in the final year, or through a summer vacation undergraduate research scholarship scheme.
Conduct original research into a topic you’re passionate about and build advanced knowledge that could open the door to your future career.
Find out more on our research-informed teaching pages.
Assessment and FeedbackAssessment and Feedback
We provide you timely feedback in a variety of ways:
- written on your work
- in lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical sessions
- via our real-time online systems
Feedback may come from lecturers, from your student peers. We also support you to learn through reflection. Learning to give yourself feedback is an important skill that you will use throughout your career. You can use your feedback by:
- reviewing your work
- looking at assessment criteria for your work
- looking at the feedback comments
- thinking about how you can improve in future assessments
Timescales for receiving feedback
- Coursework: within 20 working days of the deadline
- Exams: within 20 working days from the end of the exam period
20 working days is usually 4 weeks, not including Bank Holidays or University closure days. If this falls during the holidays then you will get your feedback at the start of the next semester/term.
Some assessments may be exempt from providing feedback. Or sometimes we may not be able to provide feedback within the timescales we aim for. In either case, we'll tell you in advance and let you know when you can expect to receive it.