Differences between school and uni

It can be hard to know what to expect from a university experience when school or college is all you’ve ever known, so we’ve outlined the main differences to help you get your head around how it all works.

You choose what you want to study

Had your fill of English? Hate weekly history lessons? The good news, university is your chance to choose a topic you love and study it all the time. And we mean all the time – which is why it’s important that you choose wisely! Cut out all the bits of school you’re not keen on and focus on your passion.

More freedom and flexibility

At school or college, you become used to a fairly packed schedule of structured lessons. At university, however, timetables allow for a set number of contact hours (lecturers and seminars) and you’ll be expected to use the rest of your time wisely. You will conduct a fair amount of independent study, but you might also want to fill your time with a part-time job, family responsibilities and seeing your new uni friends.

You’re in charge

With great power comes great responsibility. Unlike at school, your lecturers won’t be calling home if you don’t show up, or issuing detentions if you don’t complete your work. The dynamic you have with your teachers will be new. They’ll treat you like an adult, and expect you to act like one by showing up and participating. You won’t be entirely on your own though, as your lecturers will want you to do well, so will go to great lengths to support you and see you achieve.

Everything is bigger

If you’re familiar with your year group at school or college, the idea of swapping that for a university where there could be thousands of people in your year may seem daunting. But, with a big community comes big opportunities, and the chance to branch out and meet lots of new mates!

Not only will you be part of a bigger community, you’ll have access to bigger and better facilities. Universities are often big places, and here at BCU we have two multimillion-pound campuses featuring our libraries hosting 125 million resources, our simulated hospital wards and our four TV studios featuring one of the largest fixed green screens in the UK.

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Clearing 2024

If you're considering your options for university this year, Clearing is a way for students to find the right course and university. Whether you aren't sure you'll meet your predicted grades, you've changed your mind about your firm choice, or you haven't applied yet, Clearing could be for you!

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