Whether you are just about to start university or you are going back for another year, make sure your journey into higher education is as memorable as it can be by picking the modules that are right for you. Even if you have already chosen them, it’s not too late to change your mind. Your university will normally give you a period at the start of the year in which you can still decide to switch if it’s really not what you hoped.
Know the reading list
Alongside your list of modules, your university should always provide you with a corresponding reading list. Depending on your course, some of the titles or authors may be familiar. Knowing the reading list is particularly important in an English-related degree as a massive part of your university life will be spent reading, so choosing ones you think you’ll enjoy is a must.
If you’re unsure on the specific content or topics covered in a module do a bit of research first or contact a university lecturer. The title for a module may be a bit obscure but you are expected to have a bit of an understanding before you go along to lectures and seminars. Don’t choose all the modules with the most books. Think realistically about what it is you can achieve.
Divide the compulsory/optional modules
There will always be the opportunity to pick both compulsory and optional modules. Some modules will be compulsory for everyone doing the same course but there might be two, for example, that you could choose from, so choose wisely. Optional modules are the really fun ones though where you focus on your own particular interests.
Work out the credits
All universities will work by a credits system which means that you need to have a total number of maximum credits per year. For example if this number was one hundred, you would need to take enough modules to get you to one hundred. This could be one forty credit compulsory module and three twenty credit optional modules. So there is a little bit of maths involved in making your decision but don’t worry, it’s all very simple! Credits correspond to the amount of contact time and assessment, which leads us on to…
Look at the assessment
Some courses may be naturally more coursework or exam based, that’s just how it goes, but each module will have varying assessment structures. It is good to know what kind of learner and student you are if you don’t already.
Do you do really well in tests and not so well when it comes to writing big projects or essays? Maybe you find managing your time planning and writing essays easier than the stress of revising or public speaking? It is no good choosing modules that are heavily based to a learning style that does not suit your own. It will be hard to avoid the odd exam and essays are a key part of university but play to your strengths and know your weaknesses as much as possible.
Understand what you want and think ahead
It is important that you choose what you want to choose, not something that a friend is choosing or your parents coax you to pick. University is the gateway to your future so know what it is that you want to get out of it.
You may already have a career prospect lined up which will help guide you through your university life. Don’t worry if not though, most people don’t know what they want to do after university, even once they’ve graduated! It is still good to think ahead and pinpoint the most important things to you in terms of your university experience to ensure you get the most out of your time there.
Ask for help
If you’re really stuck on what to pick email a university lecturer. If you are just starting university, details of your lecturers should be on the module list or given out once you get there. Don’t be afraid to approach them with any issues or concerns – that’s what they’re there for!
You may have heard of a particular module being highly praised or recommended which could help you decide but make sure you know what is right for you. Don’t always take other people’s opinions as solid fact but by all means take advice when and where it is offered.