Some of the most commonly asked questions, answered by our very own higher education students!
Thank you for the following students for their contributions:
- Matty (PGCE)
- Sarah (FdEd Learning Support)
- Hayley (BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education and Care (Top-up)
- Lucy (FdEd Early Childhood Studies)
- Will (HND Computing)
Q: What is the workload like?
Hayley: There is a large workload. However, if you keep on top of it and manage time wisely it is not unmanageable. I plan my work ahead, for example set myself the goal of writing 350 words a day on my essays. Should I get into a flow then I write more but if not I still feel productive. The workload sets you up for what ‘real work’ is like.
Lucy: The workload is manageable! Studying part-time, I attend college one afternoon/evening a week then study around work. The most assignments I have had at the same time is two, one which took seven weeks, and the other fourteen weeks. The timeframe allows plenty of time for research and completing the assignment! At the beginning of an assignment, we usually go through the brief so we can begin gathering information we would like to include in the work. This also gives us time to discuss deadlines, formative and what work we are roughly expected to complete each week. This allows everyone to individually plan their study time, around their own commitments.
Matty: The workload is manageable. While it is more than what it was at Level 3, your time management skills will have improved to manage the work given to you. Assignments however are spread throughout the year effectively to not drown you in work.
Will: Manageable as long as you are prepared and organised from the start.
Q: How can I fit in studying around work?
Hayley: I made sure that I was clear with my employer about what I intended to get from my course and informed them of my increased workload. Communication is very important here. I also manage my time and ensure that I set myself goals for my workload. I also find that I work well on the college site as there are fewer distractions. If I can work there for half an hour before or after classes I feel productive. The College has plenty of quiet spaces for work and access to plenty of resources to help.
Lucy: In a typical week, I work 36 hours, attend college one afternoon/evening for 6 hours (two lessons) then complete around 10 hours extra study at home, whilst still finding time for other commitments. When I first received my timetable, I completed a rough guide of how my week typically plans out regarding work, hobbies and regular week plans. I then planned designated times for study throughout the week. Honestly, the study time changes, usually weekly due to other commitments. But the important thing is finding and committing to making the time to study. It is all about time management!
Matty: Do not take too many hours on at work. While the money may be appealing initially, you soon become overwhelmed when assignments are due and you are working multiple hours a week. Provide yourself with enough hours to live comfortably but allow yourself study time.
Will: The courses are designed to allow students to have part-time/full-time jobs at the same time. Although the workload can be significant, the time when students are in lessons is normally only 1-2 days a week.
Q: How will we receive feedback on our work?
Hayley: For my course my work is fed back online. I receive my essays/reports back and tutor comments and recommendations are made at the side, as well as an overall evaluation to my work. I can note points the tutor has made and take this into account for my future essays. I also have one-to-one meetings with my course leader every term to discuss my work and how I feel I am doing, and what I can do to improve my work.
Lucy: A formative date is set, on this date the tutor will sit with you 1-1 and go through the work completed, giving ideas on how to improve on the work already completed. Once work is marked, constructive written feedback will be given. The feedback includes where your work meets the learning objectives, what you did well and things that could have been added to improve the mark for next time. The tutors are always willing to verbally go through this if needed.
Matty: A variety of ways. You can get both formative and summative feedback. You also receive feedback through Turnitin (submission system) or face-to-face with tutors.
Will: The college prides itself on having an integrated Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Moodle. This is where students will upload work and receive feedback on the submission. It is accessible 24/7 and students are notified when feedback is available.
Q: It has been a long time since I was in formal education, what if I have forgotten how to study?
Hayley: Plenty of time before the workload starts is given towards discussing how to write to an 'academic' standard. My first essay was also based on practising this and did not count towards my final grade, it simply gave me the necessary practice. There are also lots of online materials that can help with writing. The tutors are your best resource; they can always help and offer advice.
Lucy: Be assured that lots of people come back to study for all sorts of reasons, from change of career to just wanting to learn something new. The HE team have lots of experience and will give you advice, if you feel you are struggling. There is no right or wrong way to study, everyone learns differently!
Matty: There are plenty of initial resources given and explained to you at the start of the course. Multiple tutors offer workshops to boost confidence in the new skills you will need to develop when making the jump to higher education.
Will: There are a number of resources available in the Learning Resource Centre (LRC), on Moodle and from tutors for course specific material. At the start of the course there is a Welcome To HE session to help students prepare for the coming year(s). Extra support is available throughout the course.
Q: How will I fund the course?
Hayley: I applied for student finance to cover my course fees.
Lucy: I chose to fund the course via student finance from the Government, allowing me to pay it back when I’m earning more money. When applying, attend one or two of the open events, where the HE and Finance team are available to speak to you about the options. Alternatively, look on the Selby College website for helpful information on funding.
Matty: Courses can be funded by either yourself or applying for student finance. Apply early!
Will: For full-time courses, student finance is available to fund both the course and living costs for the duration of the course. In addition, students can choose to pay with their own money.
Q: Can I afford the course materials?
Hayley: College can help with software and programmes, and even offer some of these free to students. You can get help from IT to help set these up on your laptop/computer. College also have loads of laptops and computers for use in quiet areas or the library. Books and online resources are free for students to borrow to support their learning. I have managed the last four years of my degree without having to spend any additional money on resources.
Matty: Again, you can apply for student finance to help you through financial matters within higher education. Plenty of information is given on where you can find effective resources, either online or in libraries.
Will: The Maintenance Loan is provided by Student Finance to ensure students are able to afford the living and material costs associated with the HE course. In addition, the college can provide digital resources such as software for no/little cost to the student.
Q: Are there any opportunities to get involved in sport in the college?
Matty: Yes, there are multiple sports teams at the college including football, rugby and netball. The college also enters regional and national championships throughout the academic year.
Will: Yes, there are with free access to a gym and college team trials.See full course list