Advice from former UCM students
Tips to help you settle into life as a UCM HE Student
- Before starting, connect with other new students through social networking. To keep you connected and up-to-date with any posts from UCM, we recommend the following pages and groups:
- During induction, one of the most important people you will get to meet will be your Personal Academic Tutor (PAT). Your PAT will be a member of academic staff, usually from within your department, who will be available to discuss, or direct you to the right person for any issues that are worrying you, or more generic questions relating to your course and/or your student experience.
- Most importantly, be kind and patient with yourself. The majority of you may be entering a very different learning environment as a higher education student at UCM, and your transition into a university-level study can, and often does, take time. It is also quite common and very normal, to need help and/or want support for academic, personal and/or social related issues. UCM actively encourages you to take responsibility for your wellbeing and to ask for help when you need it. There will be challenges ahead but with the help and support available, we believe you can overcome these.
Tips to support you in your study at UCM
- Read your Programme and Module Handbooks, and information on Moodle carefully (more information on Moodle provided below). You will need to know and refer back to the information about the course, the learning outcomes of each module and the assessment dates/details.
- Carefully read University of Chester Student Contract and UCM Study Agreement. You will sign these documents when you enrol and these important documents tell you what you can expect from us and, as importantly, what we expect from you.
- UCM, your lecturers and PAT, will use your University of Chester email to communicate with you. So check it regularly, ideally once a day. It also means you can keep up to date with opportunities through Chester such as internships, exchanges and summer schools. You can set up a forward from your University of Chester email if you wish. You will receive your university email address after you enrol (if not earlier) and it is made up of your student ID No@chester.ac.uk.
- Use the Library at UCM, Homefield Road Campus – Although there are a lot of online resources available, you can also access an abundance of information through the UCM library and the staff are on hand to assist with all sorts of research and other academic skills. You will get a tour of your library as part of your induction.
- Find a way to manage your time effectively. When studying at higher education level, it is imperative to be able to manage your time. Good time management skills will also be important to demonstrate when seeking employment.
- Wait until induction before buying key texts. The UCM library has a good supply of the key texts for you to borrow and there are often texts being sold second hand by other students.
- Study skills guides. You will get a lot of extra support on developing new study skills as part of your degree programme. However, if you want to start reading and learning about some of these skills now, then look at the external sources that are recommended at the end of this handbook. The University of Chester website also has some great study skill sessions which are available to you throughout the year.
- Get to know your Personal Academic Tutor (PAT). Your PAT is the person who will always be available to offer you advice and support. They also act as your referee for any references you are required for work or post-degree studies. So building a relationship with them can be a good strategy for success.