Heading to the UK for university? You’re in for a treat.
There are plenty of wonderful things to do here between classes – from visiting iconic landmarks like Big Ben and Stonehenge, to the simple pleasures of a pub meal.
But to make sure your academic trip abroad is truly worthwhile, you need to know how to study in the UK. Having some efficient study techniques under your belt will help you keep your grades up without locking yourself in the library all semester long.
Read our top study tips for students in the UK below.
Create a Study Routine from Week 1
You’ll be tempted to focus on sightseeing until exam time strikes. But the first week of the semester is the perfect time to lock in some healthy study habits.
Set specific times aside in your schedule for reviewing materials and completing assignments – even when no deadlines are looming. This routine will help you get ahead of your coursework and reduce your stress when multiple assessments are due at the same time.
No tasks to do this week? Use your allocated study time to review the upcoming material. Staying one step ahead of the class will help you absorb extra details in lectures, as well as giving you a chance to think of any questions you might want to ask.
Understand Which Study Techniques Work for You
You might be in a new part of the world, but you’re still the same old you. Knowing your unique learning style will help you find the best way to study in the UK. For example:
- Are you a solitary or social learner? Does explaining a concept to others help you absorb the information? Or do other people only distract you from concentrating? Knowing this will help you decide whether to work with friends or find a secluded spot in the library for solo study.
- Are you a visual or verbal learner? Do you prefer written descriptions or decorative diagrams? Verbal learners benefit most from reading information aloud (e.g. using flashcards), while visual learners usually prefer converting information into mind maps and images.
- Are you an aural learner? If so, you’ll likely get into the zone by listening to music while you study. You may even like to create rhymes or mnemonics to help you remember complex concepts (e.g. the notes on the staff in the treble clef, E-G-B-D-F, can be remembered as “Elephant’s Great Big Dirty Feet”).
You might be using the best study techniques at home. You may be applying clever study tips while working through your assignments. But if you’re skipping lectures or tutorials, you’re likely going to miss something important – perhaps a detail not mentioned in the textbook or a handy hint about what to expect in the exam. Remember the core reason you’re in the UK, and don’t miss classes unless you have a valid reason to do so.
With this said, participating in other aspects of university life is also essential for having the full UK student experience. Show up for Orientation Week to meet other students, join any clubs that match your passions, and get involved in campus events when they don’t conflict with your study schedule.
You’re here to get a degree and have a good time – and yes, it’s possible to do both.
Follow These Study Tips for Exams
Most courses culminate in an all-important exam. Prepare yourself for this stage of the semester by:
- Asking for exams from previous years to practise with
- Transferring your notes into more interactive formats (e.g. flashcards or flowcharts)
- Organising your study space to minimise potential distractions
- Buying healthy snacks (e.g. fruit and nuts) rather than junk food
- Drinking enough water to stay hydrated while you study and during the exam
- Leaving time for reasonable breaks in your study schedule.
Ask for Support When You Need It
Student support services are there to assist you. Whether you’re struggling with workload or mental health issues, don’t suffer in silence – speak to the support staff to see how they can help you cope.
Most universities in the UK have specific support for international students (such as English language assistance). If you’re having any trouble adjusting to the UK’s culture or completing English assessments, help is available.
Travelling abroad to study is sure to be a lifechanging experience. Now that you know how to study in the UK, you’ll have a better chance of succeeding academically while also enjoying your time here. For more study tips and relevant information, check out our other tips and advice articles.