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5 things you need to know about exams in the UK

You might have an offer already or you might be a lucky first-year student who doesn’t have January exams. In both cases, you might be interested to learn more about what exams are like in the UK, and at Exeter in particular. This blogpost is the first of a series of three ‘5 things you need to know…’ articles so stay tuned if you want to find out more about lectures and seminars in the UK and the mysterious Flexible Combined Honours course at Exeter.

How many exams do you have? How long do they last? What is the format of the exam? When do they take place? What do you have to bring to the exam? When do you get the results?

These are the most general questions I get from new students so I thought it might be useful to address them in a blogpost. I’ve gathered some useful information below so that you have an idea of what to expect during the exam period. However, these points tend to be more general and you might find that the requirements for your course differ in some aspects.

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   February 27th, 2018    Exams and Assessment, Higher Education, Studying, Undergraduate


Exploring Cornwall – The Lizard point

When you see all those beautiful pictures of nice beaches, turquoise water, massive rocks and sunny weather, you always imagine it’s somewhere far away in a tropical country, but here is an example of what you can see right next to you while studying at the University of Exeter in Cornwall. Incredible, right?! A year and a half ago, I would not believe that I would be able to see this in England. (more…)

   February 5th, 2018    Cornwall, Exploring Devon and Cornwall, International, Life in the South West, Life on Campus, Penryn Campus, Studying     , , , , , ,


5 steps for choosing the perfect dissertation topic

There is one moment of momentous importance that occurs in every student’s life. One of many, I should say. But a vital one nevertheless. Yes, choosing a dissertation! That moment when you’re faced with pages and pages of titles and description. And it is an important moment. Especially as a major part of your final (or Masters) year will be spent researching a topic and writing a massive dissertation on it. So it’s important that you’re really interested in that topic. When you love what you do, you never hesitate to put hours of work into it.

For many, including me, there’s no clear topic of choice. I had no idea what I wanted to do so I came up with a 5-step process to help narrow down my choices. (more…)

   January 16th, 2018    Exams and Assessment, International, Postgraduate, Studying     , ,


Our study tips

With exams just around the corner we thought we’d put our study tips together to help those of you who need a bit of advice.

  • Jasmine – Plan your revision and think like your lecturer
  • Josh – Write it down, and you’ll actually get started
  • Thesia – Know How You Study Best 
  • Niki – Feed your brain
  • LPBe prepared and check your bag the night before

Good luck everyone!

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   December 27th, 2017    Exams and Assessment, Higher Education, International, Miscellaneous, Studying


Deadline Life

For every student, December is a super exciting time of the year because it’s Christmas and you get to be home with your fave family members – your dog!! (I’m kidding, but am I really?)

However, being a Uni student means deadlines, especially towards this time of the year and as much as most of us love the holidays, our deadlines come first. The worst is having assigned essays over the break – the last thing that you  want to be thinking about whilst having an amazing time with family and friends is writing about how Katherine Philips was a repressed homosexual due to social construct in the Renaissance (that was what I wrote about in my first Christmas break – a really interesting topic, but not interesting enough when you’re surrounded by good food and music!) You might just end up winging it by smashing out that essay in the last few days of break WHICH IS NOT A GOOD IDEA, DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS!!

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   December 21st, 2017    Exams and Assessment, Postgraduate, Studying, Undergraduate     


Dear UCAS applicants

Dear UCAS applicants,

How’s it going? I have to admit that I’ve erased most of my UCAS time from my mind. It was NOT FUN. Ultimately, it just becomes a short period of time in your memories. All you can really do is your best, submit and then drop it all out of your mind. There is a point where it’s out of your hands and that’s the point where (for most of you) this is your final year, and you need to focus on your work.

However, there is a bit of advice I’d like to give you.

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   December 19th, 2017    Careers, Cornwall, Exams and Assessment, Higher Education, International, Lectures and Seminars, Life in the South West, Life on Campus, Miscellaneous, Penryn Campus, Preparing for University, Studying, Undergraduate


How I ended up in Cornwall, and why I love it

I didn’t really decide to come to Cornwall – I originally applied for Streatham campus. I received an alternative offer between trips to visit family in Europe and a holiday in Scotland.

I did, luckily, find the time to come spend a night during the few days reserved for clearing students to come have a look. My brother and I grabbed a late train to the South West (by the skin of our teeth) and watched the countryside speed by with a mix of anticipation and anxiety. We landed in this strange land of rolling hills that dip into the ocean and bright yellow dairy only slightly ambivalent anymore about whether I should accept this offer or not. I know I made the right decision: Cornwall grows on you. (more…)

   December 8th, 2017    Cornwall, International, Life in the South West, Miscellaneous, Preparing for University, Studying, Undergraduate


Nicola’s day in the life

Hi! I’m Nicola, a second year student studying Management with Marketing from Hong Kong. This is a day in my life!

I’m up bright and early at 7:30am, as I like to take my time to make breakfast and watch the news in the Morning. Today, like most days, my  breakfast of choice is Porridge because it warms me up on a cold morning. After breakfast, I’m off to attend my lecture. I actually really enjoy walking to school, I get to appreciate how beautiful the campus is. (If I’m lucky, I even get to spot a few squirrels on my way to campus!) (more…)

   November 17th, 2017    International, Life on Campus, Studying, Undergraduate


Katya’s day in the life

Hi, nice to meet you! My name is Katya and I am a 4th-year student at the University of Exeter, studying International Relations and Business management with proficiency in Italian. I know it is a long title, but I certainly enjoy my course!

Today I’ll walk you through my day at the university. It is Thursday morning now. I normally wake up quite early and try to get most of my studying done in the first half of the day (but it never happens…:). My day starts with a plate of porridge, a healthy and traditional breakfast at home.

I’ve got some reading to do for my two modules, plus preparing a report. The deadline is tomorrow and the topic is “Resistance to change at Nokia”. It’s a groupwork task in one of the Bus  iness Management modules (in Business you always do little group assignments).  (more…)

   November 17th, 2017    International, Lectures and Seminars, Life on Campus, Studying, Undergraduate


A day in the life of an international student

It’s International Students’ Day, so I thought it would be fun to show you what one of my typical days is like so you can get a sense of what to expect as an international student in Exeter.

About me

In case you haven’t read my profile, let me dedicate a few lines to introduce myself. I’m Niki, 21, from Hungary, a second-year undergraduate at the beautiful Streatham Campus. After having changed my course 1… 2… 3 times (that’s right!), I’m now on track to get a degree title of something like ’Sustainability with French with Work Experience Abroad’. I feel that I really did find my passion in this course and I absolutely love my modules. I’m the Social Secretary of the Hungarian Society and I was part of the International Welcome Team this year, so you might have bumped into me in my bright pink T-shirt throughout Freshers’ Week. I’ve recently got the role of International Social Media Assistant at the University, which I’m incredibly excited about. (more…)

   November 17th, 2017    International, Life on Campus, Studying, Undergraduate


Studying at the University of Exeter

Have you ever dreamed of going to a beach after a lecture? Have you ever thought it could be possible to have a group meeting with a sea view? That is what life at the University of Exeter can be like!

Studying at the University of Exeter will give you a chance to experience a lot of new opportunities. One of the advantages of being a student on the Penryn Campus is being only several minutes away from the sea. A big variety of clubs and societies, that can only be found here, helps students to broaden their horizons as well as gives an opportunity to meet people form different parts of the world. (more…)

   November 17th, 2017    Cornwall, International, Life in the South West, Miscellaneous, Penryn Campus, Studying, Undergraduate


Balancing work and study with CFS/M.E.

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When I began my Master’s degree in September 2014, I never imagined how much my life would change between then and now. I managed, more or less, to complete half of the programme’s taught credits in the first year, but then stumbled through two abortive attempts at beginning my second year, and am only just returning to study now.

In late September 2016 I was diagnosed with CFS/ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). After what seemed an endless barrage of blood tests and other various proddings/pokings, I was formally diagnosed and I began to learn about how to live with the condition.

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   October 12th, 2017    Distance Learning, Postgraduate, Studying


My third year at University of Exeter Medical School

It’s been a while since I’ve written for this blog, but I thought I’d share a few words about what third year at Exeter medical school is like. This year our cohort has been split, so half of our year went down to Truro for 3rd and 4th years and the other half stayed here in Exeter. It was a bit of a shame because a lot of friendship groups got split up, but people seem to be happy studying where they are. For 5th year we swap around, so those in Truro come back to do 5th year in Exeter and those in Exeter head down to Truro for 5th year.

I’m really not sure if the Medical School gave us enough warning about what a massive step third year is from second year. Last year we were spending everyday on campus with a few contact hours a day and just one day a month on placement, and now suddenly we’re spending 4 days a week on busy wards with hardly any structure or supervision. I’m not complaining at all, it’s so interesting and exciting and I feel more like an apprentice rather than a student, but it is hard work. I feel like last year if you didn’t know something, it was ‘alright because you’re just a second year’. But this year, I’ve heard of quite a few of my peers being reprimanded by doctors and consultants because ‘You’re a third year, you really should know that by now’. I’m not sure what they thought was going to happen over the summer, but suddenly a lot more is expected of us. It’s motivational though, the fear of being embarrassed drives you to work hard and make sure there are no gaps in our knowledge!

So, to elaborate on what the structure of the week is like this year: Monday is Academic day, where we have 2 hours of lectures and then either clinical skills session or professional practice group in the afternoon. Tuesday we begin our week of allocated placement and spend the afternoon having tutorials (1-4 hours of teaching sessions from healthcare professionals). Wednesday morning we have placement again and then the afternoon is free for self-directed study or sport (or working at Superdrug, in my case). Thursday and Friday we spend all day at placement. Our allocated placement changes every week, and often varies greatly from one week to the next. They are often specialities of medicine, such as cardiology, paediatrics, psychiatry, GP and obstetrics and we rotate so that everyone in the year spends time in each speciality. A week in each placement isn’t a long time, which is good if it’s not something you enjoy, but frustrating if you do enjoy it and don’t have time to really get stuck in. Some specialities such as cardiology, elderly care and psychiatry have more than one week allocated.

I’ve found I’ve got less free time than last year, and when we do have time off we’re usually so knackered from the week before that it’s harder to fit in activities like sports. Nevertheless, I still find time to work 20 hours a week at Superdrug and go to the gym 3-4 times per week, which I find keeps a nice balance to my life.

In terms of assessment, we have 4 Medical Knowledge progress tests and 5 SSU essays to write. We also have clinical competencies (performing examinations, taking blood, etc) both in clinical skills (a simulated environment) and whilst on placement. In addition to this, we have to write 2 reflective essays for our academic tutors to read.

I know we’ve still got so much time to decide which speciality we want to work in, but I’m keen on the idea of paediatrics. Although I haven’t actually experienced my paediatric placement rotation yet, so that may change in the future. The good thing about rotating placements every week is that by process of elimination we can decide which specialities we find interesting and which ones aren’t for us.

All in all, I’m still really enjoying my time here studying with Exeter Medical School. Although it is challenging at times, I feel so fortunate to have a place here and have also made it this far through the course. This year I’ve been given insight to what working on wards as a doctor is like and now I can’t wait to graduate and start working!

   May 5th, 2017    Studying, Undergraduate


From Reading Week up to Christmas: what to expect!

For first year students and those lucky second years (myself included), reading week is upon us. But as you hear this term ‘reading week’, you can’t help but wonder what’s it all about? Well, as most people decide to go home for a few days, reading week can be a nice break from the hustle and bustle of a packed out term. Reading week is largely about enjoying the freedom of not buying and cooking your own food, of being able to watch TV, and of course, catching up with family and friends. However, not to be forgotten is the true purpose of this week, to catch up on academic work and basically organise yourself. First term can be a little overwhelming for anybody, living independently in a completely new place, making friends and adjusting to student life. Reading week is also just a moment to breathe.

From my experience, I advise: don’t waste your week! The second part of first term can be insanely busy and can fly by with deadlines, house hunting and exams looming. Here’s a few tips on how to deal with the period from reading week up to Christmas!

1) Use your time effectively in reading week:- catching up on any missed work (we’ve all been there), or start planning/writing your essays/reports etc. Also, as silly as this sounds, take advantage of home cooked meals! This is also a chance to bring anything back to uni you may have forgot,such as a Halloween costume. A Christmas jumper also always comes in handy in December (socials, flat meals etc)

2) In November, start looking for houses for next year. Make sure you’re clear on who you’re living with and commence house hunting! A lot of them are released in November and there’s a mad rush which leads up to the Housing Fair. You won’t want to leave this issue until when you have exams, it’s just unnecessary stress!

3)Don’t leave all work until last minute! Leave yourself enough time to do the research, write out a draft, edit the draft, and also enough time left in case something goes wrong (illness, losing work etc)

4) Go to lectures. As simple as this tip is, I know it can be hard on a freezing cold Monday morning dragging yourself out of bed for an 8:30. However, it is worth it, as missed lectures can slowly add up and when the time comes to revise, you’ll realise that you don’t know half of your course!

Lastly, enjoy this festive time of year! Exeter also has a fantastic Christmas market, which is something to look forward to!

   October 25th, 2016    Exams and Assessment, Life on Campus, Studying, Undergraduate     , , , ,


Why I’m studying A History Degree

Term two of second year has gotten off to a great start. I’m so glad to be back in the buzz of university life, have a schedule of basketball practices and Exeposé meetings to structure my week around and get stuck back into my degree. I was thrilled with how well received my One Second Everyday video was when it was shared on Exeter’s official Facebook page; 276 likes, 37 shares and over 5,000 views and counting! Looking back on it has made me realise how much fun I had last term – and how important it is to make the most of daily things; the walk to campus on a beautiful day, or weekend pancakes with my housemates. I will definitely be keeping it up for 2016, and now that I know the ropes of making a good compilation hopefully this one will be better than ever!

Today though, I thought I’d make a post on a more academic vein than I usually prefer to opt for. There’s no doubt that university life involves so much more than the degree, but it’s also important to appreciate we’re only here because of our degree.

Read the rest of Tess’ post…

   January 24th, 2016    Lectures and Seminars, Preparing for University, Studying, Undergraduate     , ,


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