Studying in Leeds
In this Section:
- Teaching and learning
- English language support
- Our study facilities
- IT and academic skills
- Career skills and work
- Student Support
Academic culture in the UK can be very different to the teaching styles you may have experienced in your home country.
Here, at the School of Law, we value independent thinking and critical judgement, and design our courses to develop these valuable qualities in our students.
An integral part of our style of teaching encourages you to assess arguments yourself. We expect you to question and challenge conventional perspectives, and contribute your ideas and thoughts to group discussions.
In order to develop this approach, you will need to direct your learning through your own reading and research, working independently and studying on your own for significant periods of time. This will require you to manage your time and workload effectively.
We teach many of our courses through lectures and seminars.
A lecture is a large class -- sometimes with over a hundred students -- where a tutor or lecturer talks at length about a specific subject, and students listen and take notes. Lectures guide you through course materials, introduce you the latest up-to-date thinking about a subject, and give you an overall view of the topic in question.
In contrast, seminars are smaller with a group of students discussing a pre-agreed topic with a tutor or lecturer. Seminars are designed to stimulate debate, and explore different perspectives about an issue.
The Language Centre
The Language Centre has been providing high quality English support and training in a friendly, caring and academic environment for over twenty years.
The Centre offers support to help you develop your skills in English and other languages. You can improve your language skills by using the audio, video and computer-based materials in the Language Centre's self-access area, and use their online language learning materials.
If your first language is not English, you will take an English Language test in the Language Centre soon after you arrive. The result of this will show if you would benefit from extra language support and, if so, you will be offered a place on a free part-time English course.
The centre also provides free, in-sessional English courses for international students that cover language development, academic writing, essay and dissertation writing. There is also a writing consultation service and workshops on writing for research.
In addition to this in-sessional support, the centre also runs pre-sessional English language programmes.
We are incredibly proud of our sustainable modern purpose-designed law school that was completed in January 2011. The new building, which involved an investment of around £12m, provides the 21st century version of the Law School, founded in 1899, with superb facilities and offers first class facilities for our students and excellent social space. These include high quality teaching and research facilities, a purpose-built moot court room incorporating the latest technology, a law and community centre to support the School's pro-bono work as well as space for the many co-curricular activities that we offer to our students.
There are three main libraries on campus: The Brotherton Library, the Edward Boyle Library and the Health Sciences Library. The University also has one of the largest research libraries in the UK and will shortly complete the building of its new undergraduate library, which will provide 1,000 new study spaces and is due to complete in 2015. The extensive Law Collection is housed in the Brotherton Library which was described as one of the 20 Most Spellbinding University Libraries in the World in 2013.
The libraries are open seven days a week and are equipped with silent study areas, group study locations to discuss and work together, and technology to get online. At information points in each library building, you will find helpful, friendly staff to answer all your questions.
Plus, you can access lots of library information online when you are off campus. The University is investing heavily in online resources so that you have full access on and off campus to a wide range of law databases. You can check if the library has a certain publication, search for items on a specific subject, renew books, find module reading lists, and find out more about free Skills@Library training sessions.
Don't worry if you can't bring your own computer, there are over 1,800 computers in 36 clusters (computer rooms) around campus. Most clusters have long opening hours, and there are over 400 PCs available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Internet access is also provided at most halls of residence. Your username enables you to use any networked PC around the campus, as well as the student Portal and your own email address. You can access your email through Webmail wherever you are in the world!
However, if you do bring a computer with you, you will be able to access the internet across the campus with our WIFI network.
Information Systems Services (ISS) offers a range of training options to help you make the most of the IT facilities at the University of Leeds.
There is an online induction course for new students to enable them with the essentials like security, printing, internet access, and home drives as well as in-depth guidance on how to access and use the student portal, the system you use to register, enrol on modules and access your student email, and the virtual learning environment where you can access reading lists and documents for your chosen modules.
ISS also provides free courses for postgraduate students who may require help with more specialised IT use, such as using Microsoft Word to produce a thesis, or using Excel, OriginPro or NVivo for research data.
Academic skills training
The Library at the University of Leeds offers a plethora of different training methods to enable you to enhance your academic skills through Skills@Library.
Skills@Library offers a variety of workshops and online tutorials on subjects such as speed-reading, managing information, training for presentations, exam skills, time management, mind mapping and improving your writing. These workshops are friendly, interactive and informative, and available at various times.
You will also benefit from free 'drop-in' sessions where you will receive one-to-one support with an experiences advisor to help you improve an academic skill.
Career skills training
The Careers Centre provides resources to all students, from investigating different occupations and researching a specific career to finding vacancies and completing an application. The Centre also offers support, advice and guidance about the interview process, assessment centres, declarations and psychometric testing.
You will also be able to benefit from:
- The Careers Centre information room which is stocked with high quality resources and the centre's experienced staff will help you navigate the sources available. Careers Centre information room.
- A database of graduate jobs and events, access to a virtual careers library and a series of career planning modules for undergraduate students. Find out how the Careers Centre can help you.
- Support for budding entrepreneurs with Spark, an initiative to help students set up their own businesses. Spark offers appointments with business mentors, and workshops and seminars targeted at developing the skills needed for business set-ups, such as understanding cash flow, tax and VAT. You also have the opportunity to take part in a Xing workshop, a strategic business game that takes you through the decision-making processes required to set up a business. Careers Centre - Spark.
Work experience and placements
Your visa or passport will clearly show whether you are allowed to undertake any working activity in the UK.
If you are permitted, you can take up work with an employer during your studies. You will find further information about international student work permissions on the UK council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website.
If you are permitted to undertake working activity, then the Careers Centre works closely with employers to provide a database of opportunities available to University of Leeds students.
Academic and pastoral support
An excellent student experience is not only about academic development but also personal development and support. The School of Law provides pastoral care and academic support to help you make the most of your time in Leeds. Every student is allocated an academic member of staff as a personal tutor who will meet with you and monitor your academic and personal progress throughout your time at Leeds. In addition all the academic staff on your programme provide opportunities every week when you can ‘drop in’ without appointment and discuss any issues. These might be academic but can include the provision of careers advice, module advice or any other issues. The School also has a well-resourced pastoral support office that can provide further help. The School is also exceptionally well-connected with the legal profession in Leeds and beyond.