Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


Student Workload and Expectations

Student in library, looking at an open book.

It might seem that that you have very few hours of teaching. However, History is a discipline that requires wide reading and careful preparation so that you yourself can acquire the skills of a researcher. For classes to work properly, you need adequate time to prepare properly. 


The guidelines below have been produced by the History Department in response to requests from students for clarification about workloads for History degrees and modules.

  • The University regulations stipulate that a single module "shall normally comprise a minimum of eighty study hours plus associated assessment". This means that a 30 credit module requires 240 hours of work plus time spent on assessed work. Examinations and assessed work are marked on the assumption that you have fulfilled these requirements.
  • What this means in practice, is that during each semester a student in full-time education is expected to spend the equivalent of 40 hours per week on their studies – that is, a full ten hours of study each week for each of your History & Welsh History modules. These hours include attendance at lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, with the remainder of the time spent in independent study, particularly in reading and in making notes on what you have read in preparation for seminars, and when appropriate, in preparing and writing items of coursework and revising for and sitting examinations. Remember that Exploring Historical Debate (Year 2) and the Dissertation (Year 3) also count as modules.
  • Terms cover not only the eleven teaching weeks of the Autumn and Spring semesters, which include reading and guided study weeks, but also the periods of assessment that follow each semester.You are expected to work an equivalent number of hours during these weeks. Attendance at the University during these weeks is obligatory unless there are good academic reasons for absence.

These hours are sufficient to allow you to prepare for seminars, do all the appropriate reading, and to produce all the necessary formative and summative coursework. However, the wise student will also devote some time to revision during the Easter break. Preparatory reading lists are provided for each course, and you might find it helpful to make use of these during recesses.

What you can expect from the Department:

We cannot learn for you and you are encouraged to take increasing responsibility for your own learning and for the presentation of your findings. However, it is our responsibility to help you learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, and to help you become independent learners. Therefore you can expected staff to

  • be research active, up-to-date in their knowledge and well prepared for classes
  • provide lectures and seminars are well delivered, well structured and take place when scheduled (unless they are ill of course)
  • show respect for their students, fellow tutors and the learning environment
  • deliver teaching that makes appropriate use of resources, with supporting materials that are well presented, helpful and timely
  • deliver teaching that encourages your to take responsibility for your own learning
  • provide clearly stated learning outcomes at both scheme and module level that reflects external benchmarks
  • use forms of assessment that are clearly linked to the learning outcomes of the module in question, and that allows you to develop as well as informing you of the standard you have reached at that time
  • provide appropriate and detailed feedback that allows you to gauge your own progression
  • ensure that they are, within reason, available out of scheduled class time via office hours and e-mail
  • give you opportunities to provide feedback on the quality of teaching
  • give you fair opportunity to recover failed assessments
  • give you fair opportunity to report any extenuating circumstances that may have affected your performance