Second year review

Whilst the 1st year is usually considered as a nice warm-up before serious academic studying, the 2nd one definitely requires more time and effort put into the university life. Here are some of the things I experienced during my 2nd year, as well as the top tips for you to make the most of your second year! 

Critical thinking

There’s no doubt that with the higher level of studies, the expectations are bigger, and you will be required to invest more time into your assignments and/ or seminar preparation. The modules’ material will also be more complex and difficult. But the most important thing about your second year is that you need to learn critical thinking and apply it in your assignments. To put it simply, critical thinking means not taking everything you learn for granted – you need to start questioning things and draw your own conclusions. 

I was so surprised when I got my first 2.1 in the first term of 2nd year, and my tutor explained in feedback that my assignment was too descriptive. Whilst what I wrote might have been enough the year before, the requirements for a first-class degree changed. You need to apply higher level of academic research and writing in your assignments.

Being more independent

In the 2nd year, you also need to be more independent. In my first year, we were usually receiving extensive list of the exact things we should include in our assignments. But that changed a year later – you will have to start figuring out more things on your own. Of course, you can still ask your tutors’ questions because they are here to support you, but you also need to take the matters into your own hands.

Start thinking about employment opportunities

Whether you want to go on a placement year, or a shorter internship – a second year is a good time to start gaining more professional experience in your field of interest. Personally, I decided to choose a summer internship from May-August which I’m finishing right now, and I learned so much from it that I’m sure I will be able to apply this knowledge in my last year of university, and maybe even for my dissertation! Now that you’ve finished your first year, you should be more or less directed towards your career goals, so take this time to explore the available opportunities and feel free to discuss your ideas with the Careers & Employability Team

Get involved!

The first year was all about settling into the new city, meeting new people and getting used to the university life, but now that you finally settled in – it’s time to get involved in all of the amazing activities our university has to offer.

From trips, societies, coffee catchups (organised by our wonderful Global Experiences Team) to volunteering opportunities – there’s really something for everyone. Make the most of your time at the university and make new friends. You’re already familiar with the campus so why not take advantage of that!

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