My first term at medical school

Leaving home was the biggest but most rewarding choice I have ever made. I have met so many new people who have opened my eyes to new perceptions.

Preparing for University life

Study habits

Give us your feedback

We want to hear your suggestions to improve your studies and the Exeter student experience. There are several ways you can submit feedback:

About your course

» Accelerate 

Log in to this system to provide feedback during or at the end of a module.

» Student Staff Liaison Committees (SSLCs)

Each subject has a group of students who work with academic staff to feedback your views and develop improvements.

About your experience at Exeter

» Students as Change Agents 

Identify an area you want to improve, then work on it as a project with other students. 

» Student Ideas (Exeter) 

Submit an idea to the Students’ Guild.

Your studies

Preparing to study

How can I prepare for my course?

Your department will let you know if there are any specific tasks or pieces of work you need to complete before your course begins. If you want to do some preparation, here are a few things you could consider before or after your course begins:

  • Read any welcome emails you receive from your college, and have a look at their website to get a feel for the research going on.
  • Explore the Pre-arrival Library guide to learn about Exeter's range of academic resources and how you can access materials and specialist support for your subject area.
  • Explore the study skills support and resources available from Study Zone
  • If you have received reading lists for your modules, doing some of the reading before your course starts can help you manage your work during the term. Please be aware that not all courses have reading lists available before you arrive. 
  • Penryn students: Have a look at the support and resources available from ASK (Academic Skills).

What should I bring to my first lecture?

  • A laptop or pen and paper to take notes
  • Any preparation you have been asked to do in advance
  • Your smartphone with iExeter downloaded and Bluetooth and Push notifications turned on, to allow you to check-in online to your lecture

When does teaching start and finish?

Exeter: Teaching sessions may be timetabled between 08:30 and 18:30, Monday to Thursday, and 08:30 and 17:30 on Friday, although we try to keep Wednesday afternoons free from teaching.

Penryn: Teaching sessions may be timetabled between 09:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday.

Five minutes are allowed for class changeovers at the beginning and end of each session. 

When will I get my timetable?

You can access your personal timetable via the iExeter app or iExeter desktop, from Freshers' Week onwards (16 September). This may be later if you have not finalised your modules or registered online. 

Your timetable will show the time, location, module and type of class (lecture, seminar, etc) for each session. Visit the My Timetable help page for more information.


Study spaces

Exeter campuses:

View details of all our study spaces and bookable rooms on the Library website. To view real-time information on which spaces are free, visit the My Timetable site or use the Free Space or PC Finder features on the iExeter app.

Penryn Campus:

You can view and study spaces on campus via the Library website, and use the PC Finder on iExeter.

PCs and technology facilities

Wifi, open access PCs and print services are available on all campuses, and you can also borrow laptops to use on campus. A range of multimedia facilities are available on Streatham Campus.


Complete the online Library induction to learn how Library services can support you during your time at the University. 

Visit your subject guide on LibGuides for tailored support to help you make the most of the library resources for your subject. Library staff are available to help if you need guidance, get in touch with them via the links above. The libraries also have unique collections of archives, manuscripts and rare books to help with your research.

Penryn campus library tours: 

  • Tuesday 17 - Friday 20 September 12.00 and 18.00
  • Monday 23 - Friday 27 September 12.00 and 18.00 

No need to make an appointment, just come to the Library Help desk. Tours generally last 20 mins.  Please ask at the Help desk if you cannot make these times but would still like a tour, or email to arrange a convenient time.

A-Z database list

The University subscribes to a wide range of e-journals, databases, e-books and online newspapers, all of which are available to you via the A-Z database list.


Your module convenors will post online materials to support your studies in the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE). ELE also includes more general study skills resources.

Bookshops (Exeter)

  • Our campus bookshop, Blackwell’s, is open all year in the Great Hall Foyer and has an online store. Here you can buy all your reading list texts, often at discounted prices. Blackwell’s also buys and sells second-hand books.
  • The Students’ Guild runs a second-hand bookshop in the Print Room on Streatham Campus.
  • Book-Cycle Exeter is a charity bookshop where you can choose what you pay for up to three books per day. 


Your Academic Personal Tutor

When you arrive at university you will be allocated an Academic Personal Tutor responsible for supervising your overall progress. (For Penryn students, this is your academic tutor.) You will meet your tutor in the first two weeks of term and four times a year after that. You can speak to your tutor confidentially if you need urgent advice on any matter – academic, personal, financial or social. You can also ask your tutor to liaise on your behalf with other members of staff or with other sections of the University.

If you give your consent at registration, you and your tutor will have access to the MyProgress dashboard which includes information and analytics about your grades, your engagement with the University’s digital resources, your personal learning activities, employability and attendance. The dashboard also has the facility to record notes from your tutor meetings, so both you and your tutor can document progress towards goals and future priorities.

Read more here  

Study skills

Study Zone is a quiet independent and group study space in The Forum where you can get help with a wide range of study skills. You can access personalised advice in 1-1 appointments with one of our Advisers, bring your work along to Writing Cafés, meet with your Peer Support group and much more. If you can't make it in person or prefer to seek advice online, you can browse Study Zone Digital resources which are designed to support your studies at University.

Academic Liaison Librarians offer online support and 1:1 appointments to help you make the most of Library resources for learning and research. 

Your department

You can contact your department if you have any questions or concerns about your course. Find your subject's homepage and contact details from the lists of departments.

Support for postgraduate research students

  • Doctoral College - Training, resources and facilities to support your research. 
  • Research Toolkit - Online resources to help you develop and manage projects, collaborate internally and externally, share your research findings, and more. You will need to register and activate your IT account to access this.
  • Researcher Development - Resources, courses and careers guidance to help you develop.

Got a question? Contact us

The Student Information Desk (SID) can help with your queries about study support. Email or You can also visit the support and services pages for support with all aspects of university life. 


Depending on your course, you may be involved in some or all of these types of teaching during your time at university. If you are unfamiliar with any of them, you can find further details below. 


A presentation or talk on a particular topic, delivered by one or more members of staff. Lectures can be interactive, and you should expect them to form a basis for further reading, questioning and thought.

What to bring: Laptop or pen and paper to take notes, any required preparation work.


A classroom session focused on a particular topic or project. A typical seminar involves guided, tutor-led discussion in a smaller group than a lecture. Seminars can also be student-led.

What to bring: Any required preparation or research, copies of any required reading, laptop or pen and paper.


A one-to-one or small group meeting that involves supervision, feedback or detailed discussion on a topic, project or piece of assessed work. Tutorials place stronger emphasis than seminars on the role of the tutor in giving direction or feedback.

What to bring: Required preparation work such as essay drafts or notes.


A virtual lecture or online seminar.


A meeting with a supervisor to plan, discuss and monitor progress on piece of work such as a dissertation or extended project.


A session in which a practical technique or skill is demonstrated. Examples include laboratory skills, clinical skills, performance art or fieldwork techniques.

Practical class or workshop

A session involving the acquisition, through practical application, of a particular skill or technique. Examples include a laboratory class, artefact handling, language conversation or sports match.

Supervised time in studio or workshop

Time in which students work independently but under supervision, in a specialist facility such as a studio, rehearsal space or workshop. It could be timetabled or take place on an ad hoc basis.


Practical work conducted at an external site. Examples include survey work, data collection, excavations and explorations.

What to bring: Waterproof clothing, suitable durable footwear, any protective equipment you are asked to bring.

External visit

A visit to a location away from the usual learning spaces, to experience a particular environment, event, or exhibition relevant to the course of study.

Work-based and placement learning

Learning that takes place in the workplace, such as a managed placement in an organisation or business. 

Key dates 2019-20 (standard taught programmes)

Arrivals Weekend 13-15 September
Freshers' Week 16-22 September
Term 1 24 September - 13 December
Term 2 6 January - 27 March 2020
Exam period 6-11 January (to be confirmed)
Term 3 26 April - 11 June
Exam period 4 May - 29 May 
Fee payment deadlines Variable - please visit the Student Finance pages (Exeter campuses) or FXU Advice Service (Cornwall campuses) for details

What does that mean?

You might come across these terms and acronyms in the course of your studies. 


The Student Information Desk. SID is your first point of contact for Student Services.

‘SID’ refers to both the online enquiry service and the physical desks in the Forum (Streatham Campus), South Cloisters (St Luke’s Campus) and the Peter Lanyon Building / The Compass in the Exchange (Penryn Campus).


Often pronounced 'Ellie.' 

ELE is the University’s online Virtual Learning Environment, accessible via iExeter (under 'My Course'). Each module has an ELE page which can include a course outline, key resources, discussion forums and other e-learning activities. 


Our online student portal, providing personalised information and services to help you make the most of your life and studies at the University of Exeter. You can check your timetable, ask questions through SID, access your emails and files, find study spaces and view the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE). 

iExeter is accessible from any internet-enabled device, or you can download the free app from the iTunes App Store and Google Play


Your UniCard identifies you as a member of the University of Exeter, and you should keep it with you at all times. It gives you access to campus buildings, printing, the library and electronic resources, as well as discounts on buses in Exeter and Penryn. It is essential that you apply for your card in advance so it is ready for you to collect when you arrive at university. 

(and E-BART)

The online record of your written assessments for the academic year, accessible via iExeter. You will use it to print cover sheets for your work when you hand it in. Depending on your course, you may be asked to submit your work online through E-BART rather than printing it out. 


Lists of Student Attendance - an online system that records student attendance at teaching sessions. If you have a student visa, this system is used to ensure you attend the number of sessions specified by your visa. 


A coursework submission system used by some departments, available via ELE in iExeter

Personal tutor

You will be allocated a personal tutor responsible for supervising your overall progress. For research students this person is normally referred to as your ‘mentor’. You can speak to your tutor confidentially if you need urgent advice on any matter – academic, personal, financial or social. 

Academic tutor

See Personal tutor - the name given to personal tutors on Penryn campuses. 


The leading member of academic staff on a module, who determines the syllabus and assessments. 


Formative assessment does not contribute to your final mark given for a module, but provides feedback that is an integral part of your learning.


Summative assessment contributes to your final mark for a module. It is marked according to the assessment criteria and intended learning outcomes of a module. 


Informal term for a student who is new (or 'fresh') to their course.


A student studying towards a Bachelor’s degree such as a BA or BSc. 


A student who has completed an undergraduate degree programme and is undertaking further study, such as a Masters or PhD course. Postgraduate researchers are sometimes referred to as 'PGRs', and postgraduates on a taught programme as 'PGTs'. 


See Students’ Union.

Students' Guild / Students' Union

The two students’ unions incorporate clubs and societies, student events and elected Sabbatical Officers who represent you and work with the University on your behalf. They can offer advice on any aspect of university life, and ideas for improving your university experience can be submitted through the student ideas pages.

The Exeter Students' Union is the Students’ Guild. In Penryn, the Students’ Union (FXU) is run jointly between the University of Exeter and Falmouth University.


The National Union of Students – a confederation of 600 student unions, including the Exeter Students’ Guild and FXU.