Active learning and innovative teaching

The excitement of discovery

In many universities, there is a gulf between teaching and research. By contrast, our academics and students share the excitement of discovery together. Our academic staff are driven by their passion for pushing the boundaries of knowledge in their fields; and what enthuses their research inspires their teaching. Their latest research contributes directly to the modules in our degree programmes. Students are seen as partners in the learning process, discussing the very latest thinking in seminars and tutorials, with many having the opportunity to become active members of research teams. This is education at its collaborative best.

Our innovative approach to education is typified by the Strategy and Security Institute (SSI); it’s an interdisciplinary research centre which brings academics together with partners from other organisations – including the military, intelligence agencies, NGOs, media and the private sector – to carry out research and consultancy in issues relating to global security. The Institute teaches a number of undergraduate modules based on its research expertise. Its module on strategic studies includes a workshop run by a senior practitioner and also a large scale crisis simulation, where students get to see strategy in action.

You should expect to be an active contributor in seminars, tutorials and online learning environments. In return, you will be guided and supported by tutors to become increasingly independent in your learning.

You’ll learn through lectures, seminars and tutorials, as well as field work, laboratory classes and IT sessions depending on your degree programme. We have invested heavily in an interactive online learning environment (ELE – the Exeter Learning Environment) which encourages blogging, online discussion forums and virtual field trips. Here you will also find materials, notes and e-books/journals for your modules and video archives of lectures.

Our facilities for videoconferencing and webcasting allow students on different campuses to share learning experiences and to review sessions in their own time and at their own pace. This creates opportunities for you to personalise the experience to meet your own needs.

You will have a personal tutor who is there to support you and help you deal with any problems or issues that arise.

Student academic skills development

We offer a wide-range of skills programmes, workshops and individual support covering:

  • essay writing
  • managing dissertations
  • presentation skills
  • time management and prioritising
  • critical reading and writing
  • revision strategies and exam techniques
  • note-taking.

Working in partnership

Through the Students as Change Agents project the University works in partnership with the student body to continuously improve the learning and teaching experience, and most degree programmes have a Staff-Student Liaison Committee (SSLC) where students’ recommendations for change are embedded into strategic planning and action.

The variety of teaching methods, topics and the teaching environment throughout the year has helped me to thoroughly enjoy my first year at university, as well as encouraging me to work to my best abilities.

Undergraduate in Engineering

I really enjoyed the tutorials as informal discussion was allowed so you didn't feel afraid to speak up. This also allowed me to make a lot of friends who were in my tutor group making group work a lot easier and more enjoyable.

Undergraduate in Geography

The communication between students and teaching staff is excellent; information about all aspects of student affairs is clear and available; feedback is good; lectures are of a very high quality and understandable; and employment opportunities are brilliant.

Undergraduate in Psychology