A guide for parents
Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions a young person has to make. Understandably, many students and their parents worry about making the right choice. University can be an incredible few years and a great investment for the future, but also a very daunting prospect. As a parent you will have your own questions about Higher Education and, more specifically, about London Metropolitan University. This page is designed to answer these questions and to point you in the direction of further help and information where necessary.
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Courses at London Metropolitan University are designed to be flexible, allowing students to tailor their course to suit their needs and interests. The majority of degree courses allow students to study single honours (one subject) or joint honours (two subjects). However, students on a joint honours programme can transfer to study only one of their subjects on a single honours programme at the end of the first year. The modular approach also means that aside from the number of core modules that students are required to complete, depending on the subject area there is also a wide choice of optional modules, some of which can be taken from different subject areas and departments.
Teaching and assessment method
Some students are much better at individual study whilst others prefer more guidance and contact hours. Study at university is much more independent than at school or college. Students are expected to be self-motivated and able to complete much of their study independently. Teaching methods vary widely depending on the subject and the institution. They may consist of lectures, seminars and classes as well as practical and laboratory sessions. The assessment method is another important consideration, depending on students' preferences and skills. Most of our courses are assessed by a combination of coursework and examinations. Some subjects also require an assessed practical element.
Study abroad programme
Amazing opportunities to study or work abroad as part of a course are available at most universities including London Met. For students studying some programmes, such as languages, a minimum of a one-semester placement abroad is usually compulsory, and a full year abroad is often encouraged. Placements are either at a partner institution or in industry. However, for students at London Met an opportunity also exists in most departments to study in another European country. Under the ERASMUS scheme the University has student exchange agreements with 16 different European countries. From their second year onwards a student can spend three to 10 months studying in one of the University's partner institutions. The period abroad will count towards the final degree and no fee from the host institution will be charged.
One of the main things students will need to consider when choosing to go onto Higher Education is where they would like to study. Studying locally and living at home can be a cost-effective way of continuing education. However, many students feel that being away from home, often for the first time, is all part of the university experience.
We have three campuses located in the heart of London, with excellent links with businesses and the wider community. There are plenty of events and activities to take part in every day. Many students enjoy the unrivalled opportunities, excitement and diversity that studying in London offers. Whether the lifestyle appeals to a student is an important aspect for them to consider when applying to universities and Higher Education institutions.
The learning, sports and leisure facilities offered by a university can vary widely. We have excellent learning resources including our mock courtroom for legal trainees, newsroom for aspiring journalists and Bloomberg information terminals for economists and banking students, while our art students benefit from Cass Works, which offers specialist facilities including wood, metal and plastic workshops, digital manufacturing technologies, TV and recording studios, editing suites and darkrooms.
Our £30 million science centre, featuring a ‘superlab’ with 280 workstations, offers a multitude of facilities. Students benefit from specialist laboratories for tissue culture research and microbiology, a nuclear-magnetic resonance room and a Category 3 laboratory suite for research on airborne or transferable viruses. The centre also features sports therapy study facilities, nutritional physiology labs, phlebotomy labs and more. Students at the School of Computing have access to a number of exciting labs including the Gamelab Studio, complete with programmable games machines connected to PCs, some of the most advanced Cisco labs in London and a mobile applications lab with software that allows students to build apps for multi-platform smartphones. At our WOW Agency, our top IT, digital and multimedia students work on real, paid projects, such as developing new websites and animations. Clients have included Comic Relief and EMI Records.
Sometimes at university a student will need help and advice on various issues. At London Metropolitan University we have a whole range of staff on hand to assist and support students in all matters from health and religion through to finance and study.
Quality of teaching and research
The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) is a useful resource for finding out about the quality of teaching and research for a particular subject at a particular university. Likewise, the Unistats website contains statistics, documents and reports about the quality of teaching.
Both sites are independently assessed so it is an accurate way of researching course quality.
The best way of deciding if a university is the right place to study is to go to an open day. At these events students and parents can find out specific information about the courses, facilities and life at university as well as meeting current students and academics. We hold a number of open days and we welcome parents at these events.
|Honours degree||The most common qualification at Higher Education level. A three year full-time course in a wide range of subject areas.|
|Extended degree||A Year 0 acts as an additional year at the beginning of a course and provides the necessary background for entering into a degree programme (you might have heard Year 0 referred to as “Foundation” year). Suitable for students who may not possess the necessary knowledge and qualifications to start a degree.|
|Sandwich courses||Four-year degree courses. Between the second and third years of study a student undertakes a work placement which the university helps them to find. This can be invaluable industry experience for students and they are often paid. London Metropolitan University offers a sandwich option on a wide range of degree programmes. Shorter placements are also offered for a number of courses.|
A unit of study. Typically, a full-time course will consist of eight modules per year, some of which are compulsory, and ones that are free choice that can be taken from any department across the university.
Many undergraduate programmes are accredited by professional bodies, meaning the qualifications can provide exemption from professional exams. This is something to consider for careers where professional examinations are often required or advantageous, for example accountancy.