Preparing for Your Studies
Studying at university level may be a different learning experience than you’re used to. Whether you're an undergraduate or postgraduate student, it helps to know what to expect when you start your studies with us, and where to get help if you need it.
On this page you will find:
- Timetables and term dates
- Learning environments
- Tutorials for learning online
- How to access your online learning environment
- Your IT essentials
- Advice from our current students
- CERT Student Mentors
- Assessing your learning fairly in 2021
- Support, and where you can find it
- Specific support for learning with a disability
- Additional advice for postgraduate students
- Student Charter
Timetables and term dates
If you’re new to NTU it’s important that you attend your course induction, check your course start date on your course induction information.
Whether you’re new or returning to your studies, visit StudentHub – your online resource for accessing support and guidance, to find out:
At university you will have the opportunity to learn and develop your skills in a variety of different learning environments.
Your course page will provide you with further details on how your specific course will be delivered, and how you will be assessed. You'll receive a full explanation about your course, and how you will be taught as part of your course induction.
Check what books and equipment you’ll need for your studies in your course induction information. You can always get hold of things when you’re here, but it’s a good idea to be prepared before you arrive.
If any significant changes are made to your course, you will receive an update by email. If you still have a specific question about your course, please get in touch with your subject administration team.
Here are some examples of the typical learning environments you'll experience during your time at NTU:
These are delivered by an academic and held in lecture theatres, classrooms, and online. They will introduce you to the main themes of your subject and give you a framework to structure your learning around.
Seminars and workshops
These are smaller interactive sessions led by an academic, providing an opportunity for you to debate and discuss your learning in groups.
Independent research and learning
You’ll be expected to prepare for all your lectures and seminars. Your course leader may set up study groups, where you can also discuss notes and share ideas with friends.
If your course requires access to technical support and the use of specialist facilities such as laboratories and studio spaces, you will have access to these, and your timetable will be carefully managed to abide by social distancing guidelines.
This can vary from essays to portfolios and presentations. Your course tutors will give you essential advice on writing university-level coursework in your course induction.
You will be provided with opportunities to experience the professional world and gain insight into business practises and behaviours. Every course will continue to have work-like experience embedded within it. Our Employability team are here to support you every step the way. They can support you with:
- Jobs and opportunities
- Applications and interviews
- Placements and work experience
- You can attend events, like job fairs and skills workshops
Talk to them via their live chat on their dedicated employability website.
You may find that feedback at university-level is different to what you’ve experienced before, and it’ll almost always be given after you’ve handed in an assignment. You can contact your lecturers and tutors by email, or they may run office drop-in sessions if you’d prefer face-to-face feedback.
Here's some advice from our current students:
Tutorials for learning online
If you've not had much experience learning online, or are after a quick refresh, then we recommend that you take the Online Learning at NTU tutorial. This will help you develop strategies for success, as well as showing you how to use the main online learning software.
Select your online induction tutorial:
How to access your online learning environment
Most of your online learning will be in NOW (NTU’s Online Workspace) and Microsoft Teams. NOW can be accessed via a browser – the best one to use is Google Chrome. You can access a wide range of course materials, information and activities, as well as making submissions and accessing support. NOW is a crucial information source containing videos of lectures, articles, and a wide range of learning resources.
NOW also contains your NTU Student Dashboard, designed to help manage your transition into university-level study and keep track of your own progress. It’ll also show how engaged you are with your studies, relative to your coursemates. Your tutors have access to this information and may use it to offer support – particularly during any one-to-one meetings.
The best way to use Teams is via the app on a laptop or PC. If you use a mobile device or the browser version, some of the features of Teams may not work for you. The best way for you to access your live Teams classes is via the Teams calendar. Each session will go live in Teams the day before it takes place giving our academic colleagues time to ensure the session is timely and appropriate.
Your IT essentials
We will provide you with a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 once you’ve enrolled. You’ll have an NTU email account, networked file storage and on-demand printing, plus a free printing and photocopying allowance at the beginning of each academic year.
Microsoft Office Multi-Factor Authentication
We're introducing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for all our first year undergraduate students. MFA adds an additional layer of security to authenticate your identity when logging on remotely to my.ntu.ac.uk and Office 365 applications.
When logging in for the first time you will be prompted to set up how you are going to authenticate your log in, this can be done through the Microsoft Authenticator app, text message or by phone call. We recommend using the Microsoft Authenticator app, which you can download for Android and Apple.
Once set up, you'll be prompted to authenticate your log in via your chosen method (app, email or phone call) each time you log-on.
Watch this short animation to understand how MFA works.
Need support with MFA?
You’ll have free access NTU WiFi on all of our campuses, to access the WiFi, simply scan for ntu-wifi and log in with your N number and password.
So that you can fully engage with teaching and other online opportunities, we recommend you have a personal laptop, or tablet, and internet access.
There are plenty of IT spaces available too, if you’re using one of the PCs on campus you’ll need your NTU Student ID and password. Keep this information safe – make sure that you don’t share it with anyone. If you need to get or reset your password you can do this via StudentHub.
If you’re using one of our PCs – whether you’re an NTU student or staff member – you’re bound by the University’s Computer Use Regulations.
Using your NTU email
Every student has an NTU email address. It’s important that you use your NTU email address, as this is how you will receive important updates about the University and your course.
Printing and photocopying
- You’ll receive a printing and photocopying allowance of £20 at the beginning of each academic year. This can be used on any printer or copier, anywhere on campus.
- Once that allowance is spent, you’ll need to cover the cost of any further printing and photocopying yourself. You can load credit onto your Student Card – there are plenty of machines located in our libraries and computer rooms.
- We also have two Printshops that offer professional printing, copying, binding, and scanning services at City Campus and Clifton Campus.
For more information about the University’s IT facilities and support services, visit the Library and Learning Resources and Student help advice and services sections of StudentHub, or visit our support forums for help and advice about the IT services available at NTU.
Laptop loan scheme
We do have a laptop loan scheme, designed specifically to support students who are unable to access a laptop, limiting them from fully engaging with their studies. If you are unable to access a laptop for your studies, please speak with your tutor who will be able to support you in the process of registering onto the laptop loans scheme.
Now that more teaching is taking place online, there are some precautionary measures you should take to keep yourself safe and protect yourself from online scammers. For more information, take a look at our Staying safe online page.
Assessing your learning fairly in 2021
Our preparations for this academic year included careful planning for assessment in the context of the pandemic.
We have kept students’ best interests at the core of what we do and at the heart of the decisions that we have taken. We want students to be able to show they have achieved the learning outcomes of their course.
Every student should be able to undertake an assessment fairly. We can only enable that by making sure what we offer is highly personal to you. All students have the offer of additional pastoral support, provision of IT equipment, extensions on deadlines, and other mitigations . But what each student will need will vary enormously.
CERT Student Mentors
Each first year undergraduate student is assigned a Student Mentor, they play an important role in helping new students settle in to life at NTU. Known as CERT (Collaborative Engagement and Retention Team) Student Mentors, they are second year, final year, or postgraduate students who studied the same course as you.
You'll meet your CERT Student Mentor as part of your induction.
Support, and where you can find it
Support from your course
If you’re struggling with your studies – whether it’s an idea, or perhaps even a whole module – talk to your course leader and they’ll make sure you get the right help from the right people, at the right time. You’ll find contact details in your course information on the NTU Online Workspace (NOW), as well as in your course handbook.
If you feel that your issue is bigger than a single module – if you’re struggling to get to grips with the whole course, for example – contact your personal tutor, academic mentor, or the year tutor. It’s important to let them know what you’re struggling with (and why) as quickly as possible, so that we can help.
Your course administration team are here to provide advice and guidance throughout your time at NTU – from enrolment to submitting assignments, and from finding work experience opportunities to graduating.
All courses have the dedicated support of a course administrator who works closely with both teaching staff and students. They are your first point of call for all administrative matters – for example, notification of absence – and can also advise on withdrawal and course transfer, assessment deadlines, and other queries or concerns related to your studies. If you are unsure where to find information, your course administrator can point you in the right direction.
Support from the Library
Our Libraries offer access to individual study spaces, books and printing facilities, plus a whole range of online services including first line IT support, eResources and academic skills support. You can speak to our Library staff in person, or contact us via chat, phone and email.
If you wish to use a study space at our Boots Library on the City Campus over the Summer Break, you will need to book online. If you're visiting the library at Brackenhurst, Clifton and Mansfield campuses, you don't need to book, but please check opening hours before you travel.
Library OneSearch is your gateway to NTU Library’s eBooks, databases, eJournals, NTU research and much more. Our online guide in NOW Student Help will help you find your way around, but if you’re still struggling then chat to us and we’ll do our best to help you find what you need.
If you need help using any of our online resources, you can book a 1-1 appointment with a member of the Learning and Teaching team or book onto one of the library workshops. Chat to the library online no matter where you are, using the online chat function on our library web pages.
Book an online appointment with a member of the Library team if you need help with academic writing, referencing, finding information, maths and statistics. We also have lunchtime learning webinars every day which you can join by booking a place.
You can also access lots of support resources in NOW Student Help, from support for Office 365 to how to print, copy and scan what you need.
Visit the NTU Library website to find out more.
Nottingham Language Centre at NTU offers English language support to all international students on our degree programmes, and at no additional cost. Our lecturers – who are experienced in teaching English for Academic Purposes – will work with you to improve your English language and study skills, and will also explain UK academic conventions related to your subject. You can attend classes to improve your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, or book individual tutorials with our staff.
If you need our support, there are a number of ways that we can help you.
- Complete the Coronavirus Tracking Form – tell us if you need support during isolation.
- Silver Cloud – an online platform designed to help you manage your wellbeing and track your progress.
- Get support for yourself – tell us about your concerns.
- Get support for a friend – tell us if you’re worried about another student.
- Make an appointment with our Student Support Advisers, if you are worried about your circumstances and how they might affect your studies.
If you're a Confetti student, you'll also have access to Confetti's very own Student Support Services Team. They provide a safe, discreet space for you to talk and work out the next steps in the support you need.
Confetti's Student Services team are based behind Confetti’s main reception and are open 8.30 to 5 pm. You can also refer yourself by emailing email@example.com or calling +44 (0)115 952 2075.
Support for international students
Additional learning support for Confetti students
Specific support for learning with a disability
We encourage you to tell us about your particular needs when you apply. This information helps us to make the right arrangements for you and provide the best possible support, so that your experience at NTU is a positive one.
Ideally, tell us about your specific needs on your UCAS application form or NTU application: you're not obliged to declare it, but if you choose not to, you may not be able to access our full range of support services.
As a student with a disability, you may be eligible for a Disabled Students Allowance (DSA). This can be used to supplement your student loan to cover the extra costs that might arise over the course of your studies, on account of a disability, health or learning condition.
Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and ADHD
Our support enables you to develop relevant skills and strategies over the course of your time at university, and to support you in achieving your full learning potential – while you’re studying here, and throughout your future career.
Our team run one-to-one advice sessions offering advice on:
- Your support arrangements
- Exam arrangements
- Applying for a Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)
- Diagnostic evidence requirements
- What to do if you think you may have a specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia
- How to access generic support within NTU, e.g. library study support
- How to implement the reasonable adjustments recommended by your evidence (e.g. extra time in exams)
Please visit our dyslexia support page or call +44 (0)115 848 4120 for more information.
Physical, sensory and long-term medical conditions
We can liaise with the University’s academic Schools, services and outside agencies, and help to coordinate any additional requirements you may have. We can also guide and support your applications for additional funding.
Our services include:
- Support with applying for a Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)
- Access statements and exam arrangements
- Timetabling support
- Library support
Visit our physical, sensory and long-term medical conditions page or call +44 (0)115 848 2085 for more information.
Autistic spectrum conditions
High levels of motivation, determination and enthusiasm are among the many qualities that we see in students with an autistic spectrum condition. We welcome early contact from all our prospective students so we can ensure that any support you may need is in place for the start of your course.
We offer a wide range of support for autistic students including:
- Support with applying for a Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)
- Access statements and exam arrangements
- Social activities, including a weekly lunch club
- Transition support
- Library support
Visit our autism support page or call +44 (0)115 848 2085 for more information
Additional advice for postgraduate students
If you're going straight into postgraduate study from your undergraduate degree, you may find the step up to be quite intuitive, as you’ll already have mastered learning independently and acclimatised to university life.
However, you may find the following helpful:
- Most postgraduate courses are intensive, and some are studied part-time. This means that good time management skills and the ability to stay self-motivated are essential.
- If you’re studying while holding a full-time job, or you have a family (or both), it's important that you’re disciplined about studying – and “little and often” might be your key to success.
- You may find postgraduate study more demanding than undergraduate study, and you’ll need to demonstrate independent analytical and critical thinking, work through all the essential reading on your list, and engage with criticism and theories. Ask your tutors lots of questions and debate ideas with your peers – be inquisitive!
You’ll find the learning resources for your course in NOW (NTU Online Workspace), a virtual learning environment where you’ll find useful information such as timetables and reading lists.
Returning to academic studies can be a challenge if you’ve been away from university for a while, and it might help you to brush up on your essay and report-writing skills.
As a student at Nottingham Trent University, your expectations will be as high as your ambitions. We’re committed to delivering a high-quality student experience that meets – and looks to exceed – those expectations.
The NTU Student Charter sets out what you can expect from the University, and what the University expects from you.