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Preparing for postgraduate study

Studying at postgraduate level may be a different learning experience than you’re used to. Whether you're a UK, EU or international student, it helps to know what to expect when you start your studies with us, and where to get help if you need it.

PG study prep

If you're going straight into postgraduate study from your undergraduate degree, you may find the transition into postgraduate study 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 and self-motivation are essential.
  • If you’re studying whilst holding a full-time job, or you have a family (or both), it's important that you’re disciplined about studying – 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 list, 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.

Help manage your transition to university learning by using the NTU Student Dashboard to manage your own learning and see how engaged you are with your studies.

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.


Most courses are divided into modules. Some are compulsory and form the basis of the degree, while others are optional.

You need to successfully complete a certain number of modules to progress to the next year of your degree or to graduate. Assessment methods include:

  • exams
  • projects
  • reports
  • group work
  • presentations
  • dissertation.
Student in Boots Library


The library service provides access to a large range of print and electronic information covering all of our subjects – from print books and journals, to online market reports, maps, and technical standards documents. If we don’t have what you need, we’ll do our best to get it for you.

All subjects studied and researched at NTU have corresponding library materials, while staff are on hand to guide you– whether that’s exploring the library for the first time, navigating our databases, or borrowing laptops.

We’ve thought of everything to make your library experience as convenient and focused as possible: from great Wi-Fi and 24/7 access, to a huge range of independent and collaborative learning spaces, and power outlets within an arm’s reach, wherever you work. What’s more, we’ll help you brush up on your key academic skills with:

  • Workshops and one-to-one sessions on most aspects of academic study, such as essay structure and critical thinking.
  • Staff and library student mentors, who can help you with maths, study and research skills.
  • Our Skills for Success portal, providing online resources, tutorials and training.

Get to know your library as soon as possible. We provide tours from the moment you arrive to give you an idea of the environment, and what’s on offer. We also run workshops throughout Winter Welcome 2020 – and beyond – on studying at university, getting to grips with referencing and managing your time. Visit the NTU Library website and bookings page to find out more.

IT resources and printing

You’ll find thousands of PCs across our campuses. Wherever you’re based, you’ll have access to Microsoft Office 365, your NTU email account, networked file storage and on-demand printing, with a free allowance for each student (plus professional on-campus print shops for any larger, specialist projects).

For more information about the University’s IT facilities and support services, visit the Library and Learning Resources and Current Students sections of our site, or visit our support forums for help and advice about the IT services available at NTU.

Help, support, and where you can find it

If you’re struggling with your studies – an idea, or perhaps even a whole module – talk to your course tutor and they’ll make sure you get the right help from the right people, at the right time. You’ll find contact details for your course tutor in your course information on NOW, and 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, 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.

If you’re looking to improve your work, there’s plenty of additional support available. In some Schools, this is provided by a team of trained student mentors – in others, by University staff. Our support provisions include academic workshops, our drop-in Study Skills Cafés, and one-to-one guidance. There’s plenty of choice, so pick the one that best suits your needs.

The library offers help to all students with information and research skills, study skills, academic writing, and maths and statistics. See us in person at the Information Desk in your library during full service hours, or book an appointment with a member of staff or a Student Mentor.

You can also chat to the library online no matter where you are, using the online chat function on our library web pages.

Your Student Support Services

Our Student Support Services team are here to help you to study effectively and make the most of student life. If you have a diagnosed disability, require specialist support or need practical adjustments, we can provide advice and guidance with your transition to NTU.

The team can provide specialist support for the following:

  • Dyslexia or other specific learning difficulty – visit our dyslexia support page or call +44 (0)115 848 4120 for more information.
  • A disability (physical or sensory impairment, or long-term health condition) – visit our disability services page or call +44 (0)115 848 2085 for more information.
  • An autistic spectrum condition – visit our disability services page or call +44 (0)115 848 2085 for more information.
  • A mental health difficulty, such as depression or anxiety – visit our health and wellbeing page or call +44 (0)115 848 2085 for more information.
  • International students can visit our International Student Support team in the Newton building (City Campus) for visa guidance, help with settling in to life in the UK and for advice on working part-time.
  • If you’re studying at Confetti, you can access specialist support by emailing or by calling +44 (0)115 952 2075 for more information.

For general enquiries about the support we can provide, visit our Student Services page or contact the team on or by calling +44 (0)115 848 6060 with your query.

Arranging additional funding

Visit the website for more information about the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). The DSA provides extra funding on top of your student finance allocation to support you during your studies (subject to eligibility).

Advice for student parents

If you’ll need to manage your studies around family life, take a look at our information for students with caring responsibilities to find out what financial support you may be entitled to.

Information and support for care-experienced students

Our Student Support Services team can provide information to students who have spent time in Local Authority care, to help ensure that the transition to university runs smoothly.

Visit our information pages for care leavers for more information about the advice and support available, as well as details of our NTU Care Leaver Bursary.

Student Charter

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.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418