Blog: Your Academic Year

Does the College’s three-term structure work for you? Are all your deadlines and assessments crammed into the end of term?

The College wants to know what students think about the current shape of the academic year.  We’re working with them to find out whether we can spread assessments (coursework) throughout the term to avoid a bottleneck of deadlines, and whether the current structure of reading weeks (which is not consistent across the college) is fit for purpose.

So why do they want my feedback?

As you probably know, Royal Holloway currently runs a two-term teaching system, with only one set of exams held in the summer term.

This is an issue that we have heard in staff-student committee meetings and education council over the last two years - students who take taught units in the first term aren’t examined until May/June. This means students are having to re-learn the information ahead of the summer exams, in addition to spring term modules.

For other for other departments like Drama, Theatre & Dance, written exams aren’t a thing. This may mean that some of you could feel left without a clear sense of focus and like you aren’t getting value for money. Not being aware of some your course marks before mid-to-late summer is also reportedly making job and internship applications difficult for you, as it’s harder to tell which degree classification you are on track for.

And of course, with the importance of work experience for future employment nowadays, you might want to optimise the amount of time you have for part-time Christmas and summer jobs.

How can I help?

Once this survey has closed, a working group (including student representatives) will look at the responses and design two possible models of an academic year, which will be considered by Academic Board later this term alongside our current system.

If you want to think through how we might better spread assessments out across a term, you might like to attend the TESTA workshop at our Course Rep Conference on 24 January (you don’t have to be a Course Rep to attend) looking at Transforming the Experience of Students Through Assessment (T-E-S-T-A, geddit?) 

What are you waiting for? Click here to take the survey!