College courses - University College Birmingham

Do the Right Thing

The units on your course

All FE courses are composed of a number of different units. Each time you begin a new unit you will be issued with a detailed Scheme of Work. This gives a description of the unit, a week-by-week breakdown of the topics covered and assessment information.


Lessons can take a variety of forms. They may explain some of the key theories and topics for a particular subject, or give a broad outline of a topic area. Obviously, they are an important means for you to learn about your chosen industry. However, it is important for you to appreciate that lessons form only a part of the strategy for you to learn and achieve the learning outcomes of a specified unit. Achieving the learning outcomes can also depend on further reading, seminar contributions, assignment completion and, where necessary, attendance at workshops or the Academic Skills Centre. Directed reading is given with every lesson.

Don’t forget to take notes in your lessons!  Note-taking is an important skill that should be further developed over your years of study. Help on note-taking can be obtained from the Academic Skills Centre

Academic Skills Centre

Guest lessons

Throughout the year a range of guest lessons will take place. Guest lessons offer a very good opportunity to help explore an issue or part of a subject in greater depth. They can also often give an insight into the day-to-day operational issues that employees must deal with in the industry.

Guests may sometimes be brought in on a specific unit to talk about a particular topic. Alternatively, a guest lecture may have as its subject a more general theme.

Teamwork/group work

In order to develop the skills required to work effectively in a team University College Birmingham realises that students will need to learn and develop certain business ‘life’ skills throughout their academic progression on a particular course. Therefore, FE students will be introduced to group work to build employability skills such as interacting with new colleagues, social and cultural understanding and reflecting on your own personal contribution.

Rules of Conduct for Lectures


You are expected to arrive promptly for lectures and seminars and latecomers may not be allowed in. This is for the benefit of all students, as latecomers are disruptive to the group. You should also note that lateness can affect your payments for the Discretionary Bursary Scheme (DBS).

Attendance and Missing Lectures

All students’ attendance is monitored. The expectation is for you to attend all lectures and seminars as this will help ensure you will succeed and show your commitment to the course. If you have a poor attendance record, this could affect your progression or even your continuation on your course.

In the event of unavoidable lateness or absence, students must follow the FE Absence Guidelines and notify the University College Birmingham Attendance Team before timetabled classes are due to start.

If you do have an authorised absence from a lesson, lecturers have an expectation that you will attempt to catch up on missed work. Any handouts can be collected from the relevant lecturer teaching the unit. You will be expected to copy the missing notes from another student, with any queries or clarification given during a relevant workshop session.

Further Education Absence Guidelines

Fitness to Practise

Some courses are designated by the Academic Board as being subject to Fitness to Practise requirements. These support the promotion of the standards and ethics of relevant professional bodies and students on these courses must sign the relevant code of professional conduct and fitness to practise. More information is provided within the General Student Regulations and details are available from the relevant course team, the University College Birmingham Registry and the Codes of Professional Conduct which can be found on the University College Birmingham Policies and Regulations page.

Student RegulationsPolicies and Regulations 

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