7 steps to take when choosing modules
It’s come to that time of year where you have to choose your modules and it can be confusing so here are some simple steps to take when thinking of module choosing…
1. Listen to your module tutors when they pitch the module, are they keeping your attention? Do you think you can engage with them when you have meetings about your essays or revision preparation?
2. Read about the module online or your module handbook– if you look at the syllabus you can have a clear outline on what you will be learning so then you can see if you are going to enjoy the module. Enjoying a module is more important than for it to be an easy module; if you have no interest in a module you’re not going to work hard to reach your potential.
3. Work to your strengths- can you handle the essay pressure? Would you rather have a heavier exam percentage in comparison to coursework? Are languages your forte? Watch out for the jump up from languages, this is probably the biggest thing that caught me out this year. Since I didn’t work on my languages over the summer, I forgot a lot of my beginner’s Greek vocab and grammar. By the time I arrived in term 1, I wasn’t at the correct standard to take on intermediate Greek.
4. Have you considered external modules? But I warn you, the style of assessment and what is expected of you will change dramatically. I have been doing philosophy modules outside of the department to keep my degree interesting and interdisciplinary (even though the classics department has a lot of choices). I loved studying philosophy and it has been a great challenge and has encouraged me to improve my deeper critical analysis. However, I found the essays very difficult to get a high grade on because the essay style is completely different from what is expected from the classics department. If you like to change things and can keep on top of different content then external modules can be a real benefit to providing a refreshing aspect to your degree.
5. IATL? This year I have applied to do IATL modules. After attending the IATL conference last year, I knew that the ethos behind the department is what I wanted to embrace. The focus on practical skills and learning from a variety of students from different disciplines will enable me to have a new learning experience. I applied to do reinventing education and gender & violence. Since I want to work within the charity sector, I thought to have an insight into these subjects would help me with my career and demonstrate my passion for the sector.
6. Have you asked older students? I found it so useful to ask older students about their experiences with a particular module. They can direct you so specific books, essay guidance, indicate tutor expectations, revision preparation- absolutely anything!
7. Remember your dissertation… time-management is going to be the most difficult thing to do in your third year! You might be on the exec of your society, you’re career planning or doing things to build your CV. Your module timetable, out of hours workload, amount of reading needed are all things you need to find out about your modules.