Skip main navigation

How I’ll learn: tutorials

In this step we explain what happens in a tutorial in a UK university
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0

In some universities in the UK, tutorials are the main method of teaching. In others, they are quite rare. But what should you expect?

Omar’s experience

Another word I wasn’t sure about was ‘tutorial’, which I thought meant meeting your tutor one-to-one to get individual guidance on your studies. Again, it did mean this sometimes, but I also had group tutorials with ten students in them to ask questions, especially when we were preparing for exams or assignments or when tutors wanted to give us more specific information and advice.

What will you experience?

Traditional tutorials in UK universities involve a student meeting with their personal tutor in order to discuss the work they have produced and to give them the chance to ask questions about the parts of seminars, lectures and reading that they are not sure about. However, as with seminars and lectures, tutorials have changed significantly over the last 20 years. Students now receive feedback from their tutors in a variety of different ways. Tutors on many courses will create a video of themselves talking about a student’s work and how they can improve it and send this to the students. If the student has any questions about the feedback they can email the tutor, have a video chat with them or book some time to have a face-to-face conversation.
Group tutorials are often used when students are completing group work as it is an opportunity for a tutor to see how the group is working together and to give the group advice about how to improve their work. Group tutorials are often useful around assessment periods because if one student has a question about the assessment then the tutor can give the answer to the whole class and make sure that everyone understands the important information.
Whilst tutorials can have many different formats, tutorials in UK universities usually involve a tutor giving feedback to a student and giving them an opportunity to ask specific questions about things that they are having difficulty with or want to know more about.

Your task

Have you ever had a tutorial at university? What happened? Was it similar to the ideas Omar told us about?
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
This article is from the free online

English for Academic Study

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now