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  • Lakshman

Some useful advise on doing an undergraduate (UG) degree in the UK

I must say, this post is a work in progress account: I will keep this developing and adding useful information as I go on. 

IT is a fabulous opportunity to become a UG student in the UK, it is a crucial, long, useful four year period of development. You can join the very vibrant, diverse and dynamic student community consisting of many countries all over the world. The period of undergraduate studies, generally during four year time period. While, you will gain a lot useful managerial skills by participating in lectures, you will equally gain important skills of networking, team working and leadership by associating and taking part in activities organised by various different student groups, including the student Union. 

However, the best people to ask about what it’s like to be a UG student in the UK is to ask the current UG students. I asked a group of my students what advise they can offer for any future student who is considering doing an undergraduate degree and I list their thoughts as below: 

‘The University is an investment so focus on the future rather than how it seems now’. 

‘Try to join a society or sports club – it is a good way to meet people who have similar interests’. 

‘Pick something [a programme of study] that you are actually interested in, otherwise you won’t give 100% effort and will come out within a lower class degree. Plus, it  will help lead you to a job you actually want’. 

‘Move into halls [of residences]. Join a team or society – esiest way to make friends. If you can do a year abroad (Heriot-Watt University offers this opportunity to do the degree in different countries)’. 

‘Research the specific degree to see if it suits you. Make sure you actually want to learn, not just get a degree’. 

‘Make the most of it, join extra stuff like sports and soceities’. 

‘Try everything and make the most of all opportunities available – you never know, you might find something new you love’. 

‘Take all your academics seriously, always prioritise it. Have fun but manage with your studies. Don’t stress out. Avoid last minute work’. 

‘Find work experience while studying. I encourage to take a ‘gap year’ within the degree programme strictly for employment reasons – a working gap year’. 

‘Organise your time effectively’. 

‘Make sure it is something you are interested in and can see a potential future in’. 

‘It’s not all about drinks and partying put in the work and don’t waste your time’. 

‘Make sure you have a general interest in the subject. If you don’t, it will be very hard to say motivated’. 

‘Choose your own path don’t allow others to make that decision of for you. Don’t rush!’. 

‘A degree at university helps builds you up as a person by learning different perspectives. It takes a lot of hard work but opens your up to greater opportunities’. 

‘Take the most of all the opportunities presented to you as I have found that university has opened up so many opportunities for me’. 

‘Put yourself out there and try as many things as possible. Make the most of your first three years before it gets hard’. 

‘Get into the habit of reading and referencing widely early, it will make 3rd and 4th year!’. 

The above are wise words indeed, from the perspective of a group of honours year students who are just about to finish their UG studies. I have no doubt they will add to your though process on doing an undergraduate degree! 

Dr. Lakshman Wimalasena


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