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Supporting and Facilitating Student Learning: Study Hours

This statement outlines our vision for supporting and facilitating student learning. This vision draws on, and coincides with, that of the Warwick Student Community Statement, a collaborative declaration jointly agreed by the University and the Warwick Students' Union.

A Warwick degree course should excite and stimulate, as well as equip students for a challenging and fast-changing world. Learning is a dynamic process with outcomes that are a product of the unique contributions of all participants. Students are expected to be proactive in their learning, rather than passive recipients of knowledge; staff are expected to challenge and inspire those they teach.

All members of the community are expected to reflect on their own development and to engage in constructive dialogue leading to improvements in the experience of current and future students. In so doing, staff and students commit to enhancing each other’s experience within a safe, supportive and stimulating learning environment .


The University of Warwick exists as a community of students and staff who share common goals in promoting world leading education and research. Warwick is an independent, international and cosmopolitan body that is committed to seeking solutions to major global problems and serving both the local and global community. Core Warwick values include commitments to equality, diversity, excellence in all areas of research and learning, an ambitious and entrepreneurial attitude, an openness to rational inquiry with intellectual integrity, and accessibility to students from all backgrounds at all stages of their learning. Ours is a highly cosmopolitan and diverse community in which different perspectives are essential to the generation of ideas. It is an environment in which the ability to voice those ideas is a core value and in which staff and students should operate with mutual respect and with the confidence that equality of opportunity is accessed by all.

Warwick, as an institution and with the full involvement of the Warwick Students' Union (SU), aspires to involve students in the best possible experience they could have whilst studying at Warwick. This statement sets out the mutual aspirations and expectations of members of the University in fostering this high quality experience and enhancing the vibrant, welcoming, and yet challenging, Warwick community to which we all belong .

This means that at the University of Warwick, we value you as partners in academic endeavour who are developing as independent, active learners, studying for a degree or other qualification through a combination of teaching sessions, group work and individual effort.

It means that education at Warwick is about far more than timetabled contact with staff and what happens in the lecture theatre, laboratory or a seminar room. Education involves a significant amount of self-directed study, under appropriate guidance from academic staff, the regular preparation of course work, whether individually or collectively in student groups, and examinations with their attendant preparation.

We aim to provide you with:
  • opportunities to learn from and study with subject experts, who are engaged with cutting-edge research and who deliver high-quality teaching;
  • an excellent range of study spaces that facilitate a variety of modes of learning;1
  • a wide range of non-academic support recognising the variety of your student experience and needs;2
  • a designated personal tutor or other academic advisor, whose role it is to provide advice on your academic progress and development.3
As a student you should aim to:
  • commit to engage fully with your course. Your intellectual commitment is vital to your success and to creating a productive learning environment for others.
  • ensure that you dedicate sufficient time to your studies.
  • attend all timetabled sessions and engage fully with their content.
  • engage fully with opportunities for supplementary studying and independent learning available to you.
Study Hours

The University has decided not to establish a common minimum or expected level of timetabled contact hours at course level. This is because the balance of contact hours varies according to subject, year of study, and pattern of module choices, and will be distributed differently across the standard teaching period. However, each module has a set minimum number of timetabled hours that each student is expected to attend. You can find the information about minimum number of timetabled hours for your modules from your module/course handbooks and/or departmental websites.

More generally, and to give you an idea of your workload, you should expect to spend 10 hours of study (timetabled, non-timetabled contact with tutors and private study or self-directed study) per unit of credit. Undergraduate Bachelor’s degrees typically comprise 360 credits and Undergraduate Master's degrees typically comprise 480 credits. Postgraduate taught Masters courses typically comprise 180 credits, with a variety of module weighting. Although no credit weighting is attached to postgraduate research courses, you should expect to work for 1,800 hours per annum if enrolled on a full-time postgraduate research degree, or a proportion thereof, if enrolled part-time.

You will benefit from different sorts of teaching and learning. These include timetabled and non-timetabled contact time with tutors (in addition to private study/self-directed study), for example:

  • lectures;
  • seminar discussions;
  • staff office hours;
  • practical classes in a laboratory;
  • case study work;
  • workshops;
  • ad hoc tutorials in preparation for, or giving feedback on, an assignment;
  • virtual discussion groups;
  • e-mail exchanges with staff;
  • personal tutor meetings;
  • study skills sessions;
  • fieldwork and site visits;
  • dissertation/thesis/project supervision;
  • web-based discussion groups;
  • revision sessions;
  • residential field courses;
  • film screenings;
  • study skills sessions;
  • engagement with central skills and careers provision;
  • feedback on assessment;
  • reading groups;
  • grammar clinics;
  • e-learning resources;
  • compulsory group work;
  • online content e.g. podcasts;
  • community clinics.

Many of you will have the opportunity to carry out a work placement, study on an exchange or year abroad, or partake of part-time learning as part of your course. You will have access to appropriate support and advice in advance of and during these additional learning situations.

1 These study spaces include, but are not limited to, the Library, the Learning Grid, Learning Grid Rootes, the BioMed Grid and Learning Grid Leamington, Postgraduate Hub, Wolfson Research Exchange, the Teaching Grid, the Transnational Resources Centre, IATL, Humanities Studio, Milburn House, etc.

2 These include, for example: Student Support Services, including a University Senior Tutor and a network of Departmental Senior Tutors; Student Careers and Skills; the International Office. The Students' Union also provides a range of services to all University students, academic and non-academic.

3 As set out in the Minimum Requirements of Personal Tutors.

Approved by Senate 2 July 2014. Published online 8 July 2014.