Hi, I’m Emily Myers and I am currently studying a BSc (Hons) in Animal Behaviour and Welfare.

I started at Reaseheath in September 2016 and it was one of the biggest and best decisions I have made. Preparing for your degree can be really exciting (but also quite overwhelming) and it can be easy to forget the little things that can have a huge impact on how you feel in your first few weeks. I learnt a lot in my first year and I wanted to share some tips with you in the hopes that you will feel a bit more prepared and a little less nervous…

Here are my top 10 tips:

  • 1. Learn how to reference early

    Referencing is an easy way to gain marks in coursework (so long as you know how to do it properly!). Learning how to reference early on in the year made the completion of my assignment work quicker and easier, as I didn’t have to keep referring to the APA referencing guidelines. The 2016 APA referencing guidebook available from the Reaseheath Moodle is an extremely useful resource for learning how to reference.

  • 2. Make use of the recommended reading lists provided for each module

    A range of recommended books proved to be beneficial in the completion of many of my assignments; Campbell’s biology book for example is an extremely useful book for biology, anatomy and evolutionary modules.

  • 3. Read around your subject

    Having a good understanding of your chosen subject will help to prepare you for what may be covered within the modules. Carrying out wider reading will also help you in completing assignment work and later exams. Reading journal articles throughout my first year also helped me to understand how to incorporate them into coursework, which will be extremely useful especially in the later years of your degree.

  • 4. Make use of online resources

    University Centre Reaseheath provides various online resources, from how to reference to revision techniques, as well as an online library available to students to help them throughout their degree. I have found many of these beneficial in the completion of my coursework and especially in learning how to reference.

  • 5. Review lectures

    Reviewing lectures is a good way to build your understanding of what has been covered within your modules. I often review lectures to reinforce my understanding of the content, and create notes to aid me in coursework and preparation for exams.

  • 6. Manage your time and work

    Throughout my first year I used timetables and checklists to help manage when I would complete assignments and how long I would spend on each; this was extremely useful in helping me ensure all assignments were completed on time, as well as make sure I had some free time.

  • 7. Plan study sessions with friends

    This is a great way to share ideas about lectures, coursework, as well as to revise for exams. I have had numerous study sessions with my friends, as I found studying with friends to be more enjoyable than studying alone.

  • 8. Plan your work

    Making plans such as spider diagrams for your coursework can help you to map out exactly what you need to include within your assignment. I often use the marking criteria to help with this, as it helps you to ensure you cover all the necessary areas.

  • 9. Proof read your work

    It is good to get in the habit of proof reading all of your coursework, as this will help to identify any mistakes and missing grammar in your work.

  • 10. Get involved

    There is so much you can get involved with at Reaseheath including societies, committees, volunteering, sports activities and evening events. I have been a part of various animal focused societies, where I have had the opportunity to work with and learn about some amazing animals. I have also had the amazing opportunity of volunteering at Reaseheath Zoo, which lead to me getting a job as a casual keeper. Make the most of opportunities available, it is good to give yourself a break from work and many will help to build your CV.