What is contact time?

Contact time refers to the number of hours that you spend learning in contact with teaching or associated staff, either in-person or online. Your number of contact hours will depend on the subject you are studying and the design of your course.

We mainly focus on seminars or tutorials, rather than lectures. This allows closer interaction between you and your teachers, through small group discussions or one-to-one work. This is also similar to practice in the professional world, allowing for experimentation, ideas, teamwork and face-to-face feedback.

Contact time may be virtual, through the use of online discussion groups, Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) and other digital methods. We take a blended approach to learning, to make the most of your time. It puts you at the centre of your own learning by giving you more opportunities to ask questions, delve deeper into your subject and, ultimately, give you the experience that will benefit you after you graduate.

Some of the most common types of contact time are:

Interactive small group sessions Face-to-face interactive sessions, for example seminars or workshops
Specialist space sessions Face-to-face sessions, usually in small groups, that make use of specialist space, for example laboratory sessions
Interactive large group teaching Face-to-face interactive sessions, for example team-based learning or workshops, taught in groups of more than 30
Lectures Broadcast sessions delivered to an entire course year group
Off-site activities Any learning that is not based at the University campus, for example fieldwork or visits to an environment linked to the course
Work-based or placement learning Students engage with a third-party workplace as part of their course, supervised by the workplace
Online learning activities with tutor input

Individual or group learning activities that are provided online. This could be something to read, watch or listen to, followed by active online engagement including interaction with the tutor.

This is likely to link into face-to-face sessions as preparation, follow-up, or midway through an activity.