Myth Busting

< First Year

Does my first year count? If you need advice we are here to advise

You need to pass your first year of study in order to continue to your second year. However, your grades won’t count in your final degree classification. For some programmes, especially our professional programmes, you need to pass all your modules if you want to continue.

Your role in the learning process

Being at University is an opportunity for you to work towards a high level qualification that will help you further your career and life plans. As an adult learner, you play a critical role in the learning process. Our courses are designed to support you to become an autonomous learner who is prepared for life and work in the 21st century, when you graduate. You will be expected to participate effectively as part of a wider learning community, to engage meaningfully with the learning opportunities that are presented to you as part of your course and to complete assessed work on time. Along the way, we will support you to develop digital skills that will prepare you for when you graduate.

Find out more about how we teach.

I’ll get kicked out of University if I miss an assignment deadline

If you miss a deadline, you won’t be out of University. However, if you are concerned that you won’t meet the deadline in time, the best thing to do is let your tutor know as soon as possible and arrange to extend your submission deadline. If things are more serious, you can defer your submission to a point later in the academic year. Your Academic Course Team, your Personal Tutor and our Student Support and Advice Team can all advise you on the right course of action for your circumstances.

Assessment deadlines don’t really matter

At University, deadlines really do matter! If you miss them without reason or explanation, you will need to re-sit, which means you will not be able to achieve the highest grades for your work. You should have opportunity before the deadline to receive help and guidance from your module tutors to check that you have understood the requirements of the assignment and are heading in the right direction.

How do I know what modules I should be studying?

Every course at the University has an Award Map which lists the modules that you need to complete at each stage of your degree, and details any additional requirements or restrictions.

How is my course structured?

At University, a full time student will normally study 120 credits in each academic year. A minimum of 100 credits must be studied in an academic year to be considered a ‘full time student’, with anything less being considered part time.

I haven’t done as well as I had hoped- can I start again?

We don’t let students repeat modules that they have already passed, but remember that your first year (Level 4) does not count towards your overall classification and so you can use your experience and feedback to improve your skills.  If you notice during your first year that there are areas which need improvement or additional support then come along along and speak to a Student Support Officer who can help you to access any services which can help you to thrive in your studies.

How much am I allowed to fail?

The University has some rules and regulations about the amount of modules that students are permitted to fail during their time with us.  You can read more about this in Section 6 of the Undergraduate Student Handbook.

What should I do if I have missed a deadline?

Come and speak to a member of the Student Support and Advice Team as soon as you can. They can help you to find out when the next deadline is and talk to you about how to better manage your deadlines in the future.

Can I change my module choices?

If you have ‘designated modules’ on your award map then you do have some element of choice in what you can study.  If you want to change your designated modules then you can request to do this within 3-weeks of the start of the module. You can find more information about this on our webpage.

  • Do I have to attend a Discovery Day?

    No, some students choose not to come along if they have already attended an open day. It’s a great opportunity to find out more but if you are happy you know everything you need to, or aren’t able to travel to us again that’s absolutely fine. You’ll still be able to get in touch to ask any questions, right up until you start your course.

  • Who are Learning Development?

    Learning Development is a resource for all students that provides free guidance and tuition on any academic skills, such as essay writing, dissertations, critical analysis, presentation skills, maths and statistics.

    You can contact us by email at

    Who are the Academic Librarians?

    Academic Librarians can help with:

    • Finding information
    • Using Nelson Search Techniques
    • Google Scholar Searching for literature
    • Evaluating sources
    • Using subject databases
    • Exploring keywords
    • Recording your search

    You can book a tutorial with us, or attend a drop-in.

    You can also look at the Skills Hub for study advice, helpful guides and academic advice.

    What time will I start/finish?

    The earliest lectures will start is 9am and the latest they will finish is 6pm. On Wednesday they finish at 1pm to allow you to take part in sport.

    Will I have to be at University every day?

    It really depends on what course you are studying. You are more likely to spend more time in lectures on campus if you are on a professional course like Nursing or Policing. It’s best to check your timetable and make sure you are at all your lectures.

    Do I have classes at weekends?


    When do I receive my Student ID Card?

    You will receive your Student ID Card when you attend a face-to-face enrolment session.

    Am I expected to attend Welcome and Induction Week activities?

    We would strongly recommend that you attend your core timetabled sessions as this is where you will discover the key information you need to help you step easily into University life and begin to feel part of our wider community. You will also meet lots of people who will be with you throughout your time with us.

    What activities are part of Welcome and Induction?

    In addition to your core sessions with your Programme Team and your Personal Tutor group, there are lots of other fun opportunities across campus. You can choose which of these to attend, depending on what is most interesting and relevant to you. Our teams are on hand to help, the Students Union are available and their clubs and societies will be looking for new members. The Changemaker Hub team will be ready to help with questions around paid employment and other opportunities for you to get involved in life at University and beyond.

    When will I know who my Personal Tutor is?

    Your Personal Tutor will be allocated to you at the start of the academic year. Until then, your Programme Leader will be your named contact. You will receive an email from the University with the name of your Programme Leader early in the first term.

    What will my Personal Tutor support with?

    Your Personal Tutor will support you with all aspects of University life. Sometimes they will be able to solve the problem in discussion with you. Other times, it is more appropriate for them to signpost you to one of our specialist teams to ensure that you get the help that you need.

    Are the Welcome Week subject sessions compulsory?

    Making a solid start to University life is key to your success. Getting to know your tutors and make friends with other students will help prepare you for the rest of the year. You will learn about what to expect from your modules and what your learning and teaching will consist of. While it’s not compulsory, it is highly recommended that you attend.

    Where is the Student Information Desk (SID)?

    The Student Information Desk (SID) are located on the ground floor of The Learning Hub at Waterside Campus.

    What does SID help with?

    We can help you with student queries and general advice on a range of matters including:

    • Changes to your personal or course information
    • Advice on administrative and academic matters
    • Policies and regulations
    • Assessments, exams and ceremonies
    • Pre-enrolment and enrolment
    • Council tax certificate
    • Timetables
    • NILE queries
    • Signposting to specialist support services
    • Student status letters
    • Student forms

    I’m struggling to meet a deadline. What can I do?

    You can find information about how to request Extensions and Mitigating Circumstances on our policies page. if you’re not sure come and speak to a Student Support Officer.

    I don’t think I’m on the right course. Can I change to another one?

    If you think that the course you’re on is not right for you then come and speak to a Student Support Officer about your options. You can request a course transfer within the first two weeks of term, or if you are further on in your course can request to transfer or restart on a different programme at the start of the next academic year.

    I think I need to stop studying for a while. Is this an option?

    Yes, if you need a break from studying then you can request to take a Study Break. To find out more, please speak to your Personal Tutor or a member of the Student Support and Advice Team.

    How do I access the Skills Hub?

    You can access the Skills Hub via our web link:

  • What is Changemaker?

    Changemaker is an ethos that we embody at UON and we aim to give all our students the opportunity to become a Changemaker. Being a Changemaker means having a positive impact in the world and embracing a problem-solving mind-set to create positive change.

    Who are AshokaU?

    AshokaU are the international organisation who have awarded us our Changemaker status. We are part of a network of Changemaker Campuses around the world and we are proud to be a Changemaker University.

    What are Changemaker skills and values?
    Being a Changemaker requires you to develop some specific skills and embody our Changemaker values, including empathy, responsibility and leadership. We offer a range of workshops and events to help you develop these skills and understand why our Changemaker values are important.

    What is the Northampton Employment Promise?

    It’s a way for us to work together to ensure you are well prepared for the world of work when you graduate. If you meet the criteria of the promise we can support you with an internship to get you back on track.

    How do I become eligible for the Northampton Employment Promise?

    You’ll need to complete your HND or achieve a 2:2 or above degree classification and also one of our flagship awards – The Changemaker Certificate Gold or the Employability Plus Gold Award.

    What is Unitemps?

    It’s our on campus student recruitment agency.

    Can I register with Unitemps before I am a student?

    You can register with Unitemps online as soon as you have an accepted place at UON.

    Can I get a job working on campus?

    Yes there are various roles you can apply for and some of those are on campus for example a Student Ambassador.

    Where can I find the Changemaker Hub?

    We are on the ground floor of the Learning Hub next to the Student Information Desk (SID).

    What type of part time jobs are available?

    Opportunities change regularly but usually there are part time roles as a Student Ambassador, House keeping roles, external opportunities with local companies.

    What is The Employability Plus Award and The Changemaker Certificate?

    We offer a range of support for you whilst at university and after graduating, so that you’re ready for employment. The Employability Plus Award is one of our flagship awards, taking you on a journey from analysing your skills and understanding where you want to be through to gaining the experience you need to get there. You complete the award during your studies and there are different levels depending on how much you complete. The Gold award is the highest level and demonstrates your commitment and understanding.

    The Changemaker Certificate is a different award, which you also complete during your studies. We’re very proud to be an Ashoka U Changemaker campus and the award is designed to enable you to make a difference to the world around you. You can find out more here.

  • How do I join a sports team/society?

    All clubs can be joined via our website once you have completed enrolment. This is usually in your first few days. You can see a list of the groups we have on our website.

    What is the difference between a club and society?

    A sports club is a club formed for its respective sport, clubs offer social and competitive sport and train weekly for fixtures and competitions.

    Societies cover different types of interests, these are categorised into three sub-categories Academic, Faith and Recreational. Each society is different and host different events throughout the year.

    When does each group meet/train?

    This information may be on a groups page on the website but as many groups run one off events we recommend you contact them directly to confirm. Contact information can be found on our website.

    There isn’t a group that I am interested in

    Don’t worry we have new groups starting all the time! You might even want to start one yourself. There is more information on how to do this on our website.

    What groups are there that I can join/ How do I contact a group?

    There is a list of all the sports clubs and societies on the union website with all group contact details.

    I have messaged a group and they aren’t replying to me

    All groups are run by students who are studying degrees too so please be patient in waiting for a reply. If a group hasn’t responded in over a week, please get in touch with us via and we can get in touch with the group to see why they have been unable to reply.

    What are sabbatical and part-time officers?

    The union elects three full-time and one part-time paid sabbatical officers to represent students. These are the President; Vice President Education; Vice President Welfare & Activities and Vice President Postgraduate Research (Part-time). These officers work alongside part-time officers to represent different groups of students. These positions are voluntary and undertaken alongside the individual’s study.

    How do I find out who the officers are?

    You can find out the current officers and what they are hoping to do over the coming year on our website.

    How do I get in touch with the officers?

    You can find out the social media and email addresses of the current officers on our website.

    What do the officers do?

    The union officers are students’ main representatives to the university. They sit on important university committees and can raise issues to those who can make change. The part-time officers have a more focused representational role (e.g. LGBTQ+; International; Disability). All officers run campaigns; events and try to bring about change within the Union and the University to improve student experience.

    What is a Course Rep/Advocate?

    A Course Rep/Advocate is delegate who is speaks of behalf of their course mates. They go to programme leaders with concerns that students approach them with to try to bring about change.

    How do I become a Course Rep?

    You can nominate yourself for a Course Advocate role at the beginning of the academic year via the email

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