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How we teach

At the University of Northampton our teaching is focused on you, and how you will use your new knowledge in the world.

We refer to our approach to teaching as Active Blended Learning (ABL), and in ABL we don’t want you to sit in lectures and take notes – we want you to own your own learning.

We prioritise seminars, workshops, lab and studio sessions that allow closer interaction between staff and students. We achieve this level of personalisation through small group teaching and one-to-one tutorials that mimic the professional world, allowing for experimentation, ideas, teamwork and feedback.

This innovative approach was the cornerstone of our submission to the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), in which the University of Northampton was awarded the highest possible “Gold” rating in 2017.

Our new Waterside campus, which opened in August 2018, has been purpose-built to enable ABL to take hold as Northampton’s new normal. It’s a modern, revolutionary learning space with teaching rooms designed for group work, flexible spaces that adapt to be whatever you need, and packed with the latest digital technology to support your learning. Why not come to one of our Open Days and see for yourself?

  • Interactive small group sessions These are face-to-face interactive sessions, for example seminars or workshops that are normally be taught in groups and specialist space is not typically required.
    Specialist space sessions These are face-to-face sessions, usually in small groups, that make use of specialist space, for example laboratory sessions.
    Interactive large group teaching These are face-to-face interactive sessions, for example team based learning or workshops. These sessions will normally be taught in groups greater than 30.
    Lectures Typically these are broadcast sessions delivered to student cohorts.  The University is committed to reducing these to those where there is an exceptional requirement to bring a cohort together.
    Off-site activities On some courses, the opportunity for fieldwork putting what students have learned into practice, as well as expanding knowledge of a given subject, or visit an environment linked to the course.
    Work-based or placement learning This refers to any period of planned activity whereby students engage with a third-party work-place as part of their programme of study, and where there is transfer of direct supervision of the student to the third-party.
    Online learning activities with tutor input Sessions where students work individually or in groups on learning activities that are categorised primarily by being facilitated online. They are part of a package of work that could include something to read, watch or listen to, followed by active online engagement including interaction with the tutor.

    These activities are likely to feed in to face-to-face sessions either as preparation, follow-up, or midway through an activity, or in combination.


Our brand new £330 million campus.

  • Designed to adapt to 21st century teaching.
  • Full range of integrated learning environments.
  • 24/7 library and learning zone.
  • Low environmental impact.

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