Teaching and learning
Our world-leading academics design our courses to inspire and support you to graduation and beyond.
Top of the Russell Group
for teaching in The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020.
“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”
The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018
10th in UK for research impact
out of 155 higher education institutions, Research Excellence Framework (REF)
A world-leading university
We are a member of the prestigious Russell Group, which represents 24 leading UK universities committed to maintaining the highest academic standards in teaching and research.
Gold standard teaching
Our distinctive approach to teaching and learning will challenge you to think independently and encourage you to grow and excel in a supportive environment.
Our commitment to offering you consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes has earned us Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).
In granting the award, the Office for Students said that York offers:
- excellent provision of careers support and development of employability skills to ensure very good employment and further study outcomes
- a research-strong environment that engages and provides the most outstanding levels of stretch for students in their learning
- outstanding academic support that enables all students to progress and succeed in their studies
81 per cent of our graduates said they had got a better job because of a York education.
Information provided by the London Economics analysis.
Learning by design
Each course provides unique learning outcomes so that you get the most from your time here. Whether you're working with academic staff or studying on your own, at every stage you'll understand what you're aiming for and why. Our innovative approach ensures that you have the skills and knowledge in place to progress confidently towards a graduate career or further study.
Each course has its own set of unique learning outcomes. These give you a clear description of what you can expect to be able to do when you graduate and will help you explain what you can offer to employers.
Our academics design each course so that you have the best opportunities to build your knowledge, develop your abilities and progress towards the outcomes. You’ll understand what work you need to do and how it helps you to meet each outcome.
You’ll get the guidance you need from your tutors and academic supervisor, and through assessment and feedback, such as exams, coursework, projects and group work.
Our global reputation for inspirational and life-changing research feeds directly into the teaching you’ll receive.
York is ranked 10th out of 155 higher education institutions for research impact (excluding all institutes that have submitted in three or fewer units of assessment).
Using social media I share photos and videos to contextualise chemistry taught in class to everyday life, demonstrate key lab skills and provide students with a bird's-eye view of my research. For example when I was in the Amazon rainforest I designed green chemistry experiments that students would do when I returned, and I shared this new research in real time.
Dr Glenn Hurst, Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Chemistry
Learn from our experts
At York you’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects.
Uncovering ancient settlements
Professor Nicky Milner, Head of the Department of Archaeology, is a director of the world-leading Star Carr project in the North of England where recent excavations have uncovered evidence of a thriving Mesolithic settlement dating from around 9000 BC.
Students have written dissertations using data generated from the excavations, giving them the experience of working in a research team and initiating their own research.
Exploring human interaction
How humans interact with each other in conversation is the focus of research by senior lecturer Dr Merran Toerien of the Department of Sociology.
When teaching, she uses recordings made in a variety of settings, from job centres to neurology clinics, to help students learn about how conversation analysis and how interaction unfolds.
Going against the flow
Professor Tom McLeish, from the Department of Physics researches properties of 'soft matter', a class of materials that can easily be changed by stress. He's also Chair of Natural Philosophy which reflects his strong interest in interdisciplinary work across sciences, humanities and social sciences.
Tom works with students on projects ranging from looking at theoretical models of protein molecules to reviewing medieval texts.
"Academics always have interesting discoveries to share from their latest research - this keeps lectures and seminars exciting and current. They also listen to student feedback and look for ways to constantly improve lectures. The high quality of teaching has enabled me to develop the ability to think critically and analytically."
Nicole, BA Education
Get the guidance you need from your tutors and academic supervisor, and through assessment and feedback, such as exams, coursework, projects and group work.
Flexible course options
Many courses allow you to pursue areas of interest by choosing from optional modules within your degree, or in some cases, from another subject. The balance of core and optional modules varies from course to course and year to year.
If you're interested in studying more than one subject, you could take a combined course, for example Politics and Philosophy, or Maths and Physics.
Tailored teaching styles
You may attend lectures, small group seminars, lab and practical-based sessions and small group tutorials, depending on your course. Many modules offer additional learning opportunities outside the classroom such as online resources.
Types of undergraduate degree
The duration of our typical undergraduate Bachelors degrees is three to four years, full-time. Qualifications include BA, BSc and BEng.
We also offer Integrated Masters degrees which are a year longer than a Bachelors degree. Qualifications include MBiol, MChem, MEng, MMath, MPhys and MSci. Law degrees include LLB and LLBS.
York students have the option to add a placement year between the second and third year, which can be added onto your degree title. Some degrees already include a year in industry, and will say so in their title – for example, BSc Marketing with a year in industry.
Your work will be assessed by a range of methods such as examinations, coursework, open papers, extended essay papers and project work. In some cases, you may be assessed on oral contributions in tutorials.
My seminars were small discussion-based sessions and offered the opportunity for students to clarify ideas and delve deeper into topics and for interaction between students and academics.
Laurie, BA Politics, Economics and Philosophy
York students have the option to take a placement year that can be integrated into your degree. Develop skills that are valued by employers by taking a placement year, a summer internship or through part-time or casual work.
Study abroad opportunities provide you with the chance to gain from international activity and learn new ways of working.
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