Teaching and learning

Students in a lecture theatre pay attention.

Gold standard teaching

A lecturer points at a white board while delivering a lecture. TEF Gold logo is overlayed.

Lancaster was awarded a Gold overall rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework 2023. This means that the student experience and student outcomes at Lancaster are typically very high quality or outstanding.

Research-led teaching

We're joint third for Research Intensity in the Complete University Guide 2024 - a measure of the proportion of teaching staff involved in research. This means the academics who teach you will actively engage in research. You will learn in a stimulating, research-led environment from academics at the forefront of their fields of research. 91% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

 An academic in the Physics Isolab carefully operates some complicated looking machinery.

How you will learn

University courses are taught in various ways depending on what works best for your chosen subject. Undergraduate teaching at Lancaster takes place in person and not online, but you can access supporting course materials online.


A lecture is a formal presentation by an academic expert to a class of students. Some lecturers invite questions and audience participation, and you will mostly listen and take notes. Most courses will give you preparation or follow-up work connected with each lecture.

Seminars and tutorials

Seminars and tutorials involve smaller groups than lectures and give you a chance to explore topics in greater depth. They are an opportunity to clarify anything you didn’t understand in the lecture, discuss topics as a group and get advice on upcoming assignments.

Practical and laboratory sessions

Practical or laboratory sessions give you the chance for hands-on learning, such as conducting scientific experiments, learning technical skills or delivering a presentation.

Project work

This might be done independently or in a group, it might even be industry-based. It usually involves completing a task, researching a topic or solving a problem.


A dissertation is a large research project usually completed towards the end of your degree. Typically, it allows you to present your findings in response to a question or proposition of your choice. Whilst a tutor will guide you, your dissertation will largely be developed independently.

Independent study

Independent study is self-directed learning outside of guided teaching. It’s a big part of university-level study. It might include reading up or researching a subject, prepping for a seminar or exploring a topic covered in a lecture in greater depth, and completing assignments.

Flexible study

A student works on a laptop in the library. She is concentrating on her work.

For many degrees, we offer a flexible approach to your studies.

This means that you may have options to study an additional subject from the very start ¨C whether it’s a subject related to your major degree programme or in another area altogether. Some of these options have entry requirements, while others don’t. Some degree subjects, such as medicine, physics, law and engineering, don’t have options in the first year. This is due to the nature of these degrees and the breadth of the material that must be covered or prescribed by professional bodies.

Innovation and entrepreneurial learning

Students in the Work in Progress Centre.

The University's Work in Progress team provides students with a wealth of practical opportunities to equip them with the creative and collaborative problem-solving capabilities, commercial awareness and personal resilience that employers value so highly in our graduates.

The team is here to ensure that students’ ideas for sustainable innovation projects, start-up businesses and social enterprises are listened to and supported through access to funding, co-working space, specialist advice and a vibrant peer community.

Work in Progress

Why Lancaster?

We believe that Lancaster is everything a university should be. We support you through your studies, research and career.

Discover more about Lancaster
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