Is the Second Year of Your Degree that Different from the First?

By Anjali Kalairajah


This is a question that I have heard from many first-year students as they finish the year. It can also lead to students not knowing what to anticipate in the coming year and therefore either under or over-estimating the work-load.


The first year of most degrees is about finding your footing. You have introductory lectures and are eased into the course. However, second-year students are expected to already know how their course and assessment work. So, expect to start the ground running! As you are also now expected to be capable of reaching a higher standard of work, the standard expected of you will increase, as well as the workload. For example, for a Law student, the depth of critical analysis and standard of referencing greatly increases in the second year. Although this may be overwhelming at the beginning, everyone is in the same boat, and it should be easier to balance as the term goes on. For example, for a Law student, the depth of critical analysis and standard of referencing expected greatly increases in the second year.


Furthermore, in many universities, the grade you receive at the end of your first year does not apply to your final graduating classification. However, at the end of your second year, it is. Although the grade is not as weighted as your final year, it still contributes. Therefore, you must have a set goal (for example to achieve a 1st class, or 2:1, etc.) at the beginning of the year and work with that in mind.


With all of the above being said, it is also important that you enjoy your second year of being at university. Make sure that you are enjoying your degree and socializing with friends, society members, etc.


Enjoy your time as you either return or begin university!


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