Undergraduate teaching and assessment

Undergraduate teaching at the University of St Andrews is usually delivered in courses of lectures given by specialists in particular subjects. However, staff at the University also employ a number of other teaching methods where appropriate, including:

  • Small group tutorials and seminars, which usually consist of between 2 and 20 students, where relevant topics are discussed and analysed on the basis of prepared written work. These will develop your analytical and communication skills, and help you to stay in touch with your tutors.
  • Laboratory work, where you will use advanced equipment and techniques to conduct experiments under supervision.
  • Fieldwork, which may take place near St Andrews.
  • Audio-visual and computer-assisted learning.
  • Further research and reading; students will nearly always be required to carry out their own research and reading outside of contact time.
  • Mini-conferences, which Honours students may sometimes take part in. These are informal residential reading parties held at The Burn, a large country house in Angus, and attended by both staff and students.

In addition to this, the University of St Andrews benefits from a relatively small student body in comparison to many universities. This means that class sizes are often small, though first and second-level classes are usually a little larger than more advanced classes.


Each module you take will be assessed in the same semester in which you are taught. Assessment usually comprises either examinations, continuous assessment, or a combination of these methods.

Students who fail the assessment for a particular module may be offered an opportunity to be re-assessed depending on their module result. See the common reporting scale for more information about grades.

When you pass a module, you will receive the credits for that module, as well as a grade. This grade will appear on your transcript, which you will receive when you have completed your studies.