I have to admit, when I arrived in Freshers’ Week, I didn’t really understand why the Department of Chemistry had teaching colleges. Now I am very grateful for them! You’re assigned to a teaching college in your first year and they’re loosely based on your accommodation college.
When you’re faced with a cohort of around 180 first years, having teaching colleges is a godsend. From the start, you’re part of a smaller subset of people (around 20-25) who you will spend more time with and get to know. Now I’m half-way through my second year, I can safely say I have made some solid friends in my teaching college!
Small group teaching
The Department of Chemistry at York are pretty unique in the way they do small group teaching. Unlike a lot of other departments, we have tutorials as well as workshops.
Workshops are usually with your teaching college and a lecturer. But sometimes, depending on the content, more than one college is together with a couple of lecturers. Normally, you are given a set of questions to work through and the lecturer will be there to help if you have questions and go through answers with the group. Workshops are a great opportunity for collaborative work with your friends!
Teaching colleges are also broken down into tutorial groups of four or five people. For tutorials, you are given set questions in advance that you need to complete and hand in to the person leading the tutorial.
Tutorials can be very different from each other; it all depends on the content and tutor! Some will go through each question in turn, others will ask you to go through your answers, and some leave the questions until the end and go over key course content.
I know you must have heard about the 16 course options already. But there’s so much more flexibility within the Department of Chemistry than you’d think. When it comes to option modules, you’re free to choose almost any of the ones on offer, providing you are choosing the ones that match your desired degree title. But what else is there?
Whether you’re on the BSc or MChem course, the range of projects you can do at York is surprising. And if you’re not staying in York, there’s even more choice! I’ve already been looking into the different options and weighing up lab versus non-lab projects and MChem versus BSc. The department and the course itself is set up so that you can tailor it to what you want to do and make changes throughout your time at York. You can even do electives in other departments if that’s something that appeals. This is something I’ve been incredibly grateful for as I explore different career options!