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Learning, Teaching and Assessments

University of the Highlands and Islands Learning and Teaching Methods

At the University of the Highlands and Islands you will study in various ways such as lectures, tutorials and project work, as well as online via the university’s virtual learning environment. The mix of study method will vary between courses and study locations.

The university has a diverse range of courses, many taking advantage of our region’s unique environment, landscape and culture, and has 13 study locations spread across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Some courses are only available at one location, for example where there are specialist facilities, research-focussed staff or the required physical environment. For other courses, there will be a choice of location of study.

Courses available at one specific location

You will be based at the campus alongside the teaching staff and fellow students. The majority of your study will be face-to-face but you will also make use of online materials and video-conference sessions delivered by staff from across the university.

Courses with a choice of location

You can study these courses from any of the university locations listed. Your classes will consist of a mixture of face-to-face, video conference and online delivery and support. Some of your fellow students may be based at the same location, however the class will be spread across all the campuses. There will be teaching staff at some locations where face-to-face lectures will take place, however at some campuses students will use video-conferencing to access lecturers and interact with teaching staff and fellow students.

Courses available to study entirely online

Your course and study support will be delivered via the internet and you will become part of an online community of academic staff and your fellow students. In some instances there will be opportunities to meet on a face-to-face basis at certain times throughout the course.

University students are allocated a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) who will provide academic support throughout your studies and also guide you to other forms of support available to our students.

Technology explained:

Video conference (VC): using cameras and microphones, a VC can connect staff and students at two or more UHI campuses, or any other site worldwide, with the required technology.

Virtual learning environment (VLE): a web-based system that enables you to access learning materials, guidance and support, and also access and submit assessments, plus communicate with staff and other students through discussion boards and live chat.

University of the Highlands and Islands Assessment Methods

Courses can be assessed by a diverse range of methods. Most Higher National programmes are assessed by coursework submitted throughout the year. Degree programmes more often have a combination of written examination and continuous assessment through coursework.

The most common methods of assessment are identified in the table below. A very small number of courses are assessed using only a single, written examination or coursework assignment: most courses employ two or more different forms of assessment, and a growing number combine both individual and group-based activities to develop both subject-specific knowledge and subject-specific and transferable skills.


Typical assessment measures are:
Writing an essay or report
Giving a presentation
Sitting an exam
Writing a reflective journal
Group work

You will always be given clear information about how and when you will be assessed, and the criteria being used to assess your work.