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What to expect in your second year

Make sure you use your second year to build on the skills and experiences that will set you up for your final year and next steps beyond that.

What's different in year 2?

3 students using objects from the Grant Museum

In your second year, you will find the emphasis shifts from transitioning and settling into university to utlisiing and building on a lot of the skills you started to develop in your first year. In your second year, you will want to be more purposeful about how you use your time and hone in on how to make the most of the opporutnities available to you to set you up for your study abroad year (if you are doing one), final year and whatever lies beyond that. Make sure make the most of discussions with your personal tutor and all the services offered by UCL Careers and by the careers team in your department to start planning early on for your next steps. 

Advice from a UCL student

Katie Davies, a BA History, Politics & Economics UG student, shares her thoughts on some of the major differences between first and second year:

"Perhaps the most significant difference between first and second year is that your focus shifts: from making friends, joining societies and setting in; to studying, taking more senior roles in societies and thinking about what comes after university. In second year, there is a level of expectation from your tutors and professors, beyond that of first year, to pro-actively find the resources you need each week. For example, it is expected you will find the paper you need from the given reading list rather than having the paper given to you. This isn’t to say Professors won’t help you – if you need help knowing where to find resources, just ask them! Another change is that there is a big increase in career focus. In second year, many vacancies open to undergraduates – for example Summer Vacation Schemes at firms across all sectors. As you’re one step closer to graduating, this naturally becomes an increasing priority. Applications are time-consuming, so this is something you have to balance with your studies."

Your Education in 2021/22

UCL Portico with trees and 'UCL' flags

This year UCL will be conducting teaching and learning in a blended approach. This will consist of a blend of both online and face-to-face teaching and learning, focusing on maximising opportunities to connect with others. Feedback from students last year taught us that there are a lot of benefits to keeping some of your learning online, particualrly keeping lectures online, so that time with your peers and lecturers can focus on interaction. 

For more information on what this will entail view the following information:

Academic Manual

UCL’s Academic Manual provides information on all academic regulations, policies, and procedures for students. View the Manual for detailed information on what to expect this academic year and what changes have been made due to COVID19.


Support for online learning

desk with things on it

Last year you may have completed the Connected Learning at UCL self-paced Moodle course. This has been refreshed and updated for this year with additional information on how to manage you learning online.

To refresh your online learning skills, you might want to:

Complete UCL's Digital Skills Awareness course