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Planning ahead

Virtual Learning Environment

Your Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) can be accessed at any time and from any where. Preparation activities will be available in your VLE before you arrive, and a week before your course start date - and after you have registered online - you’ll also find lecture notes, reading lists, learning resources such as online journals and past exam papers, as well as submit assignments and access communities such as Study Skills and Languages@BU.

Brightspace and myBU

Our new VLE, Brightspace, is currently being developed based on student feedback and input, and is the VLE that everyone starting in the Spring 2018 will be using be using. You may hear other students or staff talking about myBU, our current VLE, which is still being used by around half of BU students. All students will start using Brightspace from next September. Feel free to share your experiences of Brightspace - good and bad - with your Student Rep.

Study preparation

Whether you're coming straight from school or college, returning to education as a mature student or taking a break from employment, we understand how helpful it is to have experience of completing a task related to your course before you get here. That’s why your lecturers have created some arrivals preparation activities for you to complete before your first seminar. Activities will vary depending on what you’ll be studying, and will give you a good introduction to your subject area.

You’ll receive instructions about how to access your arrivals preparation activity after you have registered for your course online. 

If you can’t wait until then, or you’re looking for an extra challenge, you may also want to try out our interactive skills4study package. The 'Prepare for Success' package is also really helpful if you are studying in the UK for the first time.  

Study support

Our Study Skills Community is there to support you throughout your course by providing online and face-to face support. Online materials, workshops and individual sessions are available to help you improve academic skills like note-taking, academic writing, revision/exam techniques and referencing, and there are also resources to help if English is not your first language. You'll be able to access online resources and find out more once you have accessed your VLE.

Peer Assisted Learning

You’ll be invited to take part in an introductory session during your first few weeks at BU as part of your induction. These group sessions continue throughout the year and are a great way to learn study techniques relevant to your subject from a student already on your course. Students who have taken part in the Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme have told us it’s boosted their confidence and reassured them about concerns they had about university life - find out more about PAL in the 'Learning' section of our site.

Additional Learning Support

If you have a learning difference, a medical or mental health condition, or a sensory or physical impairment, adjustments can be made to your learning and assessment. Contact our Additional Learning Support (ALS) team now so that they can advise you on the most appropriate support for you, including potential funding benefits. The team can support you to learn strategies that will empower you to achieve and develop your employability skills as well as provide access to useful resources. The sooner you contact them, the sooner they can start preparing your support.