Study advice for new students

A biosciences student writing notes during experiment

There are a few things that you need to do before you begin your studies. It’s important that you take a look at these before teaching begins. 

Hybrid education 

At Surrey, we want to ensure that you have a supportive, diverse and vibrant learning experience. But we must adapt the way we teach to ensure we all stay safe. In September 2020 we moved to a 'hybrid education' teaching model – a blend of online and campus-based learning.   

Find out more about hybrid learning and see how some of our other students have adapted. 

Please take a look at our course changes page too, where you will find out if there are module changes on your course due to our hybrid education model.

Academic year dates

We recommend that you make a note of the key dates during the academic year in your personal calendar or diary.

Welcome activities will begin on moving-in weekend, unless you are attending the International Orientation Programme then they will begin a few days earlier. Your welcome timetable will tell you about all of the sessions that you need to attend. 

You can find all semester dates including holidays and exam periods on the MySurrey website's key dates page.


Your full timetable will be available online once your module registrations have been processed and your seminar groups have been allocated. This is usually during welcome week.

While the online timetable system is operational from the start of the semester, if you have to choose optional modules for your programme these may not show in your online timetable until the beginning of Week 3.

Accessing your online timetable

You can access your timetable online and on your mobile via our MySurrey App.

Choose your module options

Module selection open from Tuesday 5 January 2021 for the academic year 2020/21.

If ‘optional’ modules are offered on your programme, please take some time to review the content and the general PDF timetable on the programme page of SurreyLearn, to check there is no potential timetable clash between your optional module and your compulsory module within your registered course/programme, check methods of assessment for the modules available by referring to the programme specification and module descriptors.

Once you have identified which modules you wish to take please log into Surrey Self-Service and make your selections by Tuesday 19 January 2021.

There is no guarantee that if you change your mind about an ‘optional’ module, the University will be able to accommodate your request.

Read the guide on how to select modules using online module registration. Please follow these instructions fully and do not exit from your web browser before you have completed the process.

Please note: you are still required to complete main registration in order to become a fully registered student at the University. 

Reading lists

Each module you take during your degree will have an online reading list. Your module reading list is the simplest and quickest way to find good-quality academic reading relevant to your lectures and assignments.

You can access reading lists from the online module catalogue. They will also be on your SurreyLearn module page once teaching has started.

Lists are subject to change before the next academic year. You may also not be able to access electronic texts until you have attended main registration when you arrive.


All students are provided with a number of free to access digital copies of essential textbooks via your Bibliu bookshelf on SurreyLearn.  

It’s always good to be prepared in advance, but it also might be worth waiting until your first week of lectures, where your lecturers and seminar leaders will be able to advise you on which textbooks you should buy.

Some of your module content is often made available for you online by the University.

The Library also has a wide variety of most academic books, so do try to borrow a book before purchasing a new copy.

We also have a bookshop on campus called Appleseed, where you can purchase a range of books for your course as well as stationary, University merchandise and gifts. 

Uniform and equipment requirements

A selection of our courses have specific uniform and equipment requirements. You will be contacted directly from your school or department about this.

Discover more

Pins on a calendar
Key dates
A listing of our key dates throughout each academic year.
Student sat in the Library on her laptop
Course information
Information about your timetable, modules and course handbooks.