Preparing for university

Students studying

Prepare yourself for a successful transition to university life at Surrey. 

Start your learning journey

You can think of your time at Surrey as a ‘learning journey’ because you are entering a new chapter of your life. As such, your university story is yours to create – and shape – into a powerfully transformative learning experience… if you want it to be. How you wish to evolve and develop as a learner depends on you, but it’s worth thinking about from the moment you start here.

You will build on your current skills, taking your learning to new, higher levels. We'll show you how to draw upon and adapt strategies and techniques you’ve successfully adopted in the past, as well as develop new approaches.

We also have dedicated subject-specific pages giving you resources and information to get you ready for your course.

Stag statue on the Stag Hill campus
1. Shaping your Surrey learning journey
Starting university is the next step on your learning journey.
2. What will learning at Surrey be like?
When you start university, you will encounter a range of learning and teaching methods, some of which may be new to you.
3. Planning and organising your time
To be an effective independent learner at university you will need to develop good planning and organisation strategies.
Student working in MySurrey Hive
4. Active note-making strategies
Active note-making is the secret to university success.
student studying
5. Adapting to university study
It is a good idea when starting university to be aware of study expectations.
Students studying
6. Making the most of your learning experience
Take opportunities to participate in and engage as much as possible with your course and other learning experiences.

Subject-specific information

View our subject-specific resources

Our expectations on attendance

Attendance is essential. You should aim to attend 100% of your timetabled teaching sessions, and that’s what we expect from you. It’s important because strong attendance will give you the best chance of reaching your potential, and you will be able to make the most of your learning and student community.

Academic year dates

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

You can find all semester dates including holidays and exam periods on MySurrey'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. You can access your timetable online and on your mobile via our MySurrey App.

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 might be worth waiting until your first lectures, where your lecturers and seminar leaders will be able to advise you on which textbooks you should buy. The Library also has a wide variety of most academic books, so do try to borrow a book before purchasing a new copy.

Two important apps to support your studies

MySurrey Engagement will be a tool that you will use almost daily throughout your time at Surrey. It gives you an engagement rating based on how much you are engaging with your learning, and a personalised dashboard to help you reflect on what you can do to improve.

MySurrey Voice is your digital student voice platform where you can give praise, ask a question or give feedback on your university experience. The platform is free for all students to use and allows us to consider appropriate action and change as a result of your comments and the great work that your Course Reps do every year.

You can access both of these apps as soon as you have activated your IT account.

Course information

Further course information, including timetables and programme transfers can be found on MySurrey.

View course information page