What to expect during an Undergraduate Year at the University of Leeds

University of Leeds
5 min readSep 7, 2023

As exciting as coming to uni can be, we also know it can feel a bit intimidating. It’s normal to be nervous about the unknown. To help you prepare for what to expect, Heidi Tam, a final-year Journalism student from Hong Kong, walks through what a year usually looks like as an undergraduate student.

September

You’ll first settle down in your student accommodation around mid-September and you’ll get to decide on what Welcome Week activities you want to do with your new friends.

Many people will also go on nights out as there are lots going on during Freshers (the first week or two of university)! If nights out aren’t your thing, the University also has wellbeing and orientation events for you to join, such as campus tours and karaoke nights. You’ll also get to have a look around the Welcome Fair, with booths by local businesses, different university departments, and hundreds of societies at Leeds University Union.

Three students sat in a kitchen chatting

October & November

You’ll slowly get into the pace of university life and learn how to balance classes with your hobbies. It’ll probably be the same old every day — finishing your assigned readings, thinking about what you’re going to be for Halloween, and going to the supermarket at night for the best discounted deals.

And as the days are getting shorter, your mid-term deadlines are usually trickling in. Just remember to not leave everything till the last minute, it’s really not worth the stress.

A sunset going down over Leeds city centre

December

While the cold and gloomy weather might not be the best, it also means the holiday season is just around the corner! A Christmas market with festive snacks, game stalls, an ice-skating rink, and exciting rides will come to Millennium Square. Clubs and societies might also get members together for a day trip to York or a Winter Ball to properly bid farewell before the long-awaited winter break.

People walking in a snowy park

January

Welcome back, hopefully you’re all recharged and ready for your exams! Well, it depends on what you study, and some students have essays and projects as the main form of assessment instead of exams. However, university isn’t all about studying — the University will organise a warm welcome to all incoming and returning students once again. The Fresh Start Festival resembles the initial Welcome Week but on a slightly smaller scale, allowing you to take a break and be more involved in student activities.

Around January is usually the time to start thinking about your living situation for next year. There’s no need to rush into signing a lease but do start looking around and seeing what your options are.

Two students walking through the Leeds student union

February & March

It’s essentially the same vibe as October and November, but with a lot more sunshine (yay!). One exciting thing to look out for is the Lead LUU elections! You will see lots of posters and banners around campus, with students campaigning to be elected as your new Student Exec. All students are qualified to run in this election, and the roles are year-long, full-time, and paid. The Student Exec is democratically chosen by the student body, so make sure you pay attention to the candidates’ manifestos to make the most informed vote.

Three students studying and chatting in the kitchen

April & May

And that’s it for term two! You now get four weeks of Spring Break to enjoy the sunshine and to catch up on your readings. Many societies also tend to do trips abroad during this break, so this is your chance to travel with everyone you’ve met through societies. After your month off, you’ll come back for a few weeks of teaching to wrap everything up, and then comes deadline season. However hard you’re preparing for your assessments, don’t forget to enroll in your optional modules for the following year in mid-May!

Flowers in spring

June

Following weeks of grinding out essays and pulling all-nighters for your exams, you’ll finally be able to fully enjoy the summer weather. You’ll see Woodhouse Moor, beer gardens, and the streets of Hyde Park all packed with sunbathing students. LUU also organises an annual Leeds Ball, which is a huge end-of-year festival with live music, DJs, street food, and fairground rides. Many student house leases start at the beginning of July, so you might also find yourself moving out of student halls and into your student house.

July & August

For undergraduates, your official results for the year will be released in mid-July, and you can submit appeal requests if you are not satisfied with the outcome of the University’s assessment process. For students who fail any modules, you might be eligible for a resit in August. If you pass all your credits — congrats! You’re either going to graduate in mid to late July, or you’ll be proceeding to your next year at university. Remember to enroll in your discovery modules at the end of July, and see you again at Welcome Week in September!

If you have any more questions about your student life at Leeds, get in touch with our friendly team in the Student Information Service.

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