The Differences Between College and Uni

Going from college to university can be quite a change! University is a complete different way of learning (which I actually prefer) to school or college. This blog is going to tell you about some of the differences, so you can be prepared for when you make the move.


Lectures are where you sit and listen to your lecturer speak about a specific topic and you write notes on what they are saying. A presentation is usually shown, but there is very little interaction between the lecturer and the students.

In college you do not have lectures but only classes, so there is a lot more interaction with your teacher and you can speak to them one-to-one if you need to. Lectures give you an opportunity to write notes in a way that you can understand and remember them. A seminar will follow up the lecture, where you can ask any questions you may have.



At university you will learn how to write and structure your assignments in the way that your course guide asks you to. They are a lot more in depth than an essay you may write at college and a lot more research is needed, but don’t worry, you will get the hang of it and there is always help if you need it!



At college referencing is generally not needed, however at university it is essential so that you do not commit an academic offence. You will need to check your course guide for what referencing style you should use, as there are many different ones and you need to make sure you cite the information correctly so you don’t lose marks. A lot of information on how to reference can be found online. I know it looks scary at first, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s fine!

Living away from home

This is one of the biggest differences between college and university, as at college generally people still live at home with their family. However, at uni a lot of people choose to move out and live either on campus or off campus. It feels unusual at first to not see your family everyday and you realise how much you have to do for yourself (such as cooking and cleaning), but once you make friends you will love it and it really is a great experience!


Contact hours

At college you are expected to attend your classes most days, if not every day. However, at university it is up to you how you organise your time to study, as there are less contact hours. For example, you could only have lectures and classes for 8 hours per week and in your spare hours it is up to you to organise your time. Make sure you manage your time wisely, because it’s easier than you’d think to get behind!

The social side

Aside from studying, there is a huge social side to university. For example, you can join sports clubs and societies, you can take part in volunteering, and you can go on days and nights out with your friends. There are many ways in which you can keep busy and meet new people! These activities take place around your studies, so it is useful to keep a diary, so you know what you have planned and when!

I hope that this gives you an insight of what university is like and helps you to prepare for your next step!

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