Preparing for a seminar

seminarDuring a seminar you will be expected to contribute to a discussion with your peers. The discussion might be based on, for example, an article your lecturer has asked you to read before attending. It is important to do this pre-seminar reading / research as this will help inform your discussion and debate.

Unlike a lecture, where the lecturer talks at you, during a seminar the lecturer will introduce a topic and then guide and direct discussion – almost all of the talking will be done by you and your peers. It is therefore important to play an active part in the seminar by joining in when you have an opinion, idea or thought. At first this can feel daunting. Remember, however, that everyone else will be feeling the same! Over time you will gain confidence and become better at sharing with your seminar group.

The idea behind the seminar format is that, through discussion, you will gain a deeper understanding of a topic being presented to you. You can exchange views with your peers and discover new ideas and concepts that perhaps you hadn’t thought of before. Attending seminars also gives you the opportunity to ask questions about something that perhaps came up in a previous lecture that you didn’t quite understand.

Apart from subject-specific knowlege, what will I learn by attending seminars?

Skills you will gain…

  • Communication skills
  • Team working skills
  • Preparation skills

Don’t forget…

  • Read any pre-seminar material
  • Have questions ready to ask
  • Join in… Seminars are all about discussion and debate!
  • Be supportive of your peers by listening and engaging in their ideas