Meet Jodie from our Outreach team who will be introducing you to your second day of the UP for Uni Virtual Summer School

Welcome back to the Virtual Summer School!

There’s lots of new stuff to get involved in today, and remember we’ll keep releasing new things right up until Friday.

Here are our suggestions for getting the most from today’s activities:

  1. Watch the short welcome video - this explains what we’ve got in store today
  2. If you’ve not downloaded your Digital Scrapbook yet, make sure you do from the welcome page
  3. Join the Student Finance webinar at 11.00am - find out the truth about finance at uni and grab some top tips for budgeting
  4. Take part in some new subject taster session, and take a virtual tour around some different facilities
  5. Organise your quiz team for tonight’s Student Social
  6. Make your mortar board for Friday’s graduation - maybe practice throwing it too?
  7. Upload your 1 minute-to-win-it entry to instagram by tagging @nextstepuop for a chance to win some prizes at our Graduation webinar on Friday 
Ready for today’s excitement? Click the links below to jump to each section:

Student Social quiz

During lockdown, our students have been staying in touch online with group quiz nights or Netflix parties. We’re bringing the spirit of a Student Social to the Virtual Summer School with a fun quiz.

  • Although this is a recording, why not form a quiz team and set up a private group chat with your friends to play along together. 
  • Or give it a go yourself, and see how you do!
Webinar: UP for Uni Virtual Summer School quiz

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Face the Cookie

For this challenge you will need a small cookie or biscuit.

  • You have 1 minute to transport the cookie from your forehead to your mouth using only your facial muscles
  • You cannot use your hands!
  • No one else can help you to move the cookie
  • You can have as many attempts as you like within the 1 minute - if you drop the cookie, place it back on your forehead and start again

Share your best effort with us on Instagram by tagging @nextstepuop 

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Student finance webinar

When you go to uni, it's natural to have concerns about money. Want to know the truth about student finance from the people that know? We're here to bust some myths if you’re thinking uni might be in your future.

Hosted by our student finance expert Emilie alongside current student Lamine, they’ll be discussing what support is available to you as well as top tips for budgeting – useful as a student and later on in life. Find out what funding is available, who is eligible, how to apply and how any loan is repaid.

Don’t forget to download your Digital Scrapbook! You’ll find a section to jot down any notes from the webinar.

Download your Digital Scrapbook

Webinar: Understanding student finance

Someone holding a piggy bank

Student Finance Myth Buster

Test your knowledge of student finance with our short quiz!

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Study skills

At uni, the way you learn is quite different to school. Some courses may require you to do lots of practical work whilst others may involve presentations or research. Some of the study skills that you’ll use more often as you go through college and university, include:

  • Independent study
  • Group work
  • Research skills
  • Referencing
  • Presentation skills
  • Practical classes (laboratory work) 

Presentation Skills

At school, college and university you may be required to present as a form of assessment. Presentation experience is a great skill to have, and it’s transferable to many different careers and areas of interest in both your personal and professional life.

A male student presenting to a group of people
Male student pointing to a screen while he's presenting

Here are some of our top presentation tips:


Before a presentation it's important to plan and prepare what you're going to say. Make some bullet points focusing on what you want to achieve and try and make your presentation flow from each bullet point to the next.


You’ll usually have a time limit to present within so practicing beforehand will help to stay on track but will also calm any nerves and make it easier to remember the main points you want to say.

Eye contact

When presenting it's important to make eye contact with your audience. Try not to focus on one person and instead slowly move your gaze around the audience. If you struggle with making eye contact try looking at the tops of people's heads instead, or even the back of the room - but try to avoid looking down at your notes or at the screen for too long.

Remember to use the space around you

Move with purpose. Avoid pacing or moving around too much, but you can add more meaning to what you're saying with positive body language and gestures.

Speak slowly and clearly

The adrenaline and nerves can make you talk faster than usual without realising. When presenting, take regular breaths and pause, make sure you aren’t rushing what you're saying. You could even build this little pauses into your practice!

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The 60 second challenge

Time to try these presentation tips out for yourself! Think about your favorite tv show, band, computer game or hobby - anything you think you could talk about for 60 seconds:

  • Open your scrapbook and find the section on presentation skills
  • Plan what you want to include in your presentation, and make a list of key things to talk about. Think about the order you want to say them.
  • Practice giving your presentation. Put a timer on your phone for 60 seconds, stand in front of the mirror and have a go
  • If you’re feeling brave, deliver your 60 second presentation to someone at home, or video call your friend and present to each other. Make sure you ask for some feedback!

Share your skills on social media

We’d love to know what topics you presented on - add some of your favorite facts to your instagram story and tag us @nextstepuop!

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Independent study

Another big part of university (and college!) is independent study and research. Your contact hours at university are much less than you'll be used to at school or college. So getting used to studying and researching outside of lessons is a great way to prepare for your next step.

Male student studying alone in the library
Female student studying on a computer

Give our independent study tips a go:

Take notes

Take notes during class to have material prepared to research yourself.

Read around your topic

Don’t just read about the topic - read around it. Gather information from sources not directly given to you by your teachers.


Timetable your studying and make revision plans and reading lists. 

You can try all of these things out this week by using your scrapbook and all of the great resources available on the Virtual Summer School webpages.

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Subject taster sessions

Interested to see how origami can help solve the world’s engineering challenges? Do you consider yourself an artist or illustrator? Maybe you fancy discovering how our students support top athletes with their performance. Get a taste for what it’s like to study at uni, with some fun activities in these subject taster sessions!

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Facilities tours

Sport and Exercise Science labs tour

Someone running on a treadmill in the sport science lab

Examples of Sport and Exercise Science include:

  • Sport Science covers topics like strength and conditioning. Students can use the Biomechanics Lab to explore how our bodies move and conditions that could affect that.
  • Students studying Exercise and Fitness Management conduct experiments to understand a variety of factors that affect sport performance - this could be testing how different foods affect our blood sugar and energy levels. They can do this in the Physiology Lab.
  • Our Sport Psychology students may choose to research topics such as how we learn new skills, or how different environments affect our motivation. They might use the Interview Rooms or Extreme Environments Labs for this.

Sport and Exercise Science labs quiz

Now you’ve had a good look around, see what you can remember in our short quiz:

Engineering labs tour

Courses in Engineering use maths and science to design, plan and build things like engines, turbines, machines and structures. Engineering keeps the modern world moving forward.

Someone on the computer in the engineering labs

Some examples of Engineering

  • Engineering includes courses like Engineering Geotechnics, where students use the Soils lab to look at and test soil samples to help age animal or plant material, or to assess the viability of mining projects.
  • Students studying Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, will use 3D scanners in our Metrology lab, to scan shapes and convert them into virtual models. A recent project involved the use of one of these to generate a highly detailed blueprint of an original prosthetic arm!
  • Our Civil Engineering students undertake projects that look at a wide variety of factors associated with engineering - this might be how to make new buildings more stable in earthquakes, or testing what materials are best for different construction projects. They can do this testing in our Stress Lab.

Take a tour of the Engineering Labs

You can see all 3 of these labs, plus more, in our Engineering 360 tour below! You can also learn more about the different types of Engineering courses you could study at uni.

Click here to take the tour.

Library tour

The library isn't just a place to find books - university libraries also offer lots of space for students to study and have computers or laptops that you can borrow. Many are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so students can study at a time that suits them.

University libraries are much bigger with thousands of books and different areas depending on how you study best. There’s also a cafe in ours, for those long study sessions!

Students sat in the library

In our library, you’ll find:

  • Quiet zones - if you prefer to study in silence, this would be the perfect place for you.
  • Moderate noise zones - slight background chatter is allowed in these areas, great if you want to study with a friend.
  • Private study rooms - these spaces can be booked if you have a group project to work on.

Take a tour of the library

Have a look around the University of Portsmouth library below, and see how many things you can spot that you don’t have at school!

Click here to view the virtual tour

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Teaching spaces

Learning at university is a little different to learning at school. You’ll be expected to do more independent study, but your classes will be a bit different from school too. The teaching at uni mostly happens in 3 ways which you'll read about below. Test yourself with our quizzes as you go along so you're ready for the final teaching spaces quiz at the end.


Female student in lecture
Most lectures are about giving new information. The lecturer (teacher) will usually deliver a presentation or talk to the students who will make notes and may also want to ask some questions. Class sizes for lectures are often bigger than you’re used to at school, you could have anything from 60 to over 100 students.


Two students in a seminar
These are a bit like a follow up to your lecture. Seminars are much smaller group classes, usually less than 20, which gives the students a chance to ask the lecturer any questions about the work. They also allow for group discussions. So even though students do a lot of independent study at university, they can work together with their course mates in seminars, share ideas and support each other with the work.


Two students in a workshop session
Workshops are generally used to put in to practice things that students have been learning in their lectures, they are much more hands on! For practical or science based courses, these workshops might take place in design studios, labs or specialist suites. For other courses they may take place in the classroom.

Our teaching spaces quiz

After learning how we teach at University, and using the tools to explore some of our teaching spaces, see if you can answer our short quiz.

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Go to Day 3 of the Virtual Summer School!

We hope you enjoyed today's session! We can't wait to see you for the 3rd day of your Virtual Summer School.

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