How will I study

Because we operate in one of the most geographically fragmented regions of Scotland, we do things a bit differently. Depending in which centre you choose to study, and what course you opt for, you may receive tuition in different ways.  

We are a network of learning centres so our tutors and students are often located in different places. Many classes are delivered using video conference technology. You’ll hear us call this ‘VC’ and we might talk about classes being ‘networked’ which means that you’ll be learning in a ‘Virtual Classroom’, where we use digital technologies and video conference equipment to link you with your tutors and other students in multiple locations.  VC classes are really interactive and are similar to having a group Skype call. 

You’ll also have access to ‘Brightspace’ which is our Virtual Learning Environment or ‘VLE’; an online portal where you’ll find your coursework and study resources. You’ll also be able to take part in a discussion group with your classmates and keep up with your deadlines using a mobile phone app. 

Full-time courses will start with an induction day, usually, this is held in one central location so that you get the opportunity to meet your tutors and other students on your course. It’s really important for you to attend this day as it makes learning remotely go much more smoothly. 

You’ll have lots of support during your course – we have support staff in each centre who are there to help and advise you. Your local centre staff will show you around your learning centre before you start your course, and make sure you’re familiar with our facilities, equipment and software. 

Video conferencing (VC) is a critical part of the advanced communications and technology strategy used throughout UHI for learning, teaching and administration.

There are about 180 VC units on the university network. There are also multipoint control units (MCUs or 'bridges'), which enable multi-site conferences to be scheduled, monitored and remotely managed. UHI manages more than 15000 multi-site conferences per year in addition to many locally dialled point-to-point calls. This makes UHI one of the biggest users of video conferencing in the UK and the video conferencing service (VCS) staff work closely with the manufacturers in developing and testing new equipment and facilities in order to continuously develop and improve the service.

The VC service is delivered by the Learning & Information Services department and includes day-to-day scheduling of all multi-site conferences and technical support to staff and student users. Each academic partner also offers local first line support and basic training.

Within UHI, video conferencing is used to teach, host seminars and to hold meetings. It allows geographically disperse groups to interact without having the burden and cost of travel.

It also allows people to share applications, files and data which makes it easy to hold presentations and review documents in a VC session.