Back to blog

LCN Blogs

My expectations: third year

My expectations: third year

Matthew Biggerstaff


Reading time: three minutes

This year I’m going into my final and ‘most important’ year of university. Previously, I’ve discussed the third-year content I’ll be covering and some preparation tips for approaching the next year of your degree. However, I also thought it’d be beneficial to share my thoughts and feelings approaching the beginning of term.  

Firstly, as with the start of any new semester or year, there are brand new modules and content. Given that this year is the main contributor to my final grade, this content takes on a lot more weight than in previous years.

In first and second year I felt that the main purpose of content was to prepare for this year. Now I feel suitably prepared for a lot of the themes I’ll be covering next year, such as employment and labour law. However, I understand that my course is going to get more difficult and I know I won’t just be able to rely on my back catalogue of tort law lecture notes to carry me through future modules. 

Pressure is something third year is absolutely attributed with, and understandably so. A lot of people believe that third year is the most important year. While on paper this isn’t technically wrong, I think that it’s better to think of it as the culmination of two years of preparation. I’m trying not to think of this year as detached from my last two years. I don’t want to think ‘if I don’t get a first then my life is over’ after every exam.

University is really quite flexible with how it assesses you, giving you the chance to put forth your best grades and results, as opposed to looking at everything as one collective. At school and college often two tests were used to create a final grade. I sometimes found I’d do great on one but awful on the other, giving me an average grade.

The great benefit of university is that it can take the absolute best of what you’ve put forward, working grades out from your best results. The flexibility of the assessments takes a lot of the stress off and has helped me feel more confident. Rather than dreading the challenge of the new content and modules, I feel like I’ve been using the last two years to put the building blocks in place to prepare me properly for this year. 

Read Matthew’s previous Blog post: ‘The importance of law clinics and CLE’.

I’ve been lucky enough to work with a lot of excellent lecturers and I’m definitely excited to work with them again. As someone who really benefits from one-to-one discussions and working closely with lecturers, I’m particularly looking forward to completing work in the law clinic. I’m excited to help others, but also to demonstrate the growth of my learning and understanding.

Having spent the last two years building my relationships with my lecturers, I feel really well connected at university. I know I could genuinely go to any of my past lecturers to ask even the most ridiculous question.

I’m incredibly lucky to be at a university that fits my preferred learning style where you’re encouraged to work closely with lecturers. This has certainly helped me feel connected and supported going into my third year. I hope many share this feeling, irrespective of which year of study you’re approaching.

To every student starting university, moving into a new year, or in any way involved with their studies, I wish you the best of luck for the upcoming academic year!