Final Year prepare - balloon

Preparing for your Final Year

Going into your final year can seem daunting. This is often the most challenging year of your degree: expectations are higher, and all marks will count towards your classification. This will likely be the first year you’ll have predominantly face to face learning. You will need to undertake a lot of research and be completing your final project or dissertation.

“Everything counts now” is often heard. Making sure that you’re prepared for the year ahead will give you the best chance of success, so following the right advice can give you a head-start on your final year.  

This is a good time to reflect on what you have achieved so far, bringing together all the knowledge and skills you have developed.  

Everything Counts Now

Your degree classification

USW uses two methods to work out a student’s classification* at degree level. Both methods are calculated, whichever average is higher will be used:  

  • Method 1: Calculate the average of the marks from the 180 credits obtained from the best 60 credits at level 5 and the 120 credits at level 6.  
  • Method 2: Calculate the average of the marks from the 120 level 6 credits. 

Time to Reflect

Reflecting on your learning experiences can help make your approach to learning more effective and increase your chances of success. Use feedback and experiences from the past year to reflect and prepare for your final year.  This reflecting sheet may also be helpful.

Preparation. Preparation. Preparation. 

Get ready for the year ahead - act now to save time later.  

Good preparation involves knowing what is expected of you. These resources will also help you to Prepare and Plan for Success.

Research: Motivation often follows action, not the other way around [...] You don’t need to feel good to get going, you need to get going to give yourself a chance at feeling good. Brad Stulberg (researcher, writer, coach, and speaker on health, human performance, and sustainable success).

What do Progression Advice say?

Using your feedback is essential to your development. Additionally, these resources will provide you with a blueprint to a successful final year.

For further guidance and information on how we can support you, visit our web page


Even though you might not be on campus over the summer, or you may have a job, you can still access the Library online using FINDit to prepare for your final year.  Catch up on your summer reading, with an extensive range of books and articles online.

The library will become your new friend if you have not already found it. If you haven't got to know your Faculty Librarian yet, it's not too late to find out who they are. Book an appointment with them online via Teams or in person for a one to one refresher on using FINDit, or to help you find resources in preparation for your final year modules, project, or dissertation.

Library Services have a range of guides and films to help you brush up on your skills, and there are plenty of study skills books in the library also. More guidance on how library can help you in your final year is on the Stepping Up in Your Final Year pages (Brush up Your Skills). 

There are key areas that are especially important as you move into your final year and it’s important to develop and succeed in these areas, these include:

  • Tackling Dissertations and Final Major Projects,
  • Conducting and using research and being 'research ready',
  • Writing longer pieces of work,
  • Reflecting on learning from the previous two years, 
  • Juggling competing demands and organising your studies,
  • Understanding the classification process (including the grading process, assignment weightings and credits).

USW Study Skills run group workshop sessions across the academic year on topics that are of particular interest to you in your final year, for example Dissertations, Literature Reviews, Critical Analysis and Exam Revision. The online workshop timetable can be found in the 'Workshops' section of Study Skills’ website. The online workshop programme for 22-23 will be available over the coming weeks.

If you or your classmates would like Study Skills to deliver any of the workshops listed in our programme directly to you, whether online or on campus, you can contact Study Skills directly to request this. 

You can contact the central mailbox ([email protected]) to access the Ask a Tutor service, where you can send quick queries relating to your studies, such as referencing for your dissertations, or regarding dissertation structure.

You can book one-to-one tutorials with one of the Academic Skills Tutors to discuss your final year studies or to review and get feedback on your work.

There are also a wide range of self-help study guides and resources available on the Library website, covering relevant topics to your final year:

Assignments & Exams

Academic Skills.

Sometimes the most stressful part of final year is not even to do with exams or dissertations, it’s listening to friends talk about their job applications and future plans. There are things you can do to start planning for life after University and you don’t need to leave it all until the end of the year either. 

Below is your USW Careers final year checklist: 

- Set up job alerts for the latest graduate level jobs from employers targeting USW students. 
- Meet employers: register for online events, careers fairs, webinars and employer sessions to further boost your skills for recruitment including work experience opportunities.  

  • Not sure what to do next? Log into your MyCareer toolkit to explore career options:  
- Take a look at the virtual on-demand resources to assist with every stage of the recruitment process.
- Prepare for job applications by reviewing your CV and getting instant feedback with the CV360 tool. 

  • Book career appointments direct with our experienced Career Advisers. 
  • Want to start your own business? The Student Enterprise team offers Business start-up and Freelance help. 

Sometimes things don’t go to plan, just remember there are a number of services to support you.

Your final year at university will include its own set of stresses; some familiar and some unique. Stress is a part of life and finding your own way of coping with it is a skill as key to success in life as anything else you will learn at university.  

As you start to prepare to return to your studies, have a think about the people and activities that keep you grounded when things get hard, and plan to feature these things in the day to day running of your year. If that is walking, make sure you do this consistently, even when your deadlines are close. If this is seeing your family or friends, ensure you create space to see them throughout your final year.  

Taking a 30-minute break to do something that makes you feel emotionally nourished can be more productive than a panic inducing 13-hour stint in the library! 

If things get too difficult, and you feel you cannot cope, do not panic! Help is at hand, find all the services available to you on the Wellbeing Unilife page

Be positive and make the most it

In their final year everyone wants to do their best, but it’s also important to enjoy your last year at University, savour it while you can.  

*  Classification of honours degrees, taken from the Regulations for Taught Courses A2 35-36. (NB: level 5 refers to second year and level 6 refers to final year). 

To classify your award we will calculate an average mark using the following two methods:  

a. Method 1: Calculate the average of the marks from the 180 credits obtained from the best 60 credits at level 5 and the 120 credits at level 6.  

b. Method 2: Calculate the average of the marks from the 120 level 6 credits.  

We will then classify your degree using the higher of the two averages calculated by the methods described above and award a classification based on the following table:  

Mean % Classification
At least 69.5% up to 100% First Class Honours Degree
At least 59.5% and less than 69.5% Upper Second Class Honours Degree
At least 49.5% and less than 59.5% Lower Second Class Honours Degree
At least 39.5% and less than 49.5% Third Class Honours