Get the most out of pracs and labs

In your degree, you may spend time performing ‘hands-on’ learning activities in ‘pracs’ and ‘labs’: practical environments such as laboratories, site visits or field work.

Activities in practical environments are designed to help you to:

  • explore your theoretical knowledge
  • apply your theoretical understanding to practical problems
  • use techniques and equipment safely and correctly
  • develop skills to manage resources and time

Learning in practical environments often has three phases:

  1. Preliminary work or ‘pre-practical’, which involves preparing for the exercise.
  2. During the practical where you will perform the activity under guidance.
  3. A post-practical exercise where you write up the work in the form of a report or presentation. The purpose of this is to clarify and fully understand what you have done and what the practical has demonstrated.

Note: Sometimes a practical can unfold over multiple sessions and the three phases may apply over an extended period.