Blog post

Tips for your
final year

Recent graduates Olivia and Izzy help get you thinking about what's to come in final year so you can start off well.

19 October 2023

As a student it’s hard to ignore the importance and heavy academic waiting of your final year - often worth 80% of your overall grade. Although you may feel the pressure now, your final year can feel the same as any other, with just a few more responsibilities and pressures to manage.

So, what makes your final year different?

Plan your weeks in advance

Time efficiency is key to organising your responsibilities and lessening stress in final year. Many students treat their last year of university like a nine-to-five job, so spend these core hours studying. You will have to manage a hefty study workload alongside any extra-curricular activities such as societies, part-time work, and your social life. This may seem daunting, but it’s not impossible with the right time management. 

Remember, it’s all about getting into a routine and finding what works for you. Try using a physical or electronic calendar to schedule your time wisely - your assignments, appointments, events, and work commitments. Time blocking can help allocate tasks to ensure success across all modules. It's best to start your assignments three to six weeks in advance of the deadline, to give yourself plenty of time. A physical diary being used as a daily planner can help make study time more effective, alongside allowing time for social life and self-care. 

If you're writing a dissertation, pick a topic you are genuinely interested in, as this will make the whole process easier. Try to stay ahead on it, as it’s easy to get behind. Your tutor is there to help you, so make the most of that mentorship and book ahead for catch up sessions with them.


Make time for your wellbeing! It can be easy to become consumed by university work and forget to make taking care of yourself a priority. By not making this mistake you’ll be less stressed and more productive. Try implementing these positive lifestyle habits to improve your wellbeing in your final year.

A student sits with head in a book beside a stack of others

What should final year students take advantage of?

The Careers and Employment Service

This is the team that can help get you ‘graduate-job-ready’ and help you gain a diverse skillset. Make contact, and you can receive one-to-one support and online resources, on an array of topics including:

Find out more about the Careers and Employment Service

Student discounts

The final year of studying also means the last year of student discounts, so make the most of these savings! Always keep your student card with you, as you never know when there’s an opportunity to save some coins. Buying a TOTUM (NUS extra) card can be handy to access specific discounts, like 10% off at the Co-Op too. There is no harm in asking retailers if they offer a student discount. Remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. 

Also make sure to check local government student advice to ensure you're getting any council tax reductions you're entitled for. It all adds up...


Allow yourself to socialise with your friends at university. Derby has numerous fantastic bars and restaurants that are perfect for students to enjoy. Perhaps make a list of places you still want to explore before graduating? It’s never too late to join a club or make new friends. Is there a Union of Students society you have been considering joining? This is your year to push yourself out of your comfort zone and join in!

Shelves of books in a Sunkist glow

What comes next?

Many students worry about the future in their final year. This is completely normal, after three or more years of education it can be very overwhelming to leave a well-established routine. Remember, what will be will be. (Very cliché, I know!) However, there are some proactive steps you can take while at university. 

Those are our tips on how to make the most of the last stage of university. Remember that everyone has their own path to success. Good luck for your final year!

Isabella Moxham Mead wears cats eye style eye liner and has long curly brown hair.

Izzy Moxham-Mead

I'm currently a Marketing (Digital) student at the University of Derby and have worked as a Marketing Representative and a Social Media Assistant alongside my course. This has helped me gain fantastic, relevant work experience whilst studying at the University.

Olivia Wilkinson at graduation

Olivia Wilkinson

Recent graduate with a first-class degree in Marketing (PR and Advertising). Former ladies' football player, Communications Ambassador, Social Media Assistant, and DRIVEN Intern. Now working as a Graduate Marketing and Communications Associate at the University.