What are the differences between lectures, seminars and tutorials?

2nd July 2021

What are the differences between a lecture, a seminar and a tutorial?

When you first get to university, the number of hours you spend learning can be overwhelming. One of the first things you need to work out is there are lectures and seminars marked on your timetable, but there might also be some tutorials too. We are going to explain the differences between lectures, seminars and tutorials.


Lectures take place with a lot of other students in big lecture halls, theatres or rooms. These tend to be when a lecturer will give an initial introduction to a topic using a presentation. Lecturers usually upload notes to the university’s online system prior to lectures so students can read up ahead of the lecture. Lectures generally do not include much student interaction but do require students to take notes.


Seminars are usually conducted in groups of 10 or 20 in a classroom format and usually include group work, discussions or individual work around the topic introduced during the lecture.


Tutorials tend to be conducted on a one-to-one basis between a student and a lecturer or tutor.  These usually require the student to book time with the lecturer or tutor to discuss assignments or work feedback.

CPS Manufacturing Co provides lecture theatre seating and auditorium seating to universities and schools. Our range of lecture hall seating includes traditional seating as well as collaborative bench seating as well as retractable seating and turn and learning seats.