Classes in London are much different than classes in the United States. Almost every class I have taken in the United States has one's final grade broken down into 5 or 6 categories. One can get points for attendance, participation, homework, quizzes, group projects, midterms, maybe a term paper, and then a final. Although the final is important, I have never had one worth more than 40% or so of my final grade, and most seem to be worth closer to 10 or 20% of ones final grade. In addition, the final is normally at least partially multiple choice, so even if you hypothetically did not know any of the material, you can still get some points.
My classes in London are not like this at all. In general, I have a term paper worth roughly 50% of the grade, and a final worth another 50%. Some courses may have two smaller assignments worth 25% each instead of a term paper, but it seems that my grade is never comprised of more than 3 or 4 assignments for the entire semester. The final is also much different as my professors claim they will be entirely made up of essay questions.
Some students may get excited by seeing that your attendance is not graded, however, for Americans studying abroad in England, we run the risk of being deported if we miss too many classes.
So right now I'm on my way to my last class of the day. This class has a final, a midterm and 2 quizzes that make up the entire grade, so I don't have any homework to worry about. Just have to make sure I keep up with the reading.