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Study success

Skills guides

Our guides are here to help you develop the skills needed for your University studies. Work through our sheets with tutors, in groups, or when studying alone.

Laptop and book

From writing clearly to using evidence effectively, our self-help resources are here to support you with academic writing.

Our resources include writing guides, examples of different skills and templates to help you structure your work.

If you need help using any of the tools or resources on this page, you can book a study development tutorial.

Skills guides

Completing assignments successfully requires understanding the task, breaking it down into stages, planning thoroughly, and responding to feedback. Take charge of your own academic development: as you progress through your studies, you should develop a process of applying feedback on previous work in your planning for new assignments. 

Keep your learning active: use these resources to create useful notes in your lectures and when you’re reading. Active note-making is targeted to your questions, promotes understanding and recall, and encourages critical thinking. Identify the most useful and relevant evidence for your writing and presentations – effective use of evidence is crucial to making your case.

These guides and tools will help you develop clear, effective communication in an academic style suitable to your discipline and the task. 

Learn how to attribute your sources and show where your information and ideas have come from. Develop your skills of summarising and paraphrasing to demonstrate your understanding.

Practise asking questions of what you’re learning and reading: assess the value of evidence, consider underlying assumptions, and compare different sources, examples, and theories. Breaking down others’ arguments helps you structure your own. As you develop these critical skills throughout your degree, you’ll become an expert who can make sound judgements and form rigorous arguments in your field or profession. 

Reviewing and learning from your experiences is essential to developing your academic and professional practice, and a good habit to get into for your future progression. You can use your knowledge of your discipline, relevant theories, and professional guidance to understand what’s happened, the decisions you made, and how to improve in future. There are several models available to help you think and write reflectively.

Remember to leave time to revise, polish, and check your work, so that it is clear, accurate, and professional. Here are some tools to help you develop your processes for finalising your work. 

At university, you’re expected to use your initiative and become an independent learner. You’ll have to manage multiple commitments and deadlines, motivate yourself, and plan ahead. Everyone works differently, so it’s essential that you identify your own effective ways of working. Use these tools to help you develop your working processes and manage your time. These skills are the fundamentals for gaining responsibility and project management, and an important reason why employers look for graduates. 

It’s crucial to understand and fulfil the demands of the task set. Use these guides alongside your assignment brief, lecturer guidance, and examples from your discipline. 

Memorisation is an active process that involves making links, using the information, and regularly refreshing your knowledge. These guides suggest effective techniques to build into your revision.

Online meetings and digital resources are now an integral part of academic and professional life. These guides give practical support – familiarise yourself with the technology and use these prompts to get the most out of your sessions.