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StudySwitch - Evolving your Academic Skills

As you start to consider how you can adapt and translate your previous college or workplace experiences to university, you may be starting to ask the question, will it be enough? Over the course of your first year there are lots of things you are expected to do which may be new such as: critical thinking; presenting in front of peers and experts; researching and references.

Part of the university learning experience is a sense of self exploration and creating meaning for you in your chosen subject area, but we know you may need some support. WISER and Library and Information Services have created a series of resources and activities focusing on academic skills throughout the academic life. We’re here to support you by providing insight and inspiration into study processes to help you succeed at university.


Student view:

“WISER helped me to improve my essay writing immensely, I went from getting an average of 55% to 75% in my assignment.”

In your first part of the year there are some core resources and workshop sessions available to you, which should be essential to your first year experience. We would consider these a really smart investment of your time; by becoming comfortable with these fundamentals you will build confidence in your academic abilities which in turn will help you to become more insightful when working on your wider portfolio of work.

What should I know before I start studying?

At this stage we want you to think about the skills you have, rather than worry about what you don’t have experience of. As you progress through your first year, you will start to notice that there are sessions that complement where you are in your development.
As an initial starting point, it would be useful to read the following two resources before you start your classes with us:


Semester One Essentials

We recommend that during your first semester you sign up to take advantage of the following three sessions from the WISER study skills team. You will be able to see dates and times of workshops here, when they are released.

  • Preparing for your assignment

  • Analysing assessment questions and understanding tasks

  • Referencing accurately to avoid plagiarism


In addition to providing interactive workshops, one-to-one tutorials, and independent study materials, WISER can also read samples of your academic work and provide constructive feedback on key areas such as critical analysis, structure, referencing and style. Students taking advantage of this service not only see improvements in grades, but they also benefit from the confidence boost resulting from the reassuring, personalised advice provided.

In September the delivery of your course will be a blend of virtual and face to face delivery. To help you get up to speed we have created a module on how to become an effective online learner, which you can access on Blackboard during Welcome Week.