Academic Skills Centre

Supporting your students

Our Academic Skills programme provides support for current students in a range of subjects, including academic writing, presentation skills, seminar skills, critical reading skills, and general language improvement. They are free for all current students at undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD level. Students can sign up for these classes at the beginning of each semester.

We also deliver specialist in-sessional courses for specific departments by arrangement. These are designed in consultation with the department or school in order to directly support these students with their coursework, assignments, exams and dissertation writing. Courses we have recently delivered include:

Morui Zhu, Msc Economics student 2012-13

I have learned a lot about academic writing, how to write in a formal tone, and how to reference correctly.

Morui Zhu, MSc Economics student 2012-13

  • a five week programme for 67 postgraduate students from the Department of Economics to develop their academic writing skills in the first semester. This included practice of analysing essay titles, organising their writing, incorporating source material successfully, and critically analysing texts
  • a short series of Academic Writing workshops for 16 MSc and MRes Biology & Biochemistry students in the first and second semester focusing on paraphrasing, structure and linking, numeric referencing, critical writing and literature reviews to help them with the different kinds of writing assignments they have to produce throughout their programme of studies
  • a short series of workshops for 23 Social and Policy Science postgraduates, many of whom join their Masters programmes after a period of professional work in the field, supporting their transition back into an academic setting and preparing them for their first semester assignments
  • a study skills course for first year Electrical and Electronic Engineering undergraduates
  • Academic Writing and study skills workshops for students from a range of School of Management Masters programmes.

If you have a student or group of students with a particular support need, please email us to discuss your requirements.

Other types of support

We also offer tutorials for students to access one-to-one support. These tutorials are for a variety of purposes including any aspect of writing, preparing CVs and job applications, and pronunciation issues. Students can book a tutorial at any time during the academic year. 

Our Academic and Professional Commination Skills (APCS) series of lectures are delivered to first year undergraduate students across the university, often as part of a study skills unit.

The lectures are designed through close collaboration with the departments and are tailor-made to ensure that the specific and various needs of the students are met. For example, students of Pharmacy will be guided in the requirements of writing not only essays but also a magazine article; Physics students will learn exactly how to structure, organise and write a lab report; and Architecture students are helped with writing short texts to support detailed drawings and artwork.

Through these lectures students are made aware of the importance of effective communication in both an academic and a professional context, and are shown how good writing can contribute to good outcomes in their degree programmes and future careers.