Skills for University
Studying at university will require you to develop your academic skills, from learning how to be self-motivated and work independently, to learning how to process complex information and write in an academic style. Throughout Headstart you will attend workshops that will help develop these skills.
You are responsible for your success at university, and much of that depends on how you use your spare time. This is often the biggest challenge students face when they look at their timetable and realise that there is a lot of space for independent study. Some people find it useful to form study groups – this makes your learning social and helps keep you accountable. It is also important to keep on top of your time management and learn to understand feedback that is given.
The Peer-Assisted Learning Initiative (PAL) is also a great support mechanism which focuses on peer-to-peer learning to support you as you further develop your independent learning. For more information on this please visit the PAL page (click here for information)
You will be asked to delve into much greater detail with your study topics, and you will need to think in new ways and make connections across ideas and theories in your field. Tutors will expect more sophisticated academic writing, and your essays will have higher word counts. Also, you will find that you are given different types of assignments, such as group work or presentations. For the most part, the transition will be gradual and one you are more than capable of taking on.
It is called ‘reading for a degree’ for a reason, because on most courses you will be given a reading list setting out essential and recommended books and journal articles. Familiarise yourself with the Library and catalogue early so that you can easily find the information you need. You will be expected to read critically, meaning that you should question what you read and not take everything at face value.
You will encounter many new terms and abbreviations in your first weeks.
You will have many more choices to make at university, from the modules you take to assignment titles for your coursework. This is empowering, but it can also be overwhelming, so it is important that you think carefully about the choices you make and talk them over with others – your family, friends, and tutors.