Academic Skills

Male and female student discuss a paper over their laptop

Our Academic Skills workshops and individual consultations can help you to perform to the best of your ability during your degree programme. During these sessions you can check that you understand how lecturers expect you to interpret assignment task instructions, find out what lecturers are looking for in an essay and learn how to read critically.

One-to-one Academic Skills consultations

Who are individual consultations aimed at? 

One-to-one Academic Skills consultations are available to students and staff who would like to discuss aspects of academic writing or oral presentations. The tutor can offer advice and suggestions on academic language and literacy practices. Find out more and sign up for a consultation.

Academic Skills workshops

Who are the Academic Skills workshops aimed at?

Academic Skills workshops can help you with the first coursework assignment in semester 1 of your master's degree in the School of Social Sciences. The workshops run in tandem with a core course on each degree programme. Check that you understand how lecturers expect you to interpret assignment task instructions and read critically for the core course. Find out what lecturers are looking for in a postgraduate essay.

What topics are covered?

Workshops usually run each week for one hour, starting from the second week on the academic calendar, Week 2. Topics in semester 1 may include:

  • Writing for a critical reader – critical evaluation of essays from previous years.
  • Critical search strategies – understanding essay questions, keyword searching, finding, evaluating and selecting sources appropriate to essay purposes.
  • Critical reading of a research paper – using structure to read efficiently and evaluatively.
  • Critical evaluation - identifying perspectives in definitions of contested concepts.
  • Finding a critical voice – using sources but giving your own perspective.
  • Exam strategies – writing to show what you have learned.

You can choose the workshops that are most appropriate for you. Materials will also be available in Vision (Virtual Learning Environment) for the core course on each degree.

In semester 2, you can follow Academic Skills for Research Philosophy and Practice to help you understand the approach to research at master’s level and prepare for your research dissertation.

Each semester, you can also meet a tutor individually or in small groups to receive support for academic reading, writing and referencing. You can discuss an assignment you are working on and receive feedback on how appropriate the structure and style is for your purpose and the academic audience.

Information on Academic Skills workshop sessions is available through Vision (our Virtual Learning Environment) for each of the core MSc courses: Corporate Finance, Contemporary Consumers, Global Purchasing, International Business Context, Strategic Project Management, Research Philosophy and Practice. Look for Academic Skills in the Vision course menu.

Key information

Emma Akdag