Get set to study

Having solid study strategies in place from first year will aid progression and make assignment writing and exam revision easier throughout your university life.

You can download this page in PDF format.

Study tools, tips, apps and assistive software 

Tips and advice

We have prepared a PowerPoint presentation with commentary that covers a variety of subjects, with tips and advice to assist your learning at university.

Resources, apps and assistive software


Check out the Getting started page from the library, here you will find information about library resources, IT services and support for your studies.

Microsoft Office

As a student you will have access to Microsoft Office/Office 365 and be able to download MS Office to your PC for the duration of your course. This will also give you access to 1Tb of data storage through HWU OneDrive.


There are many apps available to support learners in different areas. Check out our assistive technology page for details of apps that we recommend.


Reading is a key skill and you will find that you need to do a lot of reading at university. Reading texts and journal articles in your own subject will help you become familiar with the principles of your subject. Your course reading list is a good starting point.

Check out our assistive technology page for information on text to speech software. If you have a Windows computer, you can download a free text-to-speech program called Balabolka. To compliment the software, you can also download advanced synthetic Scottish voices for free, (You will need your University email address).


Many lecturers now make their PowerPoint slides available online for students, but they will present much more information during the lecture than is shown on the slides. They may also give very useful tips for assignments or exams therefore, it is important to attend all your lectures and tutorials.

There is a list of assistive technology on our website that can help with notetaking, such as AudioNotetaker and Inspiration, a mind-mapping program for summarising your notes.
MindGenius is an alternative to Inspiration and once you become a student you can download this to your own PC.


Is an essential skill that all students need to develop, almost all pieces of academic coursework require referencing.

EndNote allows you to collate, annotate and organise your references, create reference lists and add citations in your text. This is available on all University networked PCs.

Citethisforme is a free online tool to help with Harvard referencing style.

Getting organised and managing your time

You need to have the ability to keep track of time:

  • Know when and where you should be for scheduled classes, events and exams
  • Know when work has to be handed in
  • Keep to deadlines.

Outlook calendar

Add your timetable to this, schedule in revision, assignments hand-in dates, exam times, dates and locations.

Use the Student Portal and Vision to keep up to date with university and course information.

There are online guides and tutorials on VISION, Office, Outlook and Endnote – amongst others.

Exam revision

To help you get the most out of the time you'll spend on revision, you need to develop 'active learning' techniques. For example, ask yourself questions about the subject, explain information in different ways, such as by using mind maps or diagrams, or use cue cards.

Again our asssistive technology page has some apps that we recommend to help with revision.


Most students will give oral presentations as part of their course at university. For presentations you need to research a topic, plan the content, structure and delivery, and then prepare PowerPoint or visual support presentation of it.

Our assistive technology page has information on Audio Notetaker which can help you record and rehearse your presentation. The PowerPoint App is also available on most devices including iOS and Android.

Help and advice

  • Peer mentoring – receive help and advice from a current student on your course – if interested contact Emma Smail to arrange.
  • Power Hours can help develop your academic skills.
  • Help with academic writing – meet a tutor on a one to one basis.
  • Subject librarian - each School has its own dedicated academic support and liaison librarian who can help with all aspects of information gathering.
  • InformS – sign up to this blog to keep up to date with all Information Services news.
  • If you require more information on any of the above, you can contact the Disability Service.