How can Skills for Learning help me develop my academic skills?

As well as the new Skills for Learning website, our Academic Skills Tutors offer online support:

  • in teaching sessions,
  • for individual students

We can help you develop the academic skills you need for your course. These might include: academic writing, critical thinking, maths, statistics and IT.

You can access this support in various ways:

Workshops

Skills for Learning workshops are interactive group sessions that can help you improve your academic communication, statistical analysis, IT, referencing and effective study skills. Each workshop develops a specific area of your academic skills. You can expect a mixture of activities, peer learning, and expert advice from Academic Skills Tutors. Workshops run throughout the academic year. All workshops are free of charge. All Leeds Beckett students are welcome.

Workshop descriptions are here. Timetables and bookings can be accessed on MyHub.

Get Help

We offer individual appointments if you need further advice on your academic or information literacy skills. Please see the Get Help page for more information and to request 1-1 support.

In-curriculum support

We also provide tailored in-curriculum support on academic skills topics. These can be requested by tutors.

Academic staff: please visit our academic staff FAQ to request a session for your students.

Workshop descriptions

Advanced Academic Writing 

This workshop is particularly suitable for postgraduates but will also be useful for L6 students looking to take their academic writing skills to the next level. The session will focus on striking a balance between complexity and clarity in your academic writing, looking in detail at the planning, drafting and editing stages of the writing process, as well as how to incorporate critical thinking into your work. 

Critical Thinking 

This interactive workshop examines the differences between descriptive writing and critical writing and offers students an opportunity to practise writing critically. It also offers practical techniques for planning and structuring assessments where critical thinking is required.   

Before the session, you might like to think about : 

  • What does ‘critical thinking’ mean? 

  • Why is critical thinking important? 

  • What techniques do you know for incorporating critical thinking into your writing? 

Essay Writing 

In this interactive webinar, you will gain an insight into what makes a successful essay. You will learn how to break down an essay question, how to develop an argument, and how to present your argument clearly in your writing. 

Before the session, you might like to think about : 

  • What aspect of essay writing do you find most challenging? (e.g. research, essay planning, writing?) 

  • What do you feel are your strengths with essay writing? You may want to consider previous feedback you have received. 

Literature Reviews 

This interactive webinar will help you understand the role of the literature review in academic writing. Discover strategies for collating your research and planning the structure of your work. Guidance will also be offered on how to read and write critically for your literature review. 

Before the session, you might like to think about: 

  • What are the requirements of your literature review? Does it stand alone or is it part of a longer report/dissertation? (Tip: check your module handbook/marking criteria.) 

  • Have you written a literature review before? If so, what went well? What would you like to improve in future? If not, what concerns/questions do you have about the process? 

  • When reading secondary sources such as journal articles, pay attention to the opening ‘literature review’ or ‘background information’ section. What role do they play for the reader? What is the author trying to achieve? 

Online drop in 

This is a drop-in session for students with any short academic skills queries. An Academic Skills Tutor will be on hand throughout to answer general questions about how to approach university assignments. 

Presentations

Many students are required to deliver a presentation at some point during their studies, whether it’s part as a group or individually, assessed or unassessed. In this workshop we will look at examples of presentations and discuss what works. We will also cover: preparing for the presentation, planning content, making effective slides, and delivering with confidence. 

Referencing 

In this short workshop, you will learn how to cite and reference using Leeds Beckett style of Harvard for books, articles, web sites and other sources you might use in your assignments. 

Reflective writing 

This workshop is for students completing reflective writing assignments as part of their degree courses. You will learn how to combine your experiences and ideas with your wider subject knowledge to produce reflections that demonstrate your critical thinking abilities. You will also be introduced to various models of reflection to help you to structure your academic writing. In order to get the most out of this workshop, you should complete the pre-session worksheet and watch the recommended video to maximise your learning. 

Report Writing 

A report is a piece of academic writing that presents research on a topic and are used to present research findings or make recommendations. They are common in subject areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths, Healthcare and Social Sciences. If you’re from one of these subject areas, it’s likely you will have already seen this type of writing in academic journal articles. 

This interactive workshop focuses on the skills you will use to complete reports on your course. This is separated into different, interrelated areas: purpose, structure, language and critical analysis. This session will provide detailed guidance on the information you will require to complete your reports, in addition to interactive activities to apply your learning as you progress. 

SPSS, Word and Excel drop-in sessions

These sessions use a flipped learning approach to help maximise your learning. Before you attend the session, you must work through the videos, noting down any questions or challenges you come across along the way. Please attend the drop-in with a specific assignment or issue in mind. 

Study Café 

The Study Café is a chance for you to focus on your own work in a friendly environment, where you will come together with peers and be supported throughout by LBU’s Academic Skills Tutors. You will be led through a series of 25-minute working sessions, with opportunities in between to chat and share study tips with one another.  

Studying Online 

In this webinar, you will be introduced to practical strategies for learning online. Learn how to make the most out of online classes, discover a range of apps to support your learning, and try out new methods for maximising your productivity. 

Before the session, you might like to think about : 

  • What challenges you have faced working online so far this term? 

  • How are you managing your time this term? 

  • What do you feel are your learning preferences (e.g. when, where, how do you like to work)? 

Writing Academically 

This interactive workshop provides guidance on effective writing at university level. Learn how to improve your formality and style, develop methods for thinking objectively, and understand how to structure your work. 

Before the session, you might like to think about : 

  • Which aspects of academic writing are you good at? 

  • What challenges do you face with academic writing? 

  • What strategies have you used or might you use to improve your academic writing abilities? 

_