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Academic Study and Learning

As a prospective student, you may be wondering how you will adjust to the independent study required at University.
Here are some common concerns we hear from people considering higher education:

  • How do I write “academically”, especially if English is not my first language?
  • How do I develop the study skills I need if I'm attending University after a break in my formal education?
  • I'm not feeling very confident about my maths skills, can you help me?
  • How do I fit in study around my other commitments?

It is important to understand that learning independently does not mean you have to do it all on your own. In fact, successful independent learners are those who build a strong support network to help them develop their skills and confidence.

Academic support

At the University of Bradford, our friendly tutors and advisors to help you to develop your academic and learning skills. These include the Academic Skills Advice team, specialist English language tutors in the Language Centre, and our knowledgeable academic Librarians. These services can all provide you with the right support at the right time in your education. Prior to the start of each academic year, we offer specialised transition support through our Step Up to HE programme. This programme is open to all students who have accepted a place to study at the University. You can find out more about all of these academic support services when you join us.

Students getting feedback from a mentor

Our specialists’ top tips

A great way to prepare for your course is to maintain your passion for the subject discipline you are planning to study. Enjoy watching TED talks and/or reading introductory literature to keep connected to the interest you have in it.  

Spending time on your skills development is a normal and expected aspect of your learning experience. We strongly encourage you to focus on it alongside your studies regardless of whether you want the confidence to know you will pass or you are aiming for that First!

Student grabbing a book from the library

University study is different to the study you have probably done before. Not all learning and work happens in your timetabled hours. You will be required to work in your own time, therefore scheduling and planning study time around classes is key to your success. 

Take advantage of the weeks leading up to enrolment to get ahead by exploring the University website. Have a look at what you'll be studying on your course, and prepare yourself by participating in our Step up HE initiative. Making the most of the opportunities on offer will pay off in the long run! 

Make sure you look at all the sources of support available to you as part of your University experience. Have a look at our health and wellbeing, and employability development pages, or think about how you can build your community and feel a sense of belonging at the University.

Student using a laptop at a desk

What do our students say?

As an international student …in my country it’s more general English and not academic English that you learn. The emphasis on Academic English in the classes run by the Language Centre have been valuable.

I attended one of the workshops related to referencing which is used by my course. This was really helpful to me. I would recommend making the most of the opportunities and support provided by the University.

I would go to the academic skills sessions for math's support and one to one tuition to help better prepare me for my math exams. I also had a lot of help from my personal tutor with my personal projects. At the University of Bradford there is always someone who can help.

Your next steps

Start to reflect on your prior experiences of study and begin to identify your own strengths and some of the challenges you might face.
You can even complete the action plan guide available to download below. Some questions to help you complete this action plan might include:

  • How will you manage your time while studying?
  • How confident do you feel about writing essays or delivering presentations?
  • What steps might you take to develop your skills in semester one?

Independent Learning PowerPoint Presentation

PowerPoint presentation on how to become an empowered and independent learner.

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact our team. You can also read our Website Accessibility Statement.

Independent Learning Action Plan

Use this Action plan template to reflect on how you could be an independent learner.

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact our team. You can also read our Website Accessibility Statement.