- Academic Skills: Student Learning Service
*New workshop schedule available now*
The Student Learning Service (SLS) works with all students to enhance their academic skills.
We offer bookable workshops on topics including making the most of your 1st semester, studying in the UK (for newly-arrived international students), planning & time management, academic integrity and accidental plagiarism for undergraduate students, essay planning, getting the most from your live and recorded lectures, and more. We will also be delivering face-to-face and online workshops on revising for and surviving exams in late November:
Revising and preparing for exams, tests and assessments: 21 November, 10:00-11:00; 22 November, 15:00-16:00; 28 November, 12:00-13:00.
Surviving Exams: 24 November, 11:00-12:00; 29 November, 13:00-14:00; 30 November, 14:00-15:00.
Approaches and revision tips for essay-based exams: 29 November, 11:00-12:00; 30 November, 14:00-15:00.
These courses can be found on the course booking system.
Individual appointments are currently held online, through Teams or Blackboard Collaborate.
- Appointments for 'The Writing Room', Maths Support and Study Skills Advice can be requested by filling in the study advice request form.
- Appointments for Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Differences can be requested by filling in the specialist advice request form.
To contact us, just write to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to discuss your needs.
Academic Writing Workshops for Undergraduates and Taught Postgraduates
Our workshops help you to understand the expectations of academic writing placed on you. We offer a comprehensive coverage of the key challenges in academic writing in a number of formats. Why not join our workshops as part of a 'long course' to develop your skills? Alternatively, feel free to dip in and out: select the one / those you feel you'll gain the most from! To view the current online workshops and to book a place on one, please log into the online course booking system.
The topics covered include:
- Essay writing and planning
- Report writing
- Reflective writing
- Literature reviews
- Critical thinking for writing
- Grammar and punctuation
- Using sources more effectively
- Creating arguments
- Academic integrity (including avoiding plagiarism)
- Editing your work
We are also happy to work with any member of academic staff to deliver a bespoke in-course workshop or tailored session.
One-to-One Study Advice Sessions in 'The Writing Room'
In The Writing Room we provide online, confidential one-to-one study advice sessions for undergraduates and taught postgraduates. These sessions can be used to discuss essay writing, dissertations, and preparation for written exams, or to address any concerns you may have about writing at university.
We can discuss assignments or essays that have been marked, and are accompanied by feedback, but we cannot work on an assignment or essay that has yet to be submitted.
PhD students are welcome to book advice sessions but may only do so with the written consent of their PhD supervisor.
- To arrange a one-to-one session please fill out a study advice request form.
Academic Writing Online Resources
- Want to improve your written communication skills? Have a look at our online resources in Achieve (Undergraduates) and Achieve+ (Taught Postgraduates).
- These include written guides and short videos on a range of topics.
- The University Library offers a number of online guides on referencing and citing.
- See also this advice on avoiding plagiarism.
Meet the Academic Writing Advisers
Dr Mary Pryor (Senior Academic Skills Adviser)
Mary received her PhD in History of Art from the University of Aberdeen in 2002. She specialises in working with students, from whichever background, to develop their academic writing skills, at all levels of study.
Dr Daniel Derrin
Daniel received his PhD in 2012 in the field of cultural history, focusing on historical theories of rhetoric. He is now a specialist in academic writing and editing and works with students at all levels on creating quality academic writing that is persuasive and clear.
Dr Chloe Alexander
Chloe received her PhD in History from the University of Aberdeen in 2014. She completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, Learning and Teaching in 2016 and became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy the same year. In 2014 Chloe joined the Student Learning Service as an Academic Writing Adviser. Chloe also continues to pursue her doctoral research in History.
For more, please see: Dr Chloe Alexander's profile
Maths Support is confidential, non-judgemental and free. It is open to all students, from any discipline and level.
You can book an individual appointment, or an appointment for a small group of students. Appointments are currently available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, between 9:30 am and 2:30 pm.
Appointments can be requested:
Maths Support Weekly Drop-In Sessions
Weekly drop-in sessions will run on Thursdays, 12 - 2 pm, starting 20th of October 2022, until the 1st of December 2022, in Fraser Noble 185. Sessions are drop-in only, no booking required.
Maths Online Resources
Maths Support Workshops
A programme of online Maths Support workshops, tailored to specific courses or programmes, will run during the first and second semester. Further announcements will be made through courses at the beginning of the teaching session, along with booking details.
Meet the Maths Adviser
Dr Morgiane Richard
I graduated with an MEng in Physics Engineering in Grenoble, France, and with a PhD in Bioengineering at the University of Surrey. I started in the post of Maths Adviser in August 2012.
Study Skills Advice
Confidential, individual appointments and small group sessions to discuss study strategies are available. The sessions usually last for around one hour and are currently run online, through Microsoft Teams.
To arrange an appointment please fill out the study advice request form.
Study Skills Workshops
Free workshops for undergraduates and postgraduates run throughout term-time on a variety of topics. These include:
- Note-taking from texts and recorded lectures
- Reading strategies
- Time management
- Study Strategies
- Presentation skills
- Revision and exams
Information about the workshops can be found by logging into the course booking system.
Drop-in sessions are also available; dates and times will be advertised.
Due to the Covid -19 outbreak any appointments, workshops or drop-ins are currently held virtually.
Meet the Study Skills and Sciences Adviser
Wendy taught in the Chemistry Department at the University of Aberdeen for 9 years from 1996 and then joined the Student Learning Service in 2005.
Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Differences
Students with dyslexia and other specific learning differences can book an appointment to meet me and discuss academic skills and study strategies. Appointments are usually for 1 hour and more appointments can be requested.
- Appointments can be requested by filling in the study advice request form.
Throughout the semester the Student Learning Service run a series of workshops, open to all students, on a variety of topics, these include: note-taking, reading, time management, presentation skills, revision and exams and more. Workshops specifically designed for students with dyslexia and other specific learning differences can be organised, please contact SLS of you are interested in academic skills workshop specifically for students with dyslexia or any other specific learning difference.
- Appointments can be requested by filling in the specialist advice request form.
- Information about the workshops open to all students can be found by logging into the course booking system.
Meet the Academic Skills Adviser for Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Differences
Dr Julie Ross
I am Dr Julie Ross, the Academic Skills Adviser for students with Dyslexia and Other Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs), such as: dysgraphia, dyspraxia, AD(H)D and ASC. I work as part of the Student Learning Services (SLS) team; we are based within the Centre for Academic Development.
- Avoiding Plagiarism
Adequate referencing is a vital part of academic writing. The University defines plagiarism as:
the use, without adequate acknowledgment, of the intellectual work of another person in work submitted for assessment. This definition includes the unattributed use of course materials. A student cannot be found to have committed plagiarism where it can be shown that the student has taken all reasonable care to avoid representing the work of others as his or her own.
Checklist for avoiding plagiarism:
More information can be found here
- When taking notes, be sure to put ‘inverted commas’ around direct quotes, so that when you return to your work , it is clear what is a quote, and what is a paraphrase in your own words. Always write down exactly where the material comes from, including page number or URL.
- When taking notes, use the correct citation / reference format. If you are not clear about this, check your course guide or ask your tutor
- Familiarise yourself with the citation / reference format you are expected to use. Remember that paraphrases, as well as direct quotes, need to be referenced.
- Once you have written a draft of your essay / assignment, look at the balance between your own ideas and the ideas of others which you have referenced. It should be clear to the reader or marker which is which, because the ideas from others will be referenced. Your own argument (your ideas) should provide the main framework for the essay / assignment, and your evidence (the ideas of others) should be in support of your argument.
Books can be very expensive, so before you buy, why not try:
- Visit the Library or search their online database.
- Bookends is AUSA's second hand charity book shop, based in the Students' Union Building on Elphinstone Road.
- Blackwell's is at 99 High Street (Old Aberdeen), stocking new and second hand copies of core reading list texts.
- Check your course or departmental noticeboard as students often post adverts selling their old text books cheaply.
Or you could try these websites:
The University has three libraries: The Sir Duncan Rice Library (main library) which also contains the Special Collections Centre; Taylor Library (law); and the Medical Library (dentistry, medicine, medical sciences, health & nutrition). With over a million books, more than 500,000 ebooks and over 25,000 e-journals, library services provide flexible access to resources on and off campus at a time to suit you.
The libraries are open daily during term time and have hundreds of study places in silent and quiet study areas as well as group project rooms and areas.
There is a good support network of staff and resources including subject help, instructional talks, printed and electronic information guides, vodcasts, podcasts, Twitter.
There are computer classrooms available for use throughout campus; the largest being in Edward Wright and MacRobert buildings in Old Aberdeen. The university computers can be accessed by logging in with your student ID and password.
- Currently available computers in Old Aberdeen, the Sir Duncan Rice Library and Foresterhill.
Gartner is a leading information technology firm that provides research and analysis services to inform and support decision making across a wide range of industry sectors. Over the past 40 years they have provided insight and expert guidance to leading businesses across the globe. The University has negotiated entry for all students to Gartner’s Campus Access to give you access to a rich trove of up-to-date, published research developed by the some of the world’s leading technology research consultants.
You can log into Gartner using your University username and password.
Further details on Gartner can be found here.
- Referencing and Citing
Referencing and Citing
There are many styles of referencing and citing. Check your course guide or ask the teaching staff which style they expect you to use. For more information you should also consult the Library webpage on Referencing. As well as a range of guides, they also have a team of Information Consultants who can advise students on referencing and citing.
- Graduate Attributes
Undergraduate students - Graduate attributes
The University's Graduate Attributes are a wide-ranging set of qualities, which you will develop during your time as a student in preparation for future employment, further study, and citizenship. You will have many opportunities to develop and achieve these attributes. These will include learning experiences on credit-bearing courses and co-curricular activities such as work placements, study abroad, and volunteering.
- Staff Directory
How do I find staff email addresses?
Email addresses of University staff and research students, if available, are published through the Staff Directory. Email addresses are subject to Data Protection and therefore some staff may have chosen to opt out of this publicly available directory.
- Student Hub, MyAberdeen and VLEs
Access the University's Student Hub
From here you can view, check and update your personal details, course enrolments, class timetable, exam timetables and results, and more.
Login to the portal at www.abdn.ac.uk/studenthub
Virtual Learning Environments
The University’s virtual learning environments are MyAberdeen, MyMBChB, MyBDS.
- Find out more information here: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/it/student/get-started/portal.php
Accessibility of Digital Learning Materials
The University is committed to making its digital learning materials fully accessible as part of its inclusive approach to teaching and learning. It aims to provide students with accessible digital content, the ability to generate alternative formats for course files and with captions for videos.
- For full details of our commitments to digital learning materials accessibility please visit the eLearning section of the website.
- Study Spaces
When they are not booked for teaching, computer classrooms are open for you to use. For more information on study spaces please visit the Study Spaces on Campus page which details term, vacation and exam time opening hours as well as PC availability across campus
TurnitinUK is an online service which compares student assignments with online sources including web pages, databases of reference material, and work previously submitted by other students across the UK. It matches sections of the text that have been found in other sources. This assists the marker with checking whether resources have been appropriately referenced and whether plagiarism has occurred. Find out how to avoid plagiarism here.
You can find out more about using Turnitin here.