Study Well. Designed to help and support you during your time at the University.

Tips, Resources & Support

Our Study Well programme has been designed to help and support you while you study at the University. Throughout this page you will find study tips, helpful resources and support services. 

Academic Skills: Student Learning Service

The Student Learning Service (SLS) works with all students to enhance their academic skills. Please note that we cannot work on continuous assessments.

EASTER BREAK UPDATE: The Student Learning Service will be closed during the week of Mon 5 - Fri 9 April.

NEW! Have a look at our 'Achieve: Developing Online Learning Skills' section for Undergraduates and 'Achieve+: Developing Online Learning Skills' section for Postgraduates.

Our current workshop schedule is now available. Information about the sessions which are open to all students can be found by logging into the course booking systemYou can also have a look at the discipline-specific Maths workshops this semester.

NEW! Want to improve your written communication skills? Have a look at our new Improving Your Writing Guide. It can be accessed here in Achieve (Undergraduates) and Achieve+ (Taught Postgraduates).

1-2-1 online appointments available to help you manage your time whilst getting to grips with online learning.

Due to the Covid -19 outbreak any sessions will be held virtually.

Academic Writing: Come to The Writing Room!

Academic Writing Sessions for Undergraduates and Taught Postgraduates

Why not join our sessions as part of a 'long course' to develop your skills? Alternatively, feel free to dip in and out: select the sessions you feel you'll gain the most from! Each topic is explored through a pre-recorded video (released weekly on Achieve and Achieve+). Live follow-up 'Question and Answer' sessions on these topics are also being held. To view these online sessions and to book a place on one, please log into the online course booking system

The topics covered include:

  • Essay writing
  • Dissertation writing
  • Report writing
  • Critical thinking
  • Reflective writing
  • Grammar for academic writing
  • Revision and exam techniques
  • Using sources more effectively

We are also happy to work with any member of staff to deliver a bespoke in-course workshop or tailored session.

Study Advice Sessions in The Writing Room

We provide 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 undergraduate or taught postgraduate study advice request form
  • Students with dyslexia or other specific learning differences can also meet with a specialist study adviser. If you would like to book a study advice session, please fill out this form.

Academic Writing Online Resources

  • NEW! Want to improve your written communication skills? Have a look at our new Improving Your Writing Guide. It can be accessed here in Achieve (Undergraduates) and Achieve+ (Taught Postgraduates).
  • Online resources can be found in Achieve and Achieve+ in MyAberdeen. These include written guides and short videos on a range of topics.
  • The Library offers a number of online guides on referencing and citing.
  • For advice on avoiding plagiarism, click here.

Meet the Academic Skills 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 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.

Find out more

 
Maths Support

Maths Support is confidential, non-judgemental and free. It is open to all students, from any discipline and level.

Appointments

Maths Support appointments are available Tuesdays to Fridays, between 9:30 am and 2:30 pm.

You can book an individual appointment, or an appointment for a small group of students. Appointments are currently run online, through Microsoft Teams or Blackboard Collaborate.

Appointments can be requested:

Maths Drop-In Sessions

Maths drop-in sessions are open sessions: students meet the Maths Adviser without booking an appointment. These sessions run a first come, first served basis.

  • Wednesday Maths Support drop-in sessions: weekly drop-in sessions, starting from 3rd of February until 31st of March 2021, will run 11-1pm this semester. To discuss your question with the Adviser, connect to the  Blackboard Collaborate Maths Support Virtual Room.

Maths Online Resources

Online Maths Support resources can be found in Achieve Maths Skills (undergraduate students) and Achieve+ Maths Skills (postgraduate students).

Meet the Maths Adviser

I am Dr Morgiane Richard, the Maths Adviser in the SLS team. 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.

Find out more

Study Skill Advice

Appointments

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.

Online Resources

Online resources can be found in Achieve and Achieve+ in MyAberdeen. These include written guides and short videos on a range of topics.

Meet the Study Skills and Sciences Adviser

Wendy Lawrenson 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

Appointments

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.

Workshops

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.

Meet the Academic Skills Adviser for Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Differences

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.

Find out more

Active Learning

When thinking about using your time sensibly, spend some time considering how to study at your best. 

Everyone is different: some people work better early in the morning; whilst others in the evening. A little background noise, for example some music, can be beneficial for some, whilst for others it serves as a distraction. 

Think about your study environment and any distractions you have. Try to set manageable goals for yourself and break down tasks into achievable chunks which you can then tackle. It is often best to be more ‘active’ in your learning. For example, when it comes to studying, try a mixture of approaches. 

  • As well as familiarising yourself with past exam papers and revising the possible questions, you could: 
  • Make a ‘study plan’ with several small achievable goals (daily or weekly) 
  • Mind map key information or create a diagram/chart to represent different topics 
  • Record or video yourself explaining various topics and speaking about how you would approach different questions. 
  • Use revision cards or flashcards to condense information into key points 

Useful Resources for Studying more Effectively: 

Blended Learning

The University is currently delivering a blended model for teaching. This means that some of our teaching will be online and some will be on campus.  This will be new for some of us, but we are working hard to take advantage of this new approach to enhance our teaching. We are confident that we will provide you with a high-quality experience. More details will become available through your School. 

Books

Books can be very expensive, so before you buy, why not try:

  1. Visit the Library or search their online database.
  2. Bookends is AUSA's second hand charity book shop, based in the Students' Union Building on Elphinstone Road.
  3. Blackwell's is at 99 High Street (Old Aberdeen), stocking new and second hand copies of core reading list texts.
  4. Check your course or departmental noticeboard as students often post adverts selling their old text books cheaply.

Or you could try these websites:

Graduate Attributes for Undergraduate Students

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.

Sleep and Learning

It may seem obvious, but sleep is hugely important when you’re studying. Getting a good night’s sleep (of between 7-9 hours) will help you to learn at your best, improve your state of mind and hopefully feel happier!

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.

Virtual Learning Environments

The University’s virtual learning environments are MyAberdeen, MyMBChB, MyBDS.

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 Life Balance

It’s important to put enough time and effort into your studies so that you can achieve the grades you want. It is, however, equally important that you take time for yourself and enjoy the social, sporting and cultural aspects of being a student. A good study life balance is essential to avoid burnout and maximise your full academic ability. 

  • Try to schedule at least 30mins a day for selfcare. This could simply be turning off your phone, reading a book, doing a jigsaw, listening to music or going for walk.  
  • It doesn’t matter what you do as a long it’s something for you and not about your studies or coursework.  
  • It’s easy to get caught up but slowing down and taking time for yourself each day will help you to be at your optimum and build resilience.  
  • Remember to keep in touch with family, friends, classmates and the academic community. 
     

Useful Resources for Improving Your Study Life Balance  

Studying at the University

Studying at University... 

Independent learning tends to be one of the biggest changes for students. Depending on your course, your actual contact hours may be few. 

You are expected to take ownership for your learning in terms of reading and studying. This could involve preparation for tutorials / seminars (or laboratory work), presentations, assignments and exam revision. It is up to you to manage your time effectively! 

Staff will not always be available to remind you of what you have to do.  

  • Familiarise yourself with the University’s online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which is called MyAberdeen. Check it regularly for your: course information and details; course guide; reading lists and any required preparation for tutorials/seminars (or laboratory work); assessment information and deadlines. 
  • Remember to check your University of Aberdeen email account regularly: always use this if you are emailing a member of staff. 

For more advice on Independent Learning, you can read this guide to Effective Independent Learning. 

Common Grading Scale 

The Common Grading Scale (CGS) provides a common, alpha-numeric marking scale which is used across the University. This enables you to compare your performance in different disciplines and courses and ensures consistency in assessment.  

For information on the Common Grading Scale (CGS) and how your work will be graded, click here

TurnitinUK

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.

The Student Instructions for TurnitinUK show you how to submit an assignment to TurnitinUK through MyAberdeen.

Referencing and Plagiarism

Adequate referencing is a vital part of academic writing. 

The University defines plagiarism as: 

the use, without adequate acknowledgement, 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.

University of Aberdeen (2019). Code of Practice on Student Discipline (Academic) –Resolution No 294 of 2019, Section 3.2.  

Your School will provide you with further details and information on their preferred referencing style (some Schools may allow use of multiple referencing styles). This short video will provide you with an overview of what plagiarism is, and how to avoid it.  

Plagiarism video Module 9: Study Well - Referencing and Plagiarism | Rise 360 (articulate.com) 

Understanding referencing if very important. We would recommend that you seek help early on if you are unsure about it. 

Useful Resources:

  • Checklist for avoiding plagiarism and information on the University’s (2019) policy on plagiarism 
  • Click here for the Library information on Referencing and Citing, including a range of guides on the different styles 
  • Click here for information on Refworks and other reference management software.