Case Study – higher education students

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This case study provides a breakdown of the topics and skills delivered. If you are a university or education establishment and would like to know more about timings, costings and delivery types – online or on location – please contact us for a quote.

The Brief

To deliver a suitable study skills programme for students with learning difficulties or dyslexia. To deliver to small groups of no more than 8.

The challenge

To deliver relevant programmes to a group of students with different challenges and strengths, to make it hyper-relevant to their study.


Under-Graduate Students 

The Study Skills Programme provides an introduction to the core skills and strategies needed to promote confident and successful independent learning and studies.  In-person or online, these classes are designed to work with 6-8 students. The smaller numbers allow for more support for each student. Each session is 3 hours long.


  • Managing and organising your time effectively  
  • Understanding your timetable 
  • Managing your calendar effectively 
  • Integrating personal, employment and academic obligations into one place 
  • Planning ahead – why it matters and how to do it 
  • Getting the best out of lectures 
  • Preparing in advance 
  • Taking notes effectively 
  • Using the notes afterwards 
  • Organising your notes for later use 
  • Reading academic texts critically and effectively (two sessions) 
  • Keyword searches to find articles 
  • Where to search for articles 
  • How to tell if the text is of good quality 
  • Identifying the appropriate text to read for your research/lecture or assignment 
  • Pre-reading tasks to make comprehension easier 
  • Ensuring you are reading for a reason  
  • Taking effective notes 
  • Assistive technology and reading  
  • Ways to store your readings for quick access at a later stage 
  • Mastering your Assignments (two sessions) 
  • Understanding the question, what is expected of you and the type of assignment it is (report, presentation, persuasive or comparative essay) 
  • How to plan properly – it’s more than just a quick spider diagram! 
  • Developing your structured plan using themes and topics 
  • Researching for your assignment –guide your research based on your planning (linked to the reading skills from past sessions) 
  • Further development of your plan with your research and new ideas 
  • Ways to approach and break down your writing 
  • Constructing and presenting bibliographies and references  
  • What style should you use? 
  • Referencing work in your assignment text and in the bibliography 
  • Use of citation programs to help you – pros and cons 
  • Developing an academic writing style 
  • Understanding different parts of the assignment and what they are there for 
  • Formal and informal writing styles 
  • Academic dos and don’t! 
  • Academic paragraphs 
  • Linking language, clarity and repetition 
  • Paraphrasing and plagiarism 
  • Improving spelling and grammar, and punctuation  
  • Focus on commonly misspelt words  
  • Development of understanding of plurals, singular, articles, tense use in academic writing 
  • Different types of punctuation and their use in academic writing 

This area can be expanded into a standalone program for students for whom English is not their first language. Five sessions are suggested, in addition to the other study skills sessions. 

  • Preparing and delivering presentations 
  • Working as a team…… Successfully! 
  • Understanding the assignment brief and making sure you approach it in the correct way 
  • Planning your presentation and identifying your overall point 
  • Researching and finding evidence for your point 
  • Avoiding death by PowerPoint 
  • Timings and presentation styles 
  • Revising and sitting examinations 
  • Understanding and Planning your exam period 
  • Assess your understanding of each exam subject, area or topic 
  • Deciding on a revision timetable and how to split your time 
  • Gap filling, not reading everything again 
  • Developing recall strategies for successful revision 
  • Planning your time in the exam 
  • Breaking down the questions and planning your answer 
  • Writing the answer using your plan 
  • Proofreading and checking your answer 

Third Year and Post Graduate Study Skills 

Dissertation development and research skills are very different from other assignment types and need additional study skills and guidance. The following is a general outline of the areas required for students to feel confident in conducting primary and secondary research projects. The content and depth of explanation will vary, depending on the stage of studies the class is undertaking. These sessions are designed for 6-8 students, all studying at a similar level, and last 3 hours. They can be delivered online or in-person. 


  • Getting started; choosing a topic area that is of interest  
  • Form your initial question or hypothesis with help from your supervisor 
  • Is it feasible the time you have? 
  • Does it have use or add value? 
  • Is it too broad or narrow? 
  • How much research is available? 
  • Initial research into the area of interest 
  • Is the topic worth research? 
  • Is it too complex, broad or narrow for your level and area of study? 
  • Be organised and keep in touch with your supervisor  
  • Stay in touch with them and keep them informed of your work 
  • Seek support sooner rather than later 
  • Dealing with procrastination and writer’s block 
  • Initial research questions, design and methodology development 
  • Main question and sub-questions 
  • Types of research methods available for use 
  • Ways to approach the studies 
  • Possible problems and limitations 
  • Proposal and Ethics form writing and submission 
  • Is your work robust and considerate of your subjects? 
  • Could it do any harm 
  • How do you ensure anonymity? 
  • Planning out your research structure and defining your timeline for completion 
  • Develop a clear and detailed plan which drills down into different components in each chapter 
  • Create a research plan that is realistic and helps reduce procrastination and fear 
  • Seek support and help if you are struggling at any point 
  • Further research into your subject area 
  • Finding and eliminating texts in line with your research design to ensure quality research 
  • Developing effective reading and notetaking skills using matrix methods 
  • Identifying gaps, research problems and issues you can address 
  • Writing your final review of current literature  
  • Understanding different structuring methods for writing 
  • Developing synthesis, brevity and conciseness 
  • Making your point clearly to an uninformed reader 
  • Undertaking your research and evaluating it 
  • Ensuring the use of the correct evaluation method 
  • Identifying issues that may need addressing 
  • Reporting your findings, conclusion and recommended further research in the area 
  • Referring back to your hypothesis 
  • Ensuring your results are accurate and you are not affected by confirmation bias 
  • Academic style citation and referencing  
  • Ensuring your style of writing and structure is clear 
  • Making sure your work is your own and  
  • Ensure ideas you have used can be traced back to the primary sources 
  • Finishing your dissertation: Editing and proofreading  
  • Light at the end of the tunnel! 
  • Rainbow editing strategies 
  • Multi-sensory stratagies 
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