Moving up to higher education
You're about to start studying as an undergraduate in higher education in the UK. You know your academic studies are going to be different from what you're doing now, whether that's school, college or work. But do you know how they'll be different?
These pages aim to give you a headstart in preparing for university by helping you to understand what you can expect, what will be expected of you, and how to develop your existing study techniques to meet these expectations. They are organised by four key questions, identified in discussions with first year students about what they wished they'd known before they started at university:
- "How is studying in higher education going to be different to what I'm used to doing?"
- "What does it mean to be an independent learner?"
- "What are tutors looking for in academic writing at university?"
- "How can I manage my workload to get everything done in the time I have?"
For each question there is a webpage, which includes explanations of what is expected from you at university and how this is different from school or further education. There are also activities to help you put the ideas into practice, and build your understanding and expectations.
Who are these pages for?
These pages will be useful to a wide range of students entering higher education in the UK at undergraduate level. You may have been:
Studying for A-levels, BTEC or NVQ at sixth-form or FE college
Taking an Access course either as a younger or more mature student
Undertaking work-based learning at FE or other levels
Taking a gap year, or coming directly from employment
Studying or working outside the UK
They aim to outline general principles that can be applied to most subject disciplines. Some suggestions may be more directly applicable to particular disciplines; you will soon get to know how to adapt the guidance yourself to suit your own discipline.
How should I use these pages?
You can use these pages as a complete pre-entry course to prepare for studying in higher education, by working through each area in turn, reading the guidance and completing all of the activities.
Alternatively, you can dip into the areas you are most interested in. In either case, use the links in the sidebar on the left, or in the first section of this page.
Of course, you can start using the pages or return to them after you have entered university. We have also included links to self-help resources that will help you to develop your study practices as you progress through your degree course.
About these pages
These pages were developed by the University Study Advice team at the University of Reading. We are professional specialists in the field of learning development, working directly with university students at all academic levels and in all subject disciplines, to help them develop their independent study practices at university. The content of this resource has been informed by research into effective study practices and direct access to student feedback.
The development of this resource was made possible by funding from the VetNet Lifelong Learning Network.
We are very happy to receive feedback and comments: email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a University of Reading student and would like to speak to a Study Adviser in person, see details here to book an appointment.