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Academic Skills

Learning Development Tutors and Liaison Librarians work with students to ensure they have the knowledge, skills and confidence to be successful learners.  They are based at each campus and have a wide range of expertise.  They can help you with -

Academic integrity is the cornerstone of education. The Academic Integrity Toolkit will take you step by step through the importance of academic integrity and what happens when you are accused of misconduct.

Artificial Intelligence explores new tools such as ChatGTP and how they can be used to support your research and study.

You'll find that your course is full of new words and phrases, as well as ways of talking and writing. You’ll need some of this language for your creative practice, some for your academic and theoretical ideas, and some for your professional practice. Learning Development Tutors can help you to learn how to use language to reflect your ideas accurately and effectively in written work, presentations and discussions.

These outline what you need to do so as to meet the assessment criteria. Understanding the assignment brief is important because it will save you time and effort to focus your energies on useful study and practice rather than spending a lot of time on things that will not help you achieve the required outcomes.

During your studies you will likely re-use work produced by others and will need to know about intellectual property rights, especially copyright. A good understanding of copyright is an essential academic and life skill. Using work without permission or without relying on a legal defence is regarded as copyright infringement and can carry serious penalties.

For more information online see - Copyright.

Creative Commons Licensing makes licensing your work simple so that individuals, educational institutions, and other organisations know how to use it.

We can help you develop techniques for analysis, reflection and critique; these abilities will often be an assessed requirement of your course. This process of critically analysing and reflecting on other practitioners’ decision-making can help you position your own creative ideas in relation to other practitioners’ work. It will also help you to make informed, conscious choices about how you can develop your ideas.

For more information online see - Critical Thinking.

A dissertation is an extended essay exploring a specified research question or area of practice in depth.We can offer you guidance on how to write your dissertation - from your dissertation proposal to the methods, structure, style, format, and use of evidence and illustrations.

For more information online see - Dissertation Proposal and Dissertation Writing.

Essays are used in universities across the world as a way of testing knowledge and understanding.  Since most people do not enjoy being tested, essay writing is generally considered stressful, however, it offers the opportunity to research and evaluate different opinions about a topic, and build a well-informed argument. The ability to do this is particularly important in art subjects, where practitioners are often asked to justify their creative decision-making.

For more information online see - Essay Writing.

Feedback is an important part of your learning journey. Through your time at university you will receive feedback in a number of ways, all of which will be offered in a way that supports your studies.

For more information online see - Learning from Feedback.

You will meet lots of new and unfamiliar terms at University. The glossary provides a list of commonly used terms and their meanings.

For more information online see - Glossary.

We can help you to develop the strategies and language that will enable you to participate in your lectures, seminars and tutorials with confidence and gain maximum benefit. This includes guidance on -

  • how best to prepare for lectures, seminars and tutorials including pre-reading and preparing questions
  • taking notes during a lecture, seminar and tutorial and organising your notes and ideas after
  • techniques to help you overcome anxieties about expressing or exploring your ideas in group sessions, enabling you to engage with others productively.

For more information online see - Learn to Learn.

A literature review is not the same as a book review. A literature review surveys scholarly articles, books, journal articles and other sources (for example, dissertations or conference papers) relevant to a particular area of research, contextualising and evaluating the existing documentation.

It should aim to be an analytical synthesis of sources that contribute to your research. By reviewing the literature of your subject, you will become familiar with differing perspectives, and this should be evident in your writing.

For more information online see - Literature Reviews.

Reflection is a crucial element of academic assignments and professional practice. Tutors and future employers want to see how you can learn and develop through reflection. Those who cannot or do not reflect on their work/practice restrict their opportunities to learn and develop.

For more information online see - Reflective Practice

On your course you will be presenting your ideas at various stages of development. There may be cultural differences in the way you talk about your work; we can discuss this with you and offer you guidance on -

  • ways of expressing yourself
  • expressing your ideas in different formats, for example: written, verbal or through a portfolio
  • tailoring your language and presentation format to a range of subject specific contexts, for example: critiques, seminars, exhibitions and websites
  • dealing with criticism and using feedback to further develop your work

For more information online see - Presentation Skills.

Referencing is the method by which you acknowledge using someone else’s writing, work, or ideas in your own academic work while studying at UCA. It also helps avoid plagiarism and academic misconduct. Liaison Librarians can help you avoid plagiarism by teaching you how to reference your work correctly.

For more information online see - UCA Harvard Referencing and Referencing Tools.

You will often be asked to write your own artist, personal or practice statement when presenting your work.

For more information and examples see - Statement Writing.

Studying, working and staying safe online is an important life and career skill.

For more information online see - Studying Online.

Being organised and managing your time effectively are essential to getting the most from your time here with us at UCA. Sometimes it may seem that there isn't enough time to do everything that you need to; this can be quite stressful. We can help you to develop effective strategies for managing your time to balance the conflicting demands that life, study and work can bring.

For more information online see - Time Management, Organisation and Motivation.