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Digital Study Skills

Tips and advice for students for successful studying both online and face to face


Studying at home requires self-discipline, organisation and effective time management strategies. Follow our Study Advice top 5 tips to make the most of your study time at home.

Set up your home office

A laptop and diaryMake sure you have somewhere dedicated to study; you may need to consider where you have a stable internet connection. Set up your desk and keep your device, books, paper and stationery to hand. Try to keep the space separate from where you relax, even if it is just a corner in your bedroom.

At the end of the day, leave it tidy so it is more inviting to return to the next day. It is also helpful at the end of a study period to jot down what you planned to do next. This will save you time when you return to study, ensuring you can quickly pick up where you left off.

Create a study timetable

It’s important that you allocate time to study (and time to relax and do exercise). Think about when in the day you’re more effective (for most this is the morning) and when you find studying more of a struggle. You might want to consider, for instance, taking a couple of hours off every afternoon to take some exercise and return to your studies in the early evening.

When planning your study time, firstly ensure you have checked your module roadmap and/or weekly plan, to ensure you have everything covered. Consider setting some 40 minute blocks, with 10 minute breaks, throughout the day. Take a break from your screen and remember to keep hydrated by drinking lots of water, Schedule your most challenging work for the times you know you are usually most productive; leaving your least productive times for tasks that require the least concentration.

Top tip! Use your most effective part of the day to study

Make sure you add in regular breaks and rewards along the way. For more on creating a timetable click on the link below:

Set yourself weekly goals

It’s important to know what you hope to achieve each week – especially if you are working on a project like a dissertation or revising for exams. Goals help to ensure we stay on track but also help to motivate us to keep going and give us that all important sense of achievement.

Work backwards from your deadlines to determine where you want to be at the end of each week. If you have a shorter deadline (like an assignment to write in a week), set yourself some daily goals instead. The video below will help you to do this:

Work with others

It’s important that you connect with others. Keep in touch with peers and keep each other motivated. Arrange daily catch-ups, coffee chats or perhaps some revision groups, where you can test each other’s understanding. Do share your study goals with each other too, as you are more likely to strive to meet them once you’ve declared them.

Make the most of the online Library

If you need to supplement your lecture notes for assignments or exams you can find a wealth of information online provided by your Library.

Search Enterprise to find e-books

Search for your topic. Once you have run your search use the options on the left to limit to 'Online'.

Search Summon to find articles, e-book chapters, and other online resources

Search for your topic. Once viewing your results use the limits on the left to restrict by publication type, date or 'peer review' to find the best quality results. Everything on Summon is available to view online, although you will need to login with your University username and password (look for an 'Institutional' or 'Shibboleth' login option).

Help from your Academic Liaison Librarian
If there are any texts you need, which do not appear to be available online already, please contact your Academic Liaison Librarian for advice. They can also help with finding information on a topic, citing references, and using reference management tools such as EndNote and Mendeley.

Use the advice and support available

Remember you’re not on your own. There is lots of help and support available for you. Keep in touch with your Academic Tutor and Course Tutor, if you need any support with your subject.

We, Study Advice, continue to offer 1-2-1 appointments via Teams or face to face on all aspects of study, including organising projects and revision.

Your Academic Liaison Librarians can advise you on finding suitable literature, and referencing. You can email them or book a 1-2-1.

You can get help with your maths and statistics questions from our maths support guide.

Ensure you are familiar with the learning technologies available to you at the University.

Make the most of the support and expertise on offer and ensure you get the grades you deserve. See the links below to contact these services.