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Frequently Asked Questions

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What are Instant Study Skills Advice Sessions?

Instant Study Skills Advice Sessions are a walk-in service, with no need to book in advance. They run Monday to Friday, from 10:00 until 16:00, simply come along and speak to an Adviser. You will be seen as soon as it is your turn, however, this does mean that there can be waiting time involved and we recommend that you come fully prepared with specific questions or identified areas of concern.

How do the Advisers help me to develop?

Our Advisers use a diverse range of skills to help you to achieve your potential. We:

  • Advise
  • Coach
  • Guide
  • Actively listen.

We employ different approaches to suit your needs. On some occasions you may work with more than one Adviser, as our staff specialise in different areas of academic and life skills.

Is there a cost involved in accessing the service?

If you are a student at the University, there is no charge for access to our services.

Where can you find us?

Our Information Room is based in Room B0.23, on floor 0 in Chesham building. This is where we see students for appointments.

To find us:

  • Starting from the Peace Garden, enter the Chesham Building through the double doors (Card Access). You can find our information room through the second door on your right hand side (B0.23), help yourself to any resources in here! To speak to an Adviser, or if you have an enquiry, head through the door and turn left down the corridor following the yellow signage.  
  • Starting from the Sports Centre, walk downhill towards the J B Priestley Building (Library), then enter the Chesham Building entrance where the Cafe is situated. Once inside, go through the double doors to the right-hand side of the Cafe, and then straight on through another set of double doors (past the stairs)
    • Turn right through another door onto a wide corridor. Our Information Room is located through a door at the far end on the left hand side (Room B0.23).
    • While there are signposts to Academic Skills Advice, do feel free to give us a quick call if you need more help finding us.

What do we mean by 1-2-1 provision?

This refers to interactions between you and an Adviser (one-to-one). The interaction is tailored to suit your needs; as such it is highly individual. The 1-2-1 interaction may happen in a variety of ways:

  • A face-to-face meeting
  • Telephone advice
  • E-mail advice.   

These may be pre-booked appointment-style interactions or can take place as Instant Advice.

How long will each 1-2-1 interaction last?

The longest amount of time that a 1-2-1 interaction will last is 60 minutes. Advisers know that it is hard to sustain concentration and optimise learning beyond this length of time.

How do I book an appointment?

For study skills advice, including academic writing, there is no need to book in advance - simply come along to one of our Instant Advice sessions.

Maths appointments can be booked during clinics or online

What is the difference between a 'workshop' and a 'clinic'?

What do we mean by a 'Workshop'?

These are taught sessions on a variety of skill areas. They include facilitator input and individual or group activities; more informal than lectures with lots of opportunity to ask questions and talk to fellow participants. The resources used in our workshops can be found on our webpage once the workshop has been delivered. For a full list of the workshops we are running this semester, and to book your place, please see the Student Workshop Programme.

What do we mean by a 'Clinic'?

We offer maths clinicswriting skills clinics and revision clinics.

During the maths clinics a Maths Skills Adviser is available to help you work through problems or practise any maths skills required for your course. You bring the work and we focus on your questions - there is less structured taught input - ultimately, the content is determined by the participants.

Our maths clinics run on Tuesday lunchtime, Wednesday afternoon and Thursday lunchtime. For times and locations, follow the link above.

Our writing skills clinics are for students on taught courses (UG/MA/MSc). During these sessions an Academic Skills Adviser is available to offer advice and tips as you write, so you can improve your technique whilst working on assignments required for your course. Come along at any point during the session, settle in and get writing. Whether you are at the researching, planning, drafting or refining stage of writing, bring an electronic copy of your own work along to get the most out of this informal session - why work on your assignment-writing all alone?

In Semester 1 and Semester 2 our writing skills clinics run on Tuesdays and Thursdays (16:00 to 18:30) - access via B0.23, Chesham. 

In the run up to assessment periods we offer revision skills clinics. These sessions provide a quiet space to enable you to get the most from your revision, with an Academic Skills Adviser on hand to offer advice. You should bring your own revision work to get the most from these sessions. Come and revise or get instant guidance on technique, learning strategies and time management for exams. 

In Semester 1 our revision skills clinic runs on Monday 5th and 12th December from 16:00 to 18:30, as well as Friday 9th and 16th December from 10:00 to 16:00. All run in B0.05 (accessed via B0.23 Chesham).

How can you help me if I am a distance or part-time learner?

We are ideally set up to deal with distance learners as well as on-site students. We can arrange telephone, email, instant-messenger and Skype sessions at times that suits you. With notice, this can include weekends and evenings.

Is the service just for students who are struggling?

No! We work with students of all abilities to help them develop themselves and improve in their studies, whether you want to get better marks, ensure you pass or are coming to us for the first time.

What happens if I miss you at Induction?

At Induction we use our video to raise awareness of the services we offer, rather than attending talks. 

What if I can't find a resource that I need?

We have a wide range of online resources ranging from study skills to maths and numeracy. Currently we are undertaking a major review of our site to ensure that as many of our resources as possible are available online. This is an ongoing process, please contact us if you cant find what you are looking for in the meantime or if you have any suggestions.

Do you have any e-learning materials available on Blackboard?

You are able to access 24/7 writing skills workshops through Blackboard, in addition to the resources on our webpage. This includes short videos and guides on a variety of writing skills including style, referencing, punctuation and grammar, structuring your work, the editing process and many more!

For instructions on how to find these materials please follow these easy steps.

Can I send in examples of my writing for advice via email?

Yes, you can send them to us by email at: academic-skills@bradford.ac.uk

One of the Advisers will respond with an academic writing skills breakdown sheet‌. While we are able to look at numerous writing samples which have already been assessed, we are only able to offer advice on one current draft per student per semester, which must be no more than 3000 words.

Can I send in long pieces of work, like my dissertation draft?

We’ll happily use a draft of up to 3000 words as the basis for advice and writing skills development. This is because a longer writing sample would not guarantee more advice, as often the suggested points for development need to be applied consistently throughout your academic writing when redrafting work. We use it as a starting point to provide tailored, transferable academic skills advice to help you improve your understanding of how to write effectively for assessment. Please do keep in mind we can only look at one live draft per semester, whereas we are able to look at any number of assignments which have already been assessed. 

Can you provide a second opinion on my work?

We cannot provide a second opinion on your work, including commenting on the subject matter, advanced marking or checking. To do so would be to check/proof-read your work and you are required by the University to sign a declaration that your work is entirely your own. This is to protect your academic integrity and, therefore, the quality of your degree.

Plagiarism/ Breach of assessment regulations

We offer students advice on referencing, good academic practice and avoiding plagiarism. We also provide support for students who have been found in breach of assessment regulations due to plagiarism, to help them avoid problems in the future. However, we cannot give advice on ongoing cases of suspected plagiarism, that is, if your lecturer/department has suggested that you may have plagiarised in your work and an investigation is in progress. If you find yourself in such a situation, you should wait for the outcome before contacting us for advice. In the meantime, you can contact the Students' Union Advice Centre for advice and support. 

Academic appeals

We cannot provide a second opinion on work for students who wish to appeal against the marks awarded for an assessment. For support in this process, please contact the Students' Union Advice Centre.

Can someone proof-read my work for me?

Advisers do NOT provide a proof-reading or editing service. For more information about why we cannot offer a proof-reading service see Proof-reading and checking.

Both your service and the Language Centre offer academic skills - who should I contact?

We are a skills advice service, employing experienced academic skills Advisers who offer one-to-one and small group support, workshops and clinics, to all students on taught courses. Our provision is advice and guidance-based, rather than formal tuition following a programme. It is open access, free to all taught course students and available 47 weeks of the year. 

The Language Centre offer access to lecturers, rather than advisers, who specialise in teaching English for Academic Purposes. By ‘academic skills’, they tend to be referring to the four core English language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing for academic purposes  - the choice is yours based on what you need most.

Can you support me in improving my grammar, spelling and punctuation?

We recommend contacting the Language Centre. It has experienced English for Academic Purposes lecturers who can support you in developing these skills.

I'm a research student doing a PhD, can you help me?

Our service is designed to offer advice and guidance to students enrolled on taught courses where assessments gain credit towards a Bachelors’ or MA/MSc/MEng qualification. Anyone enrolled for a degree by research or leading to a research degree (including MRes, MPhil and full PhD) should speak to their supervisors about appropriate, high-level research and scholarship training and support.

Advice for Doctoral Students is available through our Doctoral Skills provision. Enquiries regarding this should be directed to doctoral-skills@bradford.ac.uk.

You should also take a look at the training and development opportunities offered to our research students. 

Do you keep any records about me?

Yes, we keep basic notes about what the Adviser covered during each interaction with you. These are not in the public domain and are not freely available to your department. You are permitted to view the notes we keep about our interactions with you at any time, by prior arrangement. We use this basic information to compile anonymous statistics about numbers of students we are supporting and to track our interactions with you so that we are aware of how we have helped you. We may, on occasion, seek your permission to use the information we have on you for evaluation purposes or in collaborating with other University agencies you are using. In many cases we only do this with your prior permission.  Please see our confidentiality policy (click on Documentation) for more information, we work in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998).

Does the service document its working practices and procedures?

Yes, check out our online documentation in the About us section.

What happens to my feedback about your service?

Like the other support services at the University of Bradford we value any student feedback and use it to enhance our support with students as partners. For example we have responded to feedback in the following ways:

  • Introduced Instant Study Skills Advice Sessions every weekday (no appointment necessary)
  • Increased our workshop provision to over 200 hours per semester
  • Introduced dedicated revision skills clinics
  • Added new self-help academic writing skills materials to Blackboard
  • Re-vamped our grammar analysis provision. 
  • Increased the number of Maths Clinics to 3 per week.

We welcome any suggestions and comments - just get in touch and let us know!

I'm dyslexic, can you help me?

Absolutely, our core team of Advisers have professional teaching qualifications and a wealth of experience of working with different learner needs. It is important to point out, however, that we are not responsible for testing for dyslexia or arranging official extensions to exam times and coursework deadlines. The place to contact for these issues, as well as access to extensive support or study coaches, is the University's Disability Service.

Do you provide Counselling?

No, there's an excellent Counselling Service here at Bradford. We would refer you to that. Our advisers do listen, however. This means that if you need space and time to talk about something difficult we won't talk over you or cut you short. We'll even support you in contacting the Counselling Service or make a referral for you, if you feel that's appropriate.

I'm a school / sixth form teacher - can you provide sessions for my pupils?

All of our provision is aimed at those already studying at the University of Bradford and is often heavily scheduled so that students can access us daily. If you’d like the university to offer outreach/partnership work please contact External Affairs who have a team of people who specialise in this provision.

I'm a Bradford graduate, can you help me?

Yes! If you graduated this summer, we can still offer you skills advice and guidance until the end of the calendar year (essentially, for another semester). The same situation applies – we can’t help with CVs, applications or proposals for courses or research degrees but if you need to work on your basic maths or study skills further then we’d be happy to help. Please note, however, that priority is always given to currently-enrolled students first but we would try to accommodate any request you might have for appointment times etc.