Studying Effectively

Independent learning

Independent learning is about taking control of your work. It's about deciding what you need to know and deciding how you are going to study.

Large amounts of 'self-study' time

Some courses will have a significant proportion of timetabled contact hours (often Engineering, Medicine and Science degrees). However, other courses may have several periods over a week when you will not be in classes but are expected to study independently.

Many students find it difficult at first to organise and motivate themselves to undertake this private study and to use this 'free time' effectively.

Need to be self-managing

Probably the biggest difference for you will be the need to organise yourself and motivate yourself to study - especially in 'unstructured', non-contact time. It will be your responsibility to implement effective time management strategies and to remind yourself of approaching deadlines.

Finding ways to manage day-to-day work without someone checking if you have done things can be challenging, so use the available support and advice available to help you self-manage your workload.

These pages offer a number of tips and supplement the support provided by personal tutors and central services (see People who can help).

Independent learning


Further reading

Being organised

More from being organised

Preparing for assessment

More from preparing for assessment

Practical advice on time management

  • Time management

More from Academic Support study resources

People who can help

Talk to someone in your school or a specialist support service


Studying Effectively

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