Studying Effectively
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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.

Independent Working

"So when I first arrived at university, I was expecting it not to be too different from school ..."



Being an independent learner

"Well, independent learning - it is important because ... at A level can come out of the class and you know it. At university there is so much more information ..."




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.

Differences in coming to University

"I think the biggest change for me was that once you're at university you're fending for yourself ..."


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).

The first year and starting at University

"In terms of your first year here at university. How's it been and how's it been different from what you'd experienced before?"

"It's been a roller-coaster really ..."

Independent learning
Independent learning 

Further reading

Being organised

more from Being organised

Preparing for assessment

more from Preparing for assessment

Practical advice on 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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Lenton Lane
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telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5151
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3666
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