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Essential Skills Portal: About the Skills Centre

About us

Introduction to the Skills Centre

The Skills Centre offers inclusive academic skills development to all students at SHU. We are currently 100% online. We offer online group sessions, small group feedback seminars, 1-1 appointments and virtual drop-ins for all students to help you to develop your academic skills throughout your studies. Some of our most popular topics include:

  • Assignment planning
  • Critical writing
  • Presentation skills
  • Research planning
  • Time management
  • Literature reviews
  • Progressing through your studies

The Skills Centre can help all students to develop their academic skills. Watch the video below or see our FAQs to find out how we can support your skills development, and explore the site menu above to book onto workshops, feedback seminars and tutorials, and find useful resources, and great study tips.

If you need to get in touch:

Email icon Email:
Twitter icon Twitter: @HallamSkills

For more information on our online service in 2020/21, please watch our September 2020 presentation.

About our sessions

See below for a summary of the workshops and feedback seminars that we offer, and use our what’s on guide to see which workshops and feedback seminars are coming up in the next couple of weeks. You can also contact us to request a workshop on a specific theme if you don’t see it in the calendar.

Online sessions

We run a series of online taught workshops (1 hr) on a variety of study skills topics throughout the year. You will be introduced to practical tips and strategies to help you improve your academic study skills:

Essential study skills

Making the most of lectures

Develop effective strategies for notetaking and consider how to use your lecture notes effectively in your studies

Effective reading

Learn how to read more effectively and maximise your use of information sources, with practical strategies for evaluating sources, notetaking while reading, and integrating evidence into writing.

Time management and planning

This session will help you manage your studies, with techniques for planning and organising your time effectively.

Getting started with APA referencing

A bite-size workshop (30 minutes) which introduces APA referencing, with interactive activities to let you practise your referencing and a chance to ask questions about APA.

Getting started with ProQuest Refworks

An introduction to ProQuest RefWorks, a web-based tool that helps you organise your references and format citations and references in your writing.

Exam and Revision Strategy

Develop effective revision techniques and discuss strategies to help you succeed in exams.

Success in 1st Year

Explains what is expected from undergraduate level writing if you are new to this level of study, and provides useful tips and guidance on how to meet these expectations.

Success in 2nd Year

Explains what is expected from academic writing in the second year of undergraduate study, and provides useful tips and guidance on how to meet these expectations.

Success in Final Year

Explains what is expected from academic writing in the final year of undergraduate study, and provides useful tips and guidance on how to meet these expectations.

Academic Writing

Introduction to Academic Writing

Learn about academic style, referring to research, and effective structure and signposting.

Planning and Structuring Assignments

Identify strategies for getting started, and learn the essentials of planning and structuring assignments.

Critical Writing

An introduction to the key aspects of being critical and explains how to transform descriptive writing into critical essays.

Advanced Critical Writing: Analysis and Evaluation

Learn how to develop your critical argument by analysing, evaluating, and framing evidence in your paragraphs. This advanced workshop is particularly useful for students at Level 5 and above.

Reflective Writing

An introduction to the key principles of reflective writing and using a framework to develop an effective reflective approach.

Presentation Skills

This workshop will help you learn how to plan, structure an effective presentation and present presentations with confidence.

Reading and Research

Planning your Research

An introduction to the essential stages in planning research, including research questions, methodologies and ethics.

Writing up your Research

A step-by-step guide to deciding on the structure of your dissertation or extended project report, planning each section and understanding expectations for dissertation writing.

Literature Reviews

What does a literature review involve?  This session offers a practical guide to planning and writing your literature review.

Writing Gym

A 6-week programme of dissertation writing sessions for Level 7/Masters level students.

Doctoral skills sessions

Reading and synthesis for your Doctorate

Techniques for synthesising large volumes of literature, strategies for reading motivation, as well as identifying what to extract from your reading at doctoral level.

Critical writing for your Doctorate

Learn how to demonstrate criticality in your writing at doctoral level, exploring stylistic choices, and how to develop different argument structures.

Editing techniques for your Doctorate

Explore a range of editing techniques, focusing on three key priorities for doctoral writing – clarity, word count, and narrative coherence.


Feedback Seminars

Feedback Seminars are for up to 3 students and offer a chance to discuss your work and study skills. They are opportunities to share work in progress, and give and receive feedback with other learners. You may develop new strategies that you can apply to your academic work.

Feedback seminars are available on the following topics:

  • Writing
  • Presentations
  • Dissertations

Look for forthcoming feedback seminars via our booking calendar.

1-1 appointments

If you’re not sure where to start or find group sessions are not for you, book a 30 minute tutorial to develop your skills. These are tailored sessions covering all aspects of academic skills. You can learn how to study more effectively, improve organisation, academic skills and confidence. We can also share online resources and book you onto further sessions that could be useful.

You can now find and book for forthcoming 1-1s via our new events pages.

Virtual drop-ins - every Wednesday, 4-6pm

Do you have a quick question about your studies or research?

  • Searching for information about your assignment topic
  • Structuring your references
  • Starting to plan your essay
  • Looking to develop your critical writing
  • Choosing the correct tool for statistical analysis
  • Developing your research skills
  • Trying to format a PowerPoint presentation

Come along to our virtual drop-in sessions for a 15 minute 1-1 chat with an expert – instant answers to all your questions, all in one place!

No need to book - just drop in here:

How to use Unihub

How do I find and book for skills workshops, feedback seminars, quick query drop-ins or 1-1s?

You can easily see what is coming up with the Skills Centre What’s On section. You can view events for the next couple of weeks as a calendar grid, or a list of dates, or search by location, session type, or topic.

Our What’s On calendar is updated on a daily basis, but our events and appointments are hosted by and booked via UniHub.

What is Unihub, and how to I register for it?

UniHub is a system which hosts bookings for a range of services across the university.  To book onto an event or an appointment, you will first need to register onto UniHub.

When you first access UniHub it may all seem very careers-focused! To initially register, you first need to select a series of job-related preferences, but you will then, and on future visits, be able to see events from the Skills Centre and other services.

How do I find and book for events directly in UniHub?

Our workshops, webinars and feedback seminars are shown under the Events section in UniHub You can search for our Events in UniHub, by typing Skills Centre into the search box on the Events page.  Make sure you’ve checked the location for the event when booking!

Our 1-1s are shown as Appointments in UniHub.   You can search for our Appointments in UniHub, by typing Academic Skills into the topics filter on the Events page.  Note that when booking an appointment you can select from a range of topics, and whether you want to attend face to face or via telephone.

How to cancel or amend an event

Once you have booked, you’ll get an email reminding you to attend. If you can’t attend please cancel, so that your place can be made available to another student who may be on a waiting list.

Log in to UniHub and select either the Appointment tab and then My bookings, or select the Events tab and then My bookings. You can then select which appointment or event you want to cancel and click Cancel booking.

For further help see the Unihub guide.  We hope to see you at a future session.

Where to find us

The Skills Centre at City Campus

City Campus is in the centre of the city and close to the train station. See Maps for City Campus, and find Adsetts Library on the City Campus Map.

Entrance to Adsetts Library

Entrance to Adsetts Library 

At Adsetts Library, most feedback seminars will be upstairs in The Library Seminar Room (6613).  1-1 Appointments may also be in the smaller Room 6.01 which is nearby.

Map of Adsetts Level 6

Map of Skills Centre sessions at Adsetts Library

The Skills Centre at Collegiate Campus

Collegiate Campus is to the west of the city centre. See Maps for Collegiate Campus, and find Collegiate Library on the Collegiate Campus Map.

The Collegiate Library reception desk
The Skills Centre within Collegiate Library

At Collegiate Library, most 1-1s and feedback seminars will be in C019a, or C019b.

Map of Skills Centre sessions at Collegiate Library
Map of Skills Centre sessions at Collegiate Library