Making a one-to-one appointment

We offer confidential individual appointments with our ASC Skills Advisors for undergraduates, postgraduate taught and MRes students (for writing skills).  The Digital Skills team are also able to support research students.  Students on the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson programme should contact the Knowledge and Evidence Service for information searching and referencing support. 

Appointments are available year-round, except for University closed dates and bank holidays. Appointments can be booked Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00 with a reduced service outside term time.

Please note, students are entitled to up to four ASC appointments per academic year. 

ASC Skills Advisor appointments are online, via Microsoft Teams or Zoom, so we can both share audio/video, screens and text-chat. In certain circumstances, it may be possible to arrange an in-person appointment.

When you book, you will receive a further email with a link (URL) that you will need to follow at the time of your appointment.

Booking an appointment

The service is very busy during term time and appointments get booked up very quickly.  Each day, appointments one week in advance will be released to try and ensure as many students as possible can book at their point of need. If you book an appointment and no longer need it, please do cancel it via the instructions in your booking confirmation email to ensure the appointment is made available for another student. 

  • Choose the main area you require support with from the boxes below, to be paired with an appropriate advisor
  • Use your University email (ending @student.bham.ac.uk) rather than a personal email address. Appointments will be placed in your Outlook calendar
  • Some versions of the Safari browser are not compatible with the booking form. In the event of any problems, use Google Chrome
  • If you have any questions or problems with the booking process or are unable to find a suitable appointment slot, please contact us: asc@contacts.bham.ac.uk. We will do our best to accommodate appointment requests outside our usual availability

Academic Skills & Writing

Online appointment which could cover: planning and structuring, writing skills, critical thinking, time management, revision and exams skills, reading and notetaking, writing a literature review, study skills.

Book an appointment

Information Search Skills

Online appointment which could cover: referencing, using library resources, literature searching, systematic/literature reviews, using referencing software (EndNote Online).


Book an appointment

Digital Skills

The Digital Skills team can support UG, PGT or PGR students with digital resources for MS Office tools, creating posters, video editing and more

Request support

Maths Support

If your query is related to maths or stats, please book an appointment with the Maths Support Centre

Book an appointment

What we can help with

  • study strategies
  • searching for high quality sources for your assignments
  • writing skills
  • referencing
  • understanding and building on feedback. For more help with understanding and acting on feedback, see our Canvas course.
  • digital skills, for example getting to grips with Excel, using the automated features of Word or creating a digital academic poster using PowerPoint.  We are unable to support School/College bespoke or non-standard university software.

We can only read one paragraph of work that has not yet been submitted or assessed.

We can look at an assignment plan and discuss your general approach to the piece of work. We can also discuss your search strategy for locating relevant information and resources.

If you send us work that has already been assessed, with your tutor’s feedback, we can read the marked assignment and help you to reflect on the feedback you’ve received and how you can build on it in the future.

When supporting students with dissertations, we can offer advice on finding and reviewing literature, paragraph structure, introductions and conclusions, writing critically, and referencing. We are unable to support subject specific areas like narrative synthesis, thematic analysis, critical appraisal (including review tools like Covidence) and data analysis. You should speak to your supervisor about these areas. 

What we can't help with

  • We are here to develop your skills rather than check your work.
  • Please note that we do not provide a proofreading service and are unable to read whole drafts before they have been handed in.
  • If you need help with finding information, we cannot provide a final, definitive literature search strategy.
  • We are unable to provide guidance on or check the accuracy of solutions or the appropriateness of content
  • We are also unable to provide comments or support on work being submitted for online assessment. For support in preparing for online assessment, see the Assessment Support Hub.
  • We cannot offer any opinion on any mark that you might receive for your written work
  • We cannot become involved in decisions relating to academic regulations, such as extenuating circumstances
  • We will not discuss any confidential details of issues you share with us with tutors or anyone else, without your written consent
  • English language support for international students can be accessed through the Birmingham International Academy

Expectations

  • By attending Academic Skills Centre activities, you show that you are making a commitment to developing yourself as a learner, and engaging with our activities. This means that you will commit to attending sessions and informing us if you cannot attend for unforeseen reasons. Where possible, we require a minimum of 48 hours notice so that we can allocate your appointment to another student. You can contact us on asc@contacts.bham.ac.uk.
  • You may find it useful to prepare for your appointment in advance. This could include reviewing feedback you have received, forming a list of questions or areas that you would like to discuss in your appointment. If you would like a paragraph of writing or a search strategy to be reviewed, it can be helpful to send this to the advisor in advance. 
  • The ASC operates a fair use policy and reserves the right to prioritise appointments for those with a greater need.

How soon you will have an appointment

We get very busy during term-time, so we recommend you check the booking system first thing in the morning to guarantee a slot. We release booking slots one week in advance to ensure students can access our service at their point of need.

You can also access advice at our weekly online drop-in on a Wednesday afternoon (14:00-15:00 UK time) during term time. It is designed as a place to receive quick advice relating to academic skills. Enrol on our Canvas course to access the Zoom link. Please note that we are alternating between offering advice on research and writing skills. Do check the schedule for what is being covered each week.

Attending your appointment

If you are attending an online appointment, you will receive a link to your University email address.

If you are attending an in-person appointment, these will be held in the appointment rooms on the first floor of the Main Library (Edgbaston Campus). A location map will be sent to your University email address in advance of the appointment. 

Postgraduate researchers

If you are a postgraduate researcher (i.e. MRes or PhD), you can book an appointment with our Digital Skills Team via the Digital Skills form. MRes students can also book an appointment for writing skills support. For all other support, contact our Research Skills team

What our students say about us

Students can provide anonymous feedback about the support they’ve received during an appointment. Here’s a taster of what students have said about our 1-1s:

“I felt so empowered to go ahead and start putting the skills she suggested into practice”

“It made me feel a lot more positive and confident about my academic skills moving forward and I would definitely recommend the academic skills centre to anyone.”

“He was brilliant and talked me through referencing which increased my confidence and decreased my stress.”

“He really listened to what I had to say and provided me with numerous resources that I can use post-session.”

If you’d like to provide us with feedback after your appointment, please do fill in our form

Colleges

Professional Services