Study skills and support

Learn how to study effectively and make the most of your university studies.

Help with your academic work

Managing academic work is one of the main concerns of students beginning university study. There are several sources of support with your academic work.

Talk to someone

Want to develop your academic skills and become a more effective learner? The Academic Skills Centre provides general study skills support and advice on improving your academic writing. We also offer bookable individual appointments throughout the year.

Subject librarians can give you tailored support, one-to-one or in groups, to help you study effectively and carry out research for essays and projects.

The University has a designated maths centre. Drop-in sessions and one-to-one support are available to help you to become better prepared for the mathematical or statistical components of your studies.

The University offers Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) to give students an opportunity to work together and discuss their learning. PASS sessions are weekly or fortnightly one hour study groups for students who are new to an academic module. Sessions are facilitated by student Leaders in higher years.

Your Academic or Personal Tutor can also help if you are having problems keeping up with your studies. He or she can tell you about additional support that might be available within your School or Department, and advise about wider issues to do with your course.

If the academic concerns you have raised with your School or Department remain unsolved, you can get help from the DPVC for Student Experience,.


The Academic Skills Centre offers a programme of workshops to help students develop a number of key skills including preparing for academic study, improving your note taking, reading, writing skills and presentation skills.

Self-help training

You can improve your study skills using our online and self-help resources.

Using the library

Library Services offer a range of library skills, training and individual support for all students studying and researching at the University.

If you are starting on an essay or project and need help finding information, contact your Subject Advisor for advice. They can offer group or one-to-one training, arranged at your convenience and tailored to your needs.

You can also use the Just Ask! online messaging facility if you have a library or information related question.

Plagiarism and referencing

Referencing (and understanding and avoiding plagiarism) is one of the big challenges that students face when they start studying at University. Your school will issue guidance on exactly what they require in terms of referencing, as this can vary in different departments and by subject area, but the University also provides the following generic guidance for you. 

Use helpful resources for referencing

Time management

Time management is not just about getting to lectures on time, doing your reading and handing asignments in on time. Effectively managing all aspects of your life (academic, domestic and social) will help you to make the most of your university experience. Have a look at some of our suggestions.

Dyslexia study support

The Disability and Learning Support Service provides study skills pages tailored to students with dyslexia or other learning difficulties.

Further support for dyslexia or other learning difficulties can be found on our dyslexia support page.

Postgraduate students and researchers

Training in IT and research skills aimed at postgraduate students is available from the Technology Skills Development Team.

For postgraduate researchers, the University Graduate School provides access to training courses and opportunities to network with other researchers.

Birmingham International Academy (BIA)

English Language development and skills for international students

BIA provides free English language services to international students who are currently studying on postgraduate or undergraduate courses at the University of Birmingham.  Services include Open-access English classes, online self-assessment, online materials through CANVAS, email answers to quick questions and individual one to one tutorials. 

BIA also organise Presessional English courses all year round for students before they start their academic course, classes for partners of international postgraduate students and staff, social events including day trips and HOST visits.

Computers and IT

Need help logging in to my.bham? Forgotten your password or where the computer clusters are? IT services can help with all your computing queries.

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Tell us about your experience of using our new intranet pages. Did you find what you were looking for? Have you learnt something new today? Or do you wish we could improve your intranet experience?

Developing these intranet pages will be ongoing and, if you share your view and ideas, it will help us to continue to improve this important resource for the benefit of the entire University community.

We also welcome your comments on university internal communications in general. Email the team or pick up the phone 0121 414 6680. You can also tweet us. Whichever way you decide to get in touch we look forward to hearing what you have to say.

If you have a technical question you can contact our IT colleagues as they are much better at that stuff than we are!