What are study skills?

Study skills are the abilities, habits, understandings and attitudes to enable you to succeed in your unique student journey (Cottrell, 2019). We all have our own methods to engage with our studies and academic assignments, including different ways of writing notes or revising.

However, yours and your peer’s assignments will all be marked to the same criteria. This means there are key skills you need to learn to succeed, such as methods to find information, plan an assignment or write an essay.

Without the basic study skills for notetaking, recalling information, finding sources and applying your learning to assignments, you may find it harder to achieve.

That’s why we have a dedicated team and website to offer you study skills guidance to reach your full potential.

Your Learning Skills Team

(left to right) Claudia, Kate, Michelle and Gaynor

Each faculty has their own Learning Skills team, including Learning Developer(s) and Learning and Research Librarian(s). You will see the team in virtual workshops to help you develop the skills you need to succeed in your specific programme. This means you will receive a tailored approach to developing your skills. You can learn more about our roles here, as well as watch introduction videos to each team here.

The Learning Skills Hub

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In response to your feedback and our close connections with academic staff, the Learning Skills team created the new Learning Skills Hub, released in September 2020.

The hub contains a collection of short and interactive modules on the topics students often book tutorials for, such as academic writing, critical thinking, referencing and time management. The modules are made with you in mind and are easy to dip into at any time to develop your skills and you can assess your learning at the end of each module to check you are on track. You can even access modules on your smart device whilst travelling or waiting for a seminar.

You will find we have organised our modules by your year of study, but you will find useful information and guidance across each section, no matter what year you are in. we recommend you watch the home page introduction video and explore what’s on offer.

If you don’t know where to start, we have an introductory blog here.

Macmillan Skills for Study

In addition to the Learning Skills Hub, as a Canterbury Christ Church University student, you also have access to all 12 Macmillan Skills for Study modules. Where the Learning Skills Hub offer small chunky modules, you will find Skills for Study offer more detailed modules on skills such as critical thinking skills and research principles.

To access the resource, you will need to register using your student email account. We then recommend you chose a module and complete the diagnostic test before you start working through the module to identify which sections of the module are most relevant to you.

Like the Learning Skills Hub, you can work your way through the module sections at your own pace – progressing through each section from start to finish, or opting to dip in and out as you please. Each module includes self-assessment quizzes and videos with students’ tips to help you along the way.

Recommended e-books


Cottrell, S. (2019) The Study Skills Handbook. 5th edn. London: Red Globe Press

Cottrell, S. (2015) Skills for success: personal development and employability. 3rd edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Cottrell, S. (2017) Critical thinking skills effective analysis, argument and reflection. 3rd edn. London: Palgrave Macmillan

Godfrey, J. (2013) The student phrase book vocabulary for writing at university. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan

Greetham, B. (2018) How to write better essays. 4th edn. London: Macmillan Education

Helyer, R. (2015) The word-based learning student handbook. 2nd edn. London: Palgrave

Need more help?

Our Learning & Research Librarians and Learning Developers will have a limited number of virtual tutorial slots this year, but if you still need guidance after completing modules on the above tools, you can book a tutorial or email the team through the Learning Skills Hub here.