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Academic Support: Embedding Academic Skills

Embedding Academic Skills Service

What is embedded academic skills?

There is significant and long-standing research that identifies the importance and impact of embedding academic skills within the curriculum. Academic skills support is most effective when it is embedded into the curriculum and offered to students at a time when they are most likely to start applying those skills to their studies.

When academic skills support is front-loaded into a curriculum it is often at a point when students are absorbing a lot of new information and therefore, they cannot always actively begin using these skills. It is most impactful at the moment that they need it and when they can apply them to their own disciplinary context.

What does the team offer?

Using research-based and evidence-informed approaches the Academic Skills team will work closely with our academic colleagues at a course level to develop an Embedding Academic Skills Action Plan.


  • Identify the skills and development required by students in context with their discipline.
  • Map the learning journey of the students to ensure the right support is provided at the right moment.
  • Collaborate with academic colleagues to select the appropriate development activity.

Activities on offer

  • Asynchronous activities that can be embedded within Brightspace drawn from the Academic Skills Hub.
  • A range of academic-led activities that can be incorporated into teaching sessions.
  • Timetabled drop-in sessions where students can bring specific questions and challenges.
  • Timetabled workshops covering topics that are most relevant and needed for a particular stage in the student learning journey.

What is the process?

Between May-August course teams will be invited to attend a design session with an Academic Skills Advisor (ASA) to develop their embedding academic skills plan for the academic year ahead. The ASAs will be led by course handbooks and assessment maps along with feedback from course teams as to where they feel students require specific support.
An agreed action plan will be developed, and any in-person support scheduled into the timetable.

Can I request ad-hoc workshops?

The ASA team will keep in contact with the course leader throughout the year and will be able to discuss any alterations to the plan if a particular need arises with students. The recommended activity may not always include a workshop but could include recommended asynchronous materials, academic-led activities or drop-ins.

I haven’t developed an action plan at the start of the year, can I still request help?

The ASA team will be able to respond to requests throughout the year but will continue to take the approach that any academic skills support should be considered at a course level and request a design meeting to develop an action plan.
The team may not be able to provide in-person activities for short-notice requests but will be able to make recommendations for embedded asynchronous resources from the Academic Skills Hub. 

Do the action plans just cover academic skills?

Whilst your design sessions will be led by an Academic Skills Advisor we will also bring in the knowledge and expertise of our Learning & Teaching Librarians and Maths & Stats Academic Skills Advisor where appropriate.

In addition an Employability and Careers Consultant, Placement Consultant, or Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Manager from the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Team, may be invited  where opportunities or needs for collaboration are identified.

Who to contact

Please send requests to Lauren Cracknell, Associate Director Library & Learning Services ( You will then be allocated an Academic Skills Advisor to support you in developing your plan.