If you have some spare time on your hands this summer, why not use it to develop some of your skills? Here are the Skills Centre's top 10 ideas for sharpening up your skills this summer.

1. Develop your writing skills

1:1 writing tutorials are available over the summer for you to discuss any aspect of writing and get personalised feedback from an expert writing tutor. Find out how the writing tutorials helped our student Skills Co-Creators in these blogs.

Take some time over the summer to digest the feedback you've received on your assignments over the past year. This will help you to understand the grades you've been given and how to improve in the future. This blog and more detailed guide explains the key feedback phrases and the steps to take for each.

The Academic & Employability Skills blog has lots of posts on all aspects of academic writing, covering topics like how to get started on your essay or dissertation, how to write concisely and how to make your writing flow. You can also check out other writing skills resources on MySkills.

2. Refine your academic skills

In addition to writing, the Academic & Employability Skills blog covers other key academic skills, for example critical thinking, note-taking and presentation skills. You can also find some general tips on how to stay focused on your studies over the summer vacation.

Our Digital & Academic Skills team has also developed a range of online academic skills short courses and the Academic Skills Handbook, written by two of our course leaders, is a really useful go-to guide to build your confidence and help you get ahead with your studies.

3. Become an ethical scholar

It may be a while since you took the University’s mandatory Academic Integrity Initiative Test, so now is the perfect time to remind yourself about the important rules of referencing and how to avoid plagiarism.

Read our blog on how to be an ethical scholar, work through the Skills for Study e-learning modules on 'Referencing and Understanding Plagiarism', 'Critical Thinking' and 'Reading and Note-making' and look at the Cite them Right referencing database to help you give proper credit to any sources used in your work.

4. Boost your group working skills

Team-working is a fundamental skill at University and in the workplace. Take a look at our short, self-access Effective Online Group work course, Five steps to effective group working blog and Work Well in Groups Super Quick Skills guide produced by two of our course leaders.

5. Start learning a foreign language

Having some foreign language skills up your sleeve will give you an edge in a competitive job market. Before you sign up for our autumn language classes, dip into some of the following online resources recommended by our tutors:

By learning another language you’ll develop all-important intercultural skills too. Take a look at this SIETAR webinar on Tools to overcome cultural stereotypes.

You could also find out more about Virtual Exchanges - this blog sets out 5 great reasons to do a Virtual Exchange.

6. Improve your English language skills

If English is your second language, the British Council's LearnEnglish website provides many interactive resources to help improve your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. The grammar and vocabulary sections, aimed at learners of all levels, will help you build your overall confidence in using everyday English.

Before you sign up for our English language course this autumn, the Cambridge Assessment Learning English website offers lots of free activities to help you practise your English and free materials to help you prepare for the Cambridge English exams.

7. Brush up your digital skills

Digital skills are essential to live, learn, work and thrive in today’s digital society. To get the most out of your learning and help prepare you for your future work, the University is encouraging all students to evaluate and develop their skills - you can access a range of resources on MySkills to get you started and read how two student Co-Creators are developing their digital skills in these blogs.

The University is the lead partner for the Institute of Coding (IOC) which offers lots of short, free courses on digital skills hosted on FutureLearn, including:

FutureLearn also offers a wide range of free courses from other providers, including:

And in case you missed it, the University of Bath is now part of FutureLearn Campus which gives its students free, upgraded access to the courses of institutions who are part of the scheme.

8. Build your confidence with maths and statistics

Whether you find numeracy, maths, statistics and data a bit scary or whether you use these throughout your studies or research, there are specific skills you might invest time in. Have you thought about:

9. Get ready for postgraduate study

If you’re starting a postgraduate taught course at the University of Bath this autumn, you can access the UG to PGT Study self-access modules to help you prepare. This blog also has advice on what to expect if you make the step up to postgraduate study.

10. Enhance your employability skills

If you’re completing your studies this year, a special programme of support – #StayConnected – is available to help you with your next steps and develop your skills for employment. You can access video recordings of the sessions and useful resources after the event and sign up for regular emails from the Careers Service on the #StayConnected website.

Whatever skills you want to focus on, we wish you a productive summer! We're happy to answer any questions you may have - please comment below.

Blog updated: June 2021.

Posted in: academic integrity, digital skills, employability, English language, essay-writing, ethical scholar, feedback, foreign languages, group working, maths and statistics

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