Centre for Academic Success - student support
Our online resources
We also offer a range of online resources, which may help address some of your queries.
Subject specific help
These are currently hosted on Moodle.
Other tools from the University
The University has many ways of providing support, including the below tools.
- My Assignment Planner: A tool which can help you plan your essays and assignments
- JISC Discovery Tool: A tool to help each individual assess and improve their Digital Literacy skills.
Success online course
The Success course has been created to help you develop your academic skills. Whether you are doing your first degree, or your Master's or PhD, we are here to provide support and information to help you achieve your full potential at Birmingham City University. This course runs in addition to the qualification you are working towards, and allows you to work on key academic skills at your own pace.
The main content of the Success course is based around skills that you may need during your time studying and is designed to enhance your academic and maths skills. It is split into three sections: Getting started with University, Academic writing and Maths. You can complete any of these topics you think will be useful. The course also has a section to help you plan your assignment/s and track your progress.
Our study guides are a series of resources on various topics that we have created or adapted, which may be useful to you. These have also been hosted below under five main headings:
Type of assignment
- 1.01 Essays
- 1.01a Essay writing - a visual approach
- 1.02 Reports
- 1.03 Dissertations
- 1.07 Research proposals
Specific writing tasks
- 1.11 Understanding questions
- 1.15 Developing an argument
- 1.16 Situation-Problem-Response-Evaluation Essays
Referencing and using sources
See the Library's referencing guides
Language and style
- 1.20 Academic style
- 1.29 Effective sentences
- 1.30 Paragraphs
- 1.33 Cohesion - linking words and phrases
- 1.21 Avoiding personal language
- 1.18 Comparing and contrasting
Proofreading and editing
- 1.36 Proofreading and editing
- 1.31 Effective punctuation
- 1.34 Using the correct word type
- 1.32 Spelling
Time and tenses
- 3.06 Active-passive verbs (sometimes you cannot use personal language, for example - "I", in your writing)
- 3.07 Modal auxiliary verbs (sometimes you have to be cautious in your writing - eg can, may, should)
- 3.08 If - conditionals (talking about possibilities)
- 3.9 Reporting structures (how to introduce your references in your writing)
- 3.11 Articles and determiners (a/an, the, this - it's easy to miss these or use the wrong one)
- 3.14 Relative clauses (which, who etc. - to give more information about something)
Maths and statistics
- 2.04 Critical analysis skills
- 2.05 Critical reading
- 2.06 Critical thinking
- 2.07 Developing skills for reflection (Critical reflection)
- 2.12 Learning logs (Useful for critical reflection)
Other useful sites and resources
The following resources and sites have not been created by us, but may contain useful information to help you with your studies.
- Learn Higher Website for the Learn Higher partnership, with a number of very useful links to different areas of academic study.
- UEfAP Academic Writing: A comprehensive site on academic writing.
- Manchester Phrasebank: Useful sentence examples and vocabulary to help you improve your academic writing.
- NoteMaker: an interactive guide and resource to help you improve your note-making skills.
- Google Scholar: Use this to find articles. Use the 'advanced search' (in the Options menu) to help you find specific information. Don't forget to check the 'cited by' and 'related articles' links when you find an article which is useful for your assignment (links are under the article description).
Maths and statistics
- Math Centre: A good bank of resources for university mathematics if you know exactly what topic you are looking for.
- Math Tutor: A useful structured guide for A level mathematics topics.
- Patrick JMT: A range of instructional videos on a variety of topics.
- Khan Academy: Useful videos, lessons and quizzes to test your understanding of a wide range of mathematics.
- Stats Tutor: A good bank of resources for statistics if you know exactly what information or test you are looking for.
- SPSS Tutorials: Guides on how to use SPSS to analyse your data.