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University of Leeds

Critical Thinking at University: An Introduction

University of Leeds via FutureLearn


Make sure you have the critical thinking skills required for university

Critical thinking is a vital skill at university and later in life. University study introduces you to new concepts, ways of learning and requires you to think critically. You need to know how to question information sources and how to evaluate different arguments.

Despite critical thinking being so important, students are often unprepared when they start their studies. This course will show you what critical thinking skills you need at university level, how they can be applied to different disciplines and how to use practical strategies to develop these skills for a successful academic life.

This course is for anyone preparing to study at university level or for current university students. You may be an undergraduate or a new taught postgraduate student who might be unfamiliar with studying in the UK. If you want to have a successful academic life, this course will give you the foundations whatever your discipline at university.

Critical thinking skills are also valued later life by employers, so if you want to refresh your skills, this practical online course is for you.

The course is part of the academic skills courses portfolio at the University of Leeds aiming to improve skills required for academic study.

Taught by

Jiani Liu and Michelle Schneider

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4.8 rating, based on 123 reviews

Start your review of Critical Thinking at University: An Introduction

  • Thanks to this practical course, I have a better grasp of what critical thinking is. Before I took this course, my approach to critical thinking was to ask questions whatever came up to me. However, this introductory course gave me a more structured approach....
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Course was informative, I found it useful as it taught me how to be a critical thinker which will be useful for my university life plus it transferable too. I would recommend this course as to any one going to university as it help you to critique article and how to not get overwhelmed with information that out there. Try it you won't be disappointed.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I think this course is really useful, especially for beginners. It introduces the concepts of critical thinking in the first week and then provides more examples and exercises for learners to get an idea of what they mean theoretically in the first week, enabling learners to have a go with it and understand the strategies better:) Hope the course can contain more sample responses, which can further help beginners to briefly understand what a good critical thinking looks like. Also, more exercises will be certainly helpful:)
  • Anonymous
    I now have a better understanding of what critical thinking is and how to develop my critical thinking skills. this is very helpful as I can now make meaningful contributions during academic meetings.
  • Naser Aldhawi completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    The Course valuable with useful information and preparing students for the university to enhance critically knowledge and building new educational life for a better future the Course well building and giving examples from real life
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    A very helpful course - I'd say it took me a bit more than the 4 hours a week to complete, but it is what you make it as well I think. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for some support in their first weeks at university, or anyone like me who just wishes to improve their personal critical thinking skills.
  • Anonymous
    This is an excellent course. I think it is aimed mainly at undergraduates, but there is plenty of useful information for Masters students and PhD researchers, particularly those who have been away from academia for a while. The exercises and mini assignments provide helpful opportunities to practise the skills taught on the course. As a postgraduate, some of this was familiar to me, but I definitely identified weaknesses in my own ability to think critically and acquired new skills to make me a more effective researcher. In other words, I needed to 'up my game' and this course has given me the tools to do so.

    FLORENCE MACDONALD (M.L.E (SM) completed this course.

    Greetings !! Thanks to Future Learn and to the University of Leeds and your respective team members.
    Thank you Ms Jiani and Ms Michelle for showing me the way and for walking along with me in the journey of learning Critical Thinking. I have no words . but say I am grateful to you for the structured course, the relevant topics, and the professional manner it was done. This is a give in for University of Leeds and I am glad to learn from such professionals from such an elite University of Leeds.
    Kind regards,
    Florence MacDonald
  • Anonymous
    This course is excellent not only for its content but also for its pedagogical techniques. It is an extremely relevant course as critical thinking is a 21st century skill which helps us to understand and interrogate texts around us, analyze them, evaluate...
  • Anonymous
    The course was intresting and informative. I have learnt what critical thinking is. The authors provided a clear plan of how to think critically and provided it with numerous examples. I was also given an opportunity to apply the acquired knowledge into practice.

    The course is good for those who would like to study at university and get the idea of what is expected from them. As there you can see a plan for your year to year development/ activities in reference to critical thinking. It is also a good start to think critically not on an intuitive level, but on a systematic and reasonable basis.
  • Anonymous
    This really is a fantastic course it takes you through from explaining what is critical thinking and how in a step by step way giving the skills to know the best way to do it.

    With examples and tips on how to get better, there are also some great links within the materials for you to get more practice.

    Would thoroughly recommend.
  • Anonymous
    This course was very useful and informative. It reflected the difficulties university students may encounter in their academic life and how they can tackle these difficulties. The course reflected other students' views and personal experiences along with useful practical excercises and online links. Critical thinking is vital to any university student and it is an important tool for life later on. I only wish I came across this course three years earlier!
  • Anonymous
    The Critical Thinking course was very informative. I found it helpful as it taught me how to be a critical thinker, which will be useful for my university life and transferable. I would recommend this course to my friends who are about to go to university. Acquiring this critical thinking mindset would help them critique articles and avoid getting overwhelmed with numerous information they may come across. I learnt a lot. Thanks so much for this great opportunity.
  • Anonymous
    I would wholly recommend this course. I am starting a masters in Business and by having refresher courses into critical thinking it has allowed me to really get my head back into the academic game and updated where items have changed since I graduated previously. The Course is interactive, modern and quick but also knowledge extensive and easy to follow.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    As a matter of fact, critical thinking is [was] a whole new concept to me. Since I'm new to it, it made learning a bit difficult.

    The course itself is great. It has opened me to see the enormous possiblity of learning new things and learning them deeply.

    I highly recommend the course to all and sundry, whether you are 7 or 70 yrs, whether a teacher or plumber, a student or not.

    Thanks to Leeds Uni and FutureLearn for this programme.
  • Anonymous
    This course is an ideal starting point for new critical thinking concept seekers. The course contains introductory content for new critical thinkers, interactive exercises with feedback, and most importantly a model for critical thinking with tips and recommendations to overcome associated challenges.
  • Anonymous
    This course is really helpful, because you learn how to face the challenges at university, and you will learn to develop the basis for a good critical thinking skill you'll need in all areas of your life, and if you're learning English it's not a problem because this course will help you with that also.
  • Anonymous
    Interesting and very useful course, it has helped me getting started in the long path of thinking in depth, which is important not only for university and study purposes, but also for having a lifelong meaningful way of approaching problems and life itself.

    I absolutely recommended it!
  • Anonymous
    If I would say something is that :
    1- This course was so direct to the subject , gives you real examples from life .
    2- the process and the schedule are perfect to let you feel not pressure .
    3- if you compare with other courses you will find that it was deep , simple and enough .
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    This course has further developed my understanding of critical thinking. In addition, it has made me mindful of the challenges that can affect this ever-so-significant skill, and by providing the various ways in which these can be dealt with, this course has made me more aware of the solutions that can be implemented to achieve a higher level of critical thinking. In fact, I will be employing many of these.

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