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University of East Anglia

Preparing for University

University of East Anglia via FutureLearn


Develop writing, critical thinking, and analytical skills for university study

Learning at a university level requires enhanced critical thinking skills, as well as being able to hold a supported, substantive argument and critically analyse sources or data.

On this course, you’ll build the foundations of these skills, so that you can prepare yourself for the challenges of this new learning environment.

You’ll hear from university lecturers on what they value in students and get advice on the more difficult aspects of learning at university.

At the end of each week, you’ll receive a summary of key skills, which you’ll find useful to refer back to as you start your university journey.

This course is designed for anyone considering studying at a university, or a similar higher education institution.

Additionally, learnings from this course can support studying for A-levels, BTECS or other post-16 courses, as well as access or foundation courses.


  • Asking questions
    • Introduction to the course
    • The process of 'asking questions'
    • Preparing for a lecture
    • Questioning lecture material
    • Week 1 summary
  • Independent study
    • Introduction to independent study
    • Links between independent study and revision
    • Developing reading skills
    • Reflecting on independent study and revision
  • Structuring Writing
    • Introduction to structure
    • Having an opinion
    • The importance of good paragraph structure
    • Structure from a university perspective
    • Week 3 summary
  • Persuasive writing
    • Learning what persuasive writing is all about
    • Getting started to write persuasively
    • Now over to you
    • Communicating in an academic or professional environment
  • Textual analysis
    • Introduction to textual analysis
    • Reading the poem
    • Identifying a sonnet
    • The idea of liberty in the poem
    • About liberty
    • Studying the poem within its historical context
    • Producing a dialogue
    • Bringing the poem up to date
    • Week 5 summary
  • Academic currency
    • Introduction to academic currency
    • Discussing when to acknowledge the work of others
    • Thinking about referencing
    • Correcting wrongly referenced work
    • Self assessment and summary
  • The power of data
    • Introduction to the power of data
    • Using data to support an argument
    • Handling basic data
    • Handling applied data
    • Working with visual representations of data
    • Scenario: Planning your mission to Mars
    • Self assessment and summary
    • Summary of the Prep for Uni course

Taught by

Harriet Jones


4.6 rating, based on 5 Class Central reviews

4.6 rating at FutureLearn based on 54 ratings

Start your review of Preparing for University

  • Yichen Li
    It is not just a course to prepare for university but also a course to help you excel in high school. Also as an international student I find this course really helpful for me to catch up with the educational system (although it's created by a British university and I study in an U.S. school).
  • Jayne McCormack
    A useful, pre-university course covering the main differences between college level study and university level study. Each week it covers a different area such as Independent Study or Data Analysis. It would be of great benefit to any student feeling a bit nervous of moving up to Higher Education.
  • Eduardo
  • Eduardo Kreimerman
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    Ahmed Fawzy

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