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Want to improve your grades?  Been referred by a tutor?  Resubmitting coursework?

The Skills@Cumbria service supports you in developing your academic skills throughout your programme.   The service is delivered by a team of professional Library and Academic Advisors within the University Library. We provide online resources, group workshops, individual appointments, Webinars and email guidance.  See below for full details.
We also provide Subject pages where we signpost you to the relevant resources for your subject. 

The library provides an out of hours Ask a Librarian service.  They can help with accessing resources and signposting help but are not able to help with academic skills queries.



  • Skills@cumbria website

    Available 24/7 the Skills@Cumbria site provides a suite of online self-help resources to develop your academic and library skills. These include:

    dl_onesearch, orange cartoon of search icon Finding information dl_reflection, orange cartoon of a globe Reflection
    dl_reading, orange cartoon of a person reading a book Reading and note taking dl_research, orange cartoon of a microscope Dissertations and research projects
    dl_writing, orange cartoon of 3 pieces of stacked paper with a pen on top Writing at University dl_reference, orange cartoon of piece of paper with bullet points and lines next to them Referencing, Plagiarism and Turnitin
    dl_study, orange cartoon of books on a shelf Managing your studies dl_ask_a_librarian, orange question mark in an orange outlined speech bubble Being Critical
    dl_presentation, orange cartoon of a person giving a presentation Presentation skills dl_troubleshoot, orange cartoon of a computer screen with an exclamation mark on it Digital capabilities
    dl_critical, cartoon of orange outlined head with piece of paper on top Headstart online study skills courses    


  • Email support

    The Skills inbox is staffed Monday to Friday 09:00 - 17:00

    Email with any queries about referencing, accessing library resources and academic skills.

    You can also request feedback on 500 words of a draft written assignment via email.  This is not a proof reading service, please look at our terms of service below.

    • You can request feedback once per module - which might be via email feedback OR via an appointment.  If you are in resubmission, let us know, as (depending on availability) we may be able to offer more flexible support. 
    • In line with academic regulations, generally, we cannot look at the same assignment more than once for a 1st submission.  
    • For dissertation/longer project modules we can look at 2 sections of up to 500 words.
    • When requesting email feedback, please identify the 500 words section clearly.  Tell us the areas of development you would like us to focus on, eg paragraphing, referencing, academic sources, structure, writing critically (etc). Or tell us the skills your tutors are suggesting you need to develop.
    • We will suggest tips and strategies to support your development, but we do not offer a proof reading service and feedback is for guidance only.
    • Please note, we can help you to understand grading criteria and tutor assessment feedback but we cannot suggest what grade an assignment might be worth.  We do not mark assignments.  Tutors make final grade decisions.

    In many cases - particularly in response to quick queries like referencing - we are able to reply within a working day or two.  Please allow up to 5 working days for a response to 500 word feedback request. If you are seeking 500 words feedback, please seek timely advice, at least 7 days before an assignment deadline.  Please allow for possible delays over national holidays.  


  • Individual Appointments

    You can book a 30 minute Academic skills appointment with a Library and Academic Advisor (subject to availability). Currently, these can be by telephone or using video conferencing. Online appointments by video have previously been delivered using Skype, however, the university has recently moved from Skype for Buiness to Microsoft Teams for this, please make sure to view updated guidance on appointments booked this way. Appointments are booked through our online bookings system Book an academic skills appointment. Please see terms of service below:

    Please note: due to Covid 19 and  the campus closures our appointments are currently available by online video conferencing (Microsoft Teams).

    • In line with academic regulations, generally, we cannot look at the same assignment in more than one appointment.  If you are in resubmission, let us know, as (depending on availability) we may be able to offer more flexible support. 
    • Please book 1 appointment at a time. 
    • If consecutive appointments are made without discussing with an advisor first, the 1st appointment will be honoured and the other appointments will be cancelled. This is to enable the appointment service to be available to as many students as possible. 
    • Following your 1st appointment, if you and the advisor agree a 2nd appointment is needed, this will then be booked. 
    • If you make an appointment and then cannot attend, please cancel the appointment via the booking system or email to allow other students to use the appointment slot. 

    Please note these appointments are for Academic skills with the skills@cumbria team.  Appointments are also available for other areas of student support such as SpLD, mental health and money Advice.  Please see Student Support Appointments.

  • Webinars

    The Skills@cumbria team provide regular webinars on key topics.  These are the upcoming dates but see the Webinars page for more information and to book a place.

    Webinar dates, webinar timetable 

  • Group workshops


    In liaison with course tutors, our team of Library and Academic Advisors deliver skills development workshops as part of the curriculum and tailored to the subject discipline and level. Talk to your tutor if you think that a skills workshop would benefit you and your peers

    Students can also request a small group workshop on a topic of their choice – email with your request. Please allow at least 5 working days for arrangements to be made.


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