Research and study skills

Our research and study skills support programme provides learners with access to a range of activities and resources to excel in their research assignment.

Extended project qualification

The extended project qualification (EPQ) is an independent research project undertaken by students in post-16 education. It’s a great way for students to develop their academic research skills, prepare for university study and can often make a difference to their application success. 

A variety of online resources can also be accessed by students, in their own time, on our digital hub.

We offer a range of activities to support students, and teachers delivering the taught skills element of the EPQ. All our sessions are interactive, requiring an element of class participation – this can be facilitated by us in person, or online.

The following workshops are listed in order of Beginning (B), Middle (M) and End (E) to illustrate the provision of support available to your students through their EPQ journey. If you would like to book an activity, please contact educationoutreach@leeds.ac.uk.

Choosing a topic and writing a research question (B)

Duration: 60 minutes

This workshop focuses on selecting a topic for the EPQ and writing a research question. We help students identify their topic and plan their research around an appropriate EPQ question. This workshop uses interactive elements to incorporate into the student’s production log and is most appropriate for those at the beginning of their EPQ journey.

Critical thinking (B)

Duration: 60 minutes  

This workshop introduces students to critical thinking and explores some of the skills students need to develop their critical thinking. Students will analyse a wide variety of sources and learn to think critically about the information presented to them. This workshop uses interactive elements to incorporate into the student’s production log and is most appropriate for those at the beginning of their EPQ journey.  

Starting to research (B)

Duration: 60 minutes

This session gives an overview of academic research and provides students with a basic framework to support them on their research project journey. Students will follow a case study and develop ideas around a topic to strengthen their understanding of research skills in relation to their own work.  This workshop uses interactive elements to incorporate into the student’s production log and is most appropriate for those at the beginning of their EPQ journey.

Note making for the EPQ (B)

Duration: 60 minutes

This workshop explores academic note making and the different techniques that can be used. Students will reflect on their note making abilities and develop their understanding of how to create meaningful notes.  This workshop uses interactive elements to incorporate into the student’s production log and is most appropriate for those at the beginning of their EPQ journey.

Time and project management (B)

Duration: 60 minutes

This workshop introduces students to the basic frameworks which support time and project management. Students will learn the skills needed to manage their time more effectively and productively, whilst developing an awareness of health, safety and risk management. Students will also explore the importance of communication skills to help them develop an understanding of using appropriate language and tone when working with others. This workshop uses interactive elements to incorporate into the student’s production log and is most appropriate for those at the beginning of their EPQ journey.

Research ethics and methodologies (M)

Duration: 60 minutes 

This workshop introduces students to the principles of ethics and the research methods to inform their EPQ projects. Students will engage with different research methodologies – including those which are most common in university level study – and be guided through the ethical considerations when undertaking a research project.  This workshop uses interactive elements to incorporate into the student’s production log and is most appropriate for those in the middle of their EPQ journey.

Academic writing (M)

Duration: 60 minutes  

This workshop explores academic writing and the different writing stages involved when undertaking an independent research project. Students will reflect on their research question and develop their skills around understanding the key elements of composing an essay, including editing and proofreading. This workshop uses interactive elements to incoporate into the student’s production log and is most approprate for those in the middle of their EPQ journey.  

Referencing and plagiarism (M)

Duration: 60 minutes   

This session explores referencing and the different styles students may enounter while researching their topic. Students will consider what it means to plagiarise the work of themselves – or others – and learn how to avoid doing so. This workshop uses interactive elements to incorporate into the student’s production log and is most appropriate for students in the middle of their EPQ journey.  

Presentation skills (E)

Duration: 60 minutes  

This workshop introduces students to the different skills needed to deliver a strong presentation at the end of their research project. Students will reflect on their research and develop ideas for their presentation such as a PowerPoint or poster. This workshop is designed to build students’ confidence and prepare them for the final stage of their EPQ. This workshop uses interactive elements to incorporate into the student’s production log and is most appropriate for those at the end of their EPQ journey. 

Exam study skills

Our range of interactive exam skills workshops are designed to support the development of students’ study skills for exam success. Our programme provides tools and techniques for students to prepare for exams and supports the student journey from further education to university study. The following sessions are listed in order of how they can support the academic lifecycle from Year 12 / Year 1  – Year 13 / Year 2.

Note making for revision

Duration: 60 minutes

We explore the skills required to make good notes and the different techniques students can use when revising. Students will reflect on their note making abilities and develop their skills around understanding the importance of making effective notes for revision. This workshop uses interactive elements for students to discuss note making scenarios and reflect on their approaches.

Managing your study time

Duration: 60 minutes

This workshop explores the skills required to manage independent study time. Students will learn the skills required to manage their time effectively and productively, and consider on how they would manage competing pressures and obstacles. This workshop uses interactive elements for students to discuss time management scenarios and reflect on their decision making processes. 

Managing exam anxiety

Duration: 60 minutes

This session explores anxiety within the context of exams and is designed to normalise exam nerves by helping students understand where their exam anxiety stems from and what they can do to help manage it in the lead up to exams. This workshop also considers student mental health/wellbeing and provides advice on where students can get support if they are struggling.

Preparing and revising for exams

Duration: 60 minutes

This workshop is designed to equip students with effective tools and techniques for revision and exam preparation. We explore time management, the different strategies that can be used for revision and methods to avoid/manage distractions. This interactive workshop requires participation from students and is best suited to delivery via Mentimeter, or by working with small groups. 

Understanding the question and writing and essay

Duration: 60 minutes

This session is designed to support students in their understanding of a question and how to approach writing an essay. The skills covered in this workshop are applicable to both exam-based and coursework-based questions. Students will develop their skills around breaking down an essay question, understanding instructional verbs and writing within the parameters set in the question. The workshop guides students through a basic essay framework and provides tips on how to develop an academic writing structure, form a conclusion and incorporate evidence into an essay.

New online course: skills to succeed at university

We have created a new online course to help students transition to higher education smoothly. Designed to be flexible so students can learn at at a time and pace that best suits them, the course covers essential academic skills such as essay writing and independent learning. 

Current students who came to the University through different routes – after completing a BTEC, A-levels or as mature students – also provide first-hand advice on how to start and thrive at university. 

Interested students can register their place to attend on the FutureLearn platform.