Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 10 weeks

UK fee

£840 (2020/21)

International fee

£840 (2020/21)

Course level


Start date




Online course description

This course will enable you to learn how to recognise your own learning style and areas for development. You will also learn how to research effectively and efficiently, plan and write assignments at an appropriate level, identify resources for study and research, and reference accurately using Harvard conventions. You will learn skills such as analysing assignments tasks and developing a range of writing skills for academic purposes as well as how to present research findings and use online resources and electronic journals, all skills required to study at a higher education level.

It bridges the gap for any students who do not currently hold the appropriate level or traditional entry qualifications in English to access higher education. It is also ideal for those who may already have a range of qualifications or experience but not previously studied at university level. This course provides you with an opportunity to learn academic study skills that will help you with future higher educational courses.

You may also be looking to refresh your skills as part of your continuing professional development (CPD) or to enhance your career employability and range of accessible, transferable skills.

26thout of 121 UK institutions**Guardian University Guide 2020
Goldstandard teaching**Teaching Excellence Framework

Access to our undergraduate and postgraduate courses

If you wish to study a University of Derby Online Learning undergraduate or postgraduate course, we will accept this Certificate of Credit in Study Skills for Higher Education as evidence that you are able to perform at a suitable level of IELTS (International English Language Testing System) 6.0 which will improve your eligibility for a number of our courses, providing you have IELTS 4.5 and meet all additional entry criteria.

Although this course is not classed as an A-level equivalent, completion of this course will evidence your ability to study at level 3. We recognise that, upon successful completion of this course, you are able to meet the academic requirements needed to study at higher education level for many of our higher educational courses, providing you meet additional criteria.

Preparing you for IELTS

If you are an international student, this course will provide you with the opportunity to develop the academic English language competences needed at Level 3, giving you additional preparation for undertaking IELTS 6.0 testing at a local centre in your country. Although this course will not provide you with an IELTS qualification, you will have an opportunity to underpin your knowledge to complete the IELTS test.

Gain further skills with the Foundation Certificate in Higher Education

If you are also interested in improving your general English, Maths and study skills for entry into higher education, you may look to take this course as part of the Foundation Certificate in Higher Education. The Foundation Certificate in Higher Education is an online 60-credit, Level 3 foundation course designed to provide you with the English, Maths and study skills required in order to study at a higher education level.

You can study all of the 20-credit modules individually if you chose to but, if you do them individually, they cannot be classed together as the Foundation Certificate. Each 20-credit module can be completed as a stand-alone award and you will receive a Certificate of Credit upon completion of any one of the following courses:

Enhancing your personal development plan (PDP)

This course is an ideal way to update your personal development plan (PDP). It also gives you the opportunity to reflect on your progress through activities set in the academic skills module. The activities will help equip you with the required skills needed in the development of your digital literacy and communication skills and provide you with a foundation for future development in education and work-based skills.

What you will study

Throughout the course, you will be encouraged to successfully manage your time and prioritise workloads. You will also acquire practical skills, such as accessing materials for self-study, and developing your abilities in using primary and secondary sources for research.

Studying this module will enable you to:

We will advise you of your study plan when you are invited to enrol.

Stage 1Stage 1

Code: 3PE501

Study Skills for Higher Education

This module will enable you to develop the skills necessary to become a flexible and autonomous learner in preparation for study in higher education. You will be encouraged to successfully manage your time, prioritise workloads, and cope with stress as well as acquiring practical skills such as accessing materials for self-study, and developing your abilities in using primary and secondary sources for research.
  • You will be expected to work collaboratively in groups and develop the ability to work in a team
  • You will develop understanding of academic English skills in writing, reading and presentation in a range of contexts, including report writing, reflecting and referencing for academic purposes
  • You will receive guidance in skills such as analysing assignment tasks, referencing, researching, developing an argument and presenting findings in the form of an essay, report or oral presentation
  • Be able to use the library effectively including identifying subject related information from on-line resources and electronic journals

Module learning outcomes

The overall purpose of this module is to demonstrate an awareness of and reflect on study skills requirements.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Devise strategies for successful time management and independent learning
  2. Accurately source and utilise resources for researching and referencing in line with the referencing system for the desired discipline
  3. Produce extended written work using basic arguments with supporting information and demonstrate an awareness of and reflect on basic academic skills

Module content

This module content will prepare for further undergraduate studies in order to:

  • Recognise own learning style and areas for development
  • Study effectively and efficiently by managing time and stress
  • Research effectively and efficiently, critical thinking, validating sources
  • Planning an assignment from finding a title, formulating an action plan through to writing the introduction and conclusion
  • Identify resources for study and research: primary and secondary sources, including using the library, online journals, the internet, abstracts and self-access materials
  • Deal with assignment questions – analysing the task, identifying key words, planning the structure of the argument and providing an answer in an appropriate format
  • Reference accurately using Harvard conventions
More information
20 Credits

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

Pace of study

We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester.

Assessment method

This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.

Who will teach you

Joanne Vale sitting at table

Joanne Vale
Programme leader

Joanne Vale has been teaching for over 20 years. She began her teaching career as an ESOL tutor and Dyslexia Support Tutor. Since then, she has been teaching GCSE and Functional Skills English as well as Study Skills for over 200 students.

View full staff profileView full staff profile
Student wearing headphones at a laptop participating in an online webinar

Discovering Online Learning Webinar

Monday, 17 August 2020 14.00 - 15.00

During this hour long webinar, we’ll take you through the basic principles of how online learning works and what you can expect as an online learner with the University of Derby Online Learning.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

Entry requirements

You will require:

English language qualification

International/European students will:

Normally the entry qualification will need to be mapped to the UK equivalent course to ensure access to the appropriate programme level (with a view to progressing to undergraduate level and achieving 60 credits at level 3). When applying, it is essential that you submit the following:

Non-standard entrants

If qualifications do not match the standard criteria, it may be possible to access as a ‘non-standard’ entrant where there are equivalent/alternative qualifications. You will be required to submit evidence of work experience and have a discussion with the Academic Lead before being offered a place as a direct entrant to ensure that you have the necessary capacity for studying at level 3.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2020 and August 2021.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £840 1 £840

About your fees

This figure would be the total cost of this course in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.

However, please also note that you can receive a 5% discount if you either:

Flexible payment plan available

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

Documents to support your application

You'll need to provide:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.

Application deadlines

All of our online courses have set start dates throughout the year. We require time to review your application and get back to you with a response before your course starts. Take a look at information regarding applying for an online course to see full details of deadlines and term dates.


This programme will enable you to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the skills required to succeed in an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in higher education. You will develop a range of transferable skills through activities and module content that will also contribute to your continuing professional development.

Work-based skills

The course will enable you to look how to successfully manage your time, prioritise workloads and cope with stress as well as acquiring practical skills such as accessing materials for self-study, all skills that are transferable to the work place.

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

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