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The Skills Centre provides a dedicated, responsive and active learning space for the enhancement of study skills and is committed to further contributing to a positive and successful student experience here in UCC. The Skills Centre enhances the student experience through the provision of customised workshops and sessions. These sessions will help develop and enhance students' skills. We offer a free and friendly place for all UCC students to improve their study skills, writing technique and presentation skills.
Peer tutors and staff members facilitate group sessions, one to one appointments and drop-in sessions. Core learning is strengthened through the delivery of study strategies, providing the scaffolding and building blocks for independent and critical thinking. You might find that you are a little lost and would like an opportunity for some guidance.
Skill Sessions & Workshops
- Transitioning into college life: The Skills Centre transitioning skills lessons are designed to help you settle into academic life and to help you master the many different elements in this transitional phase. Learning how to be a college student will come from experience, but the Skills Centre provides useful resources so you can be prepared. While you adjust to college with us, you will learn useful skills like practicing time management and refreshing your study strategies with efficient note-taking techniques will allow you to become a self-reliant learner.
- Developing your academic writing: Writing is complex, requiring good structure and a multitude of skills. The Skills Centre can help you develop your academic writing and allow you to showcase your knowledge through our sessions and resources. The sessions are focused on many common writing issues. You can explore the basics of “How to Write an Essay” and learn about the structure of written assignment. Additional sessions will teach you how to build an argument and weave that elusive golden thread through your essay. Sessions on “Unpacking the Question” will allow you to develop the skills to confidently approach your assignments.
- Writing in the Disciplines: The writing style you follow may differ between the types of assignment given to you in college. You will be expected to present your academic findings in different forms, these may come through group projects, presentations, reports and more. We offer sessions on reflective writing, which is an essential and fundamental part of learning and professional development. Our 7-week “SPEAK Programme” will teach you the essentials of how to give a presentation and examine the intricacies of storytelling to an audience. By understanding the requirements of scientific writing and language, you can achieve a level of professionalism in your lab reports.
- Refining your academic writing: It is essential to understand the rules of writing and the basic structures to follow when writing in the context of academia. It is just as vital to refine these skills as you traverse through college. Our session on making feedback work for you will teach you how to make the most out of advice you receive on your assignments, so you can learn from your mistakes and apply it to future work. In our designated skills sessions, you can also explore grammar, punctuation, and the structure of your sentences and paragraphs. Critical thinking helps you not just to engage with the material, but to establish the validity of the material and to look for bias.
- Virtual Writing Clinic: Do you want feedback on your assignment before you submit? Are you unsure about the structure of your essay? If any of these issues seem familiar and you are looking for some advice, then please book a Skills Centre Writing Clinic. The Writing Clinics are one-to-one, thirty-minute appointments held through Google Meet with our skilled Tutors. Your tutor will go through your piece of work and address the key areas of concern in order to help redraft and refine your assignment. This personalised, detailed feedback will help you gain control of your writing and give you the tools to tackle future assignments with confidence.
- Presentation Practice: Do you have a presentation coming up and want to practice in front of an experienced public speaker? Are you unsure if your slides are relevant to the topic of your talk? These 30-minute one-to-one appointments with a Skills Centre tutor give you the opportunity to practice your presentation before the big day. In these appointments, the tutor does not only provide helpful feedback in a friendly manner that can bring your presentation to the next level, but it also gives you the chance to carry out your presentation in a welcoming environment to help with any anxiety brought on by public speaking.
- IT Clinic: Do you struggle with formatting your assignments through Microsoft Word? Creating Presentation slides through PowerPoint? Are you looking to improve your Digital Skills to enhance your time at university? ! An IT clinic is a 30-minute one-to-one appointment with one of our trained, undergraduate tutors, that can help you improve your digital literacy skills. Whether you are hoping to use text-to-speech for editing your assignments, study more efficiently with online flashcards or mind maps, or simply get the hang of google calendar to manage your time better – our undergraduate tutors can support you!
- Virtual Academic Study Coaching: In our thirty minute, one-to-one study coaching sessions, together with a tutor you will develop a detailed, personalised plan to help you tackle your academic workload, begin to work out what works well and even identify potential pitfalls and hazards. Your tutor will help you to identify ways to address your concerns and improve your academic performance. They might recommend that you review our resources on writing an essay, building an academic argument, and so on, in order to develop your academic skills, to help you on your academic journey.
- Asynchronous Feedback on Essay Structure & Style: The Skills Centre offers UCC students personalised feedback on essay structure and style as well as other queries you may have. One of our academic tutors will review your writing with you and provide you with some helpful feedback and tips on how you can improve your academic writing structure and style.
Digital Badges and Programmes
The Skills Centre sessions are designed so that you can dip in and out of the sessions, alternatively, you can take part in our digital badges. These digital badges are free programmes available to all UCC students. A digital badge is a validated representation of a skill, achievement earned, or knowledge gained. They can be displayed or shared online via a range of platforms including virtual learning environments, blogs, e-portfolios, and social media sites such as LinkedIn.
These Skills Centre programmes span over a few weeks through recurring sessions and cover a range of topics, from learning public speaking, thinking critically about your academic sources to creating a professional online presence. You can view our full listing of digital badges and programmes through the button below, where you can either register for the digital badge or express your interest for the next time it is running.
Online Learning resources
The Skills Centre provides a variety of learning assets and sessions to aid students in their academic development. Below is a listing of our openly available resources and sessions that may benefit your students.
- The Success Zone, Canvas space: The resources here, available to all UCC students, aim to provide you with information and learning materials that you will need while settling into and journeying through your time in college. Here, you can learn to develop (or refresh!) transitional skills such as note-taking and time management, explore the realities of university life and develop effective academic writing and communication skills to ensure that you get the most out of your time at university.
- Academic Writing & Studying Resources: On this page, you will find a variety of downloadable handouts, covering important guidelines for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. These resources are based on common questions about academic writing, general skills and specific assignments within your course.
- The Write Here, Write Now Podcast Series: This podcast series is structured around the theme of student literacy. Each episode explores and directly addresses recurrent issues experienced by university students that occur throughout their academic career.
- The Gimme Two Minutes series: The 'Gimme Two Minutes' YouTube video series, focuses on very basic concepts related to the academic writing and preparation skills, delivered by the University College Cork Skills Centre in a short and visual format. These videos can be used as self-learning tools and also give you a taste of what sessions and workshops the Skills Centre offers to UCC students.
- The Minute Methods series: This series is brought to you by the Skills Centre Avatars Joey, Millie, Steve and Eunice. The avatars have spent time with the Skills Centre tutors to create short snappy videos that will help you to develop good study habits and academic writing etiquette, all in just one minute. From note-taking and study strategies, making the most of your lectures and exploring the different elements of your assignments Minute Methods has something for everyone.