• Centre for Academic Development

    Enhancing student success

    At the Centre for Academic Development, we work with staff across the University to improve academic outcomes for students.

    Learn more about our different areas of work by clicking on the links below. 

    Contact us

    Centre for Academic Development

    For more information about our services, contact:

    Email: academicdev@brookes.ac.uk
    Tel: 0203 4260116

  • Academic English modules and short courses

    If you have concerns about a student’s use of English, please refer them to the Academic English team as soon as possible after they arrive at Brookes. The team offers a range of credit-bearing undergraduate modules and short courses for postgraduates, which can really make a difference in helping students communicate effectively in their academic work. Topics covered include:

    • essay writing
    • report writing
    • presentation skills
    • seminar skills
    • argumentation
    • research writing
    • academic style
    • academic language
    • citations
    • referencing.

    The efforts of faculty staff in promoting these opportunities can have a major impact on engagement so please do take the time to familiarise yourself with what is available. It may be that you have a cohort of students that includes many for whom English is an additional language, in which case you may want to explore the possibilities available through our Language, Literacies and Skills programme of embedded academic development (see below for more details).

    Academic English modules and short courses

    Departmental Language, Literacies and Skills: Embedding academic development

    Through this programme, we work with staff directly to embed academic language and literacies development at subject level on a range of issues from assignment briefs and feedback, to ways of teaching maths and stats, or working with WP or international students. 

    Our preference is to embed what we do into programme content, rather than bolt it on so that students get an experience that is subject-specific and relevant to their needs.

    Recent contributions have included:

    • designing and delivering an academic writing skills module in HLS aimed at improving academic performance among students with protected characteristics
    • developing assignment focussed guided reading materials for self-study
    • running PhD writing retreats with faculty colleagues
    • offering feedback on the inclusivity of assignment briefs for international students
    • running numerous workshops within modules on a range of areas that includes critical thinking, presentation skills, reflective writing, and reading.

    We are a limited resource with a set number of hours to offer each subject area, but if you would like to explore how we might help in your module or subject area, then please do get in touch by emailing martha.ocurry@brookes.ac.uk.

    More about Departmental Language, Literacies and Skills

    Embedding academic development

    1:1 tutorials

    Available to all students either online or face-to-face, our 40 minute 1:1s offer confidential study skills advice to students at any stage in their academic journey. Study skills tutorials are available every day and currently take place online because of the Covid-19 restrictions. 

    In these sessions, tutors work with students on a wide range of issues including building confidence in writing, criticality, planning, and referencing. 

    We also have a limited amount of maths and stats support available, something we hope to increase in scope in the future.

    1:1 online tutorials

    Online workshops and courses

    The Centre for Academic Development is currently offering a series of (mainly lunchtime) workshops to which you might usefully direct students. These cover a wide range of topics relating to areas that include planning and structuring, academic style, grammar, presentation skills, writing with sources and dissertation skills.

    They may be of particular benefit to international students or those who are new to HE in the UK. The whole programme can be found here. Students can access all the sessions via the Centre for Academic Development Moodle page, which also acts as a gateway to a range of other useful initiatives such as longer form courses, writing consultations and relevant moodle courses produced in partnership with colleagues across the university.

    online courses

    Online resources

    The Centre’s online resources pages provide self-access materials for students. They are very popular and have recently been completely revised.

    With advice on everything from writing abstracts to getting some quality sleep (ZZZZs!), we hope our recommended resources will prevent staff from having to reinvent the wheel, and will provide students with concise guidance on all aspects of studying. 

    Do let us know what you think! We hope staff will link to these resources through moodle and module content to help deliver study skills where they are needed.  

    Online resources

    The Writing Hub

    The Writing Hub aims to enable Brookes to develop into a community of writers who support each other to excel. It encompasses staff and students, our academic writers across the disciplines, our present or future professional writers and those at every stage of developing their writing.

    Throughout the year we host lectures, discussion groups, podcasts and more but the Writing Hub belongs to everyone so we invite you to get involved and contribute to its development. See the Writing Hub page for more details.

    The Writing Hub