• University of Leeds

Listening Skills to Succeed at University

Improve your listening skills and learn practical strategies for effective listening at university.

1,393 enrolled on this course

Left side of the screen has a close up of a hand cupped to an ear, with a second person speaking  from the right side of the screen. The active listener on the left is in black and white, and the right side of the screen is red

Listening Skills to Succeed at University

1,393 enrolled on this course

  • 2 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Develop active listening skills to help you succeed at university

Listening is a vital literacy skill that helps us to make sense of the world. Despite this, it is rarely taught at schools and university students are often unprepared.

This two-week course will help you to understand the importance of active listening and show you strategies to help you improve your listening skills for academic success.

Understand the process of active listening

You’ll explore listening as a conscious, active and mentally engaging process and understand its value in an academic setting.

Learn how to improve listening skills in an academic setting

Being a university student provides a variety of listening situations from lectures, seminars and tutorials to a drink on campus. On this course, you will explore a model of academic listening, identify which listening skills are required for each academic situation, and learn about the main challenges of effective listening and how to tackle them.

Reflect on the value of intercultural awareness at the university

The campus is a place where people from many cultural and linguistic backgrounds come into contact with each other and interact. This course will make you aware of the importance of intercultural awareness during your academic life and its impact on being a critical listener.

Learn strategies for effective listening in lectures

You’ll then focus on what effective listening is and how to practise it during university lectures. You will understand what listening skills are required for different types of lectures, and what lecturers from a range of disciplines expect students to do.

By the end of the course, you’ll have explored and practised different strategies that support effective listening so you’ll be more prepared to listen successfully whilst at university and later in life.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds SPEAKER: Studies show that over 60% of all misunderstandings come from poor listening and only 1% from poor reading. Even though listening is a vital literacy skill that helps us to make sense of the world, it’s rarely taught at schools, and students are often unprepared. This course is being created to help you develop this vital skill for a successful academic life and beyond. You’ll explore listening in different contexts, and understand what active listening is and how to do it well. You’ll look at a model of academic listening which illustrates the mental processes involved whilst participating in a variety of academic situations, such as lectures and seminars.

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 seconds Lectures can be challenging in an all-English academic setting, particularly for students starting their academic journey. So you’ll explore the role of intercultural awareness while listening. You’ll then explore listening skills required for different lecture formats and learn practical strategies to help you to listen more effectively as a student. If you want to develop your listening skills to succeed at university, then join this course today.

What topics will you cover?

  • What is listening?
  • A model for academic listening.
  • Listening as an interactive process.
  • Intercultural awareness.
  • Effective academic listening in university lectures

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify what is involved in effective academic listening.
  • Identify the intercultural aspects of listening and explain the impact of culture on communication.
  • Apply critical listening skills at university and other contexts.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for all university students preparing to begin their studies in the UK as it supports their transition to engaged, critical academic listening. It will support both home and international students in understanding the importance of listening in intercultural communication, which is key for university study. The course is part of the academic skills collection, designed to improve university students’ academic and study skills. Explore other courses in the academic skills collection offered by the University of Leeds.

Who will you learn with?

I am a Lecturer in English for Academic Purposes at the University of Leeds and my particular area of scholarship interest is listening and identities in transition.

I have been a lecturer in English for Academic Purposes at the University of Leeds since 2008. My scholarship interests are listening in the academic context and educational materials development.

Natalie is a Learning Developer, and an Associate Fellow of the HEA. Natalie is passionate about developing the academic skills and literacies needed to succeed at university.

Who developed the course?

University of Leeds

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save


Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$79/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 28 Apr 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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