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Preparing for Higher Education

Bust myths, build confidence, and boost your digital skills with this introduction to the world of higher education.

1,188 enrolled on this course

Student preparing to study at Arden University.
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Digital upgrade


Prepare for higher education with Arden University

Taking your first steps in higher education can be daunting. The digital education experts at Arden University are on hand to prepare you for your learning journey.

Breaking down the myths around teaching and learning, this four-week course makes starting out in higher education easy. You’ll build the skills, confidence, and digital literacy you need to thrive in your own programme and environment.

Build study skills and strategies for higher education

Throughout the course, you’ll focus on building up practical skills and strategies that will help you throughout your time in higher education.

You’ll discover tips and tricks around note-taking, referencing, mind mapping, and a host of other vital study skills.

Grow your confidence and discover collaborative learning

Beyond these concrete practical skills, you’ll also work on developing a more positive, confident, and resilient mindset. With this, you’ll be ready to take on the challenges of higher education, and get the most out of your learning experience.

You’ll also learn how teamwork and collaborative thinking can help you grow and mature as a learner.

Develop a toolbox for digital learning

In the fourth and final week of the course, you’ll explore the power of technology for learning.

You’ll identify digital tools that will facilitate your learning, including note-taking and referencing softwares, e-learning apps, and cutting-edge AI tools.

You’ll finish the course equipped and ready to survive and thrive in higher education.


  • Week 1

    Demystifying Learning

    • Overview of Preparing for Higher Education

      We hope that this short activity provides you with a sufficient overview of what you can expect over the next few weeks and allows you to get to know some of the learners who will be undertaking this journey with you.  

    • Learning Myths

      Learning myths: what have we been told about our brains and how they learn and how much of this is true?

    • Developing a Growth Mindset

      Having a Growth Mindset encourages you to view learning as an exciting and interesting challenge where mistakes and failures are part of the learning process; where you say ‘I don’t know this YET’, rather than ‘I don’t know this!’

    • Preparing to Learn

      In order to benefit from your studies, it is helpful to make time to understand what you will be required to do, establish your own expectations of success and most importantly to decide how you will manage the learning process. 

    • Creating mind maps

      Mind maps can be used effectively to summarise information in a visual way, drawing attention to the main facts or topics and incorporating colour, shape or images for easy recall.

    • Summary of Week One

      As we draw week one to a close we hope you have found some helpful and practical tips that you can put into practice.

  • Week 2

    Making Friends with Maths

    • What does a mathematician look like?

      When someone says the word ‘mathematician’ what picture do you get in your mind? In this first activity we will explore the idea that a mathematician needs to look or behave in a certain way.

    • Everyone can learn maths

      Having a Growth Mindset encourages you to view learning as an exciting and interesting challenge where mistakes and failure are part of the learning process; where you say ‘I don’t know this YET’, rather than ‘I don’t know this!’

    • Developing Resiliency

      Being resilient will help you overcome setbacks in any area of your life therefore it is vital skill for studies and beyond but how do we become resilient? In this next activity we will explore ways to develop our resiliency. 

    • Learning by mistake

      Albert Einstein, famous for his theory of relativity is quoted as having said “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” In this activity we we explore the idea of learning by and through mistakes. 

    • Want to see a mathematician? Look in the mirror!

      At the start of this week you drew what you think a mathematician looks like. We are hoping that, after this week, you realise that you too can be a mathematician or anything else you set your mind to.

  • Week 3

    Collaborative Learning

    • Introduction to Week Three

      In this first activity we will explore the various ways you can contribute to and benefit from learning with others.

    • Effective Team Membership

      In this activity we will explore five essential skills for being an effective team member and you will be given an opportunity to add others that you think are important in your chosen profession.

    • Communities of Practice (CoP)

      A Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of people who have something in common. Right now you are participating in a CoP as you engage with people from all over the world who share a common interest.

    • Constructive feedback

      Sometimes feedback can seem negative, it is hard to not take it personally and become defensive, however we cannot avoid it in work or studies. 

    • Summary of Week Three

      If you are asked to work with people you do not know or do not like think of it as practice for your future job and try to learn something from the experience or try out some of the new techniques you have learned about. 

  • Week 4

    Unleash the Power of Tech in Your Learning Journey

    • Making Tech work for you

      Regardless of your mode of study, it is important that you are able to identify digital tools that can support your learning – enabling you to use your time efficiently and to develop digital skills to use in your career.

    • Digital mind mapping

      During week one we learned of the benefits of mind mapping. In this activity we are going to explore digital tools that you could use to support your creation of mind maps.

    • Digital tools to track research and support referencing

      There are many tools you could use to track your research and help you reference. In this lesson we are going to focus on using Mendeley.

    • Is there an app for that?

      There are so many digital tools available, it can become very overwhelming to decide which to use. We will share a couple of apps you can use in various learning situations.

    • Making Artificial Intelligence (AI) work for you

      I am sure you have heard a lot of negative things being said about AI but there are ethical ways to make it work for you.

    • The sun sets on Week 4

      This week we have explored various digital tools that you can use to get the most out of your learning experience. We hope that you have been thinking of novel ways to use these tools in your life and career, beyond your studies.

    • You are prepared

      We have come to the end of this short course. We hope that you have enjoyed it and that you feel better prepared to start your Higher Education Journey.

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...

  • Recognise and address possible learning myths and self- limiting beliefs
  • Develop useful note-taking skills and develop a personal approach, supported by digital tools
  • Know that everyone can learn mathematics and apply tools to develop mathematical resiliency
  • Explore collaborative relationships and membership in Communities of Practice and understand the various benefits of collaborative learning
  • Identify digital tools which can support various areas of learning, including notetaking, mind-mapping and referencing and build confidence in using these tools for learning and employability.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone hoping to apply for or about to begin a higher education programme.

Covering general studies skills and tools, the course is applicable to all subjects, programmes, and course providers.

Who will you learn with?

Gail has 22 years' teaching experience in further education, undergraduate and postgraduate education. She is passionate about student support.

Who developed the course?

Arden University

Arden University has a proud heritage in providing flexible and accessible higher education. We’ve grown and evolved from our beginnings in 1990 as the chosen online learning partner for universities across Britain, to offer a new kind of learning experience, providing both online and blended learning degree courses that meet the changing needs of modern life.

What's included?

Arden University are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible
  • 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

    Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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