• UEA - University of East Anglia logo

Preparing for University

Build the academic skills you need for learning at university and ease your transition from school learning to higher education.

75,126 enrolled on this course

Preparing for University
  • Duration6 weeks
  • Weekly study3 hours
  • LearnFree
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $44Find out more

Develop writing, critical thinking, and analytical skills for university study

Learning at a university level requires enhanced critical thinking skills, as well as being able to hold a supported, substantive argument and critically analyse sources or data.

On this course, you’ll build the foundations of these skills, so that you can prepare yourself for the challenges of this new learning environment.

You’ll hear from university lecturers on what they value in students and get advice on the more difficult aspects of learning at university.

At the end of each week, you’ll receive a summary of key skills, which you’ll find useful to refer back to as you start your university journey.

Download video: standard or HD

What topics will you cover?

  • Questioning in a university environment
  • Links between independent study, revision and reading skills
  • Developing writing skills which focus on persuading the reader/audience
  • Textual analysis and how context affects the reading of a text
  • Understanding the importance of data and its use in evidence-based argument
  • Using and acknowledging the work of others through referencing

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

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

  • Understand the skills needed to do well at university
  • Practice the key skills required for success at university
  • Understand what lecturers value in their students, and what skills their students excel at and struggle with
  • Locate top tips for coping with the university learning environment

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone considering studying at a university, or a similar higher education institution.

Additionally, learnings from this course can support studying for A-levels, BTECS or other post-16 courses, as well as access or foundation courses.

What do people say about this course?

This has been so helpful in getting more of an insight into what studying at university will be like and require of you as a student. As well as really helping in knowing how to approach material you will encounter at university, Thank you!

Bethany Hobbs

This course was so good, very helpful. It helped me realize what I need to improve and also gave me some tips.

Marijo Valenzuela

Who will you learn with?

Dr Harriet Jones is a Senior Lecturer at the University of East Anglia, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a National Teaching Fellow and Director of the PreUniversity Skills Programme

Who developed the course?

UEA (University of East Anglia)

The University of East Anglia is an internationally renowned university providing top quality academic, social and cultural facilities to over 15,000 students from over 100 countries around the globe.

Learner reviews

Join this course

Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.


Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 8 weeks


Upgrade this course and you will get:

  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • A print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible

Unlimited (New!)
$279.99 for one year

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: