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Five online courses to improve your academic skills

If you're looking for ways to improve your academic skills, look no further! We will discuss five courses that can help you succeed in your studies.

University students work on their academic skills

Higher education can be a tough place. Whether you’re preparing for college or university, or you’re already in the midst of your studies, strong academic skills make all the difference. 

These skills will help you succeed in your classes, get good grades and progress in your chosen field of study. We go through five academic skills courses designed to help students of all ages and levels of ability. So no matter what you’re looking to improve, there’s a course to help you reach your academic goals.

What are academic skills?

Academic skills are the abilities and knowledge that you need to succeed at university. They include academic planning, research, reading and writing. While you may be naturally good at some of these skills, others can take time and effort to develop.


Planning is a key academic skill that will help you to succeed at university and in life. By taking the time to plan out assignments, projects and goals, you can save yourself a lot of time and frustration. 

Being organised and having a proper plan can also help to better manage your time and prioritise tasks to meet deadlines effectively. Most importantly, planning helps you to think ahead and anticipate problems before they occur. It’s essential to learn how to effectively plan your work. Watch this useful video about time management to understand the different approaches you can use to make the most of your time.

Academic research

One of the most challenging and time-consuming parts of being a student is undertaking academic research. To research academically, you need to be able to identify a researchable question or problem. You’ll then need to locate relevant background information and literature, analyse the data, and form conclusions.

The ability to effectively communicate findings is also essential, as researchers need to be able to share their work with the academic community. While the academic research process can be challenging, it is also immensely rewarding. It’s a great skill to have to learn about new subjects and prepare you for academic writing.

Additionally, through research, academics have the opportunity to make new discoveries and contribute to the advancement of knowledge. Check out this video about research for business purposes to learn more about this fascinating process.

Academic reading

One of the most important skills that university and college students need to master in order to be successful in their coursework is academic reading. At its most basic, academic reading requires the ability to read and comprehend texts at an advanced level.

Academic reading also involves being able to analyse and interpret complex ideas. You’ll also learn how to make connections between different pieces of information and synthesise new knowledge from what is read. Because of this, academic reading can be quite challenging for students who are not used to reading long and dense texts.

You can learn how to approach academic reading to get started on the right foot.

Academic writing

Good academic writing is an essential skill for success in college and beyond. Academic writing is clear, concise, and well-organised. It uses evidence and reasoning to support a claim or argument. Good academic writing also progresses logically from one point to the next, making it easy for the reader to follow.

In addition, academic writing is typically formal in tone, which means avoiding contractions and using formal vocabulary. It also involves writing citations and referencing sources correctly, normally in a specific style such as APA or MLA. Why not read one of our other articles to explore different writing styles and improve your writing skills?

Why are academic skills important?

Academic skills are important to help you in university and beyond. Some of the reasons to develop your skills are:

  • They provide the foundation for success at university. Understanding and retaining information is essential for academic success, and learning these skills provides the foundation. In addition, they can lead to better grades and test scores, which can open the door to further education and other opportunities.
  • They prepare you for the real world. Many of the skills you learn at university are also important in the workplace. Employers often look for applicants with strong academic skills, and some even have tests to measure these skills before hiring anyone.
  • They can help advance your career. Academic skills can help you get promoted or move into a new field. In addition, they can make it easier to pursue further education and training, which can lead to even more opportunities.
  • They can assist you in your daily life. Learning how to deal with tasks such as budgeting, time management, and problem-solving is easier if you have academic skills. They can also improve your critical thinking and communication skills, which are useful in many situations.

How to improve your academic skills

The best way to improve your academic skills is to learn how to use them effectively and practice regularly. With a bit of time and effort, you can develop the skills you need to succeed at university and in your career. We outline the top five courses to help you quickly improve your skills.

Top five academic skills courses

1. Skills for Higher Learning: Introduction to Academic Reading and Writing by Whitireia New Zealand

One of the biggest barriers to success in higher education is the ability to read and write academically. It can be difficult to know where to start when you’re expected to produce essays and other assignments to a standard you’re not used to.

If you’re already experienced in academic writing, it’s a great idea to upskill to stay ahead of the game and produce top-notch work that will impress your lecturers. This course will give you the ability to confidently engage in academic reading and writing at a high level.

From learning useful academic reading strategies to developing your skills in writing critically, you’ll be set up for success in your studies.

2. Academic Research Methodology for Master’s Students by Coventry University 

If you’re planning on undertaking a master’s degree, it’s essential that you have strong research skills. Developing this essential skill will give you the confidence to undertake academic research at a postgraduate level. It will also allow you to produce high-quality work that meets the standards expected by universities and employers.

With this course, you’ll learn about different research methodologies and how to select the most appropriate one for your project. You’ll also gain valuable skills in data collection and analysis, as well as writing up your findings. By the end of the course, you’ll be able to confidently undertake academic research and produce work that is fit for publication.

For a quick-fire way to improve your skills, you can also read these research hints and tips.

3. Develop Your Academic Vocabulary for Study by edumaxi

One of the challenges of studying at university is understanding and using academic language. This can be particularly difficult if English is not your first language. Even if you are a native speaker, you may still struggle to understand lectures and readings or feel unsure about how to use certain technical words and phrases in your writing.

This course is designed to develop your academic vocabulary and will pay off in spades, making your studies much easier and helping you to produce better quality work.

4. Academic Writing for Healthcare Students in Higher Education by St George’s University of London

If you’re studying healthcare, it’s essential to have strong academic writing skills. After all, much of your work will involve communicating complex information to patients and other professionals.

This engaging course will give you the ability to write clearly, concisely and accurately about healthcare topics. You’ll also learn how to critically evaluate evidence and communicate your findings effectively. By the end of the course, you’ll be able to confidently produce high-quality academic writing that meets the standards expected in healthcare.

5. English for Academic Study by Coventry University

English is the language of academia, so it’s no surprise that you’ll need strong English language skills to succeed in your studies. If you’re a non-native speaker who wants to learn key vocabulary in an academic context, or if you’re struggling to understand lectures and readings, this course is for you.

You’ll develop your English language skills and learn how to use academic language effectively in your studies. You’ll also gain a better knowledge of the UK culture, university life and the expectations of academic life.

Want to get started with some essential words? Why not start by listening to these 12 academic words? You can also brush up on your sentence-forming skills with this order of words exercise.

Final thoughts

Developing strong academic skills is essential for success at university. By taking courses and upskilling in areas such as research, writing and the English language, you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of achieving your academic goals.

From improving your grades to increasing your employability, there are many benefits to be gained from investing in your academic skills. If you’d like more courses to make the most of your studies, make sure you refer to our top 10 online courses to get ready for university.

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