Durham University's Academic Skills Programme

Durham University boasts a strong Academic Skills Programme. It is run by the specialist academic skills department, often in conjunction with the English Language Centre, with the sole aim of supporting all undergraduate students in developing their academic writing, maths abilities, and general study skills. The programme can be useful to all undergraduate students; from first years who have just joined the uni, to final year students writing their dissertations.

For first years, or anyone else looking to identify their skill strengths and areas for development, the academic skills department has created a skills audit. This can be found in the ‘Employability and Skills’ section of DUO and is a useful tool to guide you towards the area of the Academic Skills Programme it would be most useful for you to access.


Academic skills workshops, of which there are a large variety, are open to any undergraduate student from any department, and you can book a place here. Run at both Durham and Queen’s Campus, the workshops are offered at various times, including lunchtimes and early evenings, and range in length from 50 minutes to 3 hours. The workshops include group work, individual exercises, and hand outs, giving you an opportunity to try out and discuss the skills explored. You can attend as few or as many as you need, but it is important to make best use of your time and think carefully about the academic skills you need to develop. It is a good idea to complete the skills audit mentioned above to identify your training and development needs!

If you can think of any specific academic skills related workshop you would like to attend and you cannot find it on the website, then get in touch with Hatfield’s SHAPED Exec. Already this term SHAPED has held events delivered by the English Language Centre that have been exclusive to Hatfield, including ‘Essay Writing for Law Students’ and ‘Dissertation Writing for the Social Sciences’. We are happy to liaise with the centre or the academic skills department to get you the help you need

Online Resources

The Academic Skills Programme section of the Durham University website contains a wealth of resources relating to almost every area of academic skill you can think of, from resources for improving your literacy skills to information about how to use Microsoft Excel. There are a large variety of notes, video lectures, and other resources, categorised according to topic, and they can be found here. If you are looking for information about how to reference, how to use graphical data, or even how to structure a paragraph, then this is the place to look!

One-to-One Consultation

The English Language Centre offers a free one-to-one consultation service available to all Durham students. Through this service you can meet with an English Language Centre tutor to discuss a particular piece of written work or a specific difficulty relating to any aspect of your language performance. It is possible to meet for a one-to-one consultation with a tutor a maximum of three times per academic term, including the Easter and Summer holiday, and each session lasts 45 minutes. If you would like to meet with the same tutor each time then just request this in the consultation booking form that can be found here.

The Academic Skills Programme doesn’t only provide one-to-one help with literature, there are maths, stats, and IT drop in sessions available too. More information about these can be found here.

Follow the links for more information, or, alternatively, get in touch with the SHAPED Exec.

Hatfield Shaped