Before starting university, the idea of writing at university level was an extremely daunting prospect. Having been out of education for a while, I had studied an access course which helped me get back into the swing of writing essays and reports, but I knew university standards were going to be set a little higher. I was keen to get as much support with academic writing as possible. Therefore, I downloaded the university app and started searching for services that could help. I was positively surprised by the amount the University of Plymouth had to offer and not just for academic writing.
The first place I went for support with writing was the Writing Café, which is set in a laid-back coffee shop. The Writing Café is run by the learning and development team and has trained student writing mentors on hand to help students in a relaxed and friendly environment. I attended not knowing exactly what to expect but I soon found out that it was so much more than just a proof-reading service. It involved a co-critique of your writing style where a trained mentor enables students to recognise how they are currently writing then equips them with new skills to improve.
There is also a learning and development centre accessible to all students. They offer many services and provide excellent advice. An example I personally took advantage of was a one-to-one appointment with an English Fellow to review a piece of work prior to submitting. There are also group sessions available including supporting students with revision and referencing.
I have also had really positive experiences with support from our very friendly and helpful library subject specific information specialist. She has been a delight when seeking help with everything from accessing e-books to referencing software.
Additional support services…
Health and Wellbeing
The University also offers wellbeing services, a medical centre, multi-faith chaplaincy, disability services and many more. These are all located in close proximity to the main buildings and halls and are accessible by self-referrals. More information is easily found on the webpage or student app.
Peer Assisted Learning Leaders (PALS)
The PALS are students from the year above each cohort who offer planned study sessions on topics requested by your cohort. This can include advice on assignments or exam preparation and is an opportunity to check your understanding of topics in a more relaxed and informal space. I highly recommend attending these sessions which provide insight into what is expected of you from students who have been in your shoes.
This is a service open to all students to help with mathematical and statistical queries. I have personally found the service very helpful with maximising my knowledge and use of Excel.
These are just a few of the many services available at the University of Plymouth. If you are thinking about studying in Plymouth I highly recommend exploring the University webpage for the many amazing services that you would be able to take advantage of. If you were to become a student, the app is a helpful tool for links to services. The app also includes your timetable and emails all in one handy place.