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Essential Study Skills

Essential Study Skills
The Complete Guide to Success at University

Fourth Edition
Additional resources:

March 2016 | 336 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Packed with study tips and handy activities, Essential Study Skills is a proven guide that shows you step-by-step how to study effectively and make the best of your time at university - whatever level you're at. Whether you are going to university straight from school, a mature student, or an overseas student studying in the UK for the first time, you'll find out how to:
  • Sail through those tricky first weeks
  • Get the most out of lectures by understanding how you learn
  • Learn techniques for academic writing and research
  • Stay cool and cope with stress
  • Pass exams with flying colours
  • Plan your career after graduation.

Don't miss in this edition...

  • Even more tips and advice on learning methods, online learning and developing job skills - ensuring success throughout your course
  • Additional case studies and student tips to help you apply the skills you need
  • A companion website packed with toolkits and resources, to help you study smarter. 

The Student Success series are essential guides for students of all levels. From how to think critically and write great essays to planning your dream career, the Student Success series helps you study smarter and get the best from your time at university.

How to Learn, How to Study
Make University Positive
How to Survive Academic Reading
How to Make the Best Notes
How to be Creative and Visual in Your Learning
How to be Analytical and Critical
How to be Reflective
How To Get On In Groups
How to Harness a Digital You
How to Make Sense of Your Course
Probably the Most Important Thing on Writing You’ll Ever Read
The Ten Step Approach to Better Assignments
How to Reference and Avoid Plagiarism
How to Write Great Essays
How to Produce Excellent Reports
How to Deliver Excellent Presentations
How to Run Your Own Seminars and Workshops
How to Write a Brilliant Dissertation
How to Revise for and Pass Exams
PDP and HEAR: Knowing Who You Are, Becoming Who You Want to Be
How to Move On… and Get that Job


Click for online resources

Essential Study Skills comes with extensive online resources to help students apply the skills they learn in practice.  Each chapter has a range of extra materials online including journal articles, downloads and activities, and web links.  There is also an Instructors Manual for anyone teaching study skills, to accompany the book.

SAGE Study Skills hub

Visit the SAGE Study Skills hub for tips, resources and videos on study success!

Facebook resource page
The authors of Essential Study Skills have created a Facebook page to promote their book and share additional resources. Make sure you like, follow and share.

An outstanding handbook which enables learners to actively identify, reflect and develop their ‘skills’ to enable them to succeed as life-long learners. The authors present the ‘how to’ alongside the ‘what’ of study skills to enable continuous personal development, in an accessible style. 

Di Turgoose
Senior Lecturer Criminology and Criminal Justice, De Montfort University & Member of the Association for Learning and Development in Higher Education

A great book to keep close to you while you develop during your degree. You’re not expected to be perfect after years of practice, let alone after a single term in your fresher year. This book helps you to understand that, yet at the same time helps you strive to bring out your best at all times. (review of 3rd edition)

The University Blog
The University Blog

Text is adaptable to all levels, from those who are beginners to those who just need a refresh on how to use study skills successfully.

Mrs Marcia Louise Dewar
health and social science, Bradford College
October 3, 2015

Tom Burns

Tom Burns, always interested in theatre and the arts and their role in teaching and learning, led the Hainault Action Group setting up adventure playgrounds and devising Community Events and Festivals for the local community. Whilst still a student Tom set up and ran the first International Dario Fo Festival – with symposium, theatre workshops for students and local people and full dramatic performances by the Fo-Rame theatre troupe of The Tiger’s Tale and The Boss’s Funeral. Tom Burns is a Senior Lecturer in Education and Learning Development actively involved in the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (www... More About Author

Sandra Sinfield

Sandra Sinfield has worked as a laboratory technician, a freelance copywriter, an Executive Editor (Medicine Digest, circulation 80,000 doctors) and in the voluntary sector with the Tower Hamlets Research and Resource Centre and with the Islington Green School Community Play written by Alan, Whose Life is it Anyway?, Clarke and produced at Sadler's Wells. Sandra is a Senior Lecturer in Education and Learning Development actively involved in the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education ( Some time ago she, along with Tom Burns, developed the student-facing Study Hub ( and... More About Author