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How to Succeed at University

How to Succeed at University
An Essential Guide to Academic Skills and Personal Development

  • Bob Smale - Freelance writer, trainer and mentor with long standing interests in personal development and employee relations
  • Julie Fowlie - University of Brighton, UK

272 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

How to Succeed at University is a uniquely comprehensive study skills and personal development guide, incorporating coverage of personal skills, academic skills, and job search skills within the framework of personal development planning.

All the key skills are covered, with a strong focus on the importance of the continuing personal development process and the ultimate goal of employability. In terms of personal skills, the book offers advice on handling stress, time management, and developing interpersonal skills. The academic skills section concentrates on the skills crucial for learning effectively, carrying out research, writing up your work, and tackling exams. The job search skills covered include discussion of how to identify the best job according to skill set and how to stand out in the applications and selection process.

This book is an essential companion for all undergraduate students, whatever their subject of study, and for those preparing for study at college.

How to understand yourself and your development
How to plan your own personal development
How to improve your people skills
How to nurture yourself during the developmental process
How do you learn and how do you know what is required of you?
How to plan, conduct and review your research
How to write up and present your work in order to get better results
How to develop successful examination techniques
How to understand the job, internship or placement search process and what is required for success
How to understand the application process in order to get short-listed
How to give yourself the best chance of success in the selection process
How to continue developing yourself for your future success

This could be a very useful addition to some students reading list to support them with the transition from school/FE to HE. Some practical guidance with a focus on the expectations would help to raise awareness of the (potentially) unknown to some students.

Mr Dale Munday
Teacher Training, Myerscough College
December 5, 2014

Simple and easy to follow - if you can get a student to see the benefits of reading a book such as this whilst they have evrything else to going on.

Mrs Karen Corder
Sch of Health,Community & Educ Studies, Northumbria University
February 10, 2014

A clearly written and attractively presented text. It is good to see that personal development is comprehensively considered alongside academic development. I do like the initial test which highlights to the student their need for working through the chapter.

Dr Maria Fitzgerald
Faculty of Health & Social Care, London South Bank University
July 4, 2012

Loads of low-level and easily applicable information on "Personal Skills", "Academic Skills" and "Job/Work Plcemenet and Career Building Skills". It will be helpfull especially for young undergraduate students at the beginning of their studies and when they look for their first job. Also includes checklists, review questions, websites, activities ...

Professor Martin Risak
Labour Law, University of Vienna
May 31, 2012

Some interesting content here that is not considered in other, simialr texts. For example, people skills and assertiveness. Personal development detail also good.

Dr Jane Bulkeley
Education , Glyndwr University
February 20, 2012

A useful book which highlights to students the complexities involved in studying at university; taking into consideration the part it has to play in everday life. it enables the student to focus on themselves as a whole and determine their learning styles in order to develop their skills in this area. Useful tips for reflection and strategies for the future beyond university.

Ms Julie Williams
Dept of Nursing, Huddersfield University
August 1, 2011

I have recommended this book for all pre-registration students in the new curricluim commencing Sept 2011 in particular the new learning to learning weeks of whicyh we are planning one in each year. The content of this week is still being decided but essentially it is about study skills. This book provided a good foundation for student to build upon. I particulary like the activities for the student to undertake.

Dr Mary Braine
School of Nursing, Salford University
June 6, 2011

A really practical and positive text that underpins student learning. Used time and time again by students. Their response has been very positive. An excellent text.

Mr Michael Reed
Institute of Education, Worcester University
March 15, 2011

Quite a useful book which I would like to adopt for next year (too late for this one) for pre-course reading. However, I need to discuss with other colleagues on the course.

Ms Lorna McInulty
Unscheduled Care Division, University of Central Lancashire
October 11, 2010

This book is really good for students studying in the UK for the first time. Masters students who have studied in India and Pakistan find the tranisiton from home to studying in the UK quite difficult this book is very useful in reducing the "cultural" divide.

Mrs Lynne Spencer
Department of Health Development, Greenwich University
September 29, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters

Introduction PDF

Chapter One PDF

Bob Smale

Bob Smale is a freelance writer, trainer and mentor with long standing interests in personal development and employee relations. Bob started his working life in banking and was concurrently a part-time professional musician. After becoming a mature student he completed a Labour Studies Diploma at Ruskin College, Oxford and a first degree at University of Kent. He has completed an M.Phil with University of Kent and D.Phil with the University of Portsmouth and is also a qualified holistic therapist. During 31 years in education he taught in further, adult and higher education, developing an interest in pedagogy and receiving an award for ... More About Author

Julie Fowlie

Julie Fowlie is a Principal Lecturer at University of Brighton Business School, where she has been closely involved in developing the undergraduate business skills programme with Bob Smale. Her teaching includes aspects of management, organisational behaviour and human resource management. She has research interests in emotional intelligence and pedagogy. Julie previously worked in the finance industry in a senior management position also having had experience as a bond dealer. She is also a qualified swimming coach and lifeguard. Julie has taught in further, adult and higher education and runs her own training business, most recently... More About Author

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