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How to Succeed at University

How to Succeed at University
An Essential Guide to Academic Skills, Personal Development & Employability

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

April 2015 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
How to Succeed at University provides straightforward, practical advice for anyone experiencing university life.  Introducing the personal, academic and life skills you need to succeed - both at university and in today’s competitive job market – you’ll find help with managing your time and budget, and guidance on a range of study skills including skills for research and examination success.  You’ll also learn how to identify and develop key transferable skills that will stay with you throughout your professional life.

Discover how to:

  • Improve your employability prospects and give yourself the advantage in the job market
  • Benefit from other students' experience, with top tips and insider advice on succeeding in your studies
  • Explore the uses of digital technologies in learning and assessment
  • Use what you learn right away, with handy downloadable checklists and worksheets.

Pragmatic, up-front and sympathetic, this is an essential companion for all undergraduate students, as well as anyone preparing for study at university.

Student Success is a series of essential guides for students of all levels. From how to think critically and write great essays to boosting your employability and managing your wellbeing, the Student Success series helps you study smarter and get the best from your time at university. 

Part 1: How to develop your personal skills
Chapter 1: How to prepare yourself for higher education
Chapter 2: How to plan your personal development
Chapter 3: How to improve your people skills
Chapter 4: How to look after yourself and upgrade your self-nurturing skills during the developmental process
Part 2: How to develop your academic skills
Chapter 5: How do you learn and how do you know what is required of you?
Chapter 6: How to plan, conduct and review your research
Chapter 7: How to write up and present your work in order to get better results
Chapter 8: How to develop successful examination techniques
Part 3: How to develop your employability skills
Chapter 9: How to understand what is required for your success in gaining internships, placements and jobs.
Chapter 10: How to understand the application process in order to get shortlisted
Chapter 11: How to give yourself the best chance of success in the selection process
Chapter 12: How to continue developing yourself for your future success


Study Skills Hub

Visit our hub for free academic skills, wellbeing and employability resources from our new and bestselling guides, designed to support you from day one all the way through to graduation and beyond.

This is a vital resource for both potential, and experienced students in higher education, whether undergrad or postgrad. With accessible examples and interactive activities that enable the reader to engage with and learn from their own experiences; this book successfully demystifies some of the structures and processes within HE that can often cause anxiety for students, and introduces language and terminology that students will encounter which is both empowering and developmental. It is recommended reading.

Catherine McConnell
Senior Lecturer in Learning Development, University of Brighton Centre for Learning & Teaching

Praise for the first edition ‘A really practical and positive text that underpins student learning. Used time and time again by students. This is an excellent text.’ 

Michael Reed
Senior Lecturer, University of Worcester

Good, all round study skills book which will appeal to students who like to reflect on how they learn.

Dr Fiona Ponikwer
School of Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sci., Brighton University
March 23, 2016

Useful advice for all those intending to progress to university.

Mrs Pam Lavender
Access, South Staffordshire College
February 10, 2016

Too basic for my students needs. This may be useful as a school text prior to application for university education.

Mrs Gillian Mary Withington
School of nursing, Canterbury Christ Church University
February 10, 2016

It provides good tips for students to enable them succeed at university.

Mrs Opeyemi Osadiya
Early Years, South Essex College
December 8, 2015

An excellent resource to prepare students for studying at a higher level, alongside addressing the social aspects of university life.

Ms Tina Duffy
Health and Social Care, NWRC
July 6, 2015

Would be more appropriate for a student manual.

Ms Shirley Donegan
Department of Humanities, Dundalk Institute of Technology
June 25, 2015

Useful additional guide for students

Dr Richard Wild
Law and Criminology, Greenwich University
June 10, 2015

Content mirrors the topics covered I the module. This book is written by two colleagues who were instrumental in developing the (skills) syllabus and much of their work is still being used.

Mrs Jela Webb
Brighton Business School, Brighton University
May 12, 2016

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 and employability specialist and was formerly the Deputy Head of Brighton Business School responsible for Education and Student Experience. She is interested in improving the student experience, with a focus on helping students develop their employability. She leads a final year module for around three-hundred students in which students design and run Development Centres, which other students attend as participants. Her research interests include the formation of pre-professional identity and how LinkedIn can improve self-efficacy, alongside success at work and university. Julie and Bob Smale have co... More About Author