Working effectively and productively at Durham requires a range of academic skills and strategies. At Durham Centre for Academic Development (DCAD) we offer dedicated support to help you develop and enhance these skills.
Classes and resources for these skills range from live sessions to self-access materials and vary in topics from academic writing and giving effective presentations to digital skills and managing your time.
We also run one-to-one consultations with academic language specialists and a drop-in service for maths and statistics.
All classes, materials and consultations are available to you throughout your time at Durham and completely free- find out more below.
We're here for you whatever your background, current level of study, and future plans.
You may be coming to Durham straight from school/ college. You may be the first in your family to go to university. You may wish to brush up on one or two areas of your skills but otherwise be very confident in your ability. You may be returning to study after a while away, or English may be a second, third or fourth language for you.
Whoever you are, we can help you get the best from your time here at Durham.
In this Team you can find self-access materials, course links, helpful resources and announcements about upcoming events and sessions. You can also turn notifications on or off depending on your preferences!
To reserve a place at any of our live sessions (both Online and In-Person) and to book a One-to-One Consultation with an academic skills and writing specialist, you will need to visit our booking page.
During your time here you will identify several areas where you can develop and improve your academic skills in order to get the most out of your studies.
Our Academic Skills development classes are designed to guide and support you in enhancing your performance in these areas- this might be aspects of your writing style or how to approach a new type of assignment; key strategies for personal study effectiveness such as your note-taking or time management; or brushing up on your digital literacy skills.
We divide our provision into sections to help you find what you're looking for- Academic Writing, Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism, Managing Your Workload, Reading and Revision, and Speaking and Listening in Academic Settings. We also have a section for those New to University Study, and a section for Digital Skills.
You can find more information on our classes and resources by joining our Academic Skills HubTeam, where we keep materials, self-access resources, and post announcements.
As part of our tailored support we offer opportunities for you to have a direct discussion with knowledgeable staff members about issues specific to your academic language and numeracy development.
In the Maths and Stats Lab, you can pop along to one of our drop-in sessions (twice a week during term time) and chat with one of our experienced PhD students. This service is open to students of any level of study or department, so if you are looking for support with maths or stats in your course, exploring ways to interpret data or preparing for a psychometric test, our friendly team can help you.
Our One-to-One Consultations Service focuses mainly on academic writing skills. Writing as expected in your discipline and department is often the key to success at Durham, and our team of academic skills and writing experts can support you in understanding and enhancing your disciplinary academic writing style. The service offers you time with a tutor to focus on your work and identify areas for improvement. These might be structure, integration of readings, critical voice, language choices or more, and your tutor will give you guidance and information on how to develop these.
You can book up to two consultations each term (depending on availability).