Succeeding in your degree: Critical skills for Geography and Environment students

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Richard Perkins


This course is available on the BA in Geography, BSc in Environment and Development, BSc in Environmental Policy with Economics and BSc in Geography with Economics. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.

This course is very strongly recommended for all first year Geography and Environment undergraduate students. 

Course content

This course seeks to provide an introduction to key study skills that Geography and Environmental Social Science students will use throughout their three years of undergraduate study. It will teach students how to get the most out of lectures and classes and, furthermore, how to best prepare for them through effective reading strategies and skills. During the course, students also will learn what makes a good essay, and how to effectively research, write and deliver them. The course will additionally introduce students to how their work is assessed and, moreover, how to best make use of feedback to improve their grades. All first-year undergraduates are strongly encouraged to take this course which has been purposefully designed to maximise their potential.


In the Department of Geography and Environment, teaching will be delivered through a combination of classes/seminars, pre-recorded lectures, live online lectures and other supplementary interactive live activities.

This course is delivered through lectures in Michaelmas Term.

Indicative reading

Burns, T. and S. Sinfield (2016). Essential Study Skills: The Complete Guide to Success at University. 2nd edition. Sage.

Cottrell, S. (2013). The Study Skills Handbook. 4th edition. Palgrave Macmillan.

Greetham, B. (2018). How to Write Better Essays. 4th edition. Palgrave Macmillan.


Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2019/20: 79

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Capped 2019/20: No

Value: Non-credit bearing

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills