Effective Learning Service (ELS)

The Effective Learning Service (ELS) offers guidance and support to students who wish to develop their academic writing and study skills. Our aim is to help you become as self-reliant as possible as you progress through your degree programmes here at QMU.


Online and In-Person Appointments

Both ELS and ELS International offer a mixture of online and in-person appointments. In an online appointment we communicate guidance and advice on your assignments via e-mail or Teams. If you have any follow up questions on the advice given, then just contact us by email.

If you have an appointment, then please try to send your work to us (along with the assignment brief if possible) at least 24 hours in advance of your appointment time. All in-person appointments will be in the ELS room (1153 in the LRC). We can only look at 1,500 words of writing per appointment. Please note that if you are an online QMU student, then you should email ELS@qmu.ac.uk to arrange your appointment.

Make an online or in-person appointment with the ELS team

Please book with only one ELS advisor at a time, once per fortnight, and do not send any work to us if you do not have an appointment.


Academic skills programme for new Post Graduate students

ELS International is running an optional in-sessional academic skills programme aimed at new international students who have come to QMU in January 2024 and for whom English is not a first language. This course will be delivered online once a week, on Tuesdays from 3 pm. to 4 pm. OR on Thursdays from 10 am. to 11:00 am. You can choose either of these days. It will run for 5 weeks with the first session being on Tuesday 6th of February.

If you would like to join this online course, then please use your student e-mail account and contact ELSInternational@qmu.ac.uk  to request your place. In your email please confirm you are a new student at QMU (January 2024 start) and say which programme you are studying on. In return, I'll send you more information about the course and the skills we'll be practising. The number of students is limited to 35 for each session, so make sure you book early.


Study Skills Workshops

Regular study skills workshops on a wide range of topics will be run throughout the academic year. The workshops below are small, informal, and aimed at undergraduate students, although postgraduates can join too if there is space available. These workshops will be delivered online via Microsoft Teams. 

Book a study skills workshop



Dates and times


​Literature Reviews

  To be confirmed

  ​To be confirmed

​Reading and Note-making



Essay Planning and Structuring 


Essay Writing and Drafting



​Plagiarism and Turnitin



Reflective Writing and Blogs


​Looking Ahead to Dissertations




Resit Programme

Every summer we also run a Resit Programme to help students to get through their resits successfully and to develop their academic skills and confidence for the following year. It is designed for undergraduate students, resitting modules as a second diet, but students sitting assessments as a first diet in August can also apply. This programme will run for two weeks starting on Wednesday 28th June.


Details and information on how to apply for the Resit Programme


Podcast of the Month

Listen to a short podcast on a different topic each month. 

Listen to podcast on: Academic Writing

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I book an appointment for ELS support?

We use StudentCentral for bookings.


How often can I book an appointment?

In the interest of fairness, please book with only one ELS advisor at a time, once per fortnight.


I cannot see any appointments listed, even if I look ahead…

Our appointments tend to get booked up quite quickly, which is likely to be why none are showing. Emailing us at ELS@qmu.ac.uk or ELSInternational@qmu.ac.uk can be a good way forward. We upload our availability around 2-3 weeks in advance, and each advisor has different working patterns, so bear that in mind if looking ahead, or for a specific day.


Can I book with an international or home advisor if I do not fit that category?

You can, but please notify the advisor in your booking comments. They will do their best, but may have to cancel your booking and prioritise an under-served group of students.


Do I need to have a draft-in-progress to book an appointment?

It is beneficial to have something to share with an advisor, and this can be a previously submitted assignment, including at college. We can support you without a draft, but please mention some specific academic skills when booking, such as essay writing or time planning.


How many words can you look at in a single session?

We can discuss up to 1500 words of your draft with you. If the overall assignment is longer than this, then it’s best to send us the key sections you want us to focus on.


I have a draft, how should I send it?

You can either attach it as a Word document to the StudentCentral booking page or send it to the advisor you have booked with directly. Please include the assignment brief that matches up with your draft.


When should I send my draft?

At least 24 hours in advance of your appointment time, if possible. If you do make changes closer to your slot, then it’s useful to send those too so we have the most up-to-date version.


It is hard to find a slot that fits my studies and placements…

Try one of our ‘email’ appointments, which you can select within our ‘Online’ session types listed on StudentCentral; you can then look over our feedback whenever it suits you.


Can you do a ‘quick check’ or proofread of my essay or reference list?

ELS supports you to become more confident and independent in your academic work and is not a ‘proofreading’ service. Nor is Studiosity, which you can access via Canvas, but they can be useful for feedback, including with grammar. You can submit work to them 24/7. We do welcome drop-ins at ELS, but more sizeable queries will tend to require an appointment.

Getting in Touch With Us

What happens in an appointment?

An ELS advisor will discuss any concerns you have, such as taking notes, reading effectively, planning and structuring essays or exam techniques; and then work out various strategies to help.   

The ELS does not proofread or check completed essays – the aim of the sessions is for you to build up the skills and confidence you need to tackle academic tasks successfully yourself.

Appointments will usually be held in room 1153. One session is enough in many cases, but students often have several sessions over a semester.

How to book an appointment?

The best way is to choose a day and time which suits you and book it using this link.  

If you need to get in touch for any other reason then just send an email message to:

ELS@qmu.ac.uk or ELSinternational@qmu.ac.uk

Workshops and Classes

Study Skills Workshops

Do you want to find out

  • what ‘studying’ is all about?
  • tips and strategies for independent learning?
  • effective ways to plan, write and research?

ELS runs regular study skills workshops on a wide range of topics throughout the academic year. The workshops are small, informal, and aimed at undergraduate students, although postgraduates can join too if there is space available. 

Workshops take place either on-campus or via Collaborate and places can be booked on Student Central, or for further information contact els@qmu.ac.uk.

Book a place 

Guides and Resources

Guides and Resources


Quick guides:


The LRC also has a wide range of study skills books available in individual subject areas.  


Key study websites at QMU:

See our Library section for useful study and information skills.

The Library also runs a wide range of online workshops throughout the academic year on topics such as Harvard and APA referencing, how to use the Cite Them Right website, and an introduction to reference managers.

The Coming from College area of the website has a collection of seminars and podcasts covering a great variety of topics connected with academic life and study.  

Other key study websites:

Academic Phrasebank - A site containing lots of examples of academic English arranged by function.

Video Guides

Three Shapes

ELS has launched our new Three By Threes this academic year. They are a set of interlinked short videos, which break down key Study Skills topics into manageable steps.

If you are enrolled at QMU, the best way to access the 'Three By Threes' is by registering on Canvas.

If you have not yet enrolled at QMU, you can access the videos and resources via Sway.

International English Language Support

Effective Learning Service for international students

The Effective Learning Service for international students at QMU is here to provide support for all students wishing to develop their English language skills.

Where are we?

We are based in room 1153 in the Learning Resource Centre – just follow the signs.

What do we offer?

Individual appointments (both online and in person) and In-sessional Academic Writing Classes.

What happens in an individual appointment?

During an appointment the tutor will work with you to identify your specific needs and develop a plan of action. We can offer personal help with any aspect of your coursework, study skills or exam preparation. We can help you improve but we will not complete your assignment for you or proof read your work.

It would be useful if you could send us by email any writing you want us to look at in advance. If the piece of writing is over 1,500 words long please indicate clearly which portion of it you would like to be considered. We would also like you to send us the assignment title, instructions and any marking criteria that you have been given.

If you would like to book an appointment then use the following link:

Book an appointment.

Please book with only one ELS advisor at a time, once per fortnight, and do not send any work to us if you do not have an appointment.

How to contact us

If you drop by the ELS office (room 1153 in the LRC), then if an ELS Advisor is free they will be happy to have a quick chat with you about how we can support you. You can also contact us by email at: ELSInternational@qmu.ac.uk  

ELS Support Enquiries

The ELS is based in room 1153 in the Library.

Opening hours:

Tuesday to Friday
09.15 a.m. - 16.15 p.m.

Show Contacts

ELS Support Enquiries

Effective Learning Service
ELS International International Learning Support