Effective Learning Service
The Effective Learning Service (ELS) offers guidance and support to all 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).
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 Post Graduate students who have come to QMU this September. It 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 3rd of October.
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 Post Graduate student at QMU (September 2023 start) and say which programme you are studying on. The number of students is limited to 35, 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.
Dates and times
Essay Planning and Structure
October 3rd 11.15 - 12.15
October 6th 13.15 - 14.15
Essay Writing and Drafting
October 12th 11.15 - 12.15
October 13th 13.15 - 14.15
Looking Ahead to Dissertations
October 19th 13.15 - 14.15
October 20th 11.15 - 12.15
Plagiarism and Turnitin
October 27th 12.15 - 13.15
October 30th 12.15 - 13.15
Reflective Writing and Blogs
October 31st 13.15 - 14.15
November 2nd 11.15 - 12.15
November 7th 13.15 - 14.15
November 10th 11.15 - 12.15
Proofreading and Word Count
November 13th 11.15 - 12.15
November 14th 12.15 - 13.15
November 23rd 13.15 - 14.15
November 24th 11.15 - 12.15
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 runs for two weeks in July.
Podcast of the Month
Listen to a short podcast on a different topic each month.
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.
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?
If you need to get in touch for any other reason then just send an email message to:
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 email@example.com.
Guides and Resources
Guides and Resources
- Managing and Organising your Time
- Active Reading
- Planning and Writing Essays
- Making Effective Notes
- Critical thinking
- Report writing
- Planning a critical review
- Writing a literature review
- Keywords used in assignment titles
- Planning essays
- Writing and structuring assignments
- Reading for study
- Dealing with lectures
- Coping with stress
- Memory tips
- Revision tips
- Exams tips
- Academic writing
- Editing and proofreading
- The paragraph
- The sentence
- Punctuation one
- Punctuation two
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 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.
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 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.
How to contact us
Come along to the Effective Learning Service at the LRC and we can make an appointment at a time which suits you. Alternatively, you can make an appointment by email at the following address: ELSinternational@qmu.ac.uk
ELS Support Enquiries
The ELS is based in room 1153 in the Library.
Tuesday to Friday
09.15 a.m. - 16.15 p.m.