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Getting started at university

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Support for new students

Introduction to academic skillsSupport with your studiesSettling into university life

Introduction to academic skills

One of the main parts of university life will be attending lectures, seminars and completing academic assignments. Below are some useful guides to help you start your academic studies successfully and become familiar with how the university works.

An introduction to learning and teaching at university

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Learning about, or refreshing your, academic writing skills

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When you feel ready, move onto the Support for assessments and exams section of this guide.

Starting to look for academic information

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  • Discovery
    • Discovery is a Google-like search engine for Teesside University Library. Learn how to find books, journal articles and other university resources.
  • E-books:
    • The library has access to a range of electronic books. Some of these are searchable via Discovery, but others can be accessed individually via the E-book Collections
  • Finding books:
    • Discover the quickest and most efficient ways to find books in the Library.
  • Google to the max 
    • Learn how to search Google more effectively.
  • Finding Journals: 
    • Understand what journals are, why they are useful and where you can find them.

When you feel ready, move on to the Finding and analysing quality information section of this guide.

Developing essential academic skills 

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  • Critical thinking:
    • Critical thinking is an essential skill at University as it helps you to analyse and assess information. Resources on this guide introduce the key aspects of critical thinking.
  • Referencing:
    • You need to learn how to reference accurately in order to acknowledge your sources and to demonstrate that your writing is based on evidence.
  • Proofreading:
    • This online tutorial will give you practice in different proofreading techniques that could help you gain higher marks.
  • How to read an academic article:
    • Reading an academic article is different from reading a popular article, discover some strategies to help save you valuable time.
  • Time management:
    • Learn how to plan effectively when studying at university as it can be difficult to balance all the things in life that demand your time and attention.

When you feel ready, move on to the Support for assessments and exams and Finding and analysing quality information sections of this guide.

Support with your studies

There is Support for masters students, designed to help with the transition to Masters study, including independent learning, critical thinking and writing. Information and support is also available to doctoral students and academics via the Support for Researchers pages.

As well as the online skills guides there are a range of approaches to develop your learning. 


Succeed@Tees is a series of informal workshops:

  • There is an online guide for each workshop
  • Some workshops are recorded so you can watch them at your convenience
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There are bookable 1:1 tutorials available to help with a range of skills:

  • Academic writing and study skills
  • Literature searching, referencing and RefWorks
  • Research - if you are a doctoral student or a member of academic staff 
  • English Language Support for international students
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PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions):

  • Students are trained to mentor and guide students in lower years to support their learning through study sessions.
  • As you begin your studies you might find it helpful to speak with students on the upper years of your course.

Settling into university life

It can take a while to find your way in a new place, on a new course or on a new level of study. The information below links out to some useful resources designed to help you settle in to life as a student, whatever level you are studying at.

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Meeting people and making friends is an essential part of starting university life.

The How to meet people and make friends at University guide provides some tips and opportunities to help you get started.

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The New Students section on the library website covers all the basics you will need to help you get up and running with using the library.

There are subject LibGuides for each of the courses which run at Teesside, including those delivered at a distance. Use the guides to find out who your librarians are and what the key resources are for your studies. 

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