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Preparing for study

No matter which course you're studying, or what your previous educational experience is, it's essential that you prepare for the demands of university study.

Students at Birkbeck study in the evening, so they can work, volunteer or do their own thing during the day. This presents its own challenges, particularly how to manage your time and study effectively. The smarter you study, the better you can take advantage of the unique opportunities that studying at Birkbeck brings - and the more you invest in your future. 

Disability and dyslexia help

English and writing skills 

General academic skills


  • Our Get Ahead workshops help you prepare for university study. The sessions cover the academic skills you need to succeed at university and will build your confidence and get your studies off to a great start. More details and booking instructions will be sent to you once you receive an offer. 

Library skills 

  • Birkbeck Library is key to your learning: you can access the materials on your reading list, prepare for class, research your assignments and check references
  • Subject librarians are on hand to guide you. 
  • Library subject guides can help you find materials for your subject, both in print and online. 
  • The Library also offers a wealth of online resources, including electronic journals and databases. 
  • The Moodle course, Library and Information Skillscovers the library basics, from how to use the library to tackling your reading list. 

Numerical skills 

  • Numerical skills are not only vital for mathematics and statistics courses, but also for economics, psychology and some business, management and science courses. 
  • Check your course page online to see if any of your modules require numerical skills. 
  • Our video tutorials will help refamiliarise you with your scientific calculator, for improved maths skills in five areas. 
  • If your programme involves statistics and you’d like a refresher, you can use your ITS username and password to access these free online courses on LinkedIn Learning
    • Statistics Foundations 1: evaluating data sets; standard deviation; distribution and relative position; probability and probability distributions; and permutations
    • Statistics Foundations 2: data and distributions; sample size and random sampling; confidence intervals; and hypothesis testing. 
    • Statistics Foundations 3: working with small sample sizes; t-statistic vs. z-statistic; calculating confidence intervals with t-scores; comparing two populations (proportions and means); chi-square testing; ANOVA testing; and regression testing. 
    • SPSS Statistics Essential Training: tutorials to help students who will be analysing large datasets as part of their degree programme.