A student studying independently

Independent study

Studying independently

I lead myself. I study with computers to improve in listening and sometimes I don't understand all the words but I repeat and repeat until I understand. - Haajira

On university courses in the UK, you can expect to spend a large amount of your time outside your timetabled classes studying independently. During this time, you will need to read in your subject area and organise your time to complete your assignments as well as doing other course-related activity.

In these activities you will identify good practice for studying independently and consider how developed your own independent study skills are.

Activity 1Recognising good and bad study advice

What advice have you received on how to study independently before? In this activity you are going to consider different advice given to students about independent study. You should evaluate it and decide whether the advice is good or bad.

Instruction icon


Study each of the six suggestions and decide if you think it is good advice or bad advice. Select the 'Good advice' or the 'Bad advice' button for each before reading the feedback. When you have finished, calculate your score and find out how much you know about effective independent study.

1. It's always a good idea to deal with assignments in the order that they are given to you.

2. It's not essential to read assignment feedback from your tutor after you have received your grade.

3. Study with other students outside timetabled classes can help your learning.

4. If you are not told to prepare for lectures and seminars, you don't need to do it.

5. Producing three drafts of a written assignment is better than producing one.

6. It's best to do your independent study early in the morning before you go to course lectures and seminars.

How ready are you for independent study? When you have finished, click below to find how many correct answers you have and then look at your score profile to find out what your score shows.


Activity 2Thinking about your own independent study habits

It is important not only to know how you should approach independent study, but also to be able to put it into practice. In this activity you are going to reflect on your own independent study habits so that you can identify areas where you need to act to improve.

Instruction icon


Think about your own independent study habits and move each of the study habits below into one of the two boxes as appropriate. Then read the feedback.

I do this
I don't do this
Balance work and relaxation
Develop my own opinions
Do reading without being told to
Know where and when I work best
Prioritise tasks
Read and act on feedback from my tutors
Work with other students
Write deadlines in my diary

Think about how you can best prepare yourself for independent study on your course in the UK and choose one particular short-term aim and one particular long-term aim in relation to the development of your own independent study skills, and change the words into actions. Then complete the statements below.

Before I come to the UK, my short-term aim in relation to developing my independent study skills is to

When I arrive in the UK, my long-term aim in relation to my independent study skills is to

Would you like to review the main points?