Skip to main content

Becoming an independent learner

Going to university means studying more independently. This is exciting, but at first it can feel a bit daunting, too. But don’t worry – nobody expects you to become a fully independent learner straight away. Learning how to study at university takes time and practice. We’ll support you to develop your skills stage by stage until you become a confident, independent and successful learner. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Check your emails every day

You’ll get lots of Newcastle University emails in the weeks before you come to join us. They contain very important information, and things that you need to do. Read all of them carefully to make sure you don’t miss anything important.

Take responsibility for your own learning

Your lecturers will teach you, but only you can ensure that you learn. It’s your degree, so you’ll need to embrace the responsibility for actively building your own knowledge and understanding.

Become a reflective learner

Try to get into the habit of reflecting on your own learning processes and techniques. What worked well, and what didn’t? How can you use these insights to improve the way you study in the future?

Get organised

You’ll need to take responsibility for managing your own time. Getting organised enables you to stay in control of your studies whilst also getting involved in things like sport and student societies. Come to the Library when you arrive to collect your free wall planner and study pack full of stationery.

Explore induction and get to know your programme

Once you receive your University user ID and password, log in to your online learning platform (Canvas or the MLE) and access the Build Your New induction materials provided by your School so you can start to explore your University life and your programme. 

Get to know your new home

Take a virtual tour of Newcastle, the University campus and the Library. This’ll help you to feel more at home and hit the ground running when you arrive.

Join our online community

Follow NUSU (Newcastle University Students’ Union), Newcastle Universitythe Library and your School on Instagram and Twitter to get a flavour of campus life, stay up-to-date with what’s going on, and find helpful advice.

Believe in yourself

Going to university is a life-changing adventure, but it’s natural to feel apprehensive, too. Every adventure brings challenges, but believing in yourself makes it easier to overcome them.

Ask for support

If you find yourself struggling, don’t panic. Our university community will always be here to support you with whatever you’re going through. All you need to do is ask.