FAQ

If there’s something you’re wondering about you’re probably not the only one.  Take a look at these frequently asked questions and queries to see if the answer you need is here.

Where can I go to get help with my assignment?

If you need help with an assignment there are a number of different things you can do.

You can book onto a Assignment Planning Forum to help you get started with looking at your question and assessment criteria, organising your ideas or planning the structure of your writing.

If you have made a start and want to discuss your work, book onto a Writing Forum and bring your work along on a USB stick to share with a small group of peers and get feedback as well as see examples of other students’ work.  During this session the Academic Skills Tutor will be able to spend at least 15 minutes of the session focussing on each student’s work.

If you need help now, have a look at the resources section of this website for a range of self-help materials around assignments and writing.

Don’t forget, you can always approach a the academic who teaches your module, they will be able to discuss the topic the assignment is based on, support you to understand the scope of the assignment and suggest appropriate reading.

You may also want to look at the workshops available to develop your skills.

I am having trouble getting my assignment started

You can book onto a Assignment Planning Forum to help you get started with looking at your question and assessment criteria, organising your ideas or planning the structure of your writing.

Right now, you can make sure you have all the information you need to get started.  You may find looking at the following helpful –

  • the question – read it and supporting information carefully, underline key topics
  • assessment criteria – identify different topics areas you are being asked to cover
  • lecture notes – background notes on the topic, important theory and suggested reading
  • module guide – clarify the learning outcome/goal and identifying appropriate reading

It may help to find something general on the topic your assignment is about, read it and get an overview of the topic and different areas you may be covering.   From there you will be able to identify which aspects of the topic you need to do more specific reading on.

For example, are there differing theories about your topic?  If so, can you find a book or article that gives a general overview of the theories? This might help you identify which of those theories you will want to read more in depth information about.

Don’t forget, you can always approach a the academic who teaches your module, they will be able to discuss the topic the assignment is based on, support you to understand the scope of the assignment and suggest appropriate reading.

You may also want to look at the workshops available to develop your skills.

Is there anybody who can proofread my work?

It’s very common for students to feel they want someone to check their work before they hand it in.  However, this is not a service provided by any part of the University.  It is an important part of the writing process so it’s vital you learn the skills needed to both proofread and edit your own work.  You can read a full discussion of this here.

You can attend a workshop on proofreading and editing your work or access the resources section of this website to find out more information on how to do this for yourself. For example, it may help to read your work aloud or print it out to read when you are trying to spot errors.

The University is able to provide a list of external proofreaders who you would need to pay to proofread your work.  To find out more search ‘proofreading’ in Shuspace for the FAQ page.

Where can I get support with grammar and sentence construction?

It isn’t uncommon for students to receive feedback that they should seek support with their writing at the level of grammar and how they are constructing their sentences.  There are a number of reasons that students may need to develop these skills including this not being taught at school and English not being the first spoken language.  There is no quick and easy solution but there are a number of very good resources to work through and sessions to attend, offered through the University’s University English Scheme, who are specialists in teaching Academic English.

Their Blackboard site has a wide range of resources for students.  For enrolment on this Blackboard site, simply access the university website at http://shuspace.shu.ac.uk. Search for “University English Scheme, follow the information on the first page, click on the “enrol” button and then “submit”.

The University English Scheme also run regular workshops on grammar and although they are aimed at international students, any student who did not speak English as their first language can attend if it seems like it would be helpful.

How can I get support with maths or statistics?

The Maths and Stats service runs term time only throughout the week from the Bridge.   There is no need to book, just turn up.

Maths – Monday to Friday 11:30-1:30.  Wednesdays 6:00-8:00

Statistics –  Monday and Thursday 2:00-4:00

Outside of these times you can access their online resources for support.

What can the Maths and Stats service support me with?

They can help with a range of difficulties, big or small and you don’t need to be studying a maths related subject to use their service.  For example, the Maths Help service could support the development of numeracy skills for –

  • assessment centres
  • PGCE testing
  • Nursing drug calculations
  • business reports

The Stats Help can support the development and understanding of statistics for –

  • interpreting research results
  • statistical analysis within psychology studies

If you are unsure if the service could support you, contact them on mathshelp@shu.ac.uk to ask or visit their website for online resources.

I went to the Bridge but there was nobody there

The Bridge is a space for a range of services to offer sessions and you can find a map on our website showing where these services operate from.   There is currently no receptionist available on the Bridge and the services are only available during the times their sessions are running. For this reason it’s important to check the times the services are running and see if you need to book an appointment in advance by checking the services section of our website.

If you went to the Bridge at the scheduled time for an appointment but the tutor was not there, it may be that the session was cancelled.  Check your emails to see if you received a cancellation message through the Unidesk booking system.  For Maths and Stats Help Services, a tweet is sent out to advise of cancellation and whenever possible a notice is put on the Bridge.  If you would like to contact the individual service, their email addresses are as follows –

Maths and Stats Help   Email mathshelp@shu.ac.uk     Twitter  @SHU_MASS

Language Advisory Service  Email J.Webster@shu.ac.uk

Academic Skills Service  Email thebridge@shu.ac.uk

How do I cancel my booking in Unihub?

It is important to cancel your booking if you cannot attend as there is often a waiting list for popular events.  When you booked your event you will have received an automatic confirmation email, including a link which allows you to cancel through an automated process.  Clicking on this link to cancel automatically offers a place to another student on the waiting list and ensures all students have equal access to services.

Please note, if you have too many bookings you do not cancel or attend, you could be banned from making any more appointments and will need to contact the service to ask to have the ban removed.

I am not able to cancel my booking in Unihub

It is important to cancel your booking if you cannot attend as there is often a waiting list for popular events.  When you booked your event you will have received an automatic confirmation email, including a link which allows you to cancel through an automated process.  Clicking on this link to cancel automatically offers a place to another student on the waiting list and ensures all students have equal access to services.

Unihub booking system will only let you cancel your booking up until an hour before the event starts.  If there is an emergency which arises in the hour proceeding the event and you are unable to cancel it in time, you will need to contact thebridge@shu.ac.uk with an explanation of the situation and your request for a retrospective cancellation will be considered.  All cancellations other than last minute emergencies should be made through the confirmation email too allow the place to be opened up to other students.

Please note, if you have too many bookings you do not cancel or attend, you could be banned from making any more appointments and will need to contact the service to ask to have the ban removed.

I am studying part-time/day release and cannot attend any of the sessions

If you are studying on a part-time or day release basis and have very limited availability for when you can attend sessions you can access the online resources available on our website.  You also have access to an extensive online package of study skills tutorials through Studyskills4campus.

If there are a group of students on your course who want to attend a workshop on a particular topic, but your timetable does not allow you to, please ask your tutor to get in touch telling us the workshop title and the times when you have a gap in your timetable (e.g. Mondays between 2-5 pm).  It may be possible for us to put a workshop on at that time, subject to the availability of the Academic Skills Tutor.  As this will be open to all students, you would still need to book to attend.  We can be reached at thebridge@shu.ac.uk