red background with white text saying 'UCW Headstart'

Headstart 2024


9:30 am


3:30 pm

Headstart is a 2-day programme of short, friendly workshops. It is ideal for students returning after a break in their education or stepping up from level 3 study as it includes bite-sized sessions on key academic skills for university. Headstart enables new students to meet lecturers, professional services staff, fellow students and familiarise themselves with our support services and learning environments.

Wednesday 10th July, 9:30am-3:30pm at UCW Winter Gardens Campus.

An introduction to UCW culture and community – wellbeing and life balance.

Academic skills – critical thinking, academic reading and formal writing.

Thursday 11th July, 9:30am-3:30pm at UCW Winter Gardens Campus.

An introduction to inclusive learning at UCW – environments, resources and support.

Academic skills – academic writing, reflective thinking, academic and library sources, Harvard referencing and essential digital skills.

Book both days by booking the Wednesday tickets and then return to the event page to book your Thursday tickets.

Please email with any queries.

Further details will be sent to those who have booked nearer the event.

What students have said about Headstart in the past:

· My experience with Headstart has been immensely helpful and enriching, with support and useful tutorials. I feel more confident about starting university now.

· All the topics taught were really useful and the speakers were very good at getting their information across and making me feel at ease. Having the basics of how to do academic reading and writing is a real lifesaver, and I really love that they gave us other resources and links so that if we’re struggling throughout university we know how to get help.

· It was very useful all round with lots of advice and tips. It is also nice to get to know the university site prior to starting. I feel more at home which has taken away a lot of the nerves.

· Headstart has provided me with an insight into the support and sources that I can access at university.

Wednesday 10th July

9.30 – 10.00 Welcome to UCW

Come to Winter Gardens Reception for registration. UCW staff will welcome you as you settle in and meet other attendees in our Learning Zone before we start our workshops.

10.00 – 10.45 Academic Culture & Community: Wellbeing & resilience.

Meet the UCW welfare team and consider strategies to boost wellbeing and overcome challenges during your studies.

10.45-11.00 Break

11.00 -12.00 Academic skills: Critical Thinking

This session will introduce the concept of critical thinking and how to use it at university. This is a core skill that you will develop and will encourage you to think more deeply about what you read and learn.

12.00 – 12.30 Lunchtime

Mingle with lecturers, support staff and students over lunch. Familiarise yourself with the environment and explore the spaces available in the open zones.

12.30 – 1.15 Academic Culture & Community: Meet the lecturers and students

Join smaller breakout groups with fellow students from your subject area. Hear top tips on what you can do to get organised and focused ahead of your course starting.

1.15 – 2.15 Academic skills: Academic reading

What is ‘academic reading’ and how much is expected on your course? Try some recommended strategies for reading around your assignment topics and breaking reading into manageable chunks.

2.15 – 2.30 Break

2.30 – 3.30 Academic skills: Formal Writing

An introduction to grammar, punctuation and specific academic writing features. This will be useful to get a feel for what “formal writing” looks like and how it differs from “everyday” writing.

Thursday 11th July

9.30 – 10.30 Academic skills: Reflective Thinking

All courses at UCW encourage reflective thinking. This session will explore key reflective models to introduce you to the art of looking back on your experiences and how to evaluate them so you can move forward in your learning.

10.30 – 11.15 Academic Culture & Community: Wellbeing & life balance.

A follow up session focusing on the importance of wellbeing. We believe that calming the body and mind is vital to student success. Jacqui will lead this session and discuss the importance of accessing support at UCW.

11.15 – 11.30 Break

11.30 -12.30 Academic skills: Academic Writing

An introduction to expressing your ideas using a structured approach so that you can participate in the debate set by your assignment questions.

12.30 – 1.00 Lunchtime

Bring your own lunch and get a flavour for the events and activities that take place at UCW. A great way to get involved, connect with others, and have some fun!

1.00 – 2.00 Academic Culture & Community: Library Detectives: Cracking the [book]case.

Get familiar with the library resources available to you on your course and learn how to use them for academic work! In this session we will review key skills like ‘PARCA’ and how to use key UCW online databases.

2.00 – 2.30 Academic Culture & Community: Essential digital skills

Gain an early start in getting digitally ready for the academic year. Join the Learning Technology team for help accessing the campus Wi-Fi, setting up authentication when using personal devices, guiding you through using the OneDrive cloud to save your work and explore Turnitin for academic integrity and digital hand-in of assessments.

2.30 – 2.45 Break

2.45 – 3.30 Academic Culture & Community: Further support

Work your way round our UCW support team stands to discover what further support and advice is available from specialist support, finance, accommodation, wellbeing, careers coaching, library and academic development.

Winter Gardens,
Royal Parade,
BS23 1AJ
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