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The University of Southampton

PRES0008 Independent Learning (Pre-sessional Course B)

Module Overview

This module is non-credit bearing and forms part of Pre-sessional Course B. Within this module you will develop a set of skills, strategies and techniques that will collectively contribute to your understanding of learner autonomy in a UK Higher Education environment. This professional skills set is transferable and will be valuable not only in the immediate context but also in your further education and employment.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

In recent years the importance of the role of independent learning with its emphasis on student-centredness has been recognised as an integral part of EAP programmes. As part of the development of focussed EAP independent learning modules, the use of blended technology has proved to be particularly beneficial and throughout the module you will be encouraged to develop and engage with such tools. This independent learning programme was specially designed as a core part of the EAP Pre-Sessional programmes. Its rationale is to provide a scaffold for you to develop your independent study skills. The range and variety of support offered by the introduction of blended technology is intended to allow you to individualise the pace and focus of your learning. The Pre-Sessional independent learning module is designed to equip you with the transferable study skills that you need to be successful on not only the Pre-Sessional programme but also within the wider university environment. The module is designed to work in partnership with the reading and writing and listening and speaking syllabi. Alongside the weekly study skills session (indicative content detailed below) you will also have the opportunity to attend an advising session with a member of the Language and Academic Advising Team. Together with the compulsory elements of the module (Academic Skills classes), you also have the option to attend extra-curricular activities such as conversation cafés, drop-in advice clinics, and support seminars.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand what is expected of you as an autonomous learner in the UK Higher Education system
  • Efficiently and effectively identify reliable sources appropriate for your discipline
  • Employ critical researching skills
  • Reflect on you individual learning styles and employ methods to aid your own learning
  • Understand strategies for learning such as time-management, organisation and motivation
  • Employ referencing conventions and have a general knowledge of referencing management software
  • Understand and effectively use digital tools and systems to enhance your learning


A. INTRODUCTION TO INDEPENDENT LEARNING/ LEARNING RESOURCES/ACTIVE LEARNING 1. Recognise the importance of Independent Learning (or learner autonomy) during the Pre-sessional programme and at a UK university. 2. Understand expectations during the module and within future study contexts. 3. Learn how a range of materials and resources available at the university can be best applied for independent language learning. This will include materials located at the library, as well as online/ virtual materials. 4. Explore learning goals B. RESEARCHING SKILLS/ CRITICALLY ASSESSING RESOURCES 1. Introduction to research resources 2. Effective research planning strategies. 3. Using the library. 4. How to effectively plan a library session 5. How to use search engines effectively 6. Critically analyse materials found on the internet 7. Recognise rigorous research methodologies 8. Familiarity with peer-review (iwho wrote it, when it was produced, and suitability). C. TIME-MANAGEMENT, ORGANISATION AND MOTIVATION 1. Considering how to manage time and how to manage it more effectively. 2. Introduction to different ways of organisation, paper-based and electronic. 3. Learning about what motivates us and how to keep motivated throughout the Pre-sessional programme and beyond (for example, future study). D. EXAM STRATEGIES 1. Explore approaches and attitudes to exams in the UK including collusion and cheating. 2. Identify and discuss examination strategies. 3. Identifying and targeting needs. 4. Using appropriate study strategies and learning resources. 5. Time-management. 6. Managing exam stress/nerves.

Special Features

This independent learning module forms part of Pre-sessional Course B and is taught alongside academic reading and writing and academic listening and speaking.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

You will experience a wide variety of teaching and learning methods including: interactive lectures and workshops; individual, pair, and group work; set tasks to be completed outside class; use of technology for learning; and one-to-one language and academic skills advising appointments.

Independent Study1
Total study time18

Resources & Reading list

Cottrell, S (2008). The Study Skills Handbook. 

A wide selection of study skills books are also available in both Avenue and Hartley libraries. 


Northedge, A (2005). The Good Study Guide. 

Reinders, H, Moore, N, and Lewis, M (2008). The International Student Handbook. 

Lowes, R, Peters, H, and Turner, M (2004). The International Student’s Guide: Studying English at University. 

Pears, R, and Shields, G (2010). Cite Them Right: The Essential Referencing Guide. 


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

All set texts and teaching costs are met by the University.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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