The University has resources and help available for students who are struggling with their learning, whether it is problems with referencing, English language support, general study skills or if you have a disability.

Don’t forget that if something unexpected happens that gets in the way of your studies, there are University procedures that may be able to help. For advice on the procedures, feel free to contact your Students' Union’s Advice Centre.

Study Skills

The University’s Centre for Academic Success provides workshops, tutorial support and study guides to help you with your studies.

Their useful online guides include amongst other topics:

  • Writing Guides (how to write an essay, academic writing style, writing a dissertation etc.)
  • Study Skills (Time management, research skills, critical thinking etc.)
  • Maths (Approaching numeracy as an adult, learning to do algebra etc.)

Referencing and Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the use of another person’s words, ideas or images in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage. If you are referring to or using words, ideas or images which you have not created then these need to be referenced properly to avoid an accusation of plagiarism. When writing an assignment make a careful record of the sources you are using for your work as you go along. If at any stage you are unsure about referencing, don’t be afraid to speak to a tutor.


Exam periods can be busy and stressful but there is lots of information available to help you prepare for and cope with the pressure.  Check out our top tips or these alternative ideas:

  • The Centre for Academic Success has advice about preparation and exam technique.
  • Skills 4 Study has advice about revision strategies and exam technique

Coping with exam stress:

If exam stress is getting too much for you and you do not feel like you can cope, talk to somebody about it.

Student Services offer counselling, health and well being advice and chaplaincy support to all Birmingham City University students.

Mind provides advice about how to recognise if stress is getting out of hand, and what to do about it.

If things in your personal life are affecting your exam performance it is important to tell the University as soon as possible. It is risky to go ahead with sitting an assessment if you know that you are not well, either physically or mentally. If you don’t feel well enough to take an assessment you can ask to take it at a later date by using the Extenuating Circumstance procedure.

Disability Support

Whatever your disability, the University offers help and support to meet your needs during your studies. Student Services can amongst other things:

  • Provide advice on alternative exam arrangements
  • Organise support workers including note takers, readers and sign language interpreters
  • Arrange the provision of University or course documentation in alternative formats
  • Provide support for any specific impairment you may have