What skills do you need at university?

Going to university is a time of change. You’ll be meeting new people, discovering new places and campuses, learning new things in new ways. Keeping on top of all this can be challenging, exciting, rewarding, maybe even a bit nerve wracking.

So we asked some of our students what skills they thought were most important for succeeding at university.

Here are the top 5 skills they voted for 
  1. Managing your timeVisual of the 5 skills you need
  2. Self motivation
  3. Resilience
  4. Managing your money
  5. Independent learning and studying
Why did they think these skills are so important?

Here’s what our students had to say…

“The biggest difference between university and school is the independence that you have and the freedom to make your own decisions. You are treated much more like an adult and will have to manage yourself and your work load.” Post graduate Child Nursing student at City

“Before university I hadn’t really budgeted my money much and would often spend unnecessarily. Now I budget on everything from food to travel, and save money.” 2nd year Psychology student

“Your professors won’t check in to see if you’re following – you have to voice any problems you might be having. ” 2nd year Law student

Understand your own skills

Preview of worksheetFind out more about your own skills, your strengths and areas for development, by taking the National Careers Service skills and careers assessment or the skills health check

And you can use our Skills Check worksheet to rate your own skills and make a plan for how you can develop the skills you need for university.


How can you keep developing your skills?
  • Ask others for feedback, their tips, or support. At university lecturers, support staff and peers can all help you – you just have to ask!
  • Practice as they say makes perfect. Want to be a better communicator, then speak to people more.
  • Societies at university can help you develop new skills such as baking, sports, gaming or bee keeping.
  • Research – there are loads of amazing websites and videos (try TED or TEDx Talks on YouTube for example).
  • When you can safely do it, part-time work and volunteering are great opportunities to level up your skills.
  • Look for online opportunities and resources. UCAS and Prospects have lots of useful info about all aspects of university life and career options.
  • Be aware of even the smallest of progress you make and be kind to yourself if it takes longer than you had hoped.
Find out more

You can find out more about resilience in our blog post here.

And keep checking the blog for upcoming posts on managing your money, revision skills, learning styles, the difference between school and university, and managing your time! 

P.S Did you know City has it’s own beehives on its roof that staff and students can go see each week and learn how to manage a hive!?Cartoon Bee

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