There are some skills that we regard as critical for a university education and that every university graduate should have.  These are also skills that are highly valued by today's employers.  You must be able to deal with complex arguments, evaluate evidence and make balanced judgments, and communicate ideas clearly both verbally and in writing. Because these skills are so important, both in university and beyond, we are offering a specially designed foundation course for first-year students in critical skills.

This critical skills course aims to develop these skills early in the university learning experience.  This will aid the transition to third level while at the same time complementing and supporting disciplinary learning. It is designed to help first year students to learn, experience, practice and develop essential skills that will support their learning. These skills include:

  • Academic writing
  • Analysis and use of data
  • Analytical thinking
  • Communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Developing learning skills
  • Information processing
  • Interpersonal skills

We use innovative teaching techniques facilitated by the support of the library and the small class size to develop these skills.

The First Year Critical Skills courses will be on offer as a 15 credit option, and you can choose to take a Critical Skills course as one of your credit-bearing courses in first year.  It will involve small group sessions every week, which will give you an opportunity to develop and practice these essential skills right from the outset.

For the 2016/2017 year, the course is offered in seven distinct versions, and you can choose the one that most appeals to you.  You can find out more during orientation week, and decide if you want to register for these. Availability is subject to timetable considerations and degree choice.