Welcome to Critical Skills.
Under the remit of the Dean of Teaching and Learning Office, Critical Skills is a unique offering to Maynooth University first-year students. It is compatible with most programmes of study. Critical Skills aids the transition to third level while at the same time complementing and supporting interdisciplinary learning. It is designed to help first year students to learn, experience, practice and develop essential skills that will support their University career. Small class sizes, active learning, and a focus on transferrable skills sets Critical Skills apart from traditional subject choices.
Critical Skills teaches sought-after attributes not only for an academic career but also looking forward to future employability. By the end of first year, Critical Skills students will be able to deal with complex arguments, evaluate evidence and make balanced judgments, and communicate ideas clearly both verbally and in writing.
Critical Skills aims to develop these abilities early in the university learning experience. This will help the progression into third level while at the same time complementing and supporting interdisciplinary 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
• 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.
Critical Skills courses will be on offer as a 15 credit option for First years only, 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.
The course is offered in several distinct versions and a universal version. You just 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.