Critical Publishing Logo

Helping you to thrive and succeed in your chosen profession 

University and You

Tags: Higher Education

Discounts are available for bulk orders. More details

University and You

Strengthening your skills and developing your potential

AUTHOR : By Rebecca Wilson and Catriona Wilson

ISBN : 9781916925021

Edition No : 1

Publication : Jan 24, 2025

Extent : 256 pgs

ISBN : 9781916925038

Edition No : 1

Publication : Jan 24, 2025

Extent : 256 pgs

ISBN : 9781916925045

Edition No : 1

Publication : Jan 24, 2025

Extent : 256 pgs


Want to get the most out of university? Are you looking to develop essential skills that will benefit you academically, professionally, and personally? This book is a must-have for new and current university students like you, offering a forward-thinking, holistic approach to skill development.

Whether you're transitioning to university life or already studying, this book will help you recognize the breadth and value of the skills you'll acquire through your curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular experiences. By understanding the importance of these skills, you'll build confidence and see yourself as a maker of change.

The book emphasizes skills essential for the future, focusing on;

  • social responsibility,
  • community engagement,
  • developing a research mindset,
  • appreciating diversity,
  • self-leadership, and
  • collaboration.

It guides you through the process of building these key skills and discusses their significance in an ever-changing social context.

Centred on you, your values, and what you can contribute to your student community, the book highlights the benefits of being an active participant. Insights from students and practitioners offer diverse perspectives, grounding the information in real-world examples. Interactive activities and questions promote reflection and critical thinking, ensuring you feel fully equipped throughout your university journey and beyond.

This accessible and easy-to-read guide is designed to support you every step of the way. Get ready to unlock your potential and make the most of your university experience!



Introduction: letters from the authors  

Part 1: Becoming a university student 

Chapter 1: You as you are: becoming the student you want to be 

1.1 Exploring your motivations for applying to university 

1.2 Pursuing your ambitions: what are your studies leading to? 

1.3 Building confidence and dealing with imposter syndrome 

1.4 Reflecting on your existing skills and how you gained them 

1.5 Thinking beyond your studies: developing through curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular opportunities 

Chapter 2: You as you change 

2.1 Ways you’ve changed already, and what prompted the change 

2.2 How to navigate transitions 

2.3 How to keep track of your progress 

Chapter 3: You in a changing world 

3.1 How the world is changing 

3.2 The importance of flexibility in a changing world 

3.3 Accepting the challenge 

3.4 Honing the resilience within you 

3.5 The importance of transferrable skills in a changing world 

Chapter 4: You as a student: how to build a learner 

4.1 What is a student? 

4.2 Learning autonomously and the science of learning  

4.3 Developing your confidence and adaptability 

4.4 Growing your digital skills 

Chapter 5: Your skills and attributes 

5.1 Answering the two big questions: where are you going, and how will you get there? 

5.2 Building a breadth and depth of skills – becoming a T-shaped student 

5.3 Introducing our skills wheel: 5 categories; 20 key attributes 

5.4 Identifying your attribute strengths and areas for development: a skills analysis 

Part 2: Developing your skills 

Chapter 6: You and your self-leadership 

6.1 What is self-leadership and why does it matter? 

6.2 Understanding your self-motivation  

6.3 How to manage your time and energy 

6.4 How to lead others: identifying your leadership style  

6.5 How to be an effective follower 

Chapter 7: Your research mindset 

7.1 Engaging your research mindset 

7.2 Creativity  

7.3 How to solve problems and think critically 

7.4 Developing your research skills: reading and note-taking  

7.5 Recognising opportunities 

7.6 Putting research skills and opportunity recognition together: essay writing and presentations 

Chapter 8: You and a diverse university 

8.1 How diverse are universities? 

8.2 What makes students unique? 

8.3 Appreciating cultural differences    

8.4 Diverse teams and groups 

8.5 How to cultivate strong interpersonal skills 

Chapter 9: You and your connections 

9.1 Studying in a changing world 

9.2 Creating global networks 

9.3 How to communicate clearly  

9.4 How to influence and negotiate 

9.5 Understanding discipline identity and language of academia 

Chapter 10: You, agency and community 

10.1 Foundations: agency, community, and integrity  

10.2 Agency in academic communities 

10.3 Understanding and avoiding academic misconduct 

10.4 Recognising yourself as an agent of change 

Part 3: What next? Articulating your strengths 

Chapter 11: Connecting and articulating your skills 

11.1 Making core connections across the skills wheel 

11.2 The value of being self-aware: the strength of your own combinations 

11.3 Practising connecting activities and skills 

11.4 When you might need to talk about skills 

11.5 Backing up your skills with examples 

Chapter 12: What do you do now? 

12.1 Take a step back 

12.2 Recognise your increased self-awareness 

12.3 Be confident in your skills strengths 

12.4 Be kind to yourself 

12.5 Plan your skills development over the next month, term, year 

12.6 Make your plan more likely to happen 

12.7 Spotlight your skills: create a good CV 

12.8 Investigate additional resources 

12.9 The good news is you’ve already started 




Dr Rebecca Wilson’s favourite memory of studying at university is revising with classmates at the side of the campus lake on a surprisingly sunny day in Birmingham. Now, Rebecca has over 10 years’ experience pioneering skills development in both Scotland and East Africa. She is a student development professional at the University of St Andrews and holds a PhD in International Relations. She has practical experience of lecturing and tutoring students and specialises in the transition of students into university, including expertise in mentoring, study skills and the award-winning ‘Transitions Toolkit’. Rebecca is a strong advocate for equality and inclusivity in education. She excels in motivating others, helping them to reach their potential and understand previously inaccessible topics. 

Catriona Wilson’s favourite memory of studying at university is being in charge of doing the shopping for the Psychology Society lunches, and then sharing sandwiches with lots of inspirational psychologists. Now she is Director of The Centre for Educational Enhancement and Development at the University of St Andrews. Catriona is a Fellow of CIPD and has a Masters in Organisational Psychology. She has 20 years of experience in skills development and is passionate about improving the student experience. She recently led the introduction of the graduate attributes framework at the University of St Andrews. Catriona is a champion for developing a holistic approach to skills development that integrates academic and professional skills, enabling students to achieve their potential during their studies and beyond. 

Publication Overview

Add to Basket


Your Reviews on this book

You May also Like