Male student sitting with lecture getting help with work

Student Learning Achievement

Student Learning Achievement

At Student Learning Achievement, we work with all students wanting to develop their academic skills and improve their grades. 

We are here to help you regardless of your course subject, year, or level of attainment.

We provide much of our support in the form of “one-to-one” tutorials. These are short individual sessions offering tailored support from one of our tutors. One-to-one tutorials take place either online or on campus at High Wycombe or Uxbridge. 

We also work with small groups, run workshops and team teach with subject academics. However, if you prefer to access support in your own time and without a tutor, we will be happy to direct you to our recommended digital learning resources.


At SLA, we can help you with:

  • Note-making strategies
  • Research skills
  • Evidence-based academic writing 
  • Citing and referencing sources 
  • Critical thinking
  • Making use of feedback on your assignments
  • Numeracy
  • Task and time management
  • Support for students with English as a second language
Student Learning Achievement FAQ's

Here are a few answers to common questions you may have about your studies. Click on headings for answers:

Even before your course has begun, it’s useful to start thinking about what kinds of things to prepare for at various points in your future studies.

Being properly prepared also gives you a better chance of saving money, having fun and succeeding at your studies. 

Here are some useful ways to start mapping your study journey right now:

  • Support from others - Check through your course brochure and make sure you have read through any welcome emails you’ve received from your department. Also take note of any individuals (students or tutors) that you can contact if you have queries about anything. 
  • Somewhere to live - Start looking at accommodation options as soon as you can. Think about different accommodation options, as some can be cheaper than others. University accommodation is usually the easiest option, though you’ll need to book early. The Student HUB at BNU will be happy to help you with this. 
  • Getting around - If you’re planning to commute from your home address, check for the best routes or public transport options. Remember also that you can usually get good student discounts on bus or train travel.
  • Caring responsibilities - If you’re a carer, you may need to make arrangements for managing your study time alongside your other responsibilities.
  • Health and disabilities - You may also have a specific disability or mental health condition that the University needs to be aware of. In both cases you’ll need to get in touch with the Disability and Inclusion Services early on so that they can help you.
  • Part-time work - If you’re planning to work part-time during your studies, the Students’ Union may be able to help you look for jobs and approach prospective employers.
  • Extra activities - The Students’ Union also manages sporting and non-sporting clubs and volunteer groups. So, if you’re interested in taking part in team sports or activities, give them a visit as soon as you can.
  • Updates and changes – stay in the loop by checking the University website for any information updates regarding your course. You will also need to make sure you regularly access emails and check any relevant updates on University social media.

One-to-one tutorials are designed to help you get feedback and personalised guidance on any assignments that you are working on. 

You can choose to have one-to-one tutorials either online or on campus with experienced learning development tutors. One-to-ones offer a safe space for students at all levels to ask questions and get quick and useful feedback on their work. 

  • Sessions last 30-45 mins on average
  • Available as face-to-face or online
  • You choose the session focus (e.g. referencing, structure, etc)

If you think it might be useful, book a one-to-one tutorial now!

When you start university, you’ll probably hear a lot of new words and phrases that you may not have heard before. Here are a few common terms you’re likely to come across when you start studying on your course at BNU.

  • Structure 

Structure refers to the way in which we organise content within assignments such as reports, essays and presentations. Structure is key to understanding and delivering effective academic content and should be planned with the reader in mind.

  • Referencing 

Referencing is a term we use to describe using information from other sources, for example, books, to support points we’ve made in our academic work. 

  • Citation 

Citation simply means referring to (or “citing”) a source in the body of work (e.g. essay). Citations help readers identify quickly where any supporting information has come from. 

Citations are short versions of the long references at the end of your work. They can either be direct quotations (using the same words), paraphrases (reworded) or summaries of the original source. 

Citations must always include necessary identifying information such as year, author and (sometimes) page numbers.

If you are already enrolled on your course, you will have free access to Cite Them Right Online (EMBED LINK: This service offers invaluable information, examples and advice about how to use citations and references in your work.

  • Academic Integrity

Academic integrity means that everything you do here at Buckinghamshire New University should be guided by a sense of responsibility, honesty and fairness. 

When it comes to your academic studies, you are expected to respect your fellow students and tutors, and to produce and submit work that is your own. 

  • Plagiarism 

Plagiarism is a kind of theft, and really means “passing off someone else’s work as your own, either deliberately or by accident”. 

The best ways to avoid plagiarism are to learn how to reference and cite sources correctly, and not to let anyone else copy your work. 

  • Critical thinking 

Thinking critically means using analytical thinking strategies to help you understand complex information more accurately. 
Critical thinking allows you to gain a deeper understanding of any new information you encounter through stronger awareness of details and patterns.

Examples of critical thinking strategies include comparing or contrasting different types of information and identifying patterns, details, strengths or weaknesses.

Contact time at university refers to all teaching input that you receive whether as part of formal lectures and seminars or work placements and tutorials.

Scheduled teaching and learning contact time at Buckinghamshire New University includes the following types of input:


A lecture is a large class session usually led by a tutor or lecturer. Lectures are generally larger than seminars because they involve all students enrolled on a given module.


Assignments are pieces of work that you will need to produce in the course of your studies. Assignments can be written (essays and reports), or spoken (presentations, discussions or seminar contributions).

 Assignments are usually assessed (graded) with your final year or course grade, though some (formative assignments) are not.


Seminars are discussion-based sessions that discuss topics in detail. Discussion is possible in a lecture, but seminars involve fewer students, enabling more detailed discussion and critical debate.


Tutorials are either one-to-one or small group meetings with tutors where you get a chance to discuss a specific academic area or project you are working on. 

Practical classes 

Practical classes are hands-on sessions, such as experience in workshops and laboratories, where you learn how to apply theoretical principles of your studies in real-life scenarios.


Placements refer to periods of work experience during which you are expected to develop practical knowledge through immersion in real professional settings. 

By independent learning, we mean getting yourself up to speed with essential knowledge and tasks that you will need in order to engage successfully with your studies at university.

At university, you are expected to do what is necessary with minimal reminders from tutors and other staff. This can come as a bit of a shock, especially if you’ve become accustomed to being told what to do by teachers at college or school!

Here are a few tips to help you become more independent in your studies:

  • Make sure you’re aware of current or upcoming tasks and deadlines by regularly checking your email and class notifications on Blackboard. 
  • Set up a study diary or calendar and plan your study (and leisure) time at the start of each term. This way, you’ll know what’s coming up and there’ll be less chance of any nasty surprises along the way. 
  • Read your assignment briefs properly as soon as you get them. If there’s anything you just don’t understand, have a word with your tutor (and / or come and see us). It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Get started with reading and planning as soon as you’ve understood your assignment brief. The sooner you start thinking about what you’re going to write, the more opportunities you will have to identify and correct problems once the writing stage begins. Getting started with the planning side early on also means you’ll get some time to relax in between study sessions.

At SLA, we are happy to help with common problems that you may be experiencing as an international student. So, if you’re struggling to understand an assignment task, need help with English in your essay, or just want some English study tips, then we are here for you.

We also offer EAP (English for Academic Skills) workshops, which usually run at the start of each term. Our EAP workshops are informal, online drop-in sessions designed to help you understand basic academic skills, such as essay planning, writing style and referencing. 

These workshop sessions are taught by EAP-trained members of our team, and are open to both international and home students. 

So, check the SLA homepage on Blackboard to see if there is an EAP Workshop starting soon!

Support for international students at SLA:

  • Help with understanding assignments 
  • Help with academic English
  • EAP workshops 
  • One-to-one support
  • Feedback on written work (but NOT proofreading)

Getting the most out of your studies means using your time in the right way to allow your knowledge and skills to grow.
At the Student Achievement Hub, we specialise in helping students develop the skills they need to get the most out of their studies at university.

Here are some of the ways in which SLA can help you maximise your experience of university study:

  • Understanding your assignment task – helping you to understand the work that you have been asked to do
  • Reading and note making - helping you to find information from sources quickly and turn whatever you do find into a set of useful notes
  • Planning and writing essays – helping you find a way through the stages required to prepare and write up essays using the right kind of English 
  • Improving your academic writing - Helping you to correct yourself and understand when what you’ve written needs to be changed
  • Preparing for presentations - helping you to plan, practise and deliver any spoken assignments you need to do

Things to think about before going to university

How to get the most out of your studies
7 key academic terms explained


Being an International Student at BNU


Where can you find us?

On the High Wycombe campus, Student Learning and Achievement is based in room N1.01.

At Uxbridge, we are on the third floor in room 3.12.

Get in touch

Phone us on 01494 603070 or email

Current students can also access the contact details of all Student Learning and Achievement tutors via the Student Learning Achievement organisation on Blackboard.