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Making the most out of your final year at Sheffield University!

You might not be thinking about being back at uni yet, but the summer’s flying by and it’s somehow already mid August. Whilst you might be slightly dreading returning for the amount of work required in final year, this blog should hopefully reassure you that final year is not all doom and gloom!

Whilst its important to make sure you do work hard in final year, there’s also lots of fun things in store this year!

1. Join a Society

It’s never too late to join a society! I know loads of people who joined one in final year and have loved it. It’s a great way to relax and find time to do other things than studying. You’ll meet new friends and have chance to do loads of social stuff too. If you still need convincing check out our Blog ‘A-Z of Societies at Sheffield’ for some inspiration!

2. Attend your end of year ball

Everyone loves a good ball and there’s something extra special about your last year one, probably because you appreciate the break from studying much more!


3. Lots of “last evers”

Alongside some of the not-so-fun ‘last evers’ such as last ever exam and last ever all-nighter-last-minute-deadline-panic, you’ll have a full year of fun last-evers such as the last time you’ll go on your favourite night out with your uni friends, the last time you visit Peddler Market or your favourite restaurant, and your last ever Corp if you can stomach it!! If you try to balance out your hard work with lots of treats throughout the year you’ll find final year is really not as bad as its reputation!

4. Make the most out of the services available at 301!

I personally had never used the services at 301 until final year, but I’m so glad I did! I alsmost felt like it was too late in final year but when I went to my first Academic Skills workshop I realised there was still much to learn! With such amazing services available on your (SU) doorstep, make sure you take full advantage whilst you can! Book on to a Workshop, or book a 1:1 session with a tutor.


You can feel like there’s a lot of pressure in final year, but the most important thing is that you give yourself time to rest and relax and enjoy your time as a student, whether it be doing lots of sports with your favourite club, or breaking up study sessions with friends going out for lunch or coffee dates and drinks.



Posted in Intern advice, Uncategorized, Written by Britt

The importance of travelling and working abroad

I’m sure you’ve heard everyone say it, but travelling really is an amazing experience. This is particularly the case if it’s coupled with something meaningful, for example getting involved in a programme that gives back to the community or equips you with valuable work experience.

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Last summer, I travelled to China to teach conversational English skills to 7-10 year olds at a Chinese summer camp. I can honestly say that it was the best experience of my life. After I had completed my placement, I travelled around China with some of the other summer teachers – we went to Beijing, Shanghai and of course climbed The Great Wall!

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Although such experiences are truly incredible, many volunteer/work programmes can be pretty expensive and I did have to save up for a while in order to be able to afford it. That said, the university do offer bursaries to help students fund their placements (depending on the rules of your department). For instance, I’m in the Arts & Humanities Department and I received a £500 bursary from the university which essentially paid for my return flights to China!

These things are often planned in advance so I am not suggesting that you try and get yourself onto a summer placement before uni starts! However, it is something to think about for next summer and, if you’re sure it’s something you want to do, you can certainly start saving early.

I suppose the purpose of this blog post is to encourage you to be brave. Save up, take a deep breath and go out there and see the world!

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The A-Z of Societies at Sheffield University


Did you know that there’s over 300 societies at the University of Sheffield?!

Joining a society is one way to make sure you get the all-round experience of university at Sheffield. Its a great way to meet new people, learn or develop a skill or interest, give something back by volunteering and just generally have a fun break from uni work!

The beginning of a new academic year is the perfect time to sign up to a new society and see all it has to offer! As inspiration take a look at the 301 A-Z sample of all the weird and wonderful and ever-expanding University of Sheffield societies…

A – Anime Society

B – Black and Minority Ethnic Students Committee

C – Chess Society

D – Debating Committee

E – Erasmus Exchanges Society

F – Film Unit Committee

G – Gospel Choir Society

H – Horticultural Society

I – Ice Skating Society

J – Jewish Society

K – Korea Society

L – LGBT Plus Committee

M – Mental Health Matters

N – Nightline Committee

O – Open Mic Society

P – Pole Fitness Society

Q – Quidditch Society

R – Rock Society

S – Sexpression

T – Tea Society

U – UNICEF on Campus

V – Vegetarian and Vegan Society

W – Women in Business

X – Sorry! even Sheffield uni doesn’t have a society beginning with X! But maybe you could be the first to make one…

Y – Yoga and Pilates Society

Z – Zumba Society

And if none of these appeal to you, have a look on the Club & Societies site to find one that does!


Posted in Uncategorized, Written by Britt

Part-time work and transferable skills

SUMMER is finally here, yay!!! Exams and essays are done and it’s time to relax and take a break from all things uni.

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Whilst it is very important to enjoy yourself over the summer, it’s also a great time to get some work experience. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a summer placement or internship – though these are great ways to get experience that is specific to a certain field. However, part-time work in sectors such as retail, hospitality and care are also fantastic opportunities to develop those all important ‘transferable skills’ that graduate employers are always talking about! Here are some of the skills part-time work can equip you with:

  1. Working under pressure. This is particularly the case in shops, bars, pubs and restaurants as these places tend to be pretty busy over the summer period. You will learn how to keep your cool in fast-paced, high-pressure environments, proving to employers that you’re able to cope with the demands of the working world.
  2. Motivation. Nothing says ‘I’m motivated’ like making yourself go to work when the temperature is in the 20’s and all your mates are sat outside at the pub. Whilst this may seem a bit rubbish at the time, it will show employers that you’re driven to succeed as you’re willing to work over the summer period when many others aren’t.
  3. Communication. Most jobs involve some level of communication, whether this is with customers, other team members or in writing. Being able to communicate effectively is a vital skill in our modern world and one that is highly desired by many graduate employers.
  4. Problem solving. Maybe someone has received the wrong meal, a member of staff has phoned in sick or just everything seems to be going wrong on that particular day. It is your job to assess the issues and come up with a reasonable solution so that the working day goes as smooth as possible. This shows that you can think on your feet and don’t simply panic whenever there’s a problem!

I hope this has inspired you to think about the part-time job opportunities that are available to you over the summer period! So, go out there and look for some work – you won’t regret it!

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Why attend a 1:1 meeting

Did you know you can book 1:1 meetings with our tutors here at 301? If not, you definitely know now! But what exactly are the 1:1 meetings offered by 301 and how might they help you?

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During a 1:1 meeting you have the chance to sit down with one of our tutors and ask them for support according to the issues you have been facing in your studies. There is just the two of you discussing and the tutor can focus on your questions regarding academic matters such as not being sure how to deal with exam revisions, or how to reference and essay properly or even how to perform in a seminar and take notes properly so you get the most of your degree. They will be there to support you through all.

But if this information is not enough to get you to have a look at what I’m talking about, here is a list of why I think you should make use of this service:

  1. The support you receive is personal


And I am aware you can get that from your department as well, given that you have a personal tutor and you can also go to the office hours of any of your lecturers. The 1:1 meetings at 301 do not come to replace that, but to add an extra layer of support. The matters you will be discussing with the tutor are not directly related to your subject of study, but more to the way your study and any questions you might have about academic support.

  1. They are flexible

We are aware that some student have classes all day long and are only free later in the day, while others have less contact hours so they might be more available during the day. With that in mind you can book a 1:1 appointment from as early as 10:00 or as late as 16:00. There are different times available during the week so you don’t have to worry you won’t be able to fit one into your schedule.

  1. It’s time efficient

While the workshops are great if you want to gain more knowledge about a certain subject, the 1:1 meetings are amazing if you are in a hurry, or just want to squeeze one between two lectures. In 30 minutes you have the chance to discuss specifically the issues that interest you and focus on finding a solution!

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  1. You get access to additional resources

On top of the personal advice you get during the meeting, the tutors can also recommend specific resources you can look at if you would like to gain more insight into certain matters, or if you are really concerned about a problem and would like to really make sure you have it covered!

  1. You can be open

The meetings are organised in such a way that the only two people in the room are you and the tutors. The information you share with them is treated with utmost confidentiality so you do not have to worry about anything. The more open and honest you are, the more they will be able to help you!

And here you have it! A brief overview as well as some of my top reasons why you should definitely make use of the 1:1 meetings at 301. If you are definitely interested you can check it out here and make a booking:

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Posted in All things 301, Uncategorized, Written by Miranda

What is it like to attend a 301 workshop?

As it’s coming to the end of semester I decided to attend a workshop to try to improve my exam skills. In summary it was really helpful and I would definitely recommend attending a workshop.

Unfortunately, the workshops have now finished for this academic year, however this can be a heads up for booking on to ones next year and making sure you can get organised nice and early!


Exam Technique (Essay Writing) Workshop

I attended the Exam Technique (essay writing) workshop and found it to be very helpful and engaging. It was just over an hour long which I thought was the perfect amount of time to squeeze lots of important information in – without being too long or too overwhelming!

The workshop is general enough to be relevant to all types of degrees (which would have essay questions in an exam) meaning almost anyone could attend.

We went through different types of exam essay questions, determining the different aspects within a question – its Topic, Instruction, Aspect, Restriction and Viewpoint. Doing this helped to clarify what a question is actually asking – and how to go about formulating a structured answer in a limited amount of time.

There’s lots of group work in the session so this is particularly helpful for people who learn through talking and doing! The leaders make the session as engaging as possible by making lots of little activities throughout it.

Reasons to go:

It gives you that much needed boost of motivation to kickstart your revision / essay writing / whatever you’re working on!

It improves your confidence in the area. This workshop assured me that I would be comfortable to tackle any exam essay questions by breaking in down into steps.

The workshop conveynors give you handouts and tips. For example one of the workshop leaders (both of whom mark exams – so know what they’re talking about!) suggesting writing page numbers on your answer booklet so you can refer to previous parts of your answer and to help the marker.

Workshops Available:

As I mentioned, workshops have now finished for this year. But next year make sure you go to the 301 website to see all the workshops available to suit everyone’s needs/ modules! Such as…

  • Academic Writing
  • Time Management
  • Critical Thinking
  • Dissertation Planning
  • Exam Revision Planning
  • Independent Study
  • Presentation Skills
  • Proofreading
  • Reading for Memory
  • Speed Reading
  • Scientific and Lab Reports
  • And more (!!!)

How to Book:

Visit the 301 website page and login with your Sheffield details to see all the workshops available and make a booking. At the beginning of the year why not drop into the 301 office and pick up a leaflet with the workshops on so you can make the most of them! If you attend 4 workshops you also qualify for the Academic Skills Certificate which is recognised on your HEAR.


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A few bits about me!

Hi I’m Brittany (or Britt, for short) and I’m one of the new Interns here at the 301 Student Skills and Development Centre! I’m a 2nd year English Literature student so a lot of my time is spent reading books, writing essays and doing independent research – all of which may not sound particularly fun but I do really enjoy my degree (most of the time!).

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Aside from my degree, I’m a Volunteering Ambassador for Sheffield Volunteering which involves promoting and getting involved in various volunteering activities around the university. I also enjoy going to the gym, going out with friends and finding new places to eat in Sheffield (who doesn’t?!)

You’ll probably see me drinking tea at reception if you come to 301 for Study Skills Workshops, individual meetings or MASH help – so feel free to ask me anything 301-related and I’ll do my best to help.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post and I’ll hopefully see you soon here at 301!






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Dissertation Tips

Having recently been set my third year dissertation, I’ve attended the 301 ‘Dissertation Planning’ workshop, as well as doing some research and asking people for tips! Here is a collection of helpful hints and tips for planning and writing your dissertation.

Picking a topic

  • For many undergrads, the dissertation is your first opportunity to do your own research so it’s super important to pick something a topic you are interested in! You’re going to have to put a lot of time into this topic so make sure it isn’t something that you are going to get bored of in a couple of weeks time!
  • Your dissertation idea should be something novel and original which hasn’t already been covered by the literature. Think of your dissertation as your own contribution to increasing knowledge in your field! As someone studying a science subject this is really exciting to me – what could be better than discovering something new?!
  • I was advised by my supervisor that if you discover a paper that is the same as your dissertation idea then it’s time to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new direction or an entirely new topic! My own dissertation topic has gone from prehistoric crocodiles to woolly mammoths for this very reason!



  • Read. A LOT!
  • Make notes on what you have read to keep track of what each paper was, this will make writing your dissertation much easier.
  • And make sure the sources you use are reliable!


  • Write little and often. Writing a few hundred words a day or setting yourself a similarly achievable target will be much less stressful than an all-nighter writing 10,000 words the night before your deadline!
  • Reference as you go along… I always leave referencing til last but that is not something you want to do on a piece of work this big! It always takes longer than you think!


  • Avoid awkward silences in 1:1 meetings by thinking about what you would like the meeting to cover. You could even write an informal agenda for yourself.
  • Talk to your supervisor – this is possibly the first time you’ve had this level of 1:1 assistance from a member of staff… Make the most of them by talking through your ideas and asking questions when you are unsure.
  • Don’t expect them to hand answers to you on a plate though – my own supervisor regularly answers my questions with a question to get me thinking for myself.
  • And don’t be afraid to ask other members of staff or reach out to other experts in the field for their input, most people are happy to share their knowledge with you!



With two months until hand in day I’m not sure how many of these I will manage to stick to but fingers crossed for a successful dissertation!

Posted in Intern advice, Uncategorized, Written by Maddie

How you can learn a new language while at university

How many times have you thought about picking up a new language but have never actually done anything about it?

Knowing another language is an amazing skill to have and the more time you invest in it, the more opportunities will come your way to travel, meet new people and just know more about a culture different than your own.

Among the many many… many opportunities offered by our University, there is one that makes learning a language as simple and straightforward as it can get.

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The programme is called “Languages for All” and it offers you the possibility to either set the base for a new language as a beginner or to just pick up from where you left. There are a lot of options you could choose from and the best thing about it, is that you could also do it for free!

Here are a few things to keep in mind about the programme:

  1. The programme is very well structured and flexible as it offers you the possibility to attend classes both in the afternoon and evening so it doesn’t clash with any of your modules.
  2. On top of the actual lecture you will also have a 1 hour Lab that gives you the chance to practice any new information with other people on the same level as you.
  3. If you are taking the module on a non-for-credit basis the exam at the end is optional, so you don’t have to worry about not having time to prepare for it on top of your actual courses.
  4. It can either be done for an entire academic year or if you are really busy, going on a year abroad or would like to focus on something else, you can choose to just try it out for a semester.
  5. If you are taking part in an Erasmus programme, this is an amazing opportunity for you to get the basis of the language before you head off!
  6. It goes on your HEAR, so there is actual proof to demonstrate your effort!

All in all the programme is a great opportunity to just try something new while you are still figuring everything else at uni! If this post sparked your interest even a little bit here is a link where you can check when the next registration period is going to open:




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Things I Wished I Knew in My First year During Exam Period

Hi everybody! Kimberly is back to give some advice she wished she could have received.

Progressing to university was life-changing and challenging for me as I had to moved from Malaysia to the UK to pursue my degree. University is a whole new ball game for me, in terms of  programme content and the teaching style. As I was not used to it in my first year, I needed more time to figure out how to revise. So, here are 3 tips that would have been great to know in my first year.


  • Library Prime Time

If you are like me, who prefers to study in a library, you will have to arrive an hour or two before or after prime time  to safely secure a seat because it is unlikely that you will find a space to study in-between. When is the prime time? According to my 3 years of experience at the University of Sheffield, it is usually between 9am to 6pm. Off-peak hours are usually from 10pm till 6am. I know of this because I used to experiment when were my most productive revision hours (it was 10pm to 2am).

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But sometimes, you might want to form a revision group to increase efficiency in studying, and booking a room during this period is tough. The next tip will help you with that.


  • Extra study spaces

I wished I knew about the extra study spaces available around the campus. The university opens up extra spaces to give alternative places for students to study in. Click here to look up the spaces. You can even filter the places by number of PCs, late openings, and weekend openings.


  • Revision tips and resources

Finally, as I was a clueless first year, I wished I knew about the existence of the 301 Students Skills and Development Centre. This might sound bias, as I am currently an intern for them, but the workshops and services they provide are to help students develop their academic skills. The time management/beating procrastination workshops helped me realise the source of my procrastination, which effectively led me to improve on it.

There are no workshops being conducted during examination periods, but you could come in to the 301 to grab our printed resources on the carousel and online resources on our website.


The bookings for the coming semester’s workshops will be available on 16 January 2017 on our website. Follow our twitter for updates on 301!

Those are the 3 things I wished I knew. I hope this is useful. Good luck to everybody who is taking their examinations!