Search for a course

Preparing to learn at a distance > How to study at a distance

In this section:

Managing your learning

It's important to give some serious thought to the practical aspects of your learning. 

When, how and where are you going to study?

Establishing a sensible work schedule and study pattern and planning ahead will be key to your success. This doesn't mean giving up your social life, instead you need to get the balance right between your study, work, social and personal commitments. 

Think about which time of day you find it easier to study, either because you're better able to concentrate or less likely to be distracted and plan ahead for what you need to do each day. 

Essentials #3 - Effective study tips

Many learners find it helps to adopt the following approaches to their learning:

  • Short, frequent study sessions of about an hour are better than one long three hour session.
  • Take regular breaks, about 10 - 15 minutes to refresh your thinking.
  • Stop or move on to something else if not progressing.

Think about what works for you, how good you are at managing your time and the steps you need to take to support your learning.

^ Back to the top

Student support

Anglia Ruskin Student Services provide a wide range of support, information and advice to help you make the most of your studies.

You can contact Student Services by phone on 0845 196 6700 / 6701 or by email at

For more information about what's going on in Student Services you can visit their website, follow @ARU_StudentServ on Twitter and find them on Facebook.

Welcome from the Director of Student Services

Thanks for visiting our site.

Here in Student Services we have a range of services designed to support you, advise you, enable your studies, increase your skills and help you find work or point you in the right direction if we can't help you ourselves.

We are also here to be champions of the student experience and want to know if you are having problems or difficulties with any aspect of your life with us as a student - whether you're on campus, off campus, full time, part time, an undergraduate or postgraduate - and we'll do what we can to help you, or to see if there is something our university needs to do differently to make things run more smoothly and help you to get the most out of your time with us. So please tell us - by email to - and don't forget to tell us if there's something you really like so we can do more of it!

You're welcome to email me any comments directly at, or just to say hello, or follow me on Twitter @ARU_DirStuServ.
Best wishes

Julie Walkling
Director of Student Services

^ Back to the top

Study skills: support, strategies and guides

Whether learning at a distance or on-campus, all students can benefit from support in developing effective study skills and strategies. Study skills involve locating and using sources of information; flexibility in reading; the ability to select, evaluate and organise ideas by determining relationships among them. Our Study Skills Support service online study skills guides provide advice on:

Learning styles

The way we learn is affected by our learning styles. Whilst it is not always possible to marry our learning styles with activities it is useful to know what your learning style is and understand what activities suit you best to help you gain the most from your activities and encourage you to learn.

Essentials #4 - Developing successful study skills

Explore this useful guide for some valuable insights into what it takes to be a successful learner and try out the Vark learning styles questionnaire to find out what it says about how you prefer to learn.


Study skills: reading

Successful learners have well developed reading skills and take notes to help them focus and highlight key points. 

You will need to be clear about why you are reading something to avoid being distracted. For example, you may want to explore different perspectives or find evidence to support an argument you're developing for an assignment. You will also need to read critically in order to make up your mind whether or not the source is reliable, and even if it is you don't have to agree with it! But you also need to be realistic about the amount of reading you can do in the time available. 

Don't worry! You will be given guidance to help you get the most out of your reading and you won't be expected to read everything on a particular topic. But you will need to learn to choose what you do read carefully.

To assess and refine your reading skills explore the following study skills guides and take notes:

a) Effective reading for your assignment
b) Critical, analytical thinking
c) Evaluating an argument 

Study skills: writing

Well developed writing skills are essential to be able to communicate your ideas and opinions. To assess and refine your writing skills explore the following study skills guides and take notes.

a) Essay writing (1) - Structure and organisation
b) Essay writing (2) - Style and clarity
c) Literature reviews
d) Punctuation
e) Report writing 
f) Spelling tips
g) Writing a critique

^ Back to the top

< Previous

Next >

Get in touch
  • Follow us on