Get ready for university

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Get ready for university

You did it!

You’ve finished school, your exam results are coming in, and you will start university in September. So how can you use your summer to prepare?

First - Check out this checklist from UCAS about preparing for your studies. 

You can find a lot of helpful new student information online. We encourage you to read your university’s ‘New Student’ page. These list essential preparation, help you find links to new student social media groups, and note important dates such as the University Welcome Week!

Welcome Weeks are full of activities and events designed to help new students settle in. This could include meeting your classmates and tutors, social events to make new friends, a chance to join clubs and societies, and academic skill sessions. Even if you are studying close to home it's fun and important to get involved and give yourself the best start on university life.


Academic skills:

LEAPS have some short and snappy videos on our Academic Skills Film Channel, which cover:

1. Top Tips about starting your studies from our lecturer friends

2. University students sharing their experiences of academic skills (including their fears, mistakes and successes!)

3. Key academic themes such as critical thinking, receiving feedback at uni, academic writing and resources

Here are a couple of examples:





You can save a link to these videos and go back to them anytime. If you have questions about the videos or about what some of it means, you are welcome to contact Alice at the LEAPS office on 

Universities also have support in place to help you develop the academic skills you need at university. Support could include workshops, peer mentoring and online resources. Find out what your university offers! Here are some examples:

University of Edinburgh Study Hub

Heriot-Watt University Student Guides

UCAS Study Skills 


University induction programmes:

Some universities also offer summer schools, online induction programmes, and student mentoring to help you settle in. Here are a few examples from our partner universities:


Edinburgh Napier - Establish

A social media group run by Napier students, for students!

LEAPS students will receive an email invite to join Establish once your Napier offer is confirmed.

The Establish group covers preparation and transition advice, academic skills, and social and student life – as well as answering your questions big or small.


Get Ready @ Edinburgh Napier

An online guide giving new student information, advice, and a little training to help you get ready for your university studies.


Heriot-Watt University new student page

Helpful guidance for all new students studying at Heriot-Watt University.


Heriot-Watt Student Success Advisors

LEAPS students holding offers for Heriot-Watt can contact Student Success Advisors. These are recent university graduates ready to give advice on starting university, top tips, or answer questions you have in a one-to-one email.


Heriot-Watt Summer School

4 – 6 September 2019.

Free to attend, this summer school is a chance to get a head-start on your university studies.


University of Edinburgh New Student Information

Designed to help new students feel prepared for the University of Edinburgh, including a new student guide and checklist, social media groups to join, welcome week information and 6 essential tasks before you start your studies.


Queen Margaret University Induction for New Students

The induction programme for those starting at QMU in September 2019.


Queen Margaret University Browzer Blog

QMU’s student blog has helpful information, like how to prepare for accommodation, campus advice, and guidance on local activities, lifestyle, and recipes.


Additional support needs:

If you have additional support or learning needs, or if you've had learning support at school, we encourage you to speak to support services straight away. This means your support can be in place for the start of your university studies. You may need to speak to Student Support, Disability or Inclusion services depending on your university.


Care-Experienced Learners, Young Carers and Estranged Students:

You are welcome to contact Sarah Austen at LEAPS for specific advice on the support available to you at university. You can reach her on or 0131 650 4676.


Enjoy your summer, and all the best as you start your studies, from LEAPS.