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Essential Skills Weekend

'Raising your game', 1st - 3rd September 2017, Warwick University.
Online booking has now closed, please contact secretary@oups.org.uk for availability.

Skills Advice and Workshop for busy Psychology Students.

Please note that numbers are limited to 30 places for this workshop.

These sessions are suitable for all levels of study and are designed to assist your transition from lower to higher levels of study, understanding and performance. Tutor feedback on your assignments will indicate areas for improvement and our workshops are based on the most commonly identified areas of weakness.

Does the feedback from your tutor sometimes advise you to:

  • Focus more on the specific question and avoid irrelevance?
  • Offer more evidence to support your main point and explain how it does so?
  • Make more critical evaluation of theories or evidence? Write more academically and reference accurately?
  • Structure your essay effectively?

If these comments sound familiar but you don't know how to go about addressing these issues, come along to our workshop and get expert advice and support to help you 'Raise Your Game' and improve your grades. The sessions are designed to help you improve your academic writing skills and also to develop a greater understanding of research methodology, why we need to do research, how we go about designing it and interpreting it.

Our weekends are very friendly and informal and as well as giving you academic advice and support they offer you the chance to meet other OU psychology students doing a variety of modules.


This skills weekend offers a full programme of eight talks, running from Friday evening (registration from 3pm; dinner at 6pm; evening lecture 8pm) until Sunday tea time (3.30pm). 


We have two highly experienced tutors teaching on the weekend:

  • Dr Brenda Todd has been teaching at OUPS events for many years and has been with the OU since 2000. She has most recently taught on the Master's module, ED841 - Understanding Children's Development and on D241 – Fear and Sadness. Brenda has taught and marked exams for ED209 and worked as a tutor and learning advisor at OU Residential Schools. Brenda is a Chartered Psychologist with the BPS and a Senior Lecturer at City University London, specialising in researching and teaching Developmental Psychology. She has published papers on developmental topics and has a particular interest in parent-infant communication, the left-cradling bias and gender differences in children's play. Her published work has been featured in the national and international press and on television and radio. She also works as an independent developmental consultant. Brenda has a particular interest in study skills, especially in communicating effectively in writing.
  • Dr Monika McNeill is a lecturer in Psychology with nearly 20 years of experience; currently teaching DE100 and DE200 modules at The Open University. She is based at Glasgow Caledonian University, where she is a module leader and a popular lecturer in Cognitive and Developmental Psychology. Monika also contributes to a number of other modules, e.g. Applied Psychology, Physiology of Behaviour, Research Methods, Health Psychology etc. Dr McNeill has eight years of experience, working as an applied psychologist, providing therapeutic interventions and developing psychological programmes for young adults and children with high functioning autism (Asperger Syndrome).

What's included ?

Costs are fully inclusive of all accommodation, meals, tuition, handouts and also include social events. Please note that all meals are still included in the non-residential option.

What to expect

The lectures are conducted in lecture theatres within the University campus, and you will be provided with a timetable of talks and lecture notes on arrival.

If you book the residential package then you will have a room in student halls complete with bedding, towels, a hairdryer, coffee making facilities and desk. Wifi is also included. Ensuite rooms include a bathroom with toilet and shower while standard rooms share toilet and shower facilities on the same floor. 

There are welcome drinks and also a psychology book stall, and these are both excellent places to meet other students. All students and staff wear name badges, so it is easy to find somebody to help if you have any questions. You can enjoy your meals with a group of students in the comfortable dining room. The food is fresh, healthy buffet style catering, and there is something to entice everyone. All meals are included in the price of the weekend.

Finally, whilst most students leave exhausted from the learning and socialising, they comment that it is such a worthwhile weekend, and we see many of them each year as they progress their studies!


The weekend takes place at Conference Park, University of Warwick. Accommodation is in single bedrooms on campus.

Warwick is an award winning conference venue with excellent facilities. Access to the sports facilities, including the swimming pool, are included in the price. The university's central location with excellent transport links makes it easily accessible from all over the UK and Europe. There is ample free car parking.

Travel and directions

Click here for satnav postcodes and directions to the University of Warwick.

For campus maps go to Warwick Campus Maps.


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