Academic Writing as Embedded Skills Acquisition for Transition to Higher Education: An Example from a UK University Classics Department

  • Richard Hawley Royal Holloway University of London
Keywords: Academic Writing, Marking Criteria, Diversity, Skills Acquisition


This paper presents an intervention that was created in a United Kingdom university Classics department where approximately 60% of undergraduate students came from diverse educational backgrounds to study classical Greco-Roman culture, but had not studied it before at school/college. To equip these more than usually diverse ‘transition’ students with a skills base to aid both their academic progress and future employability, a team-taught mandatory module was designed for first term, first-year undergraduates, which embedded two workshops and an assessment exercise on academic writing with eight workshops on other skills, most of which are both discipline-specific and ‘transferable’. The in-term assessments tested understanding of the skills taught, while a final exercise required students to reflect on their longer learning process over the term, evaluating development in their academic writing in the context of other discipline-specific skills. This module serves as a model for adoption both within academic departments and also at an institutional level for early stage academic writing training in a subject-related context, which can serve as a first step on a longer ladder of skills acquisition over the degree for enhancing both academic success and employability awareness.

Author Biography

Richard Hawley, Royal Holloway University of London
Senior Lecturer in Classics (Teaching Focused) in Classics Department; also Associate Dean (Education) for Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences