Develop yourself

University is about so much more than just studying, and there are loads of opportunities for you to develop your skills through getting involved and being connected with the wider university community – whether you are student or staff; full-time or part-time; an undergraduate, postgraduate, or research student; live locally or commute; here for a short time (on exchange), or a long time (there are staff who’ve been here over thirty years!)

Group of students in a classroom

Skills Week

Skills Week, starting 10th October 2022, is part of the University’s Be Connected programme. Throughout the week there are lots of events to showcase the many ways you can develop your academic skills, digital skills, and employability skills. Check out the events on the University of Stirling app; come along to the daily popups in Campus Central; or browse our learning resourcesand pathways below for ideas and inspiration of how to develop yourself. 

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Academic Skills (for learning)

Student Learning Services work with all learners at the university to make sure you get the best out of your studying at the university. To you want to get better grades or just take some of the stress out of studying – then why not join us for one of our  virtual workshops. These cover a wide range of topics such as Writing and referencing, Academic Expectations, Managing your time and getting organised, Reflective and Report Writing, Critical thinking and much more. The feedback we get from students is all really positive and shows what a difference we can make. See what’s on and sign-up.   

Recordings of all workshops are available to access anytime on our Canvas site which is also packed full of amazing information and resources to develop your academic skills. If you feel that you would benefit from an individual tutorial, then just drop us an e-mail and book a session. 

Academic skills (for teaching)

Academic Development work with staff to promote engaging and effective teaching strategies which enhance the student learning experience at Stirling. We work in partnership to enable you to develop the knowledge, skills and passion for university learning and teaching, and we recognize, reward and share excellence across the University.

Explore our new SharePoint site for details of our professional development events and activities and explore some of our on-line resources. Our events are relatively informal with opportunities for questions and discussions.  

Digital Skills

Digital skills are essential to working in our fast-evolving digital world. Current technologies are being replaced by more advanced ones increasingly rapidly, so having a strong digital skillset, and feeling confident in your own capabilities will be very important for your study, and your future. 

On our new Digital Skills Hub you can find out more about what digital skills should you have and why do you need digital skills, then use our digital capabilities tool (for students and staff) to take a self-assessment to find out your current skills level, and identify areas for development.

In addition, all students and staff to have access to LinkedIn Learning, a continually growing and evolving library of over 2,800 courses and 110,000 tutorials with new releases every week, covering a wide range of software, technologies and business topics. LinkedIn Learning allows you to learn at your own pace - anytime, anywhere. Find out how to access LinkedIn Learning  

Employability Skills

Your Careers and Employability Service is here to help you achieve your career goals, from exploring your options, developing your skills and experience, to making applications and getting your first job. Our expert staff can support you with practical skills like CV writing and interview practice. We’ll also help you get to know yourself, your strengths, and your aspirations, so you can stand out to potential employers. 

Our Careers on Canvas module has over 400 pages of careers information; additionally, we have created a series of learning Pathways on TARGETconnect, covering careers topics as diverse as Researching the Labour Market; Applying for jobs with a Disability; International Students working in the UK during your studies; Discover your Earning Potential; Applying for Masters; and many more. 

In addition, all students and staff to have access to LinkedIn Learning, a continually growing and evolving library of over 2,800 courses and 110,000 tutorials with new releases every week, covering a wide range of software, technologies and business topics. LinkedIn Learning allows you to learn at your own pace - anytime, anywhere. Find out how to access LinkedIn Learning.  

Other ways to develop employability skills include through volunteering (also see below), internships, and student clubs and societies.  

Entrepreneurial Skills

Having entrepreneurial skills means you can identify and make the most of opportunities, overcome and learn from setbacks, and succeed. The University of Stirling encourages all students and staff to explore entrepreneurship and drive innovation. 

Translating learning, teaching, and research outcomes into impact are our priorities. Individuals can access a range of training, events, services, and funding opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills, create and grow new business ventures, and commercialise research. 

No matter what stage of your business development idea, or if you just want to know more about how start-ups and business operate, the Enterprise Programme offers three distinct activity streams to support the development, launch, and growth of viable business ventures in all forms. Find out more about The Enterprise Programme. 

Global and Cultural Awareness

We have over 135 nationalities represented on our Stirling campus, deliver degrees in locations around the globe, and have more than 100,000 alumni in 170 countries. Simply by being here, immersing yourself in Stirling’s international community and meeting people from other countries and backgrounds you are developing an understanding of the differences between you and others.  This is cultural awareness. There are loads of opportunities on campus for you to learn more about other cultures through developing your language skills (see below), and there are a number of cultural clubs and societies. 

LinkedIn Learning has a host of great videos and courses on this topic, including Developing Cross-Cultural Intelligence, Communicating Across Cultures, Cultivating Cultural Competence and Inclusion, and thousands more. Find out how to access LinkedIn Learning. Staff can also access a number of equality, diversity and inclusion development courses including Microbehaviours at Work, Unconscious Bias, and Diversity in the Workplace; see the Staff Development SharePoint site for more. 

Are you ready for an adventure?  

Are you a student? We offer a wide range of once-in-a-lifetime Study Abroad Programme opportunities, giving you the opportunity to see the world and experience new cultures. Find out more about study abroad. 

Graduate Attributes

Graduate attributes are the high level qualities, skills and understandings that you gain as a result of the learning and experiences you engage with, while at university. This "graduateness" is what sets you apart from those without a degree, and equip you for life long personal development, learning and to be successful in society. Find out more about the Graduate Attributes Stirling students develop.

Language skills

Whether you’re looking to learn a new language, develop your existing skills, or improve your English, the University offers a number of activities for you to get involved with:  

For more details on workshops and booking, please go to the Academic Skills Workshop SharePoint site.  

Professional skills and behaviours (for students)

Many of the professional skills you will need in the workplace are the same skills you need to succeed at study such as time management, organisation, communication, and working with others. Student Learning Services run workshops throughout semester on these topics, and more; See what’s on and sign-up. Recordings of all workshops are available to access anytime on our Canvas site packed full of amazing information and resources to develop your academic skills. 

We have created a series of learning Pathways on TARGETconnect, including one covering Professional Behaviour.  This Pathway is designed to support you in developing your professionalism and creating a strong impression with a placement provider or graduate employer.  

In addition, all students and staff to have access to LinkedIn Learning, a continually growing and evolving library of over 2,800 courses and 110,000 tutorials with new releases every week, covering a wide range of software, technologies and business topics. LinkedIn Learning allows you to learn at your own pace - anytime, anywhere. We highly recommend you look at courses on project management such as Project Management Foundations or Project Management Simplified which enable you to hit the ground running and have impact in your internship, placement or job. Other great courses we recommend before any placement or graduate job include How to make an amazing first impression, Creating Great First Impressions, and Succeeding in a new job. Find out how to access LinkedIn Learning.  

To put your professional skills into action, read our guides on getting career experience. 

Professional skills (for researchers)

The Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS) supports our growing and thriving research community with resources and networking opportunities. We offer you access to a range of valuable resources that will assist you in your studies and research. You are able to: 

  • consult our research frameworks and reviews 
  • sign up for workshops 
  • get advice on how to carry out your research and skills development projects 
  • access to a range of relevant resources 

Our Researcher Development Programme of skills development workshops, research seminars and support events runs throughout the year, giving research students and staff the opportunity to meet industry experts, researchers and visiting academics. Events are publicised via our Canvas modules and the IAS Newsletter for both PGRs and research staff. For full details of programme content: 

In addition to the Researcher Development Programme, we also support the Festival of Research and the IAS External Events series. 

Resilience and confidence

Confidence is not arrogance - it’s about knowing what you want, where you want to go and what’s important to you. It’s not about what’s important to someone else. It’s about being in control, calm and focused. It shows in a positive mind-set, self-awareness and an eagerness to develop your skills. It’s about having a sense of purpose to achieve success, a flexible approach to see the bigger picture and the ability to make important decisions. Confidence lets you manage stressful situations, have energy at work and a willingness to take risks. Confidence is a skill you can develop, but you need to work at it, just like any other skill.  

Careers on Canvas has a wealth of useful tips and resources to support students and staff in developing your confidence.  Packed with lots of practical examples and exercises that you can do to develop yourself to become more confident. Explaining the general principles that underpin developing confidence as well as practical techniques, this is an awesome resource that you can dip into and select what areas you wish to focus on. 

Completing our short learning Pathway on Building Resilience on TARGETconnect will give you a better understanding of resilience and strategies you can adopt to build it, no matter how confident you are feeling. Learn how to approach challenges with a positive outlook, self-belief, and a sense of perspective. 

The links between mental health, confidence, resilience, performance and impact are intrinsic and are acknowledged by the University. Building and protecting strong and positive mental health amongst our workforce and student population is recognised as a fundamental enabler for our success. In addition to the wide range of wellbeing services available at the University, we have also partnered with Togetherall to provide Stirling students and staff with access to 24/7 online support; Togetherall also has short courses and resources on Assertiveness, Problem-solving, Procrastination, and much more. 

Volunteering skills

Volunteering is a great way to enhance your time, add to your CV, give something back, and even make friends and meet new people. Volunteering is an unpaid activity where you’ll usually help out a charity or not-for-profit organisation. Whether you’re looking for a one-off project or a regular opportunity, there are many different ways you can get involved and do something fun and interesting.  

Aside from traditional volunteering activities, you could volunteer to be on a faculty of university committee, be on the board for an external charity, or if you’re a student take on a responsible role for a University club or society. 

The first place to look locally for volunteering opportunities is Stirling Voluntary Enterprise’s Volunteer Portal which helps find you an opportunity that suits you. Additionally our careers portal TARGETconnect has a wide range of volunteering opportunities available locally and further afield. On campus, the Students’ Union also offer loads of opportunities for students to volunteer; research staff and students can find out more about research volunteering. 

So What...? Articulating your skills

The My Stirling Award is an innovative skills award programme, open to all students, developed by the Careers and Employability Service and designed to recognise your extra-curricular activities and achievements. Gaining the My Stirling Award will give you an edge in the competitive graduate jobs market, as employers look for graduates who have made the most of opportunities at university and developed a wide range of skills and attributes. The award progresses at three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold (plus a special Postgraduate award), with different requirements for successful completion of each level. 

The My Stirling Award will allow you to: 

  • Clearly identify your current skills and those you want to develop 
  • Try new things and improve your confidence by actively engaging in roles and activities which are of interest to you 
  • Enhance your existing skills, develop new skills, and develop your understanding of the skills you most enjoy using 
  • Become more resilient and able to manage challenges and setbacks 
  • Recognise the activities and job roles you find most rewarding 
  • Reflect on your experiences and confidently articulate your skills 

Find out more from our short video, and register for your My Stirling Award now by going to our Canvas module or by looking at the pathways section on TARGETconnect.