Hello and a massive welcome to all our new PGCE and PGDE students, we look forward to meeting you and getting to know you all this coming year. We are the Student Engagement team (you may also hear us referred to as the UniSkills team) and we are here to provide support with all aspects of your academic and information skills.

Welcome PGCE/PGDE students. Find out how we can support you in your first few weeks and beyond. blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/ls


Head over to the Learning and Support Services Induction pages to find out more information about who lives in Catalyst, what they do and how they can support you. There’s an interactive induction toolkit that you can work through at your own pace, which will introduce you to Library and Learning Services, Student Services and Careers. Or you can even watch an induction video if you prefer. If you haven’t had a chance to explore the facilities, make sure you find some time to book a student led Catalyst tour or take a virtual tour with our Student Advisor, Maya today!


The best place to find out more about how we can support you is to head over to the UniSkills web pages where there’s a wealth of information and support for all your academic skills available 24/7. You’ll discover interactive online toolkits, which contain loads advice to help you with assignment planning, critical thinking, punctuation, proofreading and much more. There’s also lots of handy guides and video tutorials too!

UniSkills Workshops and Webinars

Our popular Uniskills workshops and webinars programme launches w/c 11th October and covers a wide range of topics including academic reading, writing and referencing, effective exam preparation, finding academic resources, conducting a literature review, presentation skills and much more!

Get Going With UniSkills

If you’re keen to hit the ground running then why not join our Student Advisors all week Monday 4th to Friday 8th October at one of their lunchtime Get Going With UniSkills webinars. They will show you how to log in and navigate your Blackboard Institution homepage, how to find academic information for your assignments and tell you all about the support available from UniSkills!

UniSkills Appointments

If you require more specific support you can also book a 1-2-1 appointment with an Academic Skills Advisor who can work with you on a piece of work or research.

Finding Your Resources

To find all your print and electronic resources Discover More is the place to search. From here you can also access your online reading lists and, by clicking on the book titles, you can jump straight through to find out the items location and availability. You can collect items directly from the shelves and check them out on any of the self-issue machines located around Catalyst. If an item is unavailable (e.g. all out on loan) you can place a reservation and we will let you know when it is ready to collect.

Education Resource Collection

As well as the academic textbooks, which you’ll need for writing your assignments, there’s also a dedicated Education Resource Collection with lots of resources you can borrow. There are Key Stage 1 and 2 children’s books, larger picture books for whole class reading sessions, phonics resources, subject packs and interactive kits which are available on longer loan – ideal for using in the classroom while you’re on placement.


As an Edge Hill student you also have access to thousands of high quality academic eResources, which are particularly useful whilst on placement as they can all be accessed online. Your subject resource pages contain all the relevant journals and databases for your programme of study as well as links to newspaper collections, classroom resources, useful websites, such as Times Higher Education, so you can keep up to date with current affairs and recent developments in the education sector. If you need any help finding your academic information or navigating your online resources don’t forget we have lots of handy UniSkills toolkits, videos and guides on the UniSkills pages – all available 24/7!

You Want It, We Get It

And, if there is ever a book or journal article that we don’t have in our collection you can ask us add a copy by using the You Want It, We Get it service. Just fill in the details on the form and we’ll do our best to get it in for you – how cool is that!

Read more about how our Student Advisor Charlotte is preparing for the start of her own PGCE course this year…

Student Advisor Charlotte
Student Advisor Charlotte

I applied for my PGCE back in February 2021, and I will be starting the course on the 1st of September. I am really looking forward to my PGCE, I haven’t had an opportunity to gain any experience in a school due to the recent Covid restrictions, so I am excited to start my first placement! I have got my academic diary, so I can get organised to keep on top of all my assignments and placement tasks.

The PGCE year is very different to your undergraduate course, so it’s important to manage your time to get a good study-life balance. If you struggle with any aspects of getting organised, head over to the Uniskills pages, where there is loads of tips and guides you can use to make the most of your time during the next year. Many of the guides available have become staple to create my study schedule, primarily the Priority Graph and the Weekly Planner.

During the application process, I realised I would be using a different referencing system than I was used to. During the summer break I have used the Harvard Referencing Toolkit, and I’ve also downloaded the Harvard Referencing Guide to help me to understand how to correctly reference. If you are still struggling after using these guides, there is a dedicated Uniskills workshop to help with referencing or you can book a 1-2-1 appointment with one of the Academic Skills Advisors.

One of my biggest concerns about starting my PGCE was regarding my subject knowledge. The library doesn’t just offer academic texts about the theory behind teaching but also resources to help bridge any gaps in subject knowledge. I have also been accessing Box of Broadcasts, to find documentaries to watch in my free time to gain more subject knowledge! To get prepared for my modules, I found the recommended texts from my course leader by heading over to my online online reading list, and started to make notes of questions I had, and what I don’t understand so I can get all my queries answered when I start in September!

Further Help & Support

If you have any general enquiries about resources for your study, IT related enquiries or academic skills support you can contact the Catalyst Helpdesk Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm and Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 6pm.

So, that’s everything we have to share with you today – we wish you all the very best for this coming academic year and look forward to supporting you soon!