Five top tips for effective student note taking*

Also known as the Cornell Method, this is one of the most effective ways of note taking. For this method you need to draw a line down your page, slitting it into two parts, with the left part being about 1/4 of the page, as shown below. You use the smaller column to jot down important points use the right side to record the points in as much detail as possible. This means that you will have enough content to revise when the time comes for you to do so.


Split Page Technique

Because what you learn in your lectures is only comparable to what you go on to read in your textbooks, you can split your page into two parts in your notebook. On one side you can take your lecture notes and on the other you can write material from your textbooks. This means that when you come to revise, you will have both sources integrated into one page. You could expand on this system by having a third section on the page of questions to ask your lecturer/discuss with your classmates.

Capture as much info as you can

It’s very important to understand the importance of note taking (link here that may help) - many people assume it’s difficult to learn this skill, note taking is not much more than basic common sense. Why not try to improvise new ways of capturing what is said in your lectures? Often it can be hard to capture everything your lecturer says so a voice recorder can help you capture lectures for later revision. Although you should always transcribe the material as soon as possible after as it’s still fresh in your mind.

Know what to note

Remember that not everything the lecturer mentions needs be be jotted down! It’s better to leave some material out. So when you are taking notes, make sure what you are writing down is worth reviewing or reading. Once you have done this, consider retyping or reading back over your lecture notes, removing the irrelevant parts so that you keep the sequence of work done. We recommend going over the work within the first 24 hours of the lesson to improve the retention rate.

Attend your lectures!

One of the most ignored tips among students is the need to attend class in the first place! If you want to have the right notes or increase your chances of understanding them, it’s best to try attending as many lectures and classes as you can. Attending classes is important because it improves your retention. In addition, you should try to prepare for each class beforehand. Making yourself familiar with the subject being taught prepares your mind and ensures that you make useful notes.

*This blog post is inspired from this post on

Thursday’s Featured Vacancy – 17/04/2014

So because of the Easter bank holiday, this week’s featured vacancy is being published on Thursday instead of Friday – ooo, living on the edge!!


National Citizen Service (NCS) Summer Staff 2014

2 or 3 consecutive weeks between 30/06/2014 & 29/08/2014
£750 – £1,250 + food and accommodation during residential weeks
[Timescales and salaries are dependent upon role and responsibilities]

Riverside Recruitment are looking to recruit temporary Summer Staff to work on the NCS contract, working with a group of approximately 12 young people of different abilities and backgrounds both residentially and in the local community in North, West and South Cumbria.

Working alongside staff you will be responsible for the pastoral care, behaviour management and support needs of your allocated group of young people.  You will facilitate and support activities for NCS participants, inspiring and assisting in their personal development through the residential and community focused elements of the NCS programme.  You will accompany your group on visits to local businesses and charities and lead planning sessions to allow young people to develop voluntary projects for their own community.

This role is suitable for dynamic and confident people who are passionate about working with young people and supporting their personal development.  We would love to hear from people who can demonstrate an interest in working with young people and community action.

We are looking to recruit a large number of staff therefore before applying please ensure you would be available to attend on the following mandatory dates which are fixed:

30/06/2014 – 18/07/2014 OR
07/07/2014 – 25/07/2014 OR
21/07/2014 – 08/08/2014 OR
04/08/2014 – 18/08/2014 OR
11/08/2014 – 29/08/2014

There will also be the requirement to attend an assessment day (Saturday May 17th 2014) and a training day (Saturday May 31st 2014)

Applications can be made by contacting Jennifer Thompson by phoning 01228-590800 or by emailing

These posts are subject to an enhanced DBS Check (paid for) and 2 references

New Career Ahead templates now available!

graduation - career ahead

The Careers Team have launched a range of new templates which will allow you to easily access the Career Ahead Award.

In order to make sure that all students can easily access the Career Ahead Award and improve their career prospects, the Careers Team are creating a range of new templates which you can download and fill in in Microsoft Word. All you have to do once you have completed the relevant section of the award is to send your submission to

The Bronze Award is available to complete now – why not start your Career Ahead award today?

Be Career Ahead today for a brighter tomorrow!

The Career Ahead award is only available to current University of Cumbria students, please ensure you include your student number on your submission so we can verify your status as a student. It doesn’t matter what year you are currently in, you can work at a pace to suit you! Fit your award in around your studies and other commitments – or why not work on it over the summer?

The careers team are holding Q & A sessions on Tuesday 6 May in Carlisle and on Wednesday 7 May in Lancaster, so if you have any questions or need help completing any part of the award, come along and have a chat with the careers team!

More information about the Career Ahead Employability Award is available on the website.

Placements and UNITE with Business


A placement is a great way of making your CV stand out from the others, and you stand out from the crowd – if your course doesn’t include a mandatory placement, why not take the initiative and find one yourself?

The Careers service can help you find the right placement during your time at University. We can help you identify suitable businesses and create a CV and cover letter to support your application. Through our careers fairs and events you could also meet businesses who may offer you placement or internship opportunities.

At the University of Cumbria we also have a number of schemes where we work with businesses to create placement opportunities for a range of students from across lots of different disciplines, including UNITE with Business and the Business Placements Service (BPS). These services prepare students and graduates for the world of work by providing you with the skills and experience to make a real difference to your employer’s business from the first day you start work with them.

What is the Business Placements Service?

The University of Cumbria Business School organises undergraduate and graduate placements of between 2 to 13 weeks (part-time or full-time) in local companies in Cumbria and surrounding regions for students and graduates from any UK College or University.

What would I be expected to do?

The work would be a project based placement which will focus on a particular issue that the company has to resolve. The type of work available depends very much on the type/needs of the company. Past projects have included working on the development of websites, re-designing marketing material, streamlining working processes and undertaking research.

What would I be paid?

There is no fixed weekly allowance, companies can decide what they want to offer but we urge companies to offer an allowance that will help to attract good quality candidates.

Why should I participate?

Placements are invaluable in giving you an advantage over other students/graduates.

The experience you gain during these placements can include business specific experience using the skills you have learned during your studies as well as transferable skills such as communication, team working, time management and organisational skills amongst many others.

It also gives you a chance to try working for a particular type of company or in a particular environment before committing yourself to it in the long-term.

How do I get to hear about any vacancies?

The most important thing to do is to register your details with us to receive our weekly newsletter. You can also look at our current vacancies or search for vacancies and prospective employers through Prospects.

If you are a student at the University of Cumbria you may also be targeted directly with details of any vacancies that are relevant to your degree course. We gain this information from the University of Cumbria student database.

If you are not a University of Cumbria student or graduate, you are welcome to register your details on our database.

Who can apply?

You can apply if you are an undergraduate (any year), postgraduate or graduate of any discipline from any UK college or university. Just register your details and we will email vacancies to you.


View the current opportunities

In the meantime if you would like any help with finding a placement opportunity email and we can help!


Friday’s Featured Vacancies – 11/04/2014

Lancaster Job Opp – Receptionist – Holiday Inn


What’s your passion? Whether you’re into swimming, travelling or reading at IHG we’re interested in YOU. At IHG we employ people who apply the same amount of care and passion to their jobs as they do their hobbies – people who put our guests at the heart of everything they do. And we’re looking for more people like this to join our friendly and professional team.

Holiday Inn Lancaster currently have a vacancy for a Receptionist at Holiday Inn Lancaster.

Holiday Inn Lancaster is a modern hotel set in riverside grounds and just moments away from the M6 motorway. This 156 bed roomed hotel has a full Spirit Health Club with a heated swimming pool, the contemporary Traders restaurant and bar and 7 meeting rooms.

For more information and to apply visit:


Want to work for the BBC? Java Software Engineer – Salford

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced Java Software Engineer to work on Search and Content Discovery across all BBC websites and mobile applications.

Role Responsibility:

The successful candidate will join a team following Agile and Lean principles to deliver the services powering BBC Search. They will have input to architectural and implementation approach and be able to influence the practices followed by the team to develop the necessary software components.

The role is based in a vibrant, driven and creative environment in MediaCityUK, Salford.

Closing date: 15th April

For more information and to apply visit:

BAFTA Scholarship Programme

BAFTA has now opened applications for two of its scholarship programmes, today we have some information for you about these fantastic opportunities!bafta

First the BAFTA Scholarship Programme, which assists talented UK nationals in need of financial support to study a post-graduate course in film, television or games in the UK, is now accepting applications for the forthcoming academic year. The deadline for applications is Monday 16 June.

Each BAFTA Scholar will receive up to £10,000 towards their course fees for a year, mentoring support from BAFTA members and free access to BAFTA events around the UK.  For a second year, three of the chosen scholars will receive the Prince William Scholarship in Film, Television and Games, supported by BAFTA and Warner Bros. These scholarships are awarded in the name of HRH The Duke of Cambridge in his role as President of BAFTA. The recipients will have their fees funded by Warner Bros. and will additionally receive a short funded work placement within the Warner Bros. group of companies, access to a Warner Bros. mentor, and invitations to a series of industry masterclasses.

Further information on eligible courses and how to apply can be found here.


Second, we have opened applications for the BAFTA Yip Foundation Scholarships, which will support Hong Kong residents in need of financial assistance looking to study a postgraduate course in the UK in film, television or games.

The BAFTA Yip Foundation Scholarships will provide two permanent residents of Hong Kong with up to £20,000 towards one year’s course fees at a recognised UK institution, a £10,000 bursary for living expenses, the support of an industry mentor and free access to BAFTA events. The scholarships are part of the wider BAFTA Scholarship Programme in Hong Kong, generously supported by the Yip Foundation, which will also enable up to two UK nationals to study a postgraduate course in Hong Kong.

The BAFTA Scholarship Programme in Hong Kong is the latest addition to BAFTA’s established scholarship programmes in the UK and the US for those in need of financial assistance, and is designed to support UK-Asia cross-cultural exchange. Further information on eligible courses and how to apply can be found here. The deadline for applications is Monday 9 June.

If you have any questions about either of these BAFTA scholarship programmes please email

The long and winding road to success


Running your own business can be difficult, especially with juggling University studies, but it is also rewarding as well. It is your own personal thing which gives you an outlet for your creativity and normally it is something you enjoy. I have my own proofreading business and it is something that is quite close to me as I really enjoy it.

Often people are put off from starting their own business because they fear that it may not be as successful as they want it to be. This may be the case, but how do you know unless you have tried? I had some doubts originally about my business but as I had been doing proofreading informally for quite a long time (since I was 15) and I decided that I wanted to put my skills to good use in a paid capacity. That is how a lot of businesses start as people realise they have a talent and want to make money out of it. Admittedly the money is a bonus, but proofreading means much more to me, it is an outlet for my abilities and I learn new things simultaneously.

Maybe being a proofreader is not everyone’s cup of tea but I enjoy it and if you want to start your own business then enjoyment should be a key factor in deciding what your business should offer. If you derive satisfaction from what you do, then it can keep you going through lean periods and help you through setbacks. There have been times when things have got too much for me, perhaps when I have had too much or not enough work but I have kept going. Why? The simple answer is because I enjoy it and I know that it is going to enhance my future prospects. As well as looking good on my CV and contributing to my educational practice, it will bring me a modicum of financial stability. I might not make much at the moment (for instance I only charge £2.50 per 1,000 words of each piece of work I proofread) but the amount that I make is gradually increasing as I get more clients and news spreads of my ability.

It might be a cliché, but patience really is a virtue and it is a quality that you need to have in life in general, never mind in running your own business. Naturally, resilience and an ability to respond to adversity are necessary qualities to have in business. You need to keep going when times are hard ad accept rejection. This has happened to me countless times as people have told me they don’t need a proofreader or doubted my abilities. Convincing people to let you offer them a service can be challenging but often it gets easier once you get your first client as you get more people through word of mouth. I would say that I have been moderately successful so far- I have proofread quite a lot of essays and proofread for an agency at Masters and PHD level but there are definitely things I can improve on. However, I have only just started out in my business, things take time and I am much further on upon founding my business.

Diversification and flexibility are also good assets to have. I proofread a wide variety of work on any topic including: essays, dissertations, job applications, CVs and personal statements. Furthermore, the work I proofread ranges from sixth form level to complex PHD theses. I have targeted many streams of advertising and been proactive in trying to get my business out there. I have put posters up in University, Libraries, Cafes, Hairdressers and Community centres, contacted publishers and newspapers, done Facebook campaigns (I have my own page for my business which is called Efficient Editing check it out!), told my friends about it and asked for advice from everyone I know.  I am also flexible in meeting tight deadlines and can proofread work for the next day if required. Running your own business definitely needs creativity!

Outside of my business, I have also been flexible in the ways I make money. My mates call me a ‘One man Industry’. I write, proofread, take photos, model, do online surveys, tutor, participate in focus groups, post on social revenue sharing sites, give financial advice… you name it, I do it! In all seriousness though, that is a sure-fire way to make money by doing a lot of different things.

In conclusion, I would always tell anyone to go for it and just start their own business. If you want to do it, just do it! Life’s too short and you will never know unless you try. There are so many positive to having your own business- you never know where it might go.


Sam has his own proofreading business. He charges £2.50 per 1,000 words. He can help with style and content as well as grammatical and formatting issues. Sam has proofread for 6 years and has looked at pieces of work from Undergraduate to PHD level as well as examining CVs, job applications and personal statements. The business has its own Facebook page ‘Efficient Editing’ which you can contact Sam through. You can also get in touch with Sam by emailing him at Sam is currently on track for a first in his secondary maths teaching degree, where the lowest mark he has achieved is 65.        


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