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PAL Central: Study Skills - Time Management

An online hub of guidance and resources for our PAL Leaders and their Level 4 students.

Expectations and Contacts

Expectations of you as a PAL Leader delivering a study skills themed PAL session:

  • PAL Leaders are not expected to / are not supposed to be teaching any study skills. Please leave that responsibility to BU Academics and Professional Support Staff. However PAL Leaders should be able to use facilitation techniques to deliver sessions with a study skills theme; empowering students to discover, share and learn.
  • All study skills are useful for any student - your PAL group just may not realise it yet, especially during their first semester, so your encouragement will be needed!
  • It's well worth spending time exploring the Brightspace Study Skills area, for your benefit, and, so you can signpost students to the most relevant information.
  • It's likely students will be unsure and seek reassurance, so if you receive lots of questions, always consistently set boundaries and use the re-directing questions facilitation technique. Remind your PAL group it's not your role to teach and signpost to academics and BU Support Services. You may of course share your experiences as a first year student and empathise, but do not teach or take away a long list of questions that you'll find out for students - it's very important students learn to find and figure out answers for themselves.

Key Study Skills Contacts & Resources:​​​

  • BU Academics can be contacted and students can request a 1-2-1 meeting to discuss skills development, progress or concerns with their course, units and assignments.
  • BU Librarians have created a range of Study Skills Guides (also accessible via the Brightspace Study Skills area). We encourage you and your PAL students to use these whether you are sign-posting your PAL group to them, or, using them to prepare and shape the PAL sessions you facilitate.
  • You can also help promote the Library's Study Skills Workshops.
  • Faculty of Media and Communications PAL Leaders can sign-post your PAL students to the FMC Learning Development Team (based in WG08 Talbot Campus, email to make an appointment: 
  • Faculty of Health and Social Sciences PAL Leaders can sign-post your students to the HSS Educational Development Tutor Mike Knight (based in B228 Lansdowne Campus, email to make an appointment:

Time Management

Ideas to include this in your PAL session:

  • You may use your PAL Leader print credit to make copies of the PDF handouts below.

1. Week Planner handout (PDF link below):

  • This is a template sheet to help students consider their time. Encourage students to think about, discuss and share how they fit university study (lectures, seminars, researching, reading etc.) in around their lives (social, work, family etc.).
  • Students could use this handout to reflect on time spent during a previous week - learning exactly where their time is going and identify areas where it's being under used or wasted. Or, students could use this handout to plan a week ahead. Instruct students to really break down the details of what they do and when; it's important to factor in sleeping, eating, study breaks, hobbies, leisure and wellbeing activities. Some first year students may commit themselves to many extra-curricular activities (e.g. SUBU societies / sports) without realising they're leaving far too little time and are reducing their energy to study a full-time course.
  • Planning a weekly routine and structure with the handout may really help focus energy. Using a monthly wall planner could also help - plotting in assignment deadlines, then figuring out how to manage time leading up to them.

2. Dealing with distractions handout (PDF link below):

  • Provides hints and tips - a good handout to generate individual reflection and pair / group discussion.

3. Breaking bad habits handout (PDF link below):

  • Instructs students to think about their challenges with time management and how to change poor habits.
  • An example activity where using the think, pair, share facilitation technique will work well.

Facilitation Techniques & Activity Ideas

Use the Facilitation Techniques and Activity Ideas & Strategies pages of this guide for inspiration and further help to prepare and deliver your PAL sessions.