21st Sep '21

Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills

There are 6 key skills that you should aim to develop while you are studying:

Independent enquirers

Independent enquirers can:

  • identify questions to answer and problems to resolve
  • plan and carry out research, appreciating the consequences of decisions
  • explore issues, events or problems from different perspectives
  • analyse and evaluate information, judging its relevance and value
  • consider the influence of circumstances, beliefs and feelings on decisions and events
  • support conclusions, using reasoned arguments and evidence.

Creative Thinkers

Creative thinkers can:

  • generate ideas and explore possibilities
  • ask questions to extend their thinking
  • connect their own and others’ ideas and experiences in inventive ways
  • question their own and others’ assumptions
  • try out alternatives or new solutions and follow ideas through
  • adapt ideas as circumstances change.

Reflective Learners

Reflective learners can:

  • assess themselves and others, identifying opportunities and achievements
  • set goals with success criteria for their development and work
  • review progress, acting on the outcomes
  • invite feedback and deal positively with praise, setbacks and criticism
  • evaluate experiences and learning to inform future progress
  • communicate their learning in relevant ways for different audiences.

Team Workers

Team workers can:

  • collaborate with others to work towards common goals
  • reach agreements, managing discussions to achieve results
  • adapt behaviour to suit different roles and situations, including leadership roles
  • show fairness and consideration to others
  • take responsibility, showing confidence in themselves and their contribution
  • provide constructive support and feedback to others.


Self-managers can:

  • seek out challenges or new responsibilities and show flexibility when priorities change
  • work towards goals, showing initiative, commitment and perseverance
  • organise time and resources, prioritising actions
  • anticipate, take and manage risks
  • deal with competing pressures, including personal and work-related demands
  • respond positively to change, seeking advice and support when needed
  • manage their emotions, and build and maintain relationships.

Effective Participators

Effective participators can:

  • discuss issues of concern, seeking resolution where needed
  • present a persuasive case for action
  • propose practical ways forward, breaking these down into manageable steps
  • identify improvements that would benefit others as well as themselves
  • try to influence others, negotiating and balancing diverse views to reach workable solutions
  • act as an advocate for views and beliefs that may differ from their own.