Writing skills and referencing resources
LSHTM has developed a package of materials to help you develop your academic English writing skills* prior to progressing with your intensive MSc and research degree or distance learning programme. This will be particularly important in essay-based modules and exams, and for your research project report. The materials include an online interactive self-assessment exercise which provides you with immediate feedback and links to further support available on external websites.
LSHTM also has an academic writing handbook* giving general guidance about how to write in the 'academic style' LSHTM expects, which is relevant to all students. The Library & Archives Service maintain an academic writing bundle with many useful links to aid you with any academic writing such as tips on planning, structure, style and composition.
Maths and numeracy skills
LSHTM has developed a package of materials to help you refresh your basic maths skills* prior to progressing with your intensive MSc and research degree or distance learning programme. Many modules will contatin basic mathematical content, particularly modules with 'statistics' or 'epidemiology' in the title. The materials include an online interactive self-assessment exercise which provides you with immediate feedback, PowerPoint slides and a Word document of notes, exercises and solutions.
You may also find the links below useful:
- Math Tutor - UK-based site with video tutorials on more than eighty topics, including diagnostics, summary text and exercises (with those on arithmetic and algebra of most relevance for the majority of LSHTM MSc students)
- The Math Forum@Drexel University - a good source to find online links to a number of topics
- Maths Online
- S-Cool A Level - includes a useful statistics section under The Basics
- S-Cool GCSE - useful for indices, percentages, approximations, graphs, representing data, probability & calculators
- BBC Maths GCSE Bitesize - useful for basic algebra and number (rounding & fractions)
- BBC Maths Key Stage 3 Bitesize - useful for formulae and rounding off
Statistics and epidemiology skills
All LSHTM students will receive formal teaching on statistics and epidemiology, if these are required components of the programme. As pre-course reading, you may find the following book helpful:
- Rowntree D. Statistics without Tears: An Introduction for Non-Mathematicians. Penguin Books Ltd, England; 2000. ISBN-13: 978-0140136326
In addition, Professor Hans Rosling (co-founder of the Gapminder Institute), provides an interesting and useful one hour long video on "The Joy of Stats". If you are unable to watch the full video but would like to view, listen to, or read the transcript of the most relevant extracts for your programme, there is a compilation on the Open University website. The four extracted mini videos (3-5 minutes each) of most relevance for LSHTM students are:
- The Joy Of Stats: 200 countries, 200 years, 4 minutes
- The Joy Of Stats: Above average
- The Joy Of Stats: The Lady with a Data Visualisation
- The Joy Of Stats: Meaningless and meaningful correlations
In addition, there is a useful 3-4 minute introduction to 'statistical distributions' starting 20 minutes into the full video, which would be best viewed after 'The Joy Of Stats: Above average' but before 'The Joy Of Stats: The Lady With A Data Visualisation'.
Information skills: the library and literature searching
Library & Archives Service
The Library provides access to a wide range of resources and services to support your studies, including print books and journals, e-books, e-journals and databases for literature searching. Full details are available on our library resources page. If you have any questions about Library services, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Library staff also provide training and support for staff and students undertaking literature searching. Contact email@example.com for more information.
The Library provides training, guidance and support to help you to conduct effective literature searches for module assignments and for your project report. Intensive MSc and research degree and distance learning students should access the literature search help pages on our intranet for guidance on each step of the literature search process, including video guides.
There are IT training materials to help guide you in the use of Microsoft Office applications (such as Word and Excel), bibliography database/reference manager applications, and in using the internet.
The Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team provide dedicated Learning Technologist instruction through weekly, online digital workshops to improve digital awareness and confidence on the technological tools and techniques that may enhance study practices whilst at LSHTM, which may also be transferable to the world of work. Students will need to register for all digital workshops through individual session web-links within an interactive leaflet with more information on our Moodle pages.
General study skills
- Online Academic Skills (University of Surrey) - a very comprehensive site looking at study skills, academic integrity and avoiding plagiarism, copyright, writing skills, researcher training, methods, information literacy, innovation, IT training, numeracy and statistics and data interpretation
- Study Skills (University of Leeds) - useful information on exam skills, writing skills, group work, voice presentation, listening skills, finding journals online etc.
- The Memory Page - extremely useful, a large amount of information is given & is easily located, includes tutorials, tip & tricks, further reading & study and activities
- Time Management Strategies for Improving Academic Performance (Virginia Tech) - includes a quiz to assess your time management skills
- The University of Leicester has a wealth of information on delivering better presentations, including an On-line Educational Resource (OER) on Presentation Skills and a useful video giving a quick summary of key skills for giving presentations
- The Seven Steps of the Research Process (Cornell University Library) - useful for literature reviews
Using the Internet
Library staff can provide advice on using web search engines to locate information on your research and study topics. You might find the following link useful:
- Evaluating Internet Health Information tutorial (US National Library of Medicine)
In addition, the following more general links might also prove useful as well:
- Evaluating Web Pages: How and Why (UC Berkeley Library) - some good notes on assessing the quality of a web page and tips on effective internet searches
- Google Help Cheat Sheet - Google search tips
Science study skills
- Instructions to Authors in the Health Sciences (Raymon H Mulford Library/ University of Toledo, Health Science Campus) - easy & comprehensive instructions for authors
Research degree study skills
- Writing & Presenting your Thesis or Dissertation (Michigan State University) - from an American perspective so needs adapting to British situation. Includes some useful hints for the different stages of your PhD
- How to Write a PhD Thesis (University of New South Wales) also available in French, Italian & Spanish
*These study skills materials have been developed by staff of LSHTM specifically for LSHTM MSc students (and tailored to their needs), with copyright held by LSHTM. Those outside of LSHTM may also find a selection of these materials to be of some interest. The sharing of these LSHTM study skills materials is covered by the following creative commons licence