Managing academic problems, and study strategy

Struggling with your studies?

Many students experience problems with studying at some point. Difficulties in other areas of life can make it hard to focus, and sometimes the studying itself can feel challenging. 

Knowing who to speak to or what you need to do can help. Find out what help is available with academic issues.  Find out what support is available to you if you are studying away. We also offer groups and workshops to help.

If your education has been significantly disrupted through health or personal problems you may need support with extenuating circumstances.

Digital resources


  • Go Conqr to help you study, including mind maps, flowcharts and flashcards as well as quizzes to test your knowledge.
  • Headspace to help with meditation
  • Self Control app to help you stop you from getting distracted on the web when working.

Videos/films talks

Podcasts/audio downloads

The Mental Health Foundation has a range of wellbeing podcasts to help you manage stress and improve wellbeing.

Online courses

Futurelearn provide free online mindfulness courses for wellbeing and peak performance.

Blogs and vlogs

The Thesis Whisperer is a blog for research students.



  • Buzan, T. (2010). 'Use Your Head'. BBC Consumer publishing.
  • Perry, A. (2002). 'Isn’t it about time? How to overcome procrastination and get on with your life'. Worth Publishing.
  • Macfarlane, A., McPherson, A. (1994). 'Fresher Pressure: How to Survive as a Student'. Oxford Paperbacks.
  • Tracy, E (2006). 'The Student's Guide to Exam Success'. Open University Press.

Support groups (online and face-to-face)

  • We offer a range of groups and workshops that can be helpful to students having problems with their studies.
  • Our Study Skills provide study skills sessions and drop-ins. Free skills training workshops are also run by a number of departments across the University.
  • Big White Wall is an online supportive community with self-help courses. You can access this for free for six months as a Bristol University student.


  • Nightline is a confidential helpline run by students for students  Tel: +44 (0) 117 9266 266.
  • Bristol Mindline provide emotional support. Tel: 0808 808 0330.
  • Samaritans offer 24-hour emotional support. Tel: 116 123.
  • Nightline: call this dedicated phoneline for advice and a listening ear during the night. Students run this service. 
    Tel: +44 (0)117 926 6266. Open 8pm to 8am , Monday to Friday, term time.

Professional support

If the problems you’re experiencing are having a big impact on your life then you may wish to have a consultation with your doctor to discuss possible ways forward.

Other support and services

There are a number of other counselling services in Bristol who can help you. They are free or low cost.

Our Health and Wellbeing pages offer support and advice on all aspects of life as a student. 

Big White Wall

Big White Wall helps you to get support, take control and feel better when you are anxious, low or not coping.

The online service is free, available 24/7 and completely anonymous.

  • Chat to other members who may be experiencing the same things as you
  • Access a range of tools to help you self-manage
  • Set goals and track progress
  • Access articles, videos and online courses.

Use Big White Wall

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