UG1 students eligible for 2 bookings per semester

Until today, first-year undergraduates have had one appointment per semester. We’re pleased to announce that this limit has been raised to two appointments per semester. UG2-4 and PG students can continue to book two appointments per month.

Peer proofreading through EUSA

Great news: EUSA is arranging peer proofreading again. The service is back until 29 July 2022 (except for a break from 25 March 2022 until 25 April 2022). You can bring in one piece of text (<=2000 words) per semester. This service is completely complementary to what we do at the Skills Centre, so I’d suggest booking both services if you can use the help.

Intermediate Python and Learn-What-You-Like

Alisdair Tullo will be holding several new programming courses from later this month. If you’re interested, please see the links below:

Intermediate Python

  • For those who have completed a Python course for beginners or written a Python program for themselves before
  • Looks at a range of topics such as text analysis, plotting, and working with numerical and tabular data
  • Wednesdays (9:00-10:50) starting 26th January in Lister Center 1.16
  • Details and booking:

Computer Programming Learn-What-You-Like

  • For tutor-supported self-study
  • Choose from a range of suggestions or find your own programming materials to study. We’ll be there when you need help!
  • Recommendations are available for everyone from complete beginners to experienced programmers.
  • Fridays (9:00-10:50) starting 28th January in Appleton Tower 4.02
  • Details and booking:

Digital Skills Festival Recordings

Back in May 2021, the University of Edinburgh held its first Digital Skills Festival. There were a number of presentations and workshops that would be of interest to students and researchers in PPLS (e.g., Library Bitesize, Managing Your References, etc.).

For those who missed out, there’s good news: many of these events were recorded for posterity. Visit to see what’s available.

Code Dojo

Have you got past the first stage in programming? Do you want to improve? Consider attending Alisdair Tullo‘s Code Dojo on 18 August 2021 (13:30-16:30) (click to sign up). You’ll work in teams to solve coding challenges. The default language is Python, but you can agree to work in another language with your teammates. The event will be hosted in Microsoft Teams (a link will be sent to everyone who registers).

First-year writing appointments

The PPLS Skills Centre has a new offering for first-year undergraduates. Traditionally, we’ve been focused on helping students in years 2 and up, but in 2021/22 we will provide one writing appointment per semester to students taking our first-year courses as well. You can use your appointment to discuss any essay you are writing for the following courses:

Semester 1

  • Introduction to Cognitive Science
  • Linguistics and English Language 1A
  • Morality and Value
  • Philosophy of Science 1
  • Psychology 1A

Semester 2

  • Greats: From Plato to the Enlightenment
  • Linguistics and English Language 1B
  • Psychology 1B

We won’t proofread your work or help you with content. Rather, our goal is to help you communicate more effectively. We will let you know if parts of your writing are confusing for your readers and will work with you on finding ways to make things better. For more information, please see “1-on-1 appointments” at

CVs and Academic Websites

On April 14th, Dr Itamar Kastner will be holding a workshop aimed at PhD students in MGRG. It will be about getting CVs and academic websites ready. If you’ve got something already (even if it’s just a draft), you can bring it along for discussion. But it’s fine to come just to talk — no preparation is required. The workshop will be held on the MGRG Skills Workshop team in Microsoft Teams. If you’re in MGRG but have not joined that team, please send Itamar a message.

PhD/PGR Online Writing Retreats

It might surprise you at first that writing retreats have moved online. After all, some of the key benefits of in-person retreats (the provision of a quiet space & various delivery vehicles for caffeine) are no longer relevant when you’re sitting in your own room.

But there are good reasons to give online retreats a try. There’s the camaraderie, of course, but also externally imposed structure. You might be less likely to wander off to check the news if you know that other people will see you.

If you’re interested in attending, consider signing up for a session. There are two retreats held by the Institute for Academic Development on Nov 16th and 27th. There are also regular sessions every Monday and Friday held by Dr Mirjam Eiswirth, who worked for the PPLS Skills/Writing Centre for four years before moving to the University of Duisburg-Essen. She has held over 150 hours so far this year!

Both of these sessions are aimed at PGR and PhD students. Postdocs and other staff are welcome, too.