The Academic Writing Skills Programme

If you're a member of staff, this page should answer most of your questions about how this affects your students. They will be invited to take part in the AWSP by email at the relevant time, as agreed at School / College level, by staff in SLD.

If your students have any questions about AWSP, you can direct them to the student-facing version of this information.

What is it?

Helpful for improving your writing skills and for understanding what is expected of university students. - previous AWSP student

The Academic Writing Skills Programme (AWSP) is a writing diagnostic that allows and encourages students to adapt to writing practices within the University of Glasgow. The AWSP is designed to be an informative and supportive mechanism that allows students to receive feedback on their written work at the point in their degree when accurate and correct written grammar and style most matter.

Specifically, the AWSP consists of a range of writing and grammar advice materials (covering topics ranging from elements of style and punctuation, through information on plagiarism and academic integrity, to wider details on structure and argumentation) and then a range of multiple-choice questions on grammar, academic integrity and the research process.

Students submit answers to the multiple-choice questions via Moodle. Students receive immediate feedback that guides them in the key principles of academic writing and academic research, and can work through the material as many times as they like.

Overall, it was a good course. It felt like a mini or condensed writing course. - previous AWSP student

Students are then offered a variety of progression options. Some students will be advised to attend the open classes run by SLD on an optional basis; certain students will be advised to complete an online writing course (hosted via Moodle); other students will be offered a range of small workshops and one-to-one meetings to improve their writing and research skills. This range of provision allows for targeted provision in student academic writing development.

When does it take place?

I'm surprised this has been the most enjoyable class I've been to in the last six weeks I've been at uni! - previous AWSP student

There are a number of iterations of the AWSP running throughout the academic year. Students are divided into groups based on College/subject area; each College/subject area’s student cohort completes the AWSP at a pre-determined slot throughout the academic year. (The AWSP runs once in Semester 1, again in Semester 2, and once in May.)

Students are given an hour and ten minutes to complete the online assignment element of the AWSP. The classes run at a variety of times after the completion of the essay submissions, and students are able to pick a class time that best suits their timetable.

Staff and students will be informed well in advance of the submission deadlines for their College/subject area.

What's the rationale behind it?

Compact, clear, concise. Everything was explained clearly. - previous AWSP student

The AWSP provides students with the opportunity to reflect on, and develop, their writing in advance of submission of assessed coursework. With a focus on development and enhancement of academic literacies amongst students, the AWSP aims to enhance students’ success and graduate attributes.

Specifically, the AWSP works to target:

  • student retention and success (through providing timely feedback and opportunity to check knowledge, alongside a range of materials and writing development information, that allows students the opportunity to engage with the requirements of University writing at an early stage)

Everything was clear. Amazing lecturer! Not time-consuming. - previous AWSP student

  • academic practice, integrity and issues of plagiarism (through providing centralised, clear information on the key components of academic integrity, referencing and plagiarism)
  • graduate attributes (through encouraging effective, clear communication and promotion of student ability to 'defend their ideas in dialogue with peers and challenge disciplinary assumptions' (University of Glasgow Graduate Attributes Matrix))
  • enhanced institutional reputation (through innovative use of blended and online resourcing and teaching to deliver specific and tailored writing development for all students)

Frequently Asked Questions

How do my students enrol onto the AWSP?

They'll receive an email well in advance of their AWSP session with instructions on how to begin the AWSP. This email will give them instructions on the Moodle course and dates/deadlines for submission of the Programme. (They do not need to enrol themselves onto the AWSP on MyGlasgow.) 

AWSP has a flexible deadline policy; students can choose to submit at any point before the deadline, and can move their deadline around within the semester to best fit their timetables.

When do my students take part in the AWSP?

All undergraduate and postgraduate-taught students in all four colleges take part in the AWSP in Semester 1. This includes students in the School of Social & Environmental Sustainability at our Dumfries Campus, as well as Online and Distance Learning Students. 

Postgraduate-taught students who start their degree after September will take part in AWSP in January. 


How do my students access the AWSP?

The link to their specific AWSP Moodle will be emailed to them. They must log into the relevant Moodle site to access and complete the AWSP. This is also available on their Moodle dashboard.

How long does the AWSP take to complete?

Students can work through the materials at their own pace and in their own time. Working through the asynchronous course material is optional, but strongly encouraged (the end assignment will ask questions about material covered in the asynchronous course material).

The assignment itself will take a maximum of 70 minutes, though in practice should take roughly 20-30 minutes to complete. Students have an unlimited number of attempts to achieve the pass mark (80% correct).


Do my students have to take part in the AWSP / can they opt out of the AWSP?

All incoming undergraduate and postgraduate taught students take part in the AWSP; this is a condition of student registration with the University of Glasgow.

Students complete AWSP by achieving 80% or higher pass mark on the AWSP assignment.

I have online students; do they still have to take part in the AWSP?

Yes, AWSP is completed online via Moodle. Any follow-up work after the exercise can be completed through an online writing course, and online students are very welcome to make Zoom/Teams appointments with the relevant Effective Learning Adviser.

Can my students take the AWSP in an alternative format?

Yes, absolutely. If they require a different format for their AWSP submission, please email us at Students are informed to get in touch before submitting any work so that we can put any adjustments in place.

Why do my students have to do the AWSP?

The AWSP is unique to Glasgow. As such, it allows your students to engage with Glasgow-specific writing processes and practices before their grades are affected. The AWSP is a positive opportunity for your students to receive specific, tailored feedback on their writing without it impacting on any final grades. All incoming undergraduate and postgraduate taught students should complete AWSP; this completion will be recorded on student transcripts.

What about after the AWSP? How do my students keep improving their writing?

SLD work with students all year round, and at all levels, to continually improve their academic work and their academic writing. Your students are welcome to attend any of our classes or book a one-to-one appointment with us. Information on everything can be found at

I still have questions!

Email us at

The AWSP co-ordinator is Dr Andrew Struan (Head of Student Learning Development).