The Academic Writing Skills Programme

If you're a student, this page should answer most of your questions. You will be invited to take part in the AWSP by email in Week 2 of Semester 1.

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 course designed to allow you to get the most out of your academic writing.

University-level writing in the United Kingdom is very different from writing at school or college or in other countries and, as a result, the AWSP gives you the opportunity (without worrying about grades) to receive specific feedback and guidance on how we expect you to write at the University of Glasgow.

Run by us here in Student Learning Development (SLD), the AWSP is unique to the University of Glasgow.

Through completion of an online course and a multiple-choice assignment the AWSP lets you see the ways in which your writing matches what your markers will be looking for in assessments, and provides you with feedback on ways to improve your work.


What does it involve?

The AWSP has two different elements:

  • An online course, specific and tailored to your subject area, that takes you through three key areas for academic success:
    • Academic/scientific tone and style, and grammar
    • Academic integrity and plagiarism
    • The reading and research process
  • An online multiple choice assignment
    • You have 70 minutes to answer a range of questions, based on the three topics from the course
    • The pass mark is 80% correct
    • You have an unlimited number of attempts to achieve the pass mark, and you'll receive immediate feedback on what you did right or wrong on each question

You can then choose to attend our lectures, our workshops, or attend a confidential one-to-one appointment to learn more about academic writing, conducting research for your submissions, and your other forms of assessment.

Students consistently review our classes as being excellent and informative.

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

'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

It's rare to get the chance to talk in-depth about your writing, and about what we expect at the University of Glasgow from your writing, and so students value the one-to-one contact with our staff.

How do I do it?

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

All undergraduate and postgraduate taught students will be invited to complete AWSP in Semester 1 of the new academic year. For students starting in January, you will be invited to complete the AWSP when you begin your degree. You must complete it during the session to which you have been assigned.

You will be emailed with a link to the Moodle page for the AWSP at the appropriate time during the academic year. You will be enrolled on the course prior to receiving the course link.

Once on the Moodle page, you'll see all the information is available there to work through and complete the AWSP assignment.

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

All of the key information on the assignment is here, but you are told that:

  • You have one hour and ten minutes to complete the diagnostic (Moodle automatically times this, and provides a countdown timer in the top-right of the screen once the assignment has started)
  • The pass mark is 80% correct on the multiple choice assignment
  • You have an unlimited number of attempts to achieve the 80% pass mark
  • You have a flexible deadline, and can pick one of three deadline options via Moodle
  • If you require to submit in an alternative format, please email us at

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I enrol onto the AWSP?

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

When do I take part in the AWSP?

All undergraduate and postgraduate taught students in all four colleges (Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences, MVLS, and Science & Engineering) 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 I access my AWSP?

The link to your specific AWSP Moodle will be emailed to you. You must log into the relevant Moodle site to access and complete the AWSP. It will also be available on your Moodle Dashboard.

How long does the AWSP take to complete?

You can work through the online course at any point and at your own pace. It will remain there and open for you throughout the semester.

The assignment itself will take a maximum of 70 minutes, but should take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. You can complete the assignment an unlimited number of times without it affecting your final result: you will be assessed on your highest grade.



Do I have to take part in the AWSP / can I opt out of the AWSP?

All undergraduate and postgraduate taught students take part in the AWSP. Completion of AWSP is part of your conditions of Registration at the University of Glasgow.

If you are a returning undergraduate/postgraduate taught student who has already completed AWSP, you do not need to re-do the course (and will be automatically exempted). 

We cannot accept any prior work for AWSP; the completion of the assignment is necessary to complete AWSP. 


I am an online student; do I still have to take part in the AWSP?

Yes, the 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 online appointments with the relevant Effective Learning Adviser.

Can I take the AWSP in an alternative format?

Yes, absolutely. If you require a different format for your AWSP submission, please email us before you complete the assignment at

Why do students have to do the AWSP?

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

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

SLD work with students all year round, and at all levels, to continually improve their academic work and their academic writing. You 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

If you would prefer to access the diagnostic in a different format, or if you have any special requirements that you think we should know about, please get in touch.