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University of Leeds

Critical Thinking at University: An Introduction

University of Leeds via FutureLearn


Make sure you have the critical thinking skills required for university

Critical thinking is a vital skill at university and later in life. University study introduces you to new concepts, ways of learning and requires you to think critically. You need to know how to question information sources and how to evaluate different arguments.

Despite critical thinking being so important, students are often unprepared when they start their studies. This course will show you what critical thinking skills you need at university level, how they can be applied to different disciplines and how to use practical strategies to develop these skills for a successful academic life.

This course has been ranked as one of the best online courses of all time by online course aggregator class central.

This course is for anyone preparing to study at university level or for current university students. You may be an undergraduate or a new taught postgraduate student who might be unfamiliar with studying in the UK. If you want to have a successful academic life, this course will give you the foundations whatever your discipline at university.

Critical thinking skills are also valued later life by employers, so if you want to refresh your skills, this practical online course is for you.

The course is part of the academic skills courses portfolio at the University of Leeds aiming to improve skills required for academic study.

Taught by

Jiani Liu and Michelle Schneider


4.8 rating, based on 142 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Critical Thinking at University: An Introduction

  • Gives a good overview over what Critical Thinking is, what is expected from a Critical Thinker, and how Critical Thinking is split into three stages. This is a good introduction for a beginner. However, I wish there were more exercises in order to practise our Critical Thinking skills.
  • Thanks to this practical course, I have a better grasp of what critical thinking is. Before I took this course, my approach to critical thinking was to ask questions whatever came up to me. However, this introductory course gave me a more structured approach....
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Course was informative, I found it useful as it taught me how to be a critical thinker which will be useful for my university life plus it transferable too. I would recommend this course as to any one going to university as it help you to critique article and how to not get overwhelmed with information that out there. Try it you won't be disappointed.
  • Naser Aldhawi completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    The Course valuable with useful information and preparing students for the university to enhance critically knowledge and building new educational life for a better future the Course well building and giving examples from real life
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I think this course is really useful, especially for beginners. It introduces the concepts of critical thinking in the first week and then provides more examples and exercises for learners to get an idea of what they mean theoretically in the first week, enabling learners to have a go with it and understand the strategies better:) Hope the course can contain more sample responses, which can further help beginners to briefly understand what a good critical thinking looks like. Also, more exercises will be certainly helpful:)
  • Anonymous
    This is an excellent course. I think it is aimed mainly at undergraduates, but there is plenty of useful information for Masters students and PhD researchers, particularly those who have been away from academia for a while. The exercises and mini assignments provide helpful opportunities to practise the skills taught on the course. As a postgraduate, some of this was familiar to me, but I definitely identified weaknesses in my own ability to think critically and acquired new skills to make me a more effective researcher. In other words, I needed to 'up my game' and this course has given me the tools to do so.
  • Martin Nelson
    This is a well-presented course. It defines and discusses the issues involved in critical thinking by giving examples and short questionnaires. It raises awareness of the importance of critical thinking in assessing any information, especially for a university student. What is learned here is applicable to every piece of information from an article in a newspaper to one in a learned journal.
  • Anonymous
    A clear and comprehensive introduction to critical thinking, which breaks the topic down into its constituent parts and encourages students to practice recognising criticality and to reflect on both the gaps in their own practice and the strategies that they could use to build the skills they need.
  • Anonymous
    I enjoyed the course, but as a student I am in the middle of writing two essays and a research project so I do not have time to write another essay on Critical Thinking, so I did not do this part of the course. I did find the majority of the course very useful.
  • Anonymous
    This really is a fantastic course it takes you through from explaining what is critical thinking and how in a step by step way giving the skills to know the best way to do it.

    With examples and tips on how to get better, there are also some great links within the materials for you to get more practice.

    Would thoroughly recommend.
  • Anonymous
    very challenging and engaging subject as well as course material was very good at being presented the quizzes are helpful and it helps me take a look at myself in some closer aspects
  • Anonymous
    It was an educative course. I learnt how to be a critical thinker and overcome the challenges I had with thinking critically. I encourage you to join in and improve your skills
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course, and you shouldn't miss it. I learned a lot from this course. Many thanks for the tutors from university of leeds who produced this valuable course.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    A very helpful course - I'd say it took me a bit more than the 4 hours a week to complete, but it is what you make it as well I think. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for some support in their first weeks at university, or anyone like me who just wishes to improve their personal critical thinking skills.
  • Anonymous
    Very helpful revision to consolidate my understanding. Very clear with good examples. I would recommend ir
  • Anonymous
    I now have a better understanding of what critical thinking is and how to develop my critical thinking skills. this is very helpful as I can now make meaningful contributions during academic meetings.

    FLORENCE MACDONALD (M.L.E (SM) completed this course.

    Greetings !! Thanks to Future Learn and to the University of Leeds and your respective team members.
    Thank you Ms Jiani and Ms Michelle for showing me the way and for walking along with me in the journey of learning Critical Thinking. I have no words . but say I am grateful to you for the structured course, the relevant topics, and the professional manner it was done. This is a give in for University of Leeds and I am glad to learn from such professionals from such an elite University of Leeds.
    Kind regards,
    Florence MacDonald
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    As a matter of fact, critical thinking is [was] a whole new concept to me. Since I'm new to it, it made learning a bit difficult.

    The course itself is great. It has opened me to see the enormous possiblity of learning new things and learning them deeply.

    I highly recommend the course to all and sundry, whether you are 7 or 70 yrs, whether a teacher or plumber, a student or not.

    Thanks to Leeds Uni and FutureLearn for this programme.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    This course has further developed my understanding of critical thinking. In addition, it has made me mindful of the challenges that can affect this ever-so-significant skill, and by providing the various ways in which these can be dealt with, this course has made me more aware of the solutions that can be implemented to achieve a higher level of critical thinking. In fact, I will be employing many of these.
  • Anonymous
    This online free course has been an invaluable tool. As a returning student i wish i had had access to it sooner and would highly recommend it for students looking to start their undergraduate. The course is a mixture of reading and video material and...

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