‘It all just clicked’: a longitudinal perspective on transitions within university

Hazel Christie, Evelyn Tett, Viviene E. Cree, Velda McCune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the transitions that a group of students, admitted from further education colleges as part of broader widening access initiative at a Scottish research-intensive university, made across the lifetime of their degrees. It investigates how they negotiate their learning careers beyond the first year, and how they (re)define their approaches to independent learning as they progress to the later years of their courses. Evidence is drawn from 20 students who were interviewed during each of their three or four years of study to provide a longitudinal account of their experiences of engagement and participation at the university. We draw attention to three ways in which the students made transitions across the course of their degrees: to increased knowledge of the conventions of academic writing; to enhanced critical skills; and to practical strategies to prioritise learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478-490
Number of pages13
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number3
Early online date2 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2016


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