a doodle of a lightbulb
level of study Level 1, 2, 3, Master's and PhD level
time taken to complete Approximately 10 hours

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This course will develop your skills in this essential area of academic life by giving you frameworks for critically evaluating work and identifying bias as well as experience of analysing arguments, skills which are central to academic assignments across all disciplines.

This E-Learning course is also available as a taught course during term time. Find out more on the information page for the live version of the course.

Information: Modules that carry the AS- code are non-credit bearing modules. This means that successful completion of these modules by attending 80% of the course, will appear on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR).


This is a self-study version of the Centre for Academic Success Critical Thinking course. This course covers the same content as the Zoom and classroom based versions of the Critical Thinking course; however, there are no face-to-face sessions and the content is covered through videos, articles and Canvas quizzes. This means you can complete the course in your own time. The course is made up of the following lessons:

LESSON ONE: Introduction and Defining Critical Thinking

This lesson will consider what critical thinking is and why it is important. It will also cover the common barriers to critical thinking that we all face.

LESSON TWO: Defining, Identifying and Analysing Arguments

This lesson will consider what arguments are and how we can identify and analyse them. Different techniques for analysing arguments will be introduced, which are helpful for planning assignments.

LESSON THREE: Evaluating Arguments and Identifying Fallacies 

This lesson will consider how we can go about evaluating arguments. It will also consider what makes both a good and bad argument and cover some of the common problems people make with their reasoning.

LESSON FOUR: Persuasion and Effective Conversation

This lesson will look at how speakers and authors make their arguments more persuasive. It will also consider how we can use critical thinking skills to communicate more effectively when discussing and debating difficult topics.

LESSON FIVE: Critical Thinking and Assignments

This lesson will act as a summary to the course and consider how the course material can be applied to help you get better results in assignments.