Information Services

Digital Skills Awareness course

The Digital Skills Awareness course is aimed at first year undergraduates starting university and provides guidance on the foundation-level digital skills needed for a successful learning experience at university.

About the course

The Digital Skills Awareness online course was developed for higher education institutions by The Bloomsbury Learning Exchange (BLE), the digital education partnership for the Bloomsbury institutions and the University of London, and tailored by The University of Edinburgh Digital Skills and Training team for local use.

The course outlines the key digital skills students need for their studies, and helps them identify the skills they have and the ones they need to acquire or improve. While the course doesn’t focus explicitly on developing digital skills, it provides valuable tips from a variety of sources including university staff and student support, as well as helpful resources and videos.

Course content

There are four topics:

  1.    General technologies (working with files, Microsoft Office applications, browsers and search engines)
  2.    Learning technologies (online learning environments, forums, assignments/assessments and video)
  3.    Access, sharing and safety (accounts/access, safety, social media and sharing)
  4.    Getting organised (notetaking, referencing and digital wellbeing)

Access the course

All first-year undergraduates have been auto-enrolled in the course and it can be found in 'Essentials' in the left-hand menu of Learn.


In February 2022, The BLE also launched a new Digital Skills for Starting Higher Education MOOC on the FutureLearn platform introducing prospective students to the important skills, systems, and core technologies for learning to help them succeed at university and Higher Education. Delivered over a three-week learning period, the course takes just a few hours each week to complete and covers similar content to the original online course including:

  • Week 1: The Learning Environment;
  • Week 2: Foundations of Digital Study;
  • Week 3: Digital Safety & Wellbeing.