Do you need to develop Hidden Talent?

Claire Davey-Potts is an Academic Skills Adviser working in the Academic Skills and Student Engagement Team. She is well qualified and has over 25 years of experience in education. More recently, she has worked as a Study Skills Tutor in Accessibility providing one-to-one support.

Hidden Talent in Devon is an EU funded project designed to provide support to develop the academic skills of groups of undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Exeter.


Sometimes it can be difficult to get started on your academic journey especially if you are returning to learning or struggling with deadlines.

The ‘Hidden Talent in Devon’ project is designed to upskill and reskill eligible students and to help them achieve academic success.

Since January 2018, I have been providing personalised 1-1 Academic Skills support to eligible students on both Exeter campuses. Each bespoke appointment is designed to help students take control of their academic development and effectively deal with academic pressures. I am now offering this service to PGRs who have recently started their research degree and may need assistance with aspects of planning or writing. By discussing and identifying academic skills concerns, as an Academic Skills professional, I can help individual student’s develop strategies to improve motivation and target issues such as procrastination which can affect your performance and help with your research journey.





Hidden Talent in Devon’ is funded by the EU with the intention of supporting students develop a range of academic skills. Support is provided to UK or EU students via 1-1 meetings or email; small group work can also be arranged. Distance learners and those with little available time can be supported through Skype. It really depends on you, what time you have and what suits you.  Students who may benefit most would be those students who are returning to learning and those who are undertaking writing in order to go through the process to ‘transfer’ or ‘upgrade’ from MPhil to PhD/MS/EngD. This will normally include submission of one or more substantial piece of written work (as defined by the College) in good presentational order, where one piece of written work comprises the literature review. The submission must also include a substantial research-based draft chapter.

The feedback from students has been positive and both undergraduates and postgraduates have found the service helpful in improving their academic skills and developing confidence. It can also increase one’s motivation to complete tasks.

Each meeting is tailored to you and what you need….

I can help you to refresh your academic skills particularly with regards to Academic Writing-including how to structure an argument or critical thinking. I can also assist in developing strategies for proof reading. It really depends on what you need. Other forms of support involve various approaches to reading or note making strategies.  Time and Project Management support is also available which can help with issues around motivation and procrastination. By employing certain study skills strategies, I can help you achieve your academic goals.

 …. Are you?

Eligible students must meet one of the following criteria –

  • Disabled (you need to consider that you have a disability)
  • Ethnic minority
  • 50+ before the start of the course
  • Lone parent

“The level of the detail given in the feedback was invaluable and the fact that this was not limited to one session was even better as it allowed me to get advice on a range of my working, providing me with confidence”

“An amazing service and I cannot say enough good things about it!”

“Honestly don’t think there is anything that can be improved”

For further information go to

Written by Claire Davey-Potts