Self-reflection, also known as self-evaluation, is the process of reflecting on your work and thinking critically about the tools and techniques you use in order to improve the way you learn.

Effective self-reflection can take many different forms:


Track your progress and set realistic goals

It’s helpful to revise your progress from time to time to ensure you are setting achievable targets for yourself and to recap on the lessons that you have learnt from your work so far. Remember to set yourself SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound.

If you judge yourself too harshly you can risk developing Imposter Syndrome.

Share your ideas and practice with others

Seek feedback from your peer group and colleagues about your own performance and development and use this to identify areas for your own personal and professional development. Share your learning practices with others, this will help you to understand how you learn best.

Identify areas for self-development

Reflection involves being critical and identifying gaps in our skills. There are a variety of reflective models you can use, two key models that are used widely in Higher Education are Gibb’s Reflective Cycle and Kolb’s Reflective Cycle. Both aim to provide a structure through which you can evaluate your learning experiences and how you can put what you have learnt into practice.

Keep an eye out for training opportunities for self-development on the Graduate School pages. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from college support services (Wong & Chiu, 2019).

Expand your horizons

While your principal focus should be on the academic demands of your course, getting involved in extra-curricular activities can help you to achieve a healthy work-life balance and gain valuable transferable skills and develop attributes for future employability. 

Extra-curricular opportunities

Outreach Team Opportunities

Imperial College Union

Societal Engagement

Imperial Award

The Imperial Award is a scheme open for all students, encouraging self-reflection and personal development and recognising this on your College transcript. The Award is earned by reflecting upon, and writing up, the transformative impact of your activities on you. It is not about rewarding academic success or the volume of the activities you engage in, but addresses your own personal development.

Find out more about the Imperial Award.