Overview of ADHD

The main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are:  

  • Inattention – poor concentration, being easily distracted, procrastination, difficulty organising and finishing off tasks.  
  • Hyperactivity – restlessness, fidgeting, tapping, being over-talkative.  
  • Impulsivity – speaking and acting without thinking, interrupting others.   

There are also many strengths associated with ADHD, such as curiosity, creativity, enthusiasm, inventiveness, a willingness to take risks and sometimes an ability to hyperfocus

Medication may help manage the condition but adult ADHD often goes undiagnosed and untreated. It may overlap with other SpLDs such as dyslexia and dyspraxia .  

Common challenges faced by students with ADHD

  • Putting off study tasks (such as written assignments) until the last minute and falling behind with work.  
  • Forgetting tasks, appointments and items (keys, equipment, books, etc.).  
  • Difficulty organising their work, time and ideas.  
  • ‘Zoning out’ in lectures and missing important information.  
  • Restlessness and fidgeting, especially during lectures.  
  • Problems with time keeping and attendance.  
  • Difficulty waiting their turn and contributing to group discussions.  
  • Poor emotional well-being, which can impact social relationships.  
  • Depression and poor self-esteem, which can affect motivation to study. 

Find out more

Resources for students with ADHD

Support group

The University has an active ADHD support group with monthly online Teams meetings at 6pm on the first Tuesday of the month. Please email Anne Betteridge so she can send you a Teams invitation. 

Websites and apps

  • The online magazine Additude which is full of information and advice about ADHD.
  • Tim Urban's TED talk on Procrastination.
  • Freedom, a paid-for website and app blocker.
  • Stay Focusd, a free Chrome extension which does a similar thing.
  • Forest, an app to keep you off your phone.
  • Sleeptown, an app to encourage good sleep habits.
  • Focusmate, online co-working to keep you focused.
  • The Getting Organised section of Study Hub has other tools, planners and advice on how to manage your time and get work done.

Screening information and checklist

If you would like medication for ADHD, you must get a medical diagnosis. You will need to ask your doctor for a referral. See ADHD UK's Diagnosis pathways for Adult ADHD for guidance.

The online ADDitude magazine has a huge amount of information on AD(H)D including this Do I have ADD?’ checklist.

The Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale is widely used by professionals for ADHD screening.

ADDitude magazine - strategies and support for people with ADHD and LD.