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Preparing to Graduate

Module titlePreparing to Graduate
Module codeLES3001
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Sarah Hodge (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

To get a desirable job after graduation, it is essential that you start thinking about your future career during your degree. This module will ensure that final year students are aware of the different career paths available to graduates in the life sciences, and will allow you to gain the skills and experience necessary to maximise your chance of securing graduate-level employment. You will be provided with an opportunity to attend career-focused seminars which will give advice on self-promotion (through CVs, application forms, covering letters and web resources) as well as advice on obtaining CV enhancing skills and experience (e.g. web design, communicating research to the public, grant writing, postgraduate study etc.). There will also be an opportunity to engage with employers to get their view on what makes applicants stand out.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to provide you with the necessary skills and experience to make decisions about your future career and secure graduate level employment. You will attend career-focused seminars and will receive feedback on your CV and covering letter. This module is compulsory for all final year students.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Compose an effective and well-presented CV, complete with supporting cover letter, making clear links between your experience and the job description
  • 2. Successfully navigate selection processes and secure opportunities
  • 3. Make career-related decisions taking into account personal priorities and constraints
  • 4. Search for job opportunities in your chosen field using a range of resources
  • 5. Communicate research effectively to the general public, and explain why this is important in a number of different career paths

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Identify and investigate the range of career opportunities available and relevant to a student with a degree in geography or the life sciences
  • 7. Present the knowledge and the skills gained during your degree and show how these can enhance your future employability

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Showcase your skills, motivations and personal career development needs and promote these
  • 9. Use the internet to enhance career prospects
  • 10. Evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses in relation to graduate-level professional and practical skills, and act autonomously to develop new areas of skills as necessary
  • 11. Reflect effectively and independently on learning experiences and evaluate personal achievements

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

This module will typically cover the following key areas:

  • Self-reflective aspiration/how to find careers information and advice
  • How to write a CV including a focus on how to extract “skills” from extant learning and experience
  • How to write letters of application and complete application forms
  • The pros and cons of postgraduate study
  • Interview techniques
  • How to write a small grant application
  • How to write a press release
  • Communicating research to the general public
  • Advice on what employers are really looking for

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Student learning and teaching5Seminars - you should attend at least five seminars
Student learning and teaching2LinkedIn practical (2 hours)
Guided independent study43Conducting additional reading and research in preparation for module assessments


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Short answer questions during seminarsOngoing throughout the moduleAllOral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Attendance of at least five seminars105 hoursAllOral
CV and covering letter902 page CV, 1 page covering letter1-4, 7-11Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Attendance of at least 5 seminarsNot applicable Not applicableNot applicable
CV and covering letterCV and covering letter1-4, 7-11August assessment period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. Attendance at seminar sessions is not deferrable due to its practical nature. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to write a further CV and cover letter. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will count for 100% of the final mark and will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Cottrell, S. (2003), Skills for Success: The Personal Development Handbook. Palgrave Macmillan.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Careers, employability, CV, personal development, transferable skills, web design

Credit value5
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date