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Skills and Careers

Module titleSkills and Careers
Module codeBIO1423
Academic year2018/9
Module staff

Dr Andrew Pye (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

BIO1423 Skills Careers is the keystone to your first year; developing your skills to allow you to gain success in your academic degree and career. This module is organised into three key pillars: ‘Research Skills’, ‘Academic Skills’ and ‘Career Development’. ‘Research Skills’ is the principle pillar; here you will design, conduct, analyse and communicate the findings of your first scientific research project. To support this pillar you will practice key ‘Academic Skills’ required for academic success. In the third pillar ‘Career Development’ you will be given the opportunity to develop your CV, reflect on your current skills, and apply for internships and placements.     

Module aims - intentions of the module

Research Skills is the principle pillar; the key output and assessment for this pillar will give you the opportunity to showcase your own research poster at a scientific conference held at end of the module. In order to be able to produce a poster you will need to design, risk assess, conduct, analyse and communicate the findings of your first scientific research project at the University of Exeter. Placing a research project at the start of the degree reinforces the importance of the education-research synergies available at a Russell Group university.

In order to be successful in your degree you will also need to hone a range of academic skills and use them to critically explore your academic subject fully. Development of these ‘Academic Skills’ comprises pillar two of this module and includes: referencing, avoiding plagiarism, critical reading, time management, and scientific writing.

It is important that you are able to translate the skills developed in pillars one and two into successful job applications. In pillar three (Career Development) you will reflect on your personal employability skills and check them against the requirements of real advertised jobs in your field. You will be expected to apply for a work placement during this module.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

    ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

    • 1. Carry out sample selection; record and analyse data in the field and/or the laboratory; ensure validity, accuracy, calibration, precision, replicability and highlight uncertainty and possible bias during collection
    • 2. Analyse, synthesise and summarise information critically from a variety of sources
    • 3. Comply with health and safety policies, Good Laboratory Practice and risk assessments
    • 4. Understand the importance of academic and research integrity
    • 5. Cite and reference work in an appropriate manner, ensuring academic integrity and the avoidance of plagiarism
    • 6. Communicate about your subject appropriately to audiences, using a range of formats (written, oral, posters) and employ appropriate scientific language

    ILO: Personal and key skills

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

    • 7. Develop the skills necessary for independent lifelong learning (for example working independently, time management, organisational, enterprise and knowledge transfer skills)
    • 8. Use sources critically
    • 9. Understand and manipulate numerical data
    • 10. Construct documents in an appropriate style and format, using and referencing relevant ideas and evidence
    • 11. Identify and work towards targets for personal, academic, professional and career development
    • 12. Gain experience of applying for a job or internship

    Syllabus plan

    Syllabus plan

    This module will be taught through a combination of lectures, workshops, fieldtrips and self-directed learning, organised into the three key pillars below:

    Pillar One: Research Skills

    • Independent research project
    • Experimental design
    • Ethics
    • Risk assessment
    • Descriptive statistics
    • Difference and correlation
    • Communicating scientific data
    • Poster conference

    Pillar Two: Academic Skills

    • Library induction
    • Referencing
    • Avoiding plagiarism
    • Submitting work online
    • Time management
    • Critical reading and writing
    • Scientific writing
    • Exams and revision

    Pillar Three: Career Development

    • Careers in science
    • Self-awareness
    • Reflection and analysis of knowledge and skills
    • CVs and personal statements
    • Application forms
    • Interviews and presentations

    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
    Scheduled Learning and Teaching50Lecture-based workshops (25 x 2 hours)
    Scheduled Learning and Teaching12Lab or computer-based workshop (4 x 3 hours)
    Scheduled Learning and Teaching15Field trip (3 x 5 hours)
    Scheduled Learning and Teaching6Research project help session (3 x 2 hours)
    Scheduled Learning and Teaching11:1 placement support meeting
    Guided independent study12Online learning modules
    Guided independent study164Formative assessments, preparation for summative assessments including self-directed research project
    Work placement401 week work placement


    Formative assessment

    Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
    Interview videoStandard subset of questions11-12Review of video
    Critique of another student’s scientific writingPeer feedback5-7, 10Peer feedback
    Marking practice postersIn class marking of example posters2, 5-7, 10Discussion of marks in class
    Formative CV2 pages11Careers advice
    Job applicationApplication form12Careers advice

    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
    Profiling for success530 minutes11-12Personal profile
    Poster401 page (electronic)1-2, 5-10Written
    Essay examination401 hour2-3, 7, 9Written
    Reflection on work placement plus experience (if no work placement is secured you will instead write a 3000 word occupational report )151500 words11-12Written


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

    Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
    Profiling for successProfiling for success11-12August assessment period
    PosterPoster1-2, 5-10August assessment period
    Essay examinationEssay examination2-3, 7, 9August assessment period
    Reflection on work placement plus experience/occupational reportReflection on work placement plus experience/occupational report11-12August 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. 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 sit a further assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 40%.


    Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

    Readings will be highlighted in lectures.

    Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

    Module has an active ELE page

    Key words search

    Research, report writing, time management, experimental design, statistics, employability, professionalism, career development, academic skills

    Credit value30
    Module ECTS


    Module pre-requisites


    Module co-requisites


    NQF level (module)


    Available as distance learning?


    Origin date


    Last revision date