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Skills and Careers

Module titleSkills and Careers
Module codeBIO1430
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Sarah Hodge (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module will help you develop essential skills to allow you to be successful during both your degree and future career. The module is organised into two key themes: ‘Research Skills’ and ‘Career Development’. During term 1 you will develop your research skills and learn to design, conduct, analyse and communicate the findings of a scientific research project. As part of this process, you will have an opportunity to hear about some of the world leading research conducted by academics in the department via regular research seminars. During term 2 you will have an opportunity to think about your career development, by investigating the variety of potential job roles open to science graduates. You will be encouraged to develop your CV and reflect on your current skills early in your degree, to maximise your chance of getting your ideal job as soon as possible after graduation.   

Module aims - intentions of the module

During term 1 you will conduct an independent research project that will require you to design, risk assess, conduct, analyse and communicate your scientific findings, developing skills that will be essential for the remainder of your degree. You will showcase your findings in the form of a research poster at a scientific conference held at end of the module.  Your research project will also allow you tohone academic skills such as referencing, avoiding plagiarism, critical reading, time management, and scientific writing necessary for you to be successful throughout your degree,

It is important that you are able to translate the skills developed into successful job applications. During the second part of the module, 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 work placements during this module.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. The nature of this module means that all module ILOs are also discipline specific, see discipline specific ILOs below.

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 and a work placement, organised into the two key pillars below:

Term 1: Research Skills

  • Independent research project
  • Experimental design
  • Field trips
  • Field skills
  • Ethics and risk assessment
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Communicating scientific data
  • Poster design
  • Referencing
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Time management
  • Critical reading and writing
  • Exams and revision

Term 2: 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 Teaching24Lecture-based workshops (3 x 1 hour, 14 x 1.5 hours)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching10Lab or computer-based workshop (5 x 2 hours)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching5Field trip (1 x 1 hour, 1 x 4 hours)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching2Research project help session (2 x 1 hour)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1.51:1 placement support meeting
Guided independent study14.5Online learning modules
Guided independent study93Formative assessments, preparation for summative assessments including self-directed research project


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Critique of another student’s scientific writingPeer feedback5-7, 10Peer feedback
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
Poster401 page (electronic)1-2, 5-10Written
Essay examination401 hour2-3, 7, 9Written
Essay – reflection on work placement 201500 words7, 10-12Written


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
PosterPoster1-2, 5-10August assessment period
Essay examinationEssay examination2-3, 7, 9August assessment period
Essay – reflection on work placement Essay – reflection on work placement 7, 10-12August 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 value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date