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NES8007 : Academic and professional skills for MSc (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Mrs Helen Adamson
  • Lecturer: Dr Hannah Davis
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To support student transition to postgraduate study and, in particular, to introduce students to the research, planning, analytical and scientific writing skills to produce MSc-level assignments and dissertations.

Outline Of Syllabus

• Computer Practical (CP): Searching literature, referencing using Endnote
• CP: Using Styles for efficient Word Processing
• CP: Managing data with Excel: pivots, lookups, other functions
• Lecture(L) /Seminar(S) Developing a hypothesis and research questions, experimental design
• L/S: Thinking and writing critically
• L/S: Writing scientifically: a scientific paper, a project proposal, an essay
• Field and Lab health and safety -
• Careers day: talks and workshops from local workers in environmental and ecological science organisations.

• Chemistry for non-chemists
• Ecology for non-ecologists
• Geology for non-geologists
• Microbiology for non-biologists

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Critique of project proposal
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials43:0012:00Non-synchronous online module content
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials12:302:30Non-synchronous online DPD Introduction
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical12:002:00Synchronous online Library skills
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical51:005:00Synchronous online MS office and careers preparation
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading128:0028:00Reading of topic material
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities62:0012:00Non-synchronous, non-specialist skills, H&S and DPD meeting
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery71:007:00Synchronous online discussion with lecturer
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery10:300:30Synchronous online discussion with lecturer
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Synchronous online module talk
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Workshops to allow students to explore the skills they need.

A combination of online lectures with associated practicals to allow students to learn theory then practise data analysis techniques in computer labs.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M100Critical review of former project proposals, in terms of context within literature. Approx. 2000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment 1 will assess understanding of how to write well and will allow critical assessment of literature and of project proposals of peers. It will also assess the outcomes regarding word processing and literature searching and referencing skills. It should allow students to start to work MSc level.

Study Abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the format of the paper may differ from that shown in the MOF. Study Abroad students should contact the school to discuss this.

Reading Lists