NES8007 : Academic and professional skills for MSc

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
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture83:0024:00Non-specialist skills, H&S and DPD meets
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture33:009:00DPD Introduction
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture11:001:00Introduction
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion93:0027:00Critique of project proposal
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical13:003:00Library skills
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical32:006:00MS office and careers preparation
Guided Independent StudySkills practice112:0022:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00Critical thinking workshop
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops15:005:00Careers day
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Workshops to allow students to explore the skills they need.

A combination of 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.

Reading Lists