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ACE1040 : Academic and Professional Skills

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Mrs Helen Adamson
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The module aims to
•       develop basic skills in operating computer software within a Windows environment in the context of reporting the output of research
•       develop communication and study skills to enable independent learning at a HE level in particular how to find, analyse, synthesise and present information appropriately.
•       introduce the application of statistical techniques to agricultural, nutrition, business, environmental and animal data.

Outline Of Syllabus

MS Office: MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint
Research skills: library search stragegy and referencing
Experimental design, basic data manipulation, interpretation and presentation,
Communication: essay structure, presentation, poster

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Preparation of CV
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Preparation of report
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Preparation of search strategy and references
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical12:002:00Research investigation - data gathering
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical13:003:00Seminar: student PowerPoint and poster presentations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical122:0024:00Computer practical - skills development
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:00Tutorial groups
Guided Independent StudyProject work110:0010:00Preparation of PowerPoint
Guided Independent StudyProject work110:0010:00Preparation of poster
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity120:0020:00Group work - research and discussion of poster and PowerPoint
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study157:0057:00Background reading, lecture follow up.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study122:0022:00Skills practice
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study41:306:00Preparation for tutorial
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

In semester 1 students will work in groups (SO2) to present a PowerPoint, Poster and Essay Structure(SO4, SO5, KO1, SO3) on a relevant topic (SO4, KO6). They will receive lectures and practical sessions to develop their MSOffice skills (SO5), and to learn about sourcing and referencing information (KO2). In tutorials they will develop their chosen topics and critically assess former work against assessment criteria (KO5, KO1).

In semester 2, students will carry out small investigation where they will collect relevant data which they will use in lecture and practical sessions for basic relevant calculations (SO6), they will manipulate the data in MSExcel (SO5) and carry out basic statistical tests (SO8) and learn how to understand, present and describe tables and graphs (SO7, KO3). Students will use the data and graphs to produce a correctly referenced, correctly formatted, scientific report in MSWord (SO3, SO7, SO9, SO5).
In tutorials they will critically evalute graphs and tables used in data presentation, and assess former student reports against assessment criteria (KO4,KO5, SO9).

A learning log will be produced to encourage students to reflect on their learning.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M20Essay plan with references and search strategy (500 words).
Poster1M30Poster and PowerPoint presentation on chosen topic (circa 10 slides)
Report2M40Scientific report (1000 words)
Written exercise2M10CV
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written exercise addresses KO1, KO2, KO5, KO6, SO1, SO3, SO5, SO9.
The poster exercise addresses KO1, KO2, KO4, KO5, KO6, SO2, SO4, SO5, SO6, SO9.
The scientific report and exam addresses KO1, KO2, KO3, KO4, KO5, SO1, SO2, SO3, SO5, SO6, SO7, SO8, SO9.
The CV & reflective log bring together students' understanding of their skills development and hence addresses most of the LOs.
Although there is some repetition in assessment of LOs, this is the nature of the skills module whereby skills learned are applied to many aspects of work.

Reading Lists