Postgraduate Professional Skills

The details
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Autumn & Spring
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 06 October 2022
Friday 24 March 2023
31 March 2021


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MSC C16112 Tropical Marine Biology,
MSC F71012 Marine Science and Sustainable Development,
MPHDC16148 Tropical Marine Biology,
MPHDC16184 Tropical Marine Biology,
PHD C16148 Tropical Marine Biology,
PHD C16184 Tropical Marine Biology,
MSCIB097 Tropical Marine Biology,
MSCIBA97 Tropical Marine Biology (Including Placement Year),
MSCIBB97 Tropical Marine Biology (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

Transferrable professional skills are the most valuable assets of your postgraduate education. The ability to secure employment, and to plan, integrate and communicate in a multidisciplinary research. In the future funding landscape it will be important that you are able to work inter-disciplinarily across natural and social sciences and the ability to explain your science to policy makers and funding agencies holds the key to a successful career as a future researcher.

Module aims

The aim of this module is to equip you with an array of professional skills from utilising modern learning environments to building a portfolio of professional skills that assist with finding employment along various career paths after postgraduate education. A combination of seminars and workshops is provided to include CV and application clinics, facilitate expedition planning, and introduce health-and safety aspects of practical work.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

1. Evaluate the issues involved in designing and executing a research programme, within the specific context of field-based, laboratory-based and desk-based research.
2. Formulate appropriate research questions, and test scientific and statistical hypotheses.
3. Articulate and communicate research findings in various formats to varying audiences.
4. Take a critical approach to personal development planning for their career in the context of the graduate labour market.
5. Recognise personal and professional skills that will enhance employability, and research opportunities for skills development available to them during their university career.
6. Demonstrate competence in job application skills, including CV and cover letter writing and the interview process.

Employability and Transferable Skills:

Meet Alumni of the MSc Tropical Marine Biology course and start building a professional network

Module information

The School has a policy which ensures all lecturers opt-in to making lectures available via Listen Again. Therefore, in teaching rooms where the facility is available, lectures will be recorded via this service.

Learning and teaching methods

30 hours of lectures, practicals and seminars


This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non - essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Poster  28/10/2022  20% 
Coursework   Cover Letter and CV  11/11/2022  40% 
Coursework   Vodcast or Narrated Powerpoint  20/01/2023  40% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Michael Steinke, email:
Dr Michael Steinke, Dr Michelle Taylor, Mr Nigel Collins
School Graduate Office, email: bsgradtaught (Non essex users should add to create a full email address)



External examiner

Dr Nicholas Kamenos
University of Glasgow
Available via Moodle
Of 45 hours, 24 (53.3%) hours available to students:
3 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
18 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Life Sciences (School of)

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