Research and Academic Development Skills
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
21 May 2019
Requisites for this module
BSC N325 Actuarial Science (Including Foundation Year),
BSC G403 Computer Science (Including Foundation Year),
BENGGH46 Computers with Electronics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC LG18 Economics and Mathematics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC L1G8 Economics with Mathematics (Including Foundation Year),
BENGH61P Electronic Engineering (Including Foundation Year),
BSC GN18 Finance and Mathematics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC G104 Mathematics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC 9K18 Statistics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC G1G8 Mathematics with Computing (Including Foundation Year),
BENGHP41 Communications Engineering (Including Foundation Year),
BSC I1GF Data Science and Analytics (Including Foundation Year)
This module is designed to support students in their academic subject disciplines and to strengthen their confidence in key skills areas such as: academic writing, research and academic integrity, as well as collaborative and reflective practices.
The students are supported through the use of subject specific materials tailored to their chosen degrees with some alignment of assessments between academic subject modules and the skills module.
- To develop students’ ability to operate effectively, in both written and spoken language, in a range of academic settings
- To develop students’ basic research skills, encouraging a critical approach to source materials and appropriate use of sources as supporting evidence
- To encourage independent learning strategies, analytical and evaluative skills, and develop students’ confidence to make judgments
- To equip students with appropriate and effective language and study skills applicable to their various disciplines
By the end of this module a student will be expected to be able to:
1. Produce academic writing which is well-structured, relevant and clearly reasoned
2. Communicate ideas, information and arguments with clarity, both orally and in written form, and which demonstrates the ability to integrate students’ own ideas with those of others
3. Deliver effective presentations which include using an appropriate range of visual aids
4. Comprehend texts on a range of topics identifying main points from listening or reading material, and demonstrating an ability to critically assess the usefulness of information
5. Make full use of academic libraries and a range of appropriate electronic media for independent research purposes
6. Demonstrate knowledge and appropriate use of academic register and referencing conventions
7. Develop time management strategies, employ self-directed learning, and demonstrate an ability to reflect on one’s learning and progress and to work collaboratively with others
8. Develop an awareness of different research strategies and apply them to a small-scale research project.
The Autumn term will focus on the following:
- Identify text types and their relevance / appropriateness
- Research strategies development
- Basic research techniques including research design
- Reading & note-taking skills development
- Writing skills development
- Editing and redrafting skills
- Referencing and how to avoid plagiarism
- Language development
The Spring Term will focus on the following:
- Listening skills development
- Listening & note-taking
- Develop further research skills
- Summary writing and working with lecture notes
- Presentation skills including the effective use of visuals
- Graphs and statistical information
- Language development
- Reflection on learning and progress
The Summer Term will focus on the following:
- Revision and exam strategies
- Language development
Reading-to-write assignment or lab report (500 words) submitted around week 6, pathway dependent
This assignment focuses on research skills, summary writing (synthesising), academic style and conventions and will be pathway specific. It is directly linked to the subject modules' assignments. Feed forward opportunities will be directly relevant to the summative 'reading-to-write literature review'.
Summative assessment will consist of the following components:
1. One record of group work to be submitted prior to the tutorial outlining the following:
Working title, project rationale, interim statement and avenues for developing the topic, initial choice of sources.
2. An individual contribution to the group tutorial assessing the contribution to the written record;
3. An individual reading-to-write literature review:
This assignment focuses on research skills, summary writing (synthesising), academic style and conventions. This literature review will enable students to gain an understanding of their chosen research topic and help them identify gaps in knowledge;
4. An individual research report (write up of methodology and findings sections):
This assignment focuses on report structure, academic style and conventions, visual representations. The students are required to write a methodology section including: (1) sample; (2) instrument; (3) procedure. Furthermore, they will focus on main findings and support these with appropriate visual representations
5. One individual oral presentation and reflection
This assignment will allow the students to make inferences on their research findings as well as reflect on any limitations.
6. A participation mark will be awarded based on reflective and collaborative practices. Students will be given an opportunity to reflect on feedback received as well as being expected to demonstrate team working skills.
a) 1,000-word research writing assignment 50%
b) 500-word presentation in slides/notes format 20%
c) 10-minute viva on Skype or in-person 20%
d) Online forum contributions 10%
This module is delivered through one two-hour lecture followed by two one-hour classes per week over 22 weeks. In addition students should expect to receive up to 60 minutes of individual and / or group tutorials during the year. Students will be taught in subject specific classes.
Non-native speakers of English will receive an additional two-hour seminar per week focusing on language development at sentence and paragraph level.
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
||Individual Oral Presentation and Reflections
||Record of Group Work
||Individual Reading-to-Write Literature Review
||Individual Research Report
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Mr Christopher Eustace, email: email@example.com.
Chris Eustace, Paul Norris
Kate Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org or 01206 874564)
Ms Hayley Piekarz
The University of Birmingham
Acting Director of Operations and Development
Available via Moodle
Of 528 hours, 518 (98.1%) hours available to students:
10 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).
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