Research and Academic Development Skills

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 28 June 2024
07 November 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC G620 Computer Games (Including Foundation Year),
BENGG520 Computer Networks (Including Foundation Year),
BSC G403 Computer Science (Including Foundation Year),
BENGH750 Computer Systems Engineering (Including Foundation Year),
BENGGH46 Computers with Electronics (Including Foundation Year),
BENGH61P Electronic Engineering (Including Foundation Year),
BENGHP41 Communications Engineering (Including Foundation Year),
BENGH618 Robotic Engineering (Including Foundation Year),
BSC GH3P Computing and Electronics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC LG04 Economics with Data Science (Including Foundation Year),
BENGH733 Mechatronic Systems (Including Foundation Year),
BENGH172 Neural Engineering with Psychology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC I401 Artificial Intelligence (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

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, academic integrity, and collaborative and reflective practices.

The students are supported through the use of subject-specific materials tailored to their chosen degrees with the alignment of assessments between academic subject modules and the skills module.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • 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 and develop students’ confidence to make judgments and be evaluative.

  • To equip students with appropriate and effective language and study skills applicable to their various disciplines.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students 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 using an appropriate range of visual aids.

4. Comprehend texts on a range of subjects identifying main points from listening and reading material, and demonstrating critical reading skills to 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 show an ability to reflect on one’s own goals and progress.

Skills for your professional life (Transferable Skills)

By the end of this module, students will have practised the following transferable skills:

1. To improve your written and oral communication skills.

2. To develop your online and independent learning skills.

3. To develop your analytical, critical thinking skills.

4. To enhance your reflective practice and develop a growth mindset.

5. To develop your research and planning skills.

6. To enhance your teamwork and interpersonal skills.

Module information


  • Identify text types and their relevance/appropriateness.

  • Develop research techniques.

  • Reading and note-taking skills development.

  • Academic writing skills development.

  • Planning, editing and redrafting skills (including effective use of feedback).

  • Referencing and how to avoid plagiarism.

  • Listening skills development.

  • Taking notes from reading material and lectures.

  • Summary writing.

  • Presentation skills including the effective use of visuals.

  • Making use of graphs and statistical information.

  • Revision and exam strategies.

  • The reflective process for university students.

The skills identified above will be developed using topics which may include:

  • Topics of particular relevance to specific pathways.

  • Topics linked to Education for Sustainable Development.

  • Topics of generic relevance to university students and studying.

  • Current Affairs topics which offer opportunities for the development of critical thinking/discussion.

  • Sources will be included within the syllabus which support the decolonisation of the curriculum through offering a wider range of source materials.

Learning and teaching methods

The module will be delivered via:

  • One 1-hour lecture per week.
  • One 2-hour class per week.
  • One 1-hour class per week.

Teaching and learning on Essex Pathways modules offers students the ability to develop the foundation knowledge, skills, and competencies to study at the undergraduate level, through a curriculum that is purposely designed to provide an exceptional learning experience.

All teaching, learning and assessment materials will be available via Moodle in a consistent and user-friendly manner.


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   IA193 - Research Oral Presentation    35% 
Coursework   IA193 - Formative Academic Integrity Task  06/11/2023   
Coursework   IA193 - Introduction for a CSEE Lab Report   27/11/2023  15% 
Coursework   IA193 - Methodology for a CSEE Lab Report   18/12/2023  15% 
Coursework   IA193 - Scaffolded Assignment (CSEE Lab Report)  04/03/2024  35% 

Additional coursework information

Formative assessment

  • Students will submit an academic integrity task in the Autumn Term.

Summative assessment

  • Introduction for a Lab Report (250 words)
    This assignment will be submitted in the Autumn term. The assignment will develop the student's ability to write an introduction for a CSEE Lab Report.
  • Methodology for a Lab Report (250 words)
    This assignment will be submitted in the Autumn term. The assignment will develop the student's ability to write a methodology section for a CSEE Lab Report.
  • Scaffolded assignment / Lab Report (1,000 words)
    This assignment will be submitted in the Spring term. The assignment will develop the student's ability to produce an extended piece of writing in the most relevant genre for their pathway. The topic is selected in consultation with subject Module Leaders on the pathway.
  • Research oral presentation (7-10 mins)
    Presentations are delivered individually in the Summer Term. They include subject-specific research and an element of reflection. This presentation aims to develop student's oral communication skills as well as the ability to work collaboratively in both offline and online modes and to become more reflective learners.

Reassessment strategy

  • Failed coursework - Resubmit a piece of coursework (1,000 words) which will be marked as 100% of the new module mark. The reassessment task will enable the relevant learning outcomes to be met.
  • If the group presentation has failed or has not been attempted, students will also be required to submit a 500-word presentation in notes/slides format. The weighting will be divided equally between the assignment and the 500-word presentation.

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
Mr Christopher Eustace, email: cjeust@essex.ac.uk.
Christopher Eustace - cjeust@essex.ac.uk
Kate Smith - catsmith@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Mr Gerald Dampier
University of Surrey
Teaching Fellow in Learning Development
Available via Moodle
Of 186 hours, 168 (90.3%) hours available to students:
0 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
Essex Pathways

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