Research and Academic Development Skills

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 02 July 2021
04 June 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA M903 Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BA QX41 Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) (Including Foundation Year),
BA QQ16 English Language and Linguistics (Including Foundation Year),
BA QQ24 English Language and Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA RR20 French Studies and Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RR90 German Studies and Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA L250 International Relations (Including Foundation Year),
BA LR59 International Relations and Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RR40 Italian Studies and Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA Q143 Language Studies (4 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA Q102 Linguistics (Including Foundation Year),
BA P300 Communications and Digital Culture (Including Foundation Year),
BA R999 Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RQ99 Modern Languages and English Language (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RQ98 Modern Languages and Linguistics (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA R8T8 Modern Languages and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA R8T9 Modern Languages with Latin American Studies (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA V590 Philosophy with Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA L202 Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BA L2CH Social Sciences,
BA LFCH Social Sciences,
BA L304 Sociology (Including Foundation Year),
BA LMHX Sociology and Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BA RR50 Spanish Studies and Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RT99 Spanish, Portuguese and Brazilian Studies (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA C89C Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA L523 Childhood Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BSC L313 Sociology with Data Science (including foundation Year),
BA P403 Film and Drama (Including Foundation Year),
BA VV21 Philosophy with Business Management (Including Foundation Year),
BA L934 Global Studies with Business Management (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q121 Linguistics with Data Science (Including Foundation Year),
BA R101 Art History and Language Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA R103 Art History with Language Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA R105 Global Studies and Language Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA R109 European Studies and Language Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA R107 Language Studies with Latin American Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA R111 International Relations and Language Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA R115 Language Studies and Linguistics (Including Foundation Year),
BA R117 Language Studies and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

This blended-learning 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, collaborative and reflective practices.

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

Module aims

Module Aims

- 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 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 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.

Module information


- Identify text types and their relevance / appropriateness
- Develop basic research techniques
- Reading & note-taking skills development
- Writing skills development
- Editing and redrafting skills
- Referencing and how to avoid plagiarism
- 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
- Revision and exam strategies
- The reflective process

Formative assessment
A 500-word reading-to-write summary, to be submitted in mid-Autumn Term.

Summative assessment
- One Key Skills Portfolio assignment consisting of three elements. The portfolio tasks are selected in consultation with subject MLs on each pathway to ensure the timely development of key disciplinary skills.

- One scaffolded assignment to be submitted in the Spring term. The assignment will develop the students' ability to produce an extended piece of writing in the most relevant genre for their pathway (e.g. a Lab Report for students in the Sciences or an essay for students in the Humanities). The topic is selected in consultation with subject MLs on the pathway.

- One oral presentation to take place in the Summer Term. Presentations are delivered individually, but include an element of reporting on collaborative group or peer reflective exercises. This assignment aims to develop students' 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 been failed, students will also be required to submit a 500-word presentation in notes/slides format.

Learning and teaching methods

The online element of the module is delivered through 1 x 50-minute lectures and 2 x 25-minute mini-lectures per week, as appropriate. 2 x 50 mins of face-to-face or online small-group or individual tutorials, classes or seminars are provided in addition to the above. One 50-minute lecture per week is always delivered online, while other input sessions and tutorials may be delivered in either face-to-face or online mode, as appropriate. Non-native speakers of English will receive an additional 50-minute seminar per week focusing on language development at sentence and paragraph level as well as opportunities to practice skills. This seminar will be delivered in either face-to-face or online mode, as appropriate and depending on circumstances. All information relating to this module can be found on the relevant Moodle site.


  • Duesterhaus, Megan; Grauerholz, Liz; Weichsel, Rebecca; Guittar, Nicholas A. (2011) 'The Cost of Doing Femininity: Gendered Disparities in Pricing of Personal Care Products and Services', in Gender Issues. vol. 28 (4) , pp.175-191

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   IA195 - Participation    10% 
Coursework   IA195 - Group tutorial    10% 
Coursework   IA195 - Formative Summary - 500 Words    0% 
Coursework   IA195 - Record of Group Work - 500 Words    10% 
Coursework   IA195 - Reading-to-write Literature Review - 1,000 words    25% 
Coursework   IA195 - Research Report - 1,000 words    25% 
Practical   IA195 - Oral Presentations and Reflections    20% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Miss Judith Holverson, email: jholver@essex.ac.uk.
Brendan Elsted, Sandra Stephenson
Becky Humphreys (becky.humphreys@essex.ac.uk or 01206 872217)



External examiner

Ms Hayley Piekarz
The University of Birmingham
Acting Director of Operations and Development
Available via Moodle
Of 880 hours, 856 (97.3%) hours available to students:
24 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Pathways

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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