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
10 January 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA M903 Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC LL14 Economics and Politics (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 L921 International Development (Including Foundation Year),
BA L250 International Relations (Including Foundation Year),
BA LR59 International Relations 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 Media 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 L0V2 Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BA L202 Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BA L2M8 Politics with Human Rights (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 RT99 Spanish, Portuguese and Brazilian Studies (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA C848CO Psychodynamic Practice (Including Foundation Year),
BA C89C Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA L523 Childhood Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA QP13 English Language with Media Communication (Including Foundation Year),
BSC L313 Sociology with Data Science (Including foundation Year),
BA Q121 Linguistics with Data Science (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),
BA LY13 Social Sciences (Including Foundation Year),
BA V306 Curating with Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BA L351 Sociology and Health (including Foundation Year),
BA Q912 Modern Languages Translation, Interpreting and Cultural Mediation (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


  • 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 lectures

  • Summary writing

  • Presentation skills including the effective use of visuals

  • 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:

    • Two 2-hour classes.

    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.


    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 Coursework weighting
    Coursework   IA195 - Academic Integrity Online Quiz    15% 
    Coursework   IA195 - Formative Summary Task - 500 Words  30/10/2023  0% 
    Coursework   IA195 - Summary Task  11/12/2023  25% 
    Coursework   IA195-3-FY Formative Scaffold Assignment 1,000 Words  12/02/2024  0% 
    Coursework   IA195 - Scaffolded Assignment   18/03/2024  30% 
    Coursework   IA195 - Reflective Presentations  26/04/2024  30% 

    Additional coursework information

    Formative assessment

    • Students will submit a 500-word reading-to-write summary in the Autumn Term.

    Summative assessment

    • Academic Integrity Online Quiz (40 mins) taken in the Autumn Term to raise awareness of plagiarism.
    • Summary of a subject-specific text (500 words) to be submitted in the Autumn Term after formative feedback has been provided.
    • Scaffolded assignment (1,000 words) to 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 for the Humanities pathway. The topic is selected in consultation with subject Module Leaders on the pathway.
    • Reflective presentation (7-10 mins) to take place in the Summer Term. Presentations are delivered individually but include an element of reporting on collaborative group or peer reflective exercises. The presentation aims to develop student’s oral communication skills 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 recorded presentation (7-10 minutes). 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
    Miss Judith Holverson, email: jholver@essex.ac.uk.
    Judith Holverson
    Becky Humphreys (becky.humphreys@essex.ac.uk or 01206 872217)



    External examiner

    Mr Gerald Dampier
    University of Surrey
    Teaching Fellow in Learning Development
    Available via Moodle
    Of 207 hours, 199 (96.1%) hours available to students:
    6 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
    2 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


    Further information
    Essex Pathways

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