Research and Academic Development Skills and English Language

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
21 May 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC CR00 Biochemistry (Including Foundation Year),
BSC CD00 Biological Sciences (Including Foundation Year),
BSC BD00 Biomedical Science (Including Foundation Year),
BSC CK00 Genetics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C161 Marine Biology (Including Foundation Year),
BA C807 Psychology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C812 Psychology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C813 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C611 Sports and Exercise Science (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C614 Sports Performance and Coaching (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 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.

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, 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

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 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.

Module information


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

Formative assessment

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.

Reassessment strategy:

Failed Coursework:
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%

Learning and teaching methods

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 Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Group Tutorial     10% 
Coursework   Formative Summary     0% 
Coursework   Record of Group Work     10% 
Coursework   Individual Reading-to-Write Literature Review    25% 
Coursework   Individual Research Report     25% 
Coursework   Individual Oral Presentation and Reflections     20% 
Coursework   Reflective Tutorial Document    10% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Mr Christopher Eustace, email: cjeust@essex.ac.uk.
Chris Eustace, Liz Algar, Maurice Abbott
Kate Smith (catsmith@essex.ac.uk or 01206 874564)



External examiner

Ms Hayley Piekarz
The University of Birmingham
Acting Director of Operations and Development
Available via Moodle
Of 3148 hours, 551 (17.5%) hours available to students:
2597 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Pathways

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