Employability Skills for the Biosciences

The details
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Autumn & Spring
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 22 March 2024
07 August 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC C700 Biochemistry,
BSC C701 Biochemistry (Including Placement Year),
BSC C703 Biochemistry (Including Year Abroad),
BSC CR00 Biochemistry (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C100 Biological Sciences,
BSC C101 Biological Sciences (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C102 Biological Sciences (Including Placement Year),
BSC CD00 Biological Sciences (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C400 Genetics,
BSC C402 Genetics (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C403 Genetics (Including Placement Year),
BSC CK00 Genetics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C110 Biotechnology,
BSC C111 Biotechnology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C112 Biotechnology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C113 Biotechnology (Including Placement Year),
BSC C200 Human Biology,
BSC C201 Human Biology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C202 Human Biology (Including Placement Year),
BSC C220 Human Biology (Including Foundation Year),
MSCIC098 Biochemistry and Biotechnology (Including Year Abroad),
MSCIC099 Biochemistry and Biotechnology (Including Placement Year),
MSCICZ99 Biochemistry and Biotechnology,
BSC C555 Microbiology,
BSC C556 Microbiology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C557 Microbiology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C558 Microbiology (Including Placement Year),
MSCIC559 Microbiology and Biotechnology

Module description

This module will introduce you to enterprise and entrepreneurship skills and how these can help shape your future careers. These may not be in the conventional career pathways envisaged by those undertaking a bioscience degree but they are expected to cover competencies representing a growing trend in new business creation.

The module will draw on expertise from academics, career development experts, employers and entrepreneurs. Throughout the module, a strong emphasis will be placed on key skills such as communication, collaboration, networking, developing self-confidence and creativity, problem-solving and being pro-active and decisive.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To develop skills in working effectively in a group.

  • To develop skills to search, source and obtain credible information.

  • To develop creative and innovative thinking for problem solving.

  • To develop time management skills.

  • To develop communication and presentation skills.

  • To engage in a science topic that can be disseminated to the public in various ways, e.g. vodcast.

  • To research the background for a job application from an advertisement.

  • To prepare a Curriculum Vitae (CV) for a job application.

  • To prepare an application for a summer placement.

  • To prepare a letter of application for a job application.

  • To apply for a job.

  • To recognise impact in scientific research and present this as an Impact Flyer.

  • To prepare a short scientific presentation using powerpoint.

  • To effectively deliver a short scientific talk to a group.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Be aware of career options for bioscience students and how science can be applied to a range of work environments and sectors.

  2. Develop enterprise and entrepreneurial skills which can be applied by bioscience students.

  3. Develop reflective employability criteria.

  4. Develop competence in oral as well as written communication skills and group work:

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 4-hour workshop, comprising of external career speakers, breakout sessions and introduction to networking. 
  • One 1-hour Public Engagement session.
  • Student managed learning (sml).
  • One 3-hour careers `practical`.
  • One 1-hour career action planning.
  • Seven 1-hour tutorials with personal tutors for C.V., careers feedback.
  • Three 1-hour seminars by external speakers.
  • Scientific oral presentation.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Job Application    5% 
Coursework   Reflective Statement on CV    5% 
Coursework   Statistical DAI    15% 
Coursework   Oral Pitch  18/10/2023  20% 
Coursework   Scientific Paper Critique  27/10/2023  20% 
Coursework   Career Action Plan (CV & Job App)  21/11/2023  5% 
Coursework   Public Engagement  16/02/2024  15% 
Coursework   Hot Topics Flyer  19/03/2024  15% 

Additional coursework information

  • Part A:
    • Summer school and entrepreneurship.
  • Part B: A 'hot topics' essay and employability exercise.
    • CV.
    • Career Action plan.
    • Summer Placement application.
    • Essay.
  • Part C: Powerpoint presentation 
    • Quality of slides.
    • Clarity of presentation.
    • Evidence of understanding.

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
Dr Nicola Slee, email:



External examiner

Dr Thomas Clarke
University of East Anglia
Senior lecturer/associate professor
Available via Moodle
Of 62 hours, 36 (58.1%) hours available to students:
2 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
24 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Life Sciences (School of)

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.