Research and Academic Development Skills

PLEASE NOTE: This module is inactive. Visit the Module Directory to view modules and variants offered during the current academic year.

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
05 June 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA T7W8 American Studies (United States) with Film (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA VV38 Art History and History (Including Foundation Year),
BA VV3B Art History and History (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA V3RB Art History and Modern Languages (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA VR3B Art History with Modern Languages (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA MT28 Criminology and American Studies (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA T728 English and United States Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA R008 European Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA R9T8 European Studies and Modern Languages (Including Foundation Year),
BA R9R8 European Studies with French (Including Foundation Year),
BA R9R6 European Studies with German (Including Foundation Year),
BA R9R7 European Studies with Italian (Including Foundation Year),
BA VW38 Film Studies and Art History (Including Foundation Year),
BA VW3B Film Studies and Art History (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA MV98 History and Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BA LV18 History and Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BA QV2H Literature and Art History (Including Foundation Year),
BA QV3B Literature and Art History (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA LQ38 Literature and Sociology (Including Foundation Year),
BA VV54 Philosophy and Art History (Including Foundation Year),
BA VVHP Philosophy and Art History (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA VV51 Philosophy and History (Including Foundation Year),
BA VV5X Philosophy and History (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA LV83 Philosophy and Sociology (Including Foundation Year),
BA VL58 Philosophy and Sociology (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA V115 History and Drama (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, 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, 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 the 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 been offered opportunities:

  1. To improve your written and oral communication skills.

  2. To develop your online and independent learning skills.

  3. To develop your analytical, and 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 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

This 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 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

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 on the most relevant topic for the Humanities Pathway.
  • Reflective presentation (7-10 mins) to take place in the Summer Term. Presentations are delivered individually and report on the student’s research and reflect on the research process. 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 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.
Becky Humphreys (becky.humphreys@essex.ac.uk or 01206 872217)



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 7967 hours, 7 (0.1%) hours available to students:
7960 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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