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Module OSX-1000:
Science Skills Tutorial

Module Facts

Run by School of Ocean Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Suzanna Jackson

Overall aims and purpose

  1. To foster early and regular contact between staff and their personal tutees thus underpinning the pastoral care system within the School

  2. To introduce the students to the multi-disciplinary nature of marine science

  3. To encourage students to read more widely around their chosen subject

  4. To teach skills in essay writing and oral presentation

  5. Teach basics of library usage and encourage this

Course content

This module is designed to introduce a range of skills required for a marine science degree and to encourage wider reading in marine science. It involves directed reading and the practice in oral and written presentations. Regular tutorials (7 to 10 students per group) will be held throughout the year during which essay writing skills, oral presentation skills and abstracting information from the scientific literature will be discussed. The module will be assessed by two essay assignments, two oral presentations, one abstract assignment and one referencing assignment.

Assessment Criteria


Communicate ideas very effectively in both the essays and presentations, using high quality slides and self-drawn figures. Fully understand the ideas being communicated in both the essays and presentations. Able to abstract a scientific paper demonstrating full understanding of source material. Present high quality scientific data in the form of figures which are of a professional standard.


Communicate ideas effectively without deviation from the point both in the essays and presentations, using appropriate slides and self-drawn figures. Show a basic understanding of the underlying principals of the ideas being communicated in both the essays and presentations. Able to abstract a scientific paper demonstrating good understanding of the source material. Present adequate quality scientific data in the form of figures which are of a professional standard.


Communicate ideas using verbal and written skills. Able to abstract a scientific paper demonstrating a basic understanding of source material. Produce rudimentary scientific figures.

Learning outcomes

  1. Use library facilities to undertake literature searches.

  2. Write logical, well structured scientific essays drawing upon appropriate information from the scientific literature, using correctly formatted in-text citations and reference list.

  3. Foster a scientific mindset and ability to present arguments in a coherent manner.

  4. Be able to write abstracts of scientific papers and for scientific essays

  5. Be able to give short oral presentations using appropriate visual aides within a given time limit.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Essay Semester 1 15
INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION Presentation Semester 1 15
CLASS TEST Referencing Blackboard test 15
ESSAY Essay Semester 2 20
INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION Presentation Semester 2 20
Written assignment, including essay Abstract assignment 15

Teaching and Learning Strategy


5 x 1 hour tutorials to be held fortnightly in each semester

Private study

Directed study for remaining time to best utilise student efforts


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Develop and identify research question(s) and/or hypotheses as the basis for investigation.
  • Consider issues from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.
  • Apply subject knowledge to the understanding and addressing of problems.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: