Science & Employability Skills
Run by School of Natural Sciences
10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits
Semester 1 & 2
Organiser: Dr Christian Dunn
Overall aims and purpose
The module is designed to improve students’ writing and presentation skills, with the aim of enhancing their overall employability and knowledge of future careers. Alongside developing knowledge in constructing publishable scientific papers students will also learn how to promote and publicise their work to a wider, mixed audience using a variety of platforms. Students will also gain an understanding in techniques and skills to improve their chances of employment and enterprise opportunities. And finally, the attendance of scientific conferences and seminars is a vital part of staying in touch with the rapid advances in research. The final aspect of the module is designed to equip students with the key skills in how to interpret, evaluate and summarise “cutting edge” science presented via a “research-seminar format”. Liaison between research active staff and students will enable students to engage with scientific research, expanding their text book knowledge and writing skills, and illustrate to students the range of exciting internal postgraduate research available for future study. Students should spend time researching and reflecting on their own career path and discuss this with their peers and staff.
This module will cover key writing skills for scientific purposes including the promotion and dissemination of topical subjects. Essential skills to enhance students’ employability and career prospects will be explained; including producing a CV, writing a business plan and marketing – along with networking skills and interview practice. A series of research seminars will be organised to cover a wide selection of scientific areas giving students access to topics and academics they may otherwise not have come across. There will be a number of formative assessments throughout the module and an ongoing summative assessment in the form of a blog.
(Grade A; mark range 70-100%). A very good student should have a detailed and conceptual knowledge of the essential facts and key concepts require for effective employment planning, development of a business enterprise and consideration of the ethical issues involved in biology. The interview skills session, and oral business presentation and the written business plan and seminar report should all demonstrate knowledge above the expected text book level and inclusion of information from on-line sources, the scientific literature and other modules.
(Grade D or C; mark range 40-59%). A threshold student should have a basic knowledge of the essential facts and key concepts required for effective employment planning, development of a business enterprise and consideration of the ethical issues involved in biology. The interview skills session, and oral business presentation and the written business plan and seminar report should all demonstrate an ability to research and organise material from the lectures, student group exercises and text books into a coherent argument
(Grade B; mark range 60-69%). A good student should have a thorough factual knowledge of the essential facts and key concepts require for effective employment planning, development of a business enterprise and consideration of the ethical issues involved in biology. The interview skills session, and oral business presentation and the written business plan and seminar report should all demonstrate an ability to think critically about the subject and to synthesise material not only from lectures, student group exercises and text books but also from on-line resources.
Analyse and use the best method to express scientific findings and concepts to as wide, and as relevant, an audience as possible.
Synthesise information from seminars on topical life science research, in-order to gain an insight into cutting-edge work– and communicate it to a mixed audience.
Evaluate how different writing and presentation techniques are needed, depending on the audience, target and medium used, and develop an effective approach to report writing, CV writing, business plan writing and online writing
|Written assignment, including essay||Science & Employability Blog||
Blog (100%): Students will learn how to write for an online audience and use a content management system (CNS; Learning outcome 2). They will then use this knowledge to establish a blog which will include entries on the seminars they have attended (Learning outcome 1), the other various elements of the course and a final reflective piece – approximately 3,000 words (Learning outcome 2 and 3). Although this assessment is 100% of the module regular feedback sessions will be held throughout the module to ensure all students are comfortable with the assessment.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
The lectures will be complemented by a second teaching block consisting of workshops covering practical employability skills. Students will gain formative assessment from their peers and staff.
The course will begin with a “welcome lecture” explaining the structure of the modules and expectations of the students. A series of lectures will then take place over the two semesters covering employability aspects and core scientific skills.
Students are encouraged to use lectures (live or Panopto) as major source of information (all PowerPoints and any other web links are available through these). To engage with the blogging assement with their peers and to spend time researching and reflecting on their own career path and discuss this with their peers and staff.
“Current Biological Science Topics” is a novel aspect to the module which will cut across both semesters to teach students how to extract key information from scientific presentations, to summarise this information in a concise, format, and use that information to inform decision making regarding their future careers. Moreover, this part of the module brings students in direct contact with cutting-edge research advancing their text book knowledge. Students will attend a minimum of five talks during the academic year from ongoing research seminar series. At the end of every talk students will have the opportunity to discuss the content and scientific background of the talk with the speaker, the convener of the module and other scientists present. Students are also encouraged to question their supervisors about the presentations. All seminar speakers are asked to give a more general introduction to their research to allow Level 3 students to follow their presentations. Speakers are also encouraged to emphasise key findings and the wider scientific relevance of their work.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- 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
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
Subject specific skills
- Engagement with current developments in the biosciences and their application.
- Engage in debate and/or discussion with specialists and non-specialists using appropriate language.
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- C100: BSC Biology year 3 (BSC/B)
- C511: BSc Biology with Biotechnology year 3 (BSC/BIOT)
- C102: BSc Biology (with International Experience) year 3 (BSC/BITE)
- C300: BSC Zoology year 3 (BSC/Z)
- C305: BSc Zoology with Animal Behaviour (with International Exp) year 3 (BSC/ZABIE)
- C3L2: BSC Zoology with Conservation year 3 (BSC/ZC)
- C319: BSc Zoology with Climate Change Studies year 3 (BSC/ZCC)
- C3L3: BSc Zoology with Conservation with International Experience year 3 (BSC/ZCIE)
- C304: BSC Zoology with Herpetology year 3 (BSC/ZH)
- C324: BSc Zoology with International Experience year 3 (BSC/ZIE)
- C3C1: BSc Zoology with Marine Zoology (with International Exp) year 3 (BSC/ZMB)
- C350: BSC Zoology with Marine Zoology year 3 (BSC/ZMZ)
- C3D3: BSC Zoology with Animal Behaviour year 3 (BSC/ZWAB)
- C101: MBiol Master of Biology year 3 (MBIOL/BIO)
- C510: MBiol Biology with Biotechnology year 3 (MBIOL/BIOT)
- C302: MZool Zoology with Animal Behaviour year 3 (MZOOL/AB)
- CD34: MZool Zoology with Conservation year 3 (MZOOL/CONS)
- C303: MZool Zoology with Herpetology year 3 (MZOOL/HERP)
- C325: MZool Zoology with Animal Behaviour with International Exp year 3 (MZOOL/ZAIE)
- C321: MZool Zoology with Climate Change year 3 (MZOOL/ZCC)
- C326: MZool Zoology with Herpetology with International Experience year 3 (MZOOL/ZHIE)
- C353: MZool Zoology with Marine Zoology year 3 (MZOOL/ZMZ)
- C306: MZool Zoology (with International Experience) year 3 (MZOOL/ZOIE)
- C301: MZool Master of Zoology year 3 (MZOOL/ZOO)