Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Career Planning and Skills Development
Academic Year
Semester 2
Entry requirements for honours Mathematics or Physics degree schemes
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 1-hour lectures
Practical 10 2-hour workshops


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Programming assignment (22%), Visualisation assignment (22%), Statistics assignment (22%), Skills awareness programme and Curriculum Vitae (12%), Group presentation (11%), Presentation of topic in Mathematics or Physics (11%).  100%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   practical examination on spreadsheets and statistics.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Set up, or modify, a spreadsheet to do various calculations and produce summaries and charts from the figures involved;
2. Explore a data set using the statistics package and applying simple methods to analyse and present the information it contains;
3. Use a word-processing package to produce simple documents, including a Curriculum Vitae;
4. Use a presentation package to produce a simple slide presentation;
5. Give a presentation of a topic in Mathematics or Physics;
6. Produce a Personal Development Portfolio.


The module provides an opportunity to develop a selection of transferable skills, not directly connected with Mathematics or Physics, but designed to enhance their learning experience and their employment prospects.

Brief description

This module introduces the students to programming and a number of IT packages: a word-processing package, a presentation package, a spreadsheet package and a statistics package illustrating simple uses of these packages in the workplace. The Careers Advisory Service provides, as part of this module, a skills awareness programme during which each student prepares a Curriculum Vitae. Working in teams, students will research the careers available to graduates in their discipline and the relation of the skills they acquire in their course to these careers. The teams will give group presentations on their findings which make use of the presentation package to which they have been introduced. On an individual basis, students will also prepare and make a short presentation on a topic in Mathematics or Physics. The module also introduces the Personal Development Portfolio, which they can discuss during a meeting with the Personal Tutor.


Word-processing package: introduction, simple documents, formatting, mathematical expressions.
Skills awareness programme, including advice on the preparation of a CV, run by the Careers Advisory Service.
Group presentations on the relation between the skills acquired by Mathematicians or Physicists and the careers available to them.
Personal Development Portfolios: introduction, standard template.
Presentation package: introduction, making a simple presentation.
Spreadsheet package: overview of spreadsheets, entering and formatting information, formulae and functions, copying cell contents, manipulating a (large) spreadsheet.
Statistics package: overview, use of the help facility, input, manipulation and correction of data, a selection of applications from exploratory data analysis, linear regression and testing hypotheses; incorporating output into Word documents.
Programming: basic introduction to software programming.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Numerical concepts and techniques are addressed in connection with the spreadsheet and statistics packages.
Communication Written communication is developed and tested by the written assignments, CV and PDP.Oral communication is developed and tested by the presentation.
Improving own Learning and Performance In producing a PDP, the students will be required to reflect on their learning experiences and record how they should benefit from this reflection.
Information Technology The students will use a variety of computer packages.
Personal Development and Career planning The skills awareness programme, the group presentation and the production of a Personal Development Portfolio provide opportunities for career planning and reflecting on personal development. All but the Personal Development Portfolio are assessed.
Problem solving Problem solving skills are developed in this module in dealing with the spreadsheet and statistics assignments and in preparing for the presentation of a topic in Mathematics or Physics.
Research skills Research skills are developed in research the presentation topic and in researching the skills needed for various forms of employment.
Team work Work leading to the group presentation is done in teams.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Barbara Ryan, Brian L. Joiner (2001) Minitab Handbook 4/e Duxbury Primo search Greg Harvey (1994) Excel for Dummies 2/e IDG Books Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 4