Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Research Seminar Skills in Physical Sciences
Academic Year
Summer (Taught over 2 semesters)
Also available in
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
PGM2410 This module will mirror PGM2410 and hence it would not be appropriate for students to select both of these modules: any student whom is doing interdisciplinary work should make a decision.
Reading List

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Written Portfolio  Written portfolio summarizing talks (either at seminars and/or conferences) attended. 2000 Words  80%
Semester Assessment 4 Hours   Tutorials  Participation in interactive tutorials.  20%
Supplementary Assessment Written Portfolio  Written portfolio summarizing talks (either at seminars and/or conferences) attended. 2000 Words  80%
Supplementary Assessment 4 Hours   Tutorials  Participation in interactive tutorials.  20%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Locate and evaluate the relevancy of scheduled talks to personal research work been undertaken.

Take effective notes from talks and, using published papers as appropriate, formulate these into succinct self-contained summaries.

Formulate ideas from talks of how the skills and knowledge presented can be incorporated into their research work.

Brief description

The broad purpose of this module is to develop research students outside awareness and appreciation of current research which is been undertaken within their specific research area.
This module will begin with four core tutorials in which students from different departments within the physical sciences will be introduced to each other through group work activities.
Following these tutorials the students will then be required to select and attend research talks which can either be from internal AU research seminar series and/or external seminar series/conferences which are relevant to their research area. They will be required to justify their relevancy, take effective notes and then select appropriate research papers to corroborate and deepen their understanding.
Finally, they will be required to formulate ideas for how they can develop their research area (either within existing research degree and/or through further work) based on the content and skills presented in these talks.


The following skills will be taught and developed in the core tutorials: Note-taking methods, generic scientific research writing skills, reading papers effectively, formulating relevant questions and generating research ideas.
The content assimilated by each individual student thereafter will be specific to their research area.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Adaptability and resilience Students will undoubtedly encounter challenging talks which showcase knowledge which is above their current level of understanding: it is imperative that they then read relevant papers as part of the process of a) becoming an expert in their specialized research area, b) having a broad knowledge of related contemporary research which is relevant to their area.
Co-ordinating with others Students will be expected to consult with their supervisor(s) on selection of appropriate talks.
Creative Problem Solving Students will be required to formulate ideas of how they can apply the material presented in research talks to their current research field.
Critical and analytical thinking Students will be required to critically evaluate the relevancy of research talks to their research area and hence decide if it is worth their time/research fund expense to attend.
Digital capability Students will be encouraged to explore digital accessories & tools for assistance with creating and storing effective notes.
Professional communication As part of the assessment students will be required to present written work to a standard which is aligned with that expected within research thesis.
Real world sense Through the talks it is expected that students will gain an appreciation of how scientists work is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary in nature and the importance of project management in large-scale scientific discoveries.
Reflection Students will be taught skills (Cornell Note-taking method) to reflect on the notes they take during research talks.
Subject Specific Skills The talks the students attend will be subject specific and hence they will develop skills in summarizing research within their specialist subject.


This module is at CQFW Level 7