Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Communication Skills
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Oral presentation.  Semester 2: 15 minutes (max).  50%
Semester Assessment Scientific writing (Essay)  Semester 2: 1500 words.  50%
Supplementary Assessment Scientific writing (Essay)  Supplementary Assessment: 1500 words.  50%
Supplementary Assessment Oral presentation.  Supplementary Assessment: 15 minutes (max).  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Plan, research and write essays on biological topics

2. Identify different types of exam questions and answer them appropriately

3. Deliver a structured talk on a biological subject

4. Make concise, comprehensive notes during lectures, workshops and practicals

5. Reflect and evaluate the academic and personal skills acquired during their degree

Brief description

The module will be delivered on a tutorial and large group basis with discussions to support the work in other modules in an informal situation. There will be an emphasis on taking notes, writing essays and giving oral presentations within a biological context. It will also provide the opportunity engagement with Personal Development Planning (PDP) for each student.


Through a series of taught large group sessions and small group tutorials students will be provided with the opportunity to develop and enhance their oral and written communication skills. Students will be given guidance and support to develop a number of key transferrable skills such as note taking, essay writing, examination skills, teamwork and presentation skills. Students will also be encouraged to develop reflective practice and evaluation of their academic and personal skills through the integrated PDPprogramme.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication This module develops core professional oral and written communication skills.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will undertake a range of activities that build adaptability and resilience. For example, students undertake an online learning styles/preferences questionnaire and use the results to explore how they can actively aid their learning when there is a perceived mismatch between their learning preference and the lecturing/teaching style. The exam skills activities include consideration of professional and personal resilience. PDP is embedded in the module and builds on development of professional and personal skills and attributes.
Information Technology Students will be required to access online databases such as ISI Web of Science, PubMed, Google Scholar, etc to sourceprimary literature. They will also be expected to becomecompetent in the use of word processing and presentation software for the delivery of assessed work.Students are introduced to other digital resources to support their learning and organization e.g. Inspiration and Anki software.
Personal Development and Career planning All of the skills developed in this module are key transferrable skills that are important for biologists and non-biologists alike. Students will gain confidence in their ability to evaluate biological problems through an awareness of their personal skills and objectively assess the quality of proposed solutions.Students will be expected to reflect and act upon feedback given (e.g. self-assessment, peer assessment and tutor assessment).Students are expected to reflect on their skills development throughout the module and in their preparation for their individual PDP meetings with their tutors.
Problem solving Through the tutorials and large group sessions students will be encouraged to critically analyse information gathered/provided and identify appropriate solutions to specific problems. They will also be expected to critically evaluate these solutions in a biological context. For example, students undertake formative exercises in identifying acceptable academic practice, citation and referencingand avoiding plagiarism. They will learn how to critically evaluate and select relevant information for inclusion in their assignments against tight deadlines and whilst meeting all of the requirements of the coursework brief. They will learn how to work in groups towards common goals. Feedback will be provided where appropriate.
Research skills Through the tutorials and large group sessions students will be expected to critically analyse information gathered/provided. For example, studentswill explore citation and referencing, acceptable and unacceptable academic practice through analysing example texts. They will explore, critically analyse and evaluate sources of information for their essays and presentations. They will learn how to analyse and interpret exam questions and critically evaluate their skills development.
Subject Specific Skills The core skills are taught in a biological context and relate to the academic material delivered in other modules.
Team work Students will work effectively in small groups for the presentations. They will be expected to contribute to the planning and organisation of the presentation.Students will undertake formative peer assessment .


This module is at CQFW Level 3