Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Skills Foundation 1
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Article review  Thematic and bibliographic review of peer-reviewed journal article 750 Words  30%
Semester Assessment Essay  Critical essay on proposed topic 1750 Words  70%
Supplementary Assessment Article review  Thematic and bibliographic review of peer-reviewed journal article 750 Words  30%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  Critical essay on proposed topic 1750 Words  70%

Learning Outcomes

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

Identify and use appropriate academic language in writing and speaking.

Identify and use strategies for selecting peer reviewed reference material and assessing the value of non-peer reviewed and web-based material.

Develop strategies for listening, note-taking and synthesising information towards development of critical discussions and critical writing.

Develop strategies for reading, summarising, paraphrasing and appropriately referencing acadmic work.

Brief description

In this module students will engage with formal academic discourse in spoken and written contexts. The emphasis is on understanding how arguments are developed and how they are supported by a range of published academic, professional and media-oriented texts. Learning activities will support students to identify effective strategies for reading, note-taking, writing, listening and speaking. Students will also identify and explore differences between writing intended for different audiences and purposes, for example writing in the media vs. writing in academic contexts, with a view to writing and communicating appropriately in academic and professional life.


The aim of this module is to create a critical learning environment where students will be able to analyse and further develop existing and new academic skills. These include writing, speaking, listening and discussion in seminars and lectures, use and acknowledgement of reference materials, and use and critical appraisal of library and online reference material.


The themes covered in the module are set out below. Some components of the course (e.g. academic practice) may receive more extensive coverage than others, according to their importance and relevance to a given cohort of students.

Each week’s teaching will consist of one lecture to all students, plus smaller group seminars in which students discuss, apply and expand on key themes from the lectures. There is a strong emphasis on how development of skills feeds forwards towards the development of assignments in this module and other modules. Students will be required to participate actively, engage in peer-review activities and appraise and evaluate their own learning strategies and progress.

Know your degree: interpreting the study scheme and modules database to identify assignment details on and across chosen modules.

The skills you need: profiling the range of academic skills students can reasonably expect to use in their degree and ways in which they can develop or enhance their existing skills.

Introduction to Primo (delivered by Information Services subject librarian): developing skills and strategies for using online and physical library resources, including (but not limited to) Primo, Google Scholar and other relevant networks.

Introduction to genre analysis: selecting peer-reviewed articles relevant to student’s own discipline / interests and analysing them to identify key features of good academic practice.

Essential aspects of good academic practice: identifying and practising key skills including citation, quotation, referencing, bibliographies, paraphrasing and summarising. In order to make this relevant to the range of disciplines involved in the foundation schemes, we will compare the uses of Harvard, APA, MLA, MHRA, IEEE and footnote/endnote systems, among others as required. Students will be encouraged to follow and access systems used by their departments.

Logical arguments: identifying patterns in written and spoken argument, and developing strategies to present own arguments logically.

Appropriate communication: analysing how genre, audience, and context (e.g. academic, professional, media) influence content, language and style choices in written and spoken communication

Skills for lectures: working on approaches to listening for specific information, note-taking from listening and synthesising and prioritizing information.

Skills for seminars: developing strategies for leading and mediating critical discussions in seminars.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Through note-taking, sequencing and prioritizing ideas.
Communication Developed through critical discussions in seminars, written assignments and teamwork activities and online exercises through Blackboard.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students are required to reflect on development of skills as a reflexive process and take part in and respond to peer review activities.
Information Technology Students use a range of networked word processing and presentation programmes. They also use Blackboard and identify values of online reference sources.
Personal Development and Career planning Students identify specific interests, and some seminar activities are developed by negotiation around possible career interest areas.
Problem solving All classroom based exercises and assignments involve problem solving to provide contextually appropriate responses and to interpret structures with appropriate strategies.
Research skills All work requires reading, analysing, planning and development strategies. Use of Aspire reading lists, Primo and other related and complementary resources is essential.
Subject Specific Skills Students learn and apply theoretical principles of writing, speaking and other skills. It provides students with a critical toolkit for strategic and spontaneous interpretation of communication situations.
Team work Students are engaged in collaborative peer review activities and other team based discussion and review activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 3