HEM01-Research Skills and Careers Learning

Module Provider: School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites: Please note this module is not available to students outside of SHES.
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Rob Batchelor

Email: c.r.batchelor@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module provides a comprehensive knowledge of the resources, techniques and skills required for conducting independent research and critical analytical writing at Masters Level and for future study and employment within and beyond the discipline.

Aims:
This module provides a comprehensive knowledge of the resources, techniques and skills required for conducting independent research and critical analytical writing at Masters Level and for future study and employment within and beyond the discipline. It enables students to access their own learning needs and provides the opportunity to gain practical experience in a range of ICT and data sources, and to develop their own independent research. Students will also learn about publishing and presenting their work, interview techniques and article critiques. In addition there is the opportunity to consider business and project planning. The module is also aimed at developing personal responsibility and initiative in academic tasks and problem solving, as well as in continued professional development and future applications for employment, grants and funding.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module the student will be able to:
•Independently and efficiently use library facilities and data sources in written essays
•Demonstrate good academic practice in use, citation and referencing of source material
•Assess critically articles and Masters Level essays
•Apply strategies and skills required for critical analysis writing
•Write an effective CV and covering letter

Additional outcomes:
Students will also be able to:
• Design, plan and implement tasks related to research including effective reading and use of bibliography management programmes, research data management, exercise initiative and personal responsibility necessary for research and future employment
• Design and write applications for grants and funding
• Appraise the ethics and environment of academic research
• Deliver clear well-structured oral presentations and use PowerPoint effectively
• Engage in critical discussion of other people’s ideas and presentations
• Develop interpersonal communication and work skills in a diverse group

Outline content:
Sessions will normally include topics including:
Introduction to MA/MSc Study and Resources at Reading
Research Management Skills, and Where to get Help
How to avoid academic misconduct and plagiarism
Introduction to Blackboard
Introduction to library resources and Endnote
Health and Safety, Ethics and student Welfare
Introduction to specialised computer packages (optional)
Writing Essays and article critiques
Oral Presentations (with video feedback)
Applying for PhD studentships
Writing a research proposal
Writing a paper for publication
Career potential, CVs, covering letters and mock interviews
Setting up a business (optional)
Professional Report Writing

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
This module is taught mainly by staff within the School who will cover issues generic to all Masters students, as well as covering more subject-specific aspects in small group seminars. The library session is taught by the University Library liaison officers for Archaeology and Geography and Environmental Sciences. The session on writing and critiquing ‘M’ Level essays will include preparatory reading. Writing and analytical skills will be assessed through a written article critique linked to one of their specialist options. Students will also experience a mock interview and be given feedback on their oral presentation.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 2
Practicals classes and workshops 6
Guided independent study 72
       
Total hours by term 100.00
       
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Portfolio 50

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will be required to submit an article critique of 2000 words (50%) and a CV and job application (50%). The latter to be submitted in time for the mock job interviews. Those at the end of the careers, or already in full-time employment, have the option to complete an alternative 'research skills' assessment.

Formative assessment methods:
Students will be given various written and oral formative feedback throughout this module via mock interviews, oral presentations and meetings with their personal tutor.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
Resubmission of coursework

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 21 December 2016

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