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MODULE: Study Skills and Communication B (First Year / UG Stage 2)



Document version
Version 2.0 (January 2021)

Version 1.1 (September 2018)

This Module Specification Document (MSD) summarises the Intended Learning Outcomes (LOs) that students will

reasonably be expected to have achieved and demonstrated upon completion of the module providing they have

taken full advantage of the learning opportunities. The information outlined in this MSD should be considered in

conjunction with Programme Specification Document/s (PSDs) pertaining to the relevant programme/s of study.

Module name
Study Skills and Communication A (First Year/UG Stage 2)

Module code

Module duration (per semester)
13 weeks: 12 weeks of teaching + 1 week of assessment

Contact hours (per semester)

Self-directed study hours (per semester)

Notional hours per module

Teaching Body

Articulating Institution
St Mary’s University/Worcester University

SMULIC status
Affiliate College of St Mary’s University/Worcester University

SMULIC location
Waldegrave Road Building, St Mary’s University , Teddington

Pathway (s) applicable

– First Year Degree in Business, Management and Marketing


– First Year in Art and Design + Creative Media

– First Year in Science and Health

– First Year in Sport and Exercise Science

Pathway Stage
UG Stage 2

RQF Level

‘SMULIC Credit’ points

Language of delivery

Language of assessment

See: Policy Document 4 – Assessment Regulations (PD4)

Pass criteria
Minimum pass mark of 65% (Grade B)

Retrieval of failure and progression
A student that fails to achieve the required pass mark in a given

module will have an opportunity to re-sit the major assessment in that

module; if the student does not succeed in achieving a pass mark for

the module as a result of this re-sit, the student will be deemed to

have failed the module completely and will be required to re-take (i.e.

study again) the module at full cost. Any student who subsequently

fails to achieve a pass mark in module having already undertaken both

a resit and re-take of that module will be referred to College

Board of Study for student management decision; however, ordinarily

it will not be possible for students to progress to their next Stage of

study in such circumstances.

MSD: UG02-SSC-B: Study Skills and Communication B (First Year / UG Stage 2)
Version 1.2
Educational Aims
This module is to be taught in parallel with the relevant First Year / Undergraduate Stage 2 modules at SMULIC/UWIC. The module is intended to prepare students for undergraduate study by focussing on key transferable skills applicable to this endeavour: research and analytical techniques; effective oral and written communication skills; personal development and administration skills to support further study in a postgraduate context; as well as enhancing career and developmental skills.
A range of practical activities are incorporated into the module to enable students to build communication skills through the utilisation of techniques and strategies to augment delivery in oral presentations; enhance grammar and vocabulary; organise and present information and ideas persuasively in both speech and a range of written formats; learn to listen effectively and critically and respond in time-pressured contexts; interpret and show understating of cultural, gender and other differences; engage productively and collaboratively in team work and individual tasks.
Successful completion of this module will ensure that graduates have:
attained a level of competence in inter-disciplinary communication commensurate with Level B2 ‘Proficient User’ under the Common European Framework of Reference for languages: Learning, teaching assessment 2001, Council of Europe, CUP, Cambridge, p. 24, Table 1. Common Reference Levels: global scale;
achieved a sound understanding/appreciation of the knowledge and ability to apply the skills required for successful further study at postgraduate degree level.
MODULE TOPICS See: Module Outline
Module Structure
Delivery will be adjusted to blended provision (consistent with what the university will be doing). The approach has been designed to include as much feedback as possible. It is intended to provide clarity to students and tutors on what they will study, how they will study, what they will be assessed on and how they will be assessed. This includes a 4hr modules:
▪ 2 hrs face to face class time▪ 30 mins online group tutorial▪ 3 x 30 mins timetabled synchronous pre-recorded lectures online▪ Class sizes will be reduced to 15▪ Smaller class sizes are intended to increase the engagement each student receives from their tutor.
Individual appraisal: Primary focus is review PDPs but appraisals may be called at any time at the discretion of the tutor with additional support and referral to SMULIC’s SINOS programme via Academic/Student Service where deemed necessary.
Self-directed study:
Students undertaking this module will be expected to adhere to a minimum number of hours of individual study per week in order to support classroom-based teaching and learning. Self-directed study should naturally increase as students’ progress through the module in order to complete assessments in line with deadlines and prepare for the final exam at the end of the module. Self-reliance, organisational and self-discipline in this regard are key transferable skills essential to the successful completion of this module
Essential reading
MSD UG01-SSC-A Study Skills and Communication A (First Year / UG Stage 2)
Recommended reading
The Resource List for the module is available here:
********************************SMU TALIS link TBC***********************************************
MSD: UG02-SSC-B: Study Skills and Communication B (First Year / UG Stage 2) Version 1.2

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Knowledge and Understanding

Upon completion of this module student should be able to demonstrate their appreciation and

understanding of the following:


Recall the structure, purpose and expectations of the First Year / UG Stage 2 stage of study at SMULIC


Outline SMU’s undergraduate degree scheme structures and awards.


Use university library, e-learning and IT facilities; SMULIC resources and personal resources to support studies at First Year / UG Stage 2.


Apply effective time management in relation to required hours of study and assessment events.


Demonstrate techniques for public speaking and dealing with associated apprehension.


Demonstrate techniques for enhancing non-verbal communication.


Demonstrate techniques for enhanced listening skills, techniques for retention of information and its



Recall the history of academic scholarship in relation to the relevant subject area(S) and the associated

nomenclature to facilitate clarity of communication.


Evaluate the suitability and applicability of different language styles in relation to different communication

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Recall techniques for achieving clarity in writing that can be applied in a range of written formats.


Construct appropriate document layouts and recall how to apply these for undergraduate study.


Recognise the importance of style and register in the composition of written work for undergraduate study.


Select and apply techniques to support examination performance.


Select techniques for adapting and communicating messages to a variety of intended audiences.


Demonstrate proficient professional communication and presentation.


Show adaptiveness to working collaboratively and productively as a member of a team.


Demonstrate self-reliance and organisation skills required to work productively on an individual basis.


Demonstrate enhanced individual creativity and originality in terms of the formulation of academic opinion.


Apply research and referencing techniques competently in a range of forms within an academic context in

order to avoid plagiarism and collusion.


Evaluate and formulate research questions and recall the mechanics of the research process.


Cognitive/Intellectual Skills

Upon successful completion of this module students will be able to:


Demonstrate effective use of library and e-learning resources for sourcing information for

undergraduate study; e.g. catalogue and bibliographic resources.


Select and utilise relevant nomenclature and terminologies in appropriate subject contexts.


Assess and differentiate diverse forms of information across a range of delivery formats.


Recall module-specific topics in a clear manner under timed conditions without recourse to learning aids.


Practical Skills


Demonstrate effective organisation in relation to meeting assessment deadlines.


Apply techniques and e-resource for the proficient collation, analysis and presentation of data in both oral

and written formats.


Demonstrate competent oral presentation skills.


Demonstrate competent writing skills, deployed in a range of formats and contexts


Transferable Skills


Use communication skills, verbal and written, to convey qualitative and quantitative information



Show enhanced self-reliance and organisation in relation to independent study, with cognisance and

evaluation of personal learning, time management and self-discipline for undergraduate level study.


Reproduce techniques for professional communication of relevance to future study and career contexts.

Demonstrate the ability to exploit (select, evaluate, summarise, process) information in a variety of forms and to identify key fact/themes and relevancy.
SMULIC MSD: UG02-SSC-B: Study Skills and Communication B (First Year / UG Stage 2) Version 1.2



Assessment 1

12 weeks

PDP (assessed via attendance and participation)


Assessment 2

15 mins

Oral (and Visual) Presentation of Individual

Week 1




Week 12


Assessment 3

12 weeks

Individual Project

Week 12

The project will be related to the student’s


degree course and may consist of

other media in addition to text (visual, material,

audio, performance-based)

Minimum: 2,000 words / Maximum: 3,000 words

Total weighting
Progression Criteria

This module carries a standard minimum progression requirement at grade B / 65%.





High Distinction

75% -100%



65% – 74%



Less than 65%

Additional notes on assessment:
Assessment 1 PDP is delivered on an ongoing basis across the module with compulsory participation in individual appraisals and attendance in scheduled lectures/classes (minimum 85%) forming part of the assessment. Students who fail to maintain adequate levels of attendance within the module will be referred to College SINOS programme and may be ineligible for progression as per the Policy Document 4 – Assessment Regulations and Policies.
All assessments must be completed in order to meet the progression criteria for this module, except in cases of genuine mitigating circumstances, where the relevant procedures will apply as per Policy Document 4 – Assessment Regulations and Policies.
College rules regarding plagiarism and collusion will be applied to all summative assessments listed above see also Policy Document 4 – Assessment Regulations and Policies.
The maximum number of participants for group work based assessments is not permitted to exceed 6 candidates.
Week 1

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Introduction to the course and assessments structure Learner needs analysis and PDP Revision of Academic Offences

Assessment 2 and 3 set. Students to prepare proposals of their individual topics for Week 3 tutorials
Week 2

Research Skills and credibility criteria Harvard referencing – revision Features of academic style
Week 3

Background to writing: different document layouts and common academic text features Time management Essay planning

Individual tutorials – discussing project topics
Week 4

Paraphrasing Summarising Reading: developing critical approaches
Week 5

Writing in paragraphs and paragraph structure Introductions and conclusions Combining sources
Week 6

1 / 2 Listening skills – inspirational speakers – note-taking practice. Feedback on the three talks. Comparison of notes. Features of Academic English – hedging techniques

Individual PDP tutorial – appraisals – the review of the performance so far. Areas for improvement.
Week 7

Features of Academic English: grammar – the use of passive voice Features of Academic English: academic vocabulary Checking your writing: looking at purpose, content, and organisation of a project essay

Draft of a project introduction (400-600 words) due
Week 8

Argument and discussion (discussion vocabulary, the use of counter argument) Cohesive devices and ways of achieving clarity in writing Supporting evidence; using examples
Week 9

Academic presentations Similarity reports and plagiarism Academic English – the use of tenses
Week 10

The importance of editing and proof-reading Common sentence problems: sentence fragments, choppy, run-on, stringy sentences Academic style – revision

Individual Project – drafts are due
Week 11

Revision of undergraduate degree and awards Verbs of reference and revision of Harvard referencing Academic formatting: fonts, layout
Week 12

Revision lecture

Individual PDP appraisals

Presentations of individual projects are due. Power Point to be submitted via Turnitin. Individual projects are to be submitted via Turnitin.
Recommended reading:
Oshima, A. and Hogue, A. (2017) Longman Academic Writing Series 4. Paragraphs to Essays, Fifth Edition. Hoboken: Pearson Education
Bailey, S. (2011) Academic writing. A Handbook for International Students. Third Edition. Abingdon: Routledge
Philpot, et al., (2011). Headway Academic Skills Level 3. Oxford: Oxford University Press
SMULIC MSD: UG02-SSC-B: Study Skills and Communication B (First Year / UG Stage 2) Version 1.2

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