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Unit information: Communication and Management Skills in 2021/22

Unit name Communication and Management Skills
Unit code PHYSM0002
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Lindsay
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Physics
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

This is a mandatory 20 cp unit and an integral part of a 180 cp MSc in Nanoscience and Nanomaterials. It will cover the principles of communication in scientific research by presentation, poster and written work, with special attention paid to writing for specific audiences. It will provide training in research management skills including interdisciplinary team working, time management and evaluating and using scientific literature. It will cover the techniques necessary in financial and project management of scientific enterprise. It will be delivered in a series of half-day and wholeday training sessions. This unit will provide training in skills such as verbal and written communication, project management and team building. It will equip students with the skills required to become an effective researcher in nanoscience.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The students will be able to:

  • communicate effectively to a specified audience through the media of written, oral, and poster presentations.
  • search, assess and use scientific literature resources to facilitate their research projects.
  • work effectively in a team.
  • plan an interdisciplinary project, including budgeting, team-work, and resource allocation.

Teaching Information

The course will be composed of a series of workshops and day courses, all with support from the BCFN online Portal.

Assessment Information

There will be formative assessment and feedback by the course tutors within each component of the unit, given during the delivery of the unit, and based on performance on tasks embedded in the training sessions. The summative assessment will be an assigned work exercise, which will draw on all the components of the unit. It will be a multifunctional exercise: (1) a 2000 word report on the strategy of tackling the specific task, (2) a spreadsheet-based financial and structural plan of the task, and (3) the design and preparation of appropriate marketing material including poster material. Each of these numbered activities will contribute one third to the mark for the unit.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. PHYSM0002).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.