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Unit information: Unit 1: Study Skills in 2013/14

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Unit name Unit 1: Study Skills
Unit code VETS10006
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Emily Blackwell
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Veterinary School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit provides an introduction to study and research skills, including the use of the library and electronic resources, developing effective study strategies, preparing for examinations, communicating effectively, working in groups and writing for academic purposes. This unit aims to:

  • Provide a range of activities designed to develop students’ study skills, and introduce them to the support facilities available to them
  • Provide an introduction to using the library
  • Familiarise students with word processing and presentation software packages
  • Demonstrate how to interpret questions, plan, structure and write assignments and reports
  • Introduce students to learning online and using a computer for study, enabling them to develop the skills required for making effective use of web-based resources

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students should be able to:

  • Understand what is involved in writing an academic essay
  • Find and review information from various sources
  • Use basic reading and note taking techniques such as highlighting and summarising
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills in presenting information
  • Understand the ways in which evidence can be presented and how to evaluate it
  • Manage their time effectively when working on assignments and preparing for written examinations
  • Work effectively as part of a group, communicating effectively, contributing ideas, listening and receiving feedback
  • Reference work appropriately
  • Use Word and Powerpoint to produce written work and presentations

Teaching Information

The unit is run over a one week period and constitutes 5 days (31 hours) of contact time with students. The remaining time is in distance learning, self-directed study and preparation of assessed material. During contact with lecturing staff, teaching methods include formal lectures, computer based seminars and practicals, group based seminars and tutorial sessions, where material is related to companion animal behaviour.

Out with the contact periods, students are directed to access materials available on-line, and via existing library resources in order to complete both formative and summative assessments. The distance learning elements of the unit will be facilitated using online materials produced specifically for the students on this course.

As the unit involves a significant proportion of work-based learning, accessible support from tutors and unit organisers will be essential. At the beginning of the course structured access to tutors and unit organisers will be outlined to students. This will specify appropriate means of communication with tutors (e.g. email), in addition to informing the students of how soon they can expect a reply (e.g. 48hrs) and specific times during the week when their tutors will be available (e.g. Monday mornings).

Students will be allocated a personal tutor and pastoral tutor (programme director) at the start of this first unit.

Assessment Information

Formative assessments:

1,500 word essay 1,000 word synopsis of scientific paper Group presentations Preparation of reference list

Summative assessments:

1,000 word synopsis of scientific paper 30% Presentation (Powerpoint slide plus notes) 10% 2,000 word essay 30% Poster 20%

Assessment of this unit is based in the depth and breadth of material presented plus ability of student to synthesise, analyse and present the information.

There will be no compensation in this unit. If an overall pass mark is not achieved at the first attempt (40% or more overall mark for summative assessments), then resubmission of any components of the summative assessment for this unit would be permitted within the same academic year. Students will be unable to commence subsequent units until they have passed this first unit.

Summative assessments will take place and feedback will be provided prior to the student attending the subsequent unit

Reading and References

Northedge, A., Thomas, J., Lane, A. and Peasegood, A. (1997), The Sciences Good Study Guide, Milton Keynes, Open University