module specification

IF3050 - Critical Thinking (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Critical Thinking
Module level Foundation (03)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
9 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Written coursework with additional optional visual, oral or digital element
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Monday Afternoon
Autumn semester North Tuesday Morning
Autumn semester North Tuesday Afternoon
Autumn semester North Wednesday Afternoon
Autumn semester North Thursday Morning

Module summary

This module aims to:   
1. Explore the rationale  of examining a variety of sources critically in academic and/or professional practice
2. Provide the opportunity for students to  critically explore various themes relating to their pathway choice and sustainability.
3. Develop students’ ability to identify, evaluate and construct a variety of arguments


The syllabus will introduce students to the principles of critical analysis using various texts, such as newspaper articles, videos and academic sources. A variety of source materials will be used to introduce students to the main themes of the module, including relating to their pathway and they will have opportunities to discuss these ideas in class. Students will be guided through the different stages of identifying, evaluating, organising ideas, summarising  and producing well-reasoned arguments.  LO1, LO2, LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module is delivered through taught classes, seminars and debates.   Class work will include individual, pair and group work and will involve producing, presenting and discussing oral and written work.  Group discussions, tutorials and formative feedback will give students the opportunity to reflect upon progress and discuss strategies for developing skills and ideas (45 hrs); Preparation for assessment; self directed study (105 hrs).
Module information including module booklet, timetable, class notes, practice activities, feedback, links to external resources, assessment details and additional resources to support study will be on the VLE.  Students may also be expected to post comments and have on-line discussions through the VLE.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to:
1.Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of critical analysis in academic and/or professional practice
2. Demonstrate a critical awareness of some themes and topics relating to their pathway and sustainability
3. Identify, evaluate and construct  arguments in oral, digital, visual or written form

Assessment strategy

Assessment for this module will be through written coursework with an additional, optional digital, oral or visual element -100%
Formative assessment will take place throughout the module through short written and oral tasks, both group and individual. Feedback will be given by the tutor in group work, in tutorials, on homework tasks and on web learn. Peer assessment will also be used for formative feedback. Following discussion, students will then work with others on the module and with the tutor to revise their work.
Summative assessment for this module will take place through written coursework at the end of the module.


Class resources, practice activities and assessment practice materials will be posted on the VLE.  A general reading list will cover the scope of the course, but students will be encouraged to use the practice activities and links to external resources posted on the VLE, as well as applying the skills practised in class to academic reading and writing in their other areas of study as well as their day to day life.

Brink-Budgen Van Den R. (2010) Critical Thinking for Students, How To Books 
Cottrell, S. (2011) Critical Thinking Skills, Palgrave Macmillan 
Thomson, A ( 2002) Critical Reasoning – a practical introduction, Routledge 
Additional reading:
Bowell, T & Kemp, G (2009) Critical Thinking: a concise guide, Routledge.
Fisher, A. (2004) The logic of real arguments, CUP
Goatly, A (2000) Critical Reading and Writing: an introductory course book, Routledge
Shand, J. (2000) Arguing Well, Routledge