module specification

MN4055 - Personal and Academic Development (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Personal and Academic Development
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
12 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
219 hours Guided independent study
69 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 50%   Group Presentation
Coursework 50%   Critical Incidents Journal PDP
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module is designed to help students to develop their skills for a variety of situations: study skills at university; skills for the workplace; and personal development skills. It complements the study of business management, for example, students will need to know where to find relevant information for their assignments; how to write in an academic way; how to interpret numerical data, and how to present the findings of their research. Similar skills will be needed in the workplace (for instance, making presentations, writing work reports, analysing sales data and conducting market research). A degree is ideally a means of self-development, a time for personal growth and new experiences and a time for taking opportunities. The ability to reflect and critically analyse are central to this process. Therefore, this module serves a dual purpose because it provides students with the opportunities to develop the skills that are essential throughout your degree, and equally essential in the workplace. In other words, it provides you, the student, with an opportunity to learn how to learn, and as such it will help you to a “can do” attitude, so that you feel on top of things and in control.  

Being able to reflect on your development during the period of your degree will enable you to become more aware of the employability and professional skills you are developing. You will have an opportunity to record your development in a Personal Development Planner (PDP). You will be asked to monitor those times when you use specific skills and the context in which they are experienced: study, work or personal, and you will be asked to consider the transferability of the skills developed in one context to other situations, which is what reflection is all about.

The overall aim of this module is to help you to develop your general skills as a business management student, which feed in to all areas of your studies, and provide a solid base for your first managerial activities at work.

Prior learning requirements

Standard University entry requirements for Level 4.


The main themes addressed in this module include:

 Professional presentation skills are essential for success not only at university but also in the workplace. The ability to communicate effectively is among the key skills for higher education (Dearing, 1997, QAA, 2016), and also foremost amongst the requirements of employers for their business management graduates.  Presentation skills involve both verbal and non-verbal communication and both inter-personal and intra-personal (that is, the ability to think things through in your head), all of which require a number of underpinning skills. This module will teach you how to make professional presentations.  LO1

 Self-Management includes managing your personal finances, your timekeeping, and your planning. It also involves developing your soft skills including listening, empathy, the ability to think clearly and  to think critically are skills that have to be developed through initial instruction followed by practice. 

 Academic literacies underpinning the above and including facilitating accessibility, developing criticality, and increasing visibility (Gimenez and Thomas, 2015:25) as well as academic reading, writing and referencing. Reading and understanding books are different from understanding spoken language. Books have longer and more complex sentences. Books have more difficult vocabularies,  and cannot be interrogated. Skilled readers have less difficulty in making inferences from text and connecting what they read with prior knowledge. Skills in reading comprehension means knowing more about words and their associates than their basic superficial meaning. Students need to monitor their own comprehension and reflect on what they have read and consider whether it makes sense or not.   Academic literacies means getting the most out of lectures as well as excelling at exams. LO2

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

PDP and reflective learning are integral elements of this module.  The module is delivered through weekly 3 hour workshops which will include a  variety of group activities and participation in group projects. The workshops will consist of a combination of theoretical input and independent reading. Group activities and problem-based tasks are supported by multimedia, and student led discussions.

Teaching, learning and assessment activities have been designed to develop student’s awareness of and engagement with their own personal development. They will be encouraged to reflect on their own skill development throughout the module and consider how these will contribute to their future careers as managers. The module will engage a variety of approaches to teaching and learning including Blogs, e-journals, podcasts and multimedia. Weblearn is used as an interactive mechanism between students and tutors, for example, to direct students to particular readings and/or to provide news about the module or the module content. It is also be used for the timely provision of generic feedback following formative assessment.

Learning outcomes

These learning outcomes are based on the integration of the Quality Assurance Agency for higher education (QAA) subject benchmark statement requirements and the CMI requirements. 

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

LO1:  demonstrate professional presentation skills showing evidence of emotional
          intelligence, effective clear structured communication, conceptual and critical
          thinking, commercial acumen, business and customer awareness, and team
          working. Be able to design presentations for maximum impact; be aware of
          the impact of both voice and body language and the importance of timely 
          preparation and practice for building confidence.   

LO2:  manage personal finances and professional behaviour, that is, manage
          yourself in terms of your preferred learning style, your interpersonal and listening
          skills, your time management skills, your ability to think critically, your ability to
          approach a topic in a careful, questioning and reflective manner and to
          understand the concept of transferability. 

LO3:  the above underpinned by academic literacies including academic reading,
           academic writing (including Harvard referencing), structuring coursework, exam
           technique, and how to develop and maintain a critical incidents journal (or 
           personal development portfolio) for the remainder of your studies.



Core Text:
Ramsey, P. Maier, P. (2010) Study Skills for Business and Management Students.  Harlow: Pearson Education.
Wingate U. (2015)  Academic Literacy and Student Diversity: The Case for Inclusive Practice: New Perspectives on Language and Education. UK: Multilingual Matters

Other Texts:
Burns, T. and Sinfield, S. (2016) Essential study skills, the complete guide to success at university. London: Sage.
Cameron, S. (2016) The Business Student's Handbook: Learning Skills for Study and Employment. Harlow: Prentice Hall.
Gallagher, K (2016) Essential Study and Employability Skills for Business Management Students. Oxford: OUP
Gimenez, J., & Thomas, P. (2015) A Framework for usable Pedagogy: Case Studies Towards Accessibility, Criticality and Visibility. In Lillis, T., Harrington, K., Lea, M. & Mitchell, S (2015) (Eds) Working with Academic Literacies: Case studies towards transformative practice. USA: Parlor Press. 



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