module specification

BC4056 - Professional Studies (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Professional Studies
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
106 hours Guided independent study
44 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 70%   Personal Portfolio (1000 words)
In-Course Test 30%   Online data analysis test (1.5 hour)
Running in 2022/23

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

Module summary

This module will develop students’ transferable skills to enable them to derive maximum benefit from their chosen courses of study, provide clear guidance on the University’s teaching, assessment and progression regulations to facilitate students’ smooth passage through their chosen courses of study.

The module will introduce students to the learning resources and support facilities available within the University to assist them with their personal and professional development. Specifically this module will also introduce students to safe contemporary (GLP) practice in the laboratory environment, practical bioscience techniques, simple chemical techniques and the discipline of accurate laboratory record keeping. The module also aims to develop basic lab practice: personal safety (as expedited by COSHH and Risk Assessments), awareness of others and where appropriate to consider ethical issues that can have an impact on the execution of a given experiment. The development of study skills will include writing laboratory records, scientific reports and essays. The analysis of data will also be a core component of the module.

The module aims to introduce students to the development, scope and organisation of their chosen discipline and its associated professional bodies and employment opportunities. The transferable skills that will be developed will also prepare students for employment.


Introduction to the laboratory: Laboratory safety and practice.  Qualitative analysis and experiment design. An introduction to laboratory techniques and the use of laboratory equipment for experimental work in biology and chemistry.  (3,4)
Effective use of information sources: research (location of paper-based and electronic sources of scientific data and information); appropriate retrieval (interpretation, abstraction and summary of information).  Attribution of source material: citation of published and unpublished (or anecdotal) material.  Plagiarism and Scientific Fraud: definition, implications and penalties.  Scientific communication: written (including ‘chat-room’/post-webinar submissions) and oral formats: essays; dissertation; extended practical reports.  (2,3)
Data analysis: word processing, use of spreadsheets and graphical presentation (scatter plots and display of summary statistics; regression analyses, t-distributions and t-tests).  Effective data handling and use of online packages e.g. Excel and SPSS. (3,4)
Breadth and structure of chosen discipline and relationship to related disciplines. Identification of the development of transferable skills for employment in scientific environments. Professional issues: career opportunities; professional qualifications; production and maintenance of personal profile and curriculum vitae. (1)
Teaching of the role, structure and function of such relevant professional bodies as the IBMS, HCPC, UK NEQAS and other EQA bodies should be included, Science Council, and Medical laboratory competencies (ISO151891),as well as the role of the NQAAPs and RCPath.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Lectures, tutorials, and IT workshops will provide a conceptual framework and opportunity for acquisition, discussion and the practice of skills. The use of student centred learning resources will be integrated into individual and teamwork exercises in the development of understanding, skills and competencies.
The module will be summatively assessed by means of an on-line data analysis exam and construction of a personal portfolio comprising a curriculum vitae and personal statement. 
Data analysis classes will be delivered in lectures and explored by the use of IT based workshops. This will allow students to gain experience in the use of packages e.g. Excel and SPSS to work through exercises and gain feedback.
Dedicated sessions will be allocated to the production of the personal portfolio where students will be encouraged to review their skills and qualifications and plan for their future career.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1.  assess their strengths, weaknesses and values, and identify broad areas for personal growth and development and demonstrate an understanding of future possible career paths and the opportunities provided through subject study and extra-curricular activities and maintain a personal profile, including an up-to-date curriculum vitae;
2.  use the learning centre and online resources to access information and utilise a standard format to cite the sources of such information in their own work and undertake appropriate and efficient methods of collecting, recording and analysing scientific data;
3.  demonstrate proficiency in IT skills: word processing and spreadsheets, utilising online packages e.g. Excel and SPSS to analyse data;
4. undertake practical work with a focus on the principles of accuracy and precision utilising a variety of scientific equipment and work in a laboratory environment with regard to personal and peer group safety.

Assessment strategy

The module will be assessed by coursework personal portfolio where students start to develop their personal PDP and by an online short answer data analysis test.
Students will also get formative assessment by completion of the practical sessions.
To pass the module, students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%. 
There will be an attendance requirement for the practical sessions.
If the module is passed on reassessment, then the maximum mark awarded will be 40%.