Adopting a blended learning approach, the Study, Professional & Analytical (SPA) Skills Module is the only module within WMG that has been purposefully designed so as to meet the complex learning and professional needs of all postgraduate students. Offered both as integral part of WMG's accredited programmes, the SPA module is also available on a non-credit bearing basis to students who may wish to take the module as an additional 'academic enrichment' activity.
Divided into three interlinked yet distinctive learning strands, Study Skills, Professional Skills and Competencies and Analytical Skills, the module will run both synchronously and asynchronously with the student learning journey providing a programme of carefully designed learning activities which, whilst made available to reflect the student schedule, may then be revisited at a later date
In addition to the learning activities ‘student support’ sessions will be offered on a weekly basis. These will take the form of drop-in sessions, one-to-one tutorials and on-line support.
The pedagogic approach adopted in all three streams will be one of blended learning including:
- Face-to-face, large group teaching (this may be streamed live if necessary and could be offered as an MS Teams activity)
- Small group workshops (again face-to-face or on-line)
- On-line learning (quizzes, short films, interactive content etc.)
- Downloadable workbooks & other practical activities
- Reflective & reflexive exercises
- Individual and small group support.
Principal Module Aims
1. To deliver a series of high quality, interactive study skills sessions, lectures, workshops and other activities that will provide students with the means by which they are able to gain the broad range of graduate level study skills necessary to succeed in their chosen field.
2. To provide students with the a series of learning opportunities including interactive workshops, lectures, presentation opportunities and online learning so as to afford individual learners the opportunity to develop a broad range of transferable employability skills and competencies relevant to their current and future careers
3. To furnish students with opportunities to gain a broad knowledge about scientific, social and business methods.
4. To provide students with the opportunity to acquire high level research competencies relevant to their specific discipline through the provision of a series of expert workshops covering a range of scientific, engineering and business social methodologies.
Upon successful completion participants will be able to
- Summarise, synthesise and critique information from a range of different academic or vocational sources
- Ground all academic, vocational or technical writing in correctly cited and accurately referenced sources of valid knowledge and information
- Make good use of feedback so as to independently develop their own learning approach and style
- Display a series of transferable employability skills in fifteen key areas: Academic Writing: Critical Reading: Critical Thinking: Decision Making: Ethical Conduct & being a Professional: Independent Learning & Study Skills: Inter-and-Multi-Cultural Working: Leadership Skills: Listening Skills: Note Taking abilities: Oral Presentation: Problem Finding & Solving: Self-Management & Motivation techniques: Team and Group Working: Time Management
- Discuss and critically evaluate a broad range of scientific, engineering and social business research methodologies
- Select and use a specific methodological approach appropriate to their particular field of study
- Discuss citing first hand experience, all stages of the scientific research method from writing a proposal, applying for and gaining ethical approval through to conducting, analysing and finally writing up an independent, novel piece of research
Study Skills sessions will cover the wide-range underpinning academic support topics that students need to succeed at postgraduate level. From academic and technical report writing, through to referencing, making the most of feedback and learning how to think critically and express yourself broadly and academically, the Study Skills sessions have been purposefully designed to enable students to succeed, irrespective of previous qualifications, areas of study, culture or discipline.
Running asynchronously with Study Skills, the Professional Skills strand of the module will provide students with the opportunity to develop a range of implicit and explicit transferable employability and professional skills which may be applied synergetically across all aspects of learning and will link directly to future careers.
The final strand of the module, Research Methods, will provide students with the required high level of knowledge and skills about research so as to enable them to successfully complete an independent and original piece of research. The Research Methods strand of the module will provide students with access to a series of lectures and on-line activities as well bookable expert workshops. S
In addition to the above, global competencies such as ethical behaviours and professionalism, critical thinking and multi-cross cultural working runs across all aspects of the module; equipping students with high level employability skills fit for the global workplace.
- Where I see my career in 3-5 years time (10%)
- A critical review of academic papers (30%)
- Research Protocol (30%)
- Active learning presentation / poster / film (30%)
52 weeks including 60 hours of lectures, 12.5 hours of tutorials, 10 hours of practical classess
Please note although module duration is expressed as 2 weeks, in practice there is only 1 scheduled week of campus-time, and the other week is there to account for pre-reading which can be done in students’ own time and not in a specified or scheduled week.