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Personal Development Module: Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions about the Personal Development Module, you should check this webpage first as your question is likely to be covered here.

If you are still unsure of the answer to your question, please address all PDM queries to economics dot students at warwick dot ac dot uk and make sure to include your name, Warwick ID number and course of study.

Q: Why does the Department have a Personal Development Module?

A: The Department has introduced a Personal Development Module in order to address specific areas for improvement as identified by employers, and former and current students. These include academic writing, plagiarism and data analysis. The module has been designed to develop skills, enhance employability and broaden students’ education in Economics.

Q: What skills can I expect to gain from the completion of this module?

A: Skills that you can expect to gain from completion of the module include but are not limited to: academic writing; avoiding plagiarism; data analysis; the interpretation and the application of economics to real-world situations; CV writing; assessment centre preparation etc.

Q: How many briefings do I need to complete on the Economic Briefings Project to obtain credit?

A: You must complete all 2 compulsory briefings throughout the year and submissions will be monitored.

Q: Which careers events count towards PDM?

A: All careers events which are bookable via MyAdvantage, including Careers Fairs and Sector Events, will count towards the Personal Development Module. They are worth 5 credits each.

Q: Do career 1-2-1s count towards the PDM?

A: Yes. A 1-2-1 careers appointment with any Careers Advisor from the Careers & Skills Department will count as 5 credits towards the Personal Development Module.

Q: When will credit for careers activities appear on my PDM results page?

A: Credit for careers activities will be uploaded at the end of each term. For example, if you attended a careers event in Term 1, this will be uploaded at the end of term and should appear on your PDM progress report page by the beginning of Term 2. You will usually be emailed when this has happened.

Q: Why is a career activity that I completed or attended not appearing on my PDM results page?

A: This could be one of several reasons:

- You did not sign in for the event on the day

- The event was organised by an employer and was not booked via MyAdvantage

- The data has not yet been uploaded for that term’s activities (credit for careers events are added at the end of the term in which they were completed)

- You did not book for the event on MyAdvantage

Please contact if you think a mistake has been made on your record.

Q: Do events organised by employers or student societies count towards the PDM?

A: Only careers events and activities delivered by the Department for Student Careers & Skills and the Department of Economics will count towards the Personal Development Module. This only includes events booked through MyAdvantage.

Although we recognise the merit in you attending events organised externally and by student societies, we are unable to grant credit for the Personal Development Module. This is because attendance at these events is not monitored by the Department. We would, however, encourage you to attend any event which you feel will be beneficial to your personal and career development.

Q: Can I still pass the PDM if I have gained enough credit from optional activities but have not completed a compulsory activity?

A: No. You must attend/ pass all compulsory activities, as well as gain sufficient credit from optional activities, in order to pass the Personal Development Module.

Q: Which activities are compulsory?

A: The following activities are compulsory to pass the Personal Development Module:

- Question Time

- Academic Writing Class and Online Plagiarism Tutorial

- Economics Briefings Project

- IT Service Course (at least one)

- Undergraduate Mentor Scheme

- Career Event

Q: How many Mentor Meetings do I need to attend to pass that component of the PDM?

A: You are required to attend at least 3 mentor meetings across the year to pass this aspect of the Personal Development Module (one per term). There are 7 meetings in total.

Q: Is registering to attend an event enough to obtain the credit for this activity?

A: No. As well as registering for the event, it is compulsory to also sign in at the registration desk (for an event organised by the Department of Economics) or sign your name on the register, as well as attend the entire event.

If you leave an event unreasonably early, the Department has the right to not award you the credits for the event.

If you know that you are not able to attend an optional activity for the entire duration (e.g. due to a scheduled seminar, lecture or other appointment), please do not register to attend. There are enough optional activities scheduled across the year for you to be able to gain a sufficient amount of credit to pass the Personal Development Module.

Q: How many academic writing sessions do I need to attend?

A: You will be required to attend one academic writing session in the first few weeks of the Autumn Term. There are 4 classes scheduled and you must register for and attend one class.

Q: I signed into an event but it is not appearing on my PDM results page

A: This is likely to be because the attendance data for this event has not yet been uploaded. Events for each term are uploaded at the end of that term i.e. if you attend an event in Term 1 it will not be uploaded until Term 1 has finished. If your event still hasn't been uploaded by the beginning of the next term please raise a query via

Q: I have been awarded 0 credit for an activity which I signed into

A: If you signed into an event but left the event unreasonably early, the Department reserves the right to award you 0 credits for the activity.

Please contact if you think a mistake has been made on your record.

Q: I can’t attend an optional activity because I have a seminar/lecture; what should I do?

A: You should aim to attend optional activities which do not clash with lectures or seminars in the first instance. As far as possible, we have arranged optional events (such as the Economics 360 lectures) so that these do not take place at the same time as lectures (e.g. early evenings). However, there will inevitably be occasions where it has not been possible to avoid clashes with the undergraduate timetable due to guest speaker availability.

We do not encourage you to miss seminars or lectures to attend an optional PDM activity. We record all Economics 360 lectures and these are available to view shortly after the event to ensure all students have equal access to the content of these lectures.

Q: I missed a compulsory activity due to illness/ mitigating circumstances; what should I do?

A: Please contact as soon as possible with your name, course and student ID number and make the Personal Development Module leader, Nicholas Jackson or Canh Dang, aware of the circumstances.

You will be required to produce medical or other relevant evidence. Please see below for more on the mitigating circumstances policy.

Q: What is the mitigating circumstances policy for the Personal Development module?

A: Extenuating or mitigating circumstances are those events which have had a detrimental effect on your study, to the point that it is in your interest to draw the Department's attention to them and ask for them to be considered in mitigation of poor performance. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) illness, both bodily and emotional; the severe illness or death of a close family member; a shocking or traumatic personal experience. In addition, sudden, unexpected changes in family circumstances might affect your ability to make academic progress as a consequence of their demonstrable emotional impact upon you, and may also be considered as mitigation.

The Department is aware that in some cultures it is considered shameful or embarrassing to disclose the details of these kinds of circumstances to those outside one's family. This is not the case in the prevailing UK culture and you should be aware that the Department and the University are fully supportive of students in difficult circumstances and want to assist if at all possible. If you feel inhibited from talking to your Personal Tutor, we do have a Year Tutor (Tom Martin), who you can speak to and Directors of Pastoral and Academic Support (Michela Redoano-Coppede and Christian Soegaard). Other members of academic staff are also available within the Department and across the University, such as the University Senior Tutor. There are also a variety of support services across the University including the SSLC, the Students' Union, or a member of staff in Student Support. They will be able to offer you initial, informal advice and you can continue to meet with them should circumstances require.

Clearly, though, in order for your circumstances to be considered as mitigating by the Department, they must be conveyed formally to someone in the Department (the UG Office, a, Year Tutor, or the Director of Undergraduate Studies for instance). As the outcome of the Personal Development Module is recorded on your official University Transcript (HEAR), we do have a PDM Exam Board. The Department expects that you will discuss any mitigating circumstances before the PDM Exam Board meets, so that they may be taken into account in good time. You should be aware that, in the event you feel you need to appeal the outcome of the PDM Exam Board, offering extenuating or mitigating circumstances at that point will need to be accompanied by a good reason why you withheld the information earlier. Without wanting to invade your privacy, the University does expect that you bring such circumstances to the Department's attention in a timely manner, despite the discomfort you might feel in so doing. Failure to disclose such circumstances at a time when you could have done so may subsequently be problematic. The Department will do all it can to support you in difficult situations.

Absence from a compulsory PDM activity normally means a mark of zero in that activity. Exceptions to this rule are considered against the twin criteria of force majeure and evidence. If you are unlucky enough to be ill or suffer adverse circumstances (e.g. bereavement) or to be ill in such a way as to affect your participation in PDM activities, either for compulsory activities or optional activities throughout the year, you must ensure that you do the following:

  • make sure that one of the Personal Development Module leaders (Nicholas Jackson or Canh Dang), know the circumstances
  • be sure to produce a medical certificate or other relevant document. If medical evidence is provided then the PDM Board of Examiners may be able to exercise its discretion.

Q: When will the Personal Development Module show on my HEAR record?

A: Upon successful completion of the Personal Development Module, the module will appear on your HEAR record during the summer vacation before the beginning of your second year.

Q: What is the HEAR record?

A: The HEAR is issued as an electronic document and gives undergraduate students a fuller record of their achievements whilst at university. It includes information about achievements such as volunteering and prizes awarded as well as information about module marks and the Degree Classification awarded. It is hoped that this additional information will prove useful to both graduates entering the job market and to employers.

Further information is available on the Teaching Quality webpage.

Q: I have been awarded a ‘Condoned Pass’; what does this mean?

A: A Condoned Pass means that you have not met the credit requirements to fully pass the module. You may have been awarded a Condoned Pass due to one or more of the following reasons:

Only part of a compulsory activity has been completed. Compulsory activities are completed and sufficient optional credits such that we are satisfied that you have met the learning outcomes of the module but have not completed the stated credit requirements. Activities have been given a new credit rating after moderation.