CP0138 - Study Skills

SchoolCardiff School of Planning and Geography
Department CodeCPLAN0
Module CodeCP0138
External Subject CodeX220
Number of Credits20
Language of DeliveryEnglish
Module Leader Dr Laura Boyer
SemesterDouble Semester
Academic Year2014/5

Outline Description of Module

The transition to undergraduate study can be extremely challenging as students are expected to acquire a considerable new skill set, whilst also studying demanding material. The Study Skills module aims to support students through this transition by introducing them to new skills (such as identifying and referencing literature and different writing styles) and major pitfalls (such as plagiarism) in a supportive environment. Study Skills is not delivered in abstract from the rest of the degree; assignments and discussions will relate directly to the modules studied during the first year. Moreover, Study Skills will provide a setting within which the common threads between different modules can be brought together. 

On completion of the module a student should be able to

Illustrate key academic writing techniques by demonstrating an awareness of different sources of reference material, including books, academic journals, policy reports and newspapers through tutorial and written work;

Avoid major pitfalls in academic writing such as plagiarism by using the Harvard referencing style in their written work;
Explain similarities and differences between different writing styles, including; essays, reports, and book reviews through tutorial discussions;
Demonstrate an understanding of key academic writing techniques by critically evaluating the key impacts of a particular geographical idea or approach through an essay and book review;
Demonstrate an understanding of key presentation techniques by tutor review. 

How the module will be delivered

The module will be delivered through lectures and small group tutorial sessions (7-10 students).  Lectures will provide a consistent base of information to all students in the class.  Tutorials will provide an opportunity for guided peer-to-peer discussions and support, and will be assessed via a deliberately broad range of student assignments, giving students an opportunity to develop a range of writing styles

Skills that will be practised and developed

Group discussions and debating skills
Presentation skills
Essay-writing skills
Academic research skills such as: literature searches for different source materials, referencing, paraphrasing, annotation, note taking   avoiding plagiarism
Critically reviewing material and writing a book review

How the module will be assessed

Type of assessment



(if applicable)

Approx. date of Assessment

Engagement and Participation


Tutorials are compulsory. Student’s participation in each session will be assessed based on their preparation, engagement and participation in group debates.



Book review


A book review (c 1,200 words) of a key text discussed in your tutorial group

1200 words




An essay (c 1,600 words) of key texts discussed in your tutorial group

1600 words




An individual presentation in tutor group



The potential for reassessment in this module

Students are permitted to be reassessed in a module which they have failed, in line with the course regulations. The reassessment will usually take place during the summer.

Assessment Breakdown

Type % Qualifying Mark Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Practical-Based Assessment 10 N/A
Engagement And Participation Of Tutorial Group - Attendance At Tutorials Is Compulsory
N/A 1 N/A
Presentation 20 N/A
A Group Presentation On A Topic Agreed With The Module Leader
N/A 1 N/A
Written Assessment 40 N/A
An Essay (c 1,600 Words) Of Key Texts Discussed In Your Tutorial Group And Modules In Human Geography
N/A 1 N/A
Report 30 N/A
Book Review - An Individual Review Of A Human Geography Book From A List Of Titles
N/A 1 N/A

Syllabus content

The purpose of Study Skills tutorials; Introduction to the tutorial handbook (tutorial dates, subjects, assessment); Using library search engines to identify literature and information resources; Presentation skills - Conveying complex ideas through words and pictures; Exam Skills - revising and doing university exams; Plagiarism and Turnitin reports

Critical reading: what is the author saying?

Exercise: Making notes (Tutorial Group)

Critical reading: how does the author structure their argument?

Exercise: How to you use the notes that you’ve taken (Tutorial Group)

Critical reading: How do authors legitimate their arguments?

Exercise: Writing style, referencing and how to avoid plagiarism (Tutorial Group)

Critically summarising text: abstract and key words

Exercise: writing an abstract (Tutorial Group)

Critically summarising text: Book review

Exercise: effective and efficient reading (Tutorial Group)

Essential Reading and Resource List

Becker, L., (2010) 14 days to exam success, (Pocket Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan.

Copus, J (2009) Brilliant Writing Tips for Students (Pocket Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan.

Godfrey, J (2010) Reading and making notes (Pocket Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan

Godfrey, J., (2011) Writing for University (Pocket Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan.

Godwin, J (2009) Planning your Essay – (Pocket Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan.

Hartley, P. and Dawson, M., (2010) Success in Group work, (Pocket Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan.

Van Emden, J., & Becker, L., (2010) Presentation Skills for Students (Palgrave Study Skills) Palgrave Macmillan, 2nd Edition.

Williams, K, & Reid, M., (2011) Time management, (Pocket Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan.

Williams, K. (2009) Getting Critical (Pocket Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan.

Williams, K., and Carroll, J., (2009) Referencing and Understanding Plagiarism, (Pocket Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan. 

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