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The University of Southampton

GSCI0012 Routes to Success for Scientists

Module Overview

Studying is not simply about transferring a set of facts from lecturer to students, but about developing yourself as an individual and recognising that you are responsible for your own learning. Knowledge in the 21st century is fast moving and in such a knowledge economy, where the shelf life of much knowledge is short, you will be expected to be a lifelong learner. In order to do this, you need to a resilient learner, understand how you best learn and reflect on how you can improve. This module will help you actively engage with this process. “We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.” Marcel Proust (French novelist 1871 – 1922)

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The requirements for academic integrity.
  • How to approach problem solving in a structured way.
  • How to receive, evaluate and reflect on feedback on your progress in HE.
  • How to use a set of resources to make progress with your learning.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Manage your own learning.
  • Apply structured methods to solve problems.
  • Apply problem solving techniques to familiar and unfamiliar problems.
  • Use IT to support your learning.
  • Make a critical evaluation of evidence.


Introduction to the Library: A member of the library team will come to talk to students about the facilities available to them in the library itself and online. Report writing and the use of mathematics: You will learn how to use maths appropriately, how to write a lab report and the principles of experimental design. Academic integrity and study skills: You will learn about academic integrity and how it is commonly breached, and you will learn about key skills that will support your development as an independent learner. Writing in science: You will learn how to write short summaries and longer essays, and complementary skills such as referencing and evaluating sources. Scientific communication You will learn how to create a scientific poster and give a presentation to staff and peers.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • Lectures; • Progress interviews. Learning activities include: • Self-study activities; • Portfolio development; • Personal reflection • Research exercises; • Extended writing exercises. Study Time Allocation: • Contact Hours: 18 • Private Study Hours: 132 • Total Study time: 150 hours

Wider reading or practice30
Follow-up work48
Preparation for scheduled sessions24
Completion of assessment task30
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Polya, G. (1948). How to solve it. 

Maier, P., Barney A., Price, G. (2009). Study Skills for Science, Engineering & Technology Students. 

Barrass R (1996). Scientists Must Write,. 

Sands, David (2004). Studying physics. 

University of Southampton Academic Skills web site.

Kahn, Peter (2001). Studying mathematics and its applications. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 60%
Group Poster Presentation 20%
Oral examination 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 60%
Group Poster Presentation 20%
Oral examination 20%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

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