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

Module Aims

- Enhance your ability to study in an efficient and effective manner. - Introduce you to HE study methods and requirements - Introduce you to problem solving and solution checking techniques - Help you develop your potential as an HE science student

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 Module (1 week) Ground rules for the module and understanding the assessment. Getting Started in HE (5 weeks) An introduction to what is expected of you as an HE student and how to start making progress quickly and efficiently. You will receive tuition in key skills important to scientists. Making Progress (6 weeks) Thinking about the problem - an introduction to structured problem solving; thinking about the solution - an introduction to finding and correcting errors Sustaining Success (11 weeks) How to keep making good progress in your studies: continued motivation, dealing with gaps in knowledge, planning for Year 1, monitoring progress You will receive further tuition in key skills important to scientists.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Learning activities include - Self-study activities - Portfolio development - Research Exercise Teaching methods include - Tutorials/Workshops

Wider reading or practice30
Completion of assessment task30
Preparation for scheduled sessions22
Follow-up work46
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Barrass R (1996). Scientists Must Write,. 

University of Southampton Academic Skills web site.

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

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

Polya, G. (1948). How to solve it. 

Sands, David (2004). Studying physics. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Oral examination 33.34%
Portfolio 66.66%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

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