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The University of Southampton

NATS1004 Independent Learning Skills in Science

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • How to develop a structured approach to problem solving/performing a task involving scientific knowledge
  • How to locate technical information relevant to given task by accessing range of information sources (internet, books, journals, technical experts)
  • How to assess critically technical information retrieved from variety of sources
  • How to integrate knowledge from across various scientific disciplines to develop a coherent knowledge base relevant to a problem
  • Basic understanding of the principles underlying classification of organisms, Principles underlying the construction and validation of classification schemes


The module will be delivered in the context of two scientific endeavours: • Classifying living systems • Predicting chemical reactions Classifying living systems: This will provide an introduction to the challenge of classifying life and will cover some aspects of the linnean system, phylogenetic taxonomy and molecular phylogenetics. These will enable students to describe and compare the structural and functional organisation of the major kingdoms of Life and explain some of the evolutionary relationships among selected groups. Predicting chemical reactions: This will provide a reminder to students of the basic thermodynamic and kinetic principles that underpin chemical reactivity. In addition to covering concepts such as enthalpy, free energy, rate equations and activation energies, lectures will also address simple organic syntheses based on the chemistry of functional groups. Throughout this part of the module there will be an emphasis on the use of quantitative methods in science and this will be illustrated specifically in the case of more complex examples drawn from biogeochemistry.

Learning and Teaching

Independent Study100
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 40%
Assignment 40%
Assignment 20%
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