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IB006-24 Academic Practice

Warwick Business School
Module leader
Gerald McGivern
Credit value
Module duration
20 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description


Module web page

Module aims

To provide bespoke academic skill development and support for Foundation Year students on the BSc (with Foundation Year) in Accounting and Finance or Management.
To enable supportive learning transition between A level and BTEC qualifications and the requirements of Undergraduate study.
To familiarise students with the role(s) of the University and to develop an understanding of how they can engage meaningfully with University life in order to make the most of their experiences of HE.
To provide qualitative skills development in the following areas: active reading; critical analysis and reflexivity; communication and presentation skills; meaningful engagement with the WBS Virtual Learning Environment (VLE); team-working; effective note-taking in lectures; engaging with group discussions and asking questions during seminars; receiving, acting upon and giving constructive feedback.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

The module will equip Foundation Year students with key academic skills required for successful completion of WBS undergraduate degree programmes, with a focus on qualitative skill development.

The module will begin with an introduction to the role(s) of the university and will explain how the 2 degree programmes that students will gain entry to via the FY are structured, taught and assessed. Students will reflect on the role of the university in the production and dissemination of knowledge; preparing students for employment; and fostering educational and social independence. We will consider the concepts of 'learning styles', and the employability agenda, as well as reflecting on the role of the university in enabling critical thinking. Students will be introduced to the research and writing process via guest seminars, delivered by wbs academics. A panel of WBS alumni will come and speak to students about potential career pathways; existing students will share their experiences of navigating group work, giving and receiving feedback and dealing with other challenges in transitioning from FE to HE.

The module will move on to focus on the development of effective academic skills, including active reading, note-taking, critical reflection and application and evaluation of evidence. Students will discuss good and bad academic practices; they will understand how plagiarism is dealt with by the University and how Turnitin works. These sessions are intended to help establish approaches that enable the cohort to engage with substantive material in this and other FY modules, as well as preparing them for undergraduate study.

Indicative content across the 2 terms includes:

Term 1:

  • Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods in HE
  • The Role(s) of the UniversityTime Management
  • Making the Most of 'my.wbs'The Writing Process: Creating and Planning
  • Becoming an Active Reader
  • Research Skills: Using the Library and Literature Searching
  • Finding Your Argument: Using and Evaluating Evidence
  • Communicating with Clarity
  • Referencing and Plagiarism

Term 2:

  • The Writing Process: Reviewing and Editing
  • Presentation Skills - Engaging Your Audience
  • Effective Group Work
  • Group Presentation (Assessment)
  • Developing Critical Engagement Receiving, Using and Giving Meaningful Feedback
  • Peer Review & Self-Awareness
  • Writing Differently: Reports, Reflective Writing and Creative Writing
  • Preparing for Exams
  • Individual Presentation (Assessment)
  • Essay Writing Workshop
Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Understand the role(s) of the university including: Producing and disseminating knowledge.
  • Understand the role(s) of the university including: Equpping students with knowledge and critical understanding(s) of their chosen disciplines.
  • Understand the role(s) of the university including: Preparing students for employment.
  • Understand the role(s) of the university including: Fostering independence.
  • Planning and Structuring Work.
  • Time Management.
  • Critical Thinking.
  • Application and Evaluation of Evidence.
  • Problem Solving.
  • Self-Awareness.
Indicative reading list

Colini, S. (2012) What are Univerities For? London: Penguin.
Cottrell S. (2008) The Study Skills Handbook (3rd ed). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Cottrell S. (2010) Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument (2nd ed). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
M. Molesworth, R. Scullion, & E. Nixon (2011), The Marketisation of Higher Education and the Student as Consumer. London: Routledge
Northedge, A. (2005) The Good Study Guide. Milton Keynes: The Open University.

Subject specific skills

Skills developed are primarily intended to support academic progress in other modules on the FY and in subsequent years of their chosen degree programmes. However, students will develop their ability to critically reflect upon the role(s) of the University.

Transferable skills

Produce critical assignments that demonstrate structural integrity, a sense of purpose and clear use of language.
Read critically for study, questioning sources and comparing different viewpoints on a topic.
Engage critically with sources, showing an ability to summarise, synthesise and evaluate materials.
Communicate effectively across different forms of delivery, both verbal and written.

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 3 sessions of 1 hour (1%)
Seminars 13 sessions of 1 hour (5%)
Practical classes 16 sessions of 2 hours (13%)
Other activity 6 hours (2%)
Private study 74 hours (31%)
Assessment 112 hours (47%)
Total 240 hours
Private study description

Private Study.

Other activity description

6 x 1 hour reading group. Organised as 3 sessions in Term 1 and 3 in Term 2. Students will be introduced to academic readings in the workshops and seminars. They will then have time to read and take notes on these prior to a group discussion of what the reading tells us about structuring writing, use of evidence, delivering a compelling argument etc. We will also discuss the substance of the paper (i.e. what is the contribution to knowledge?)


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A2
Weighting Study time
Individual Presentation (24 CATS) 15% 17 hours
Group Presentation (24 CATS) 15% 17 hours
Essay (24 CATS) 40% 45 hours
Learning Portfolio (24 CATS) 30% 33 hours

4 pages.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback via my.wbs.


This module is Core for:

  • Year 1 of UIBA-N4N4 Undergraduate Accounting and Finance (with Foundation Year)
  • Year 1 of UIBA-N20A Undergraduate Management (with Foundation Year)