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Throughout the 2021-22 academic year, we will be prioritising face to face teaching as part of a blended learning approach that builds on the lessons learned over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic. Teaching will vary between online and on-campus delivery through the year, and you should read guidance from the academic department for details of how this will work for a particular module. You can find out more about the University’s overall response to Coronavirus at:

WM999-15 Study, Professional & Analytical Skills

Taught Postgraduate Level
Module leader
Lauren Schrock
Credit value
Module duration
52 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

Adopting a blended learning approach, the Study, Professional & Analytical (SPA) Skills Module is the only module within WMG that has been purposefully designed so as to meet the complex learning and professional needs of all postgraduate students. Offered as integral part of WMG's accredited programmes, the SPA module is also available on a non-credit bearing basis to students who may wish to take the module as an additional 'academic enrichment' activity.

Divided into three interlinked yet distinctive learning strands: Study Skills, Professional Skills, and Analytical Skills. The module will run both synchronously and asynchronously with the student learning journey providing a programme of carefully designed learning activities which, whilst made available to reflect the student schedule, may be revisited at a later date.

The pedagogic approach adopted in all three streams will be one of blended learning including:

  • Synchronous and asynchronous lectures, tutorials and workshops (All of the teaching will be offered on a blended learning basis so as to enable and enhance student engagement).
  • Lectures, tutorials and workshops will be offered synchronously (live). These lectures will be team taught and offered using MS Teams Meetings or another suitable form of ‘live recording’.
  • Hybrid Teaching: where threshold concepts form the basis of learning (such as in the technical analytical lectures) a hybrid model of teaching may be adopted to allow students the choice to attend face-to-face or online as they occur.
  • Asynchronous lectures, workshops and other study opportunities: SPA learning and teaching opportunities are pre-recorded using MS Powerpoint and / or 5HP video recording. A full transcript, together with links to relevant learning materials, are provided.
  • Active learning: On-line (quizzes, short films, interactive content etc.)
  • Downloadable workbooks & other practical activities
  • Reflective & reflexive exercises
  • Individual and small group support
  • Self-directed study
  • Directed study (readings, online exercises, etc)

In addition to the learning activities ‘student support’ sessions will be offered regularly. These will take the form of drop-in sessions, one-to-one tutorials and/or on-line support.

Module aims
  1. To deliver a series of high quality, interactive study skills sessions, lectures, workshops and other activities that will provide students with the means by which they are able to gain the broad range of graduate level study skills necessary to succeed in their post module assignments and dissertation related to their chosen field.
  2. To provide students with the a series of learning opportunities including interactive workshops, lectures, presentation opportunities and online learning so as to afford individual learners the opportunity to develop a broad range of transferable employability skills and competencies relevant to their current and future careers.
  3. To furnish students with opportunities to gain a broad knowledge about scientific, social and business research.
  4. To provide students with the opportunity to acquire high level research competencies relevant to their specific discipline through the provision of a series of expert workshops covering a range of scientific, engineering and business social methodologies.
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.

SPA has been designed to reflect student learning and professional needs. The module is made up as follows:

Study Skills: 30% of study time [This strand prepares students with the study skills needed to succeed in their taught modules, post module assignments and research project]
Professional Skills: 10% of study time [This smaller strand has been designed to equip students with transferable employability competencies. Such competencies are integral to success across the whole programme and as such are embedded throughout the module]
Analytical Skills: 60% of study time [This strand encapsulates a range of research skills from proposal writing, through to ethical approval, undertaking research and writing up in support of the dissertation]

Study Skills sessions will cover the wide-range underpinning academic support topics that students need to succeed at postgraduate level, including their post module assignments. From academic and technical report writing, through to referencing, making the most of feedback and learning how to think critically and express yourself broadly and academically. Study Skills has been purposefully designed to enable students to succeed, irrespective of previous qualifications, areas of study, culture or discipline.

Running asynchronously, the Professional Skills strand will account for 10% of the module. This strand will provide students with the opportunity to develop a range of implicit and explicit transferable employability and professional skills which may be applied synergetically across all aspects of learning and will link directly to future careers.

The final strand, Analytical Skills, will provide students with the required high level of knowledge and skills about research and research methods so as to enable them to successfully complete an independent dissertation and original piece of research. The Analytical Skills strand of the module will provide students with access to a series of lectures and on-line activities as well expert workshops.

In addition to the above, global competencies such as ethical behaviours and professionalism, critical thinking and multi-cross cultural working runs across all aspects of the module; equipping students with high level employability skills fit for the global workplace.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate the key transferable and employability skills of communication, presentation, and problem-solving to their area of study
  • Support their argument and claims through correctly cited and accurately referenced sources of reputable knowledge and information
  • Apply core study skills of academic writing and critical thinking to subject-related knowledge and practice
  • Critically apply their knowledge of analytical skills in order to produce a research protocol
Indicative reading list

View reading list on Talis Aspire

Research element

A considerate part of the module focuses solely on the development, growth and enhancement of individual analytical and research skills so as to provide students' with the skills and competencies needed to undertake an independent, original piece of research.

Additionally, the study and professional strands of the module are also grounded in research. For example, right from the onset there will be a series of lectures and workshops on how to conduct 'desk' and internet research in an academically rigorous manner.

The module has been designed so as to be underpinned by the principles of scholarship whereby research, teaching and learning are intrinsically linked throughout.


This module has been purposefully designed for all of WMG postgraduate students, irrespective of area of study or whether the student is enrolled on a full or part time programme. SPA is by it's very nature interdisciplinary; hence the module has been designed to incorporate examples from across the disciplines taught in WMG whilst also embodying the intersectionality of everyday professional life.

The core teaching team represent a range of different academic backgrounds and disciplines reflective of the interdisciplinarity represented within WMG. With learning and teaching materials co-designed by colleagues from engineering, science, business and social science backgrounds the module has been carefully designed to be suitable across disciplines so as to form a broad foundation for successful learning a postgraduate level.

It should be noted that part of the module will be dedicated to discipline-specific technical study, professional and analytical skills. This aspect of the module will comprise a series of additional 'sign-up' workshops, tutorials and sessions aimed at those students on technical programmes or with a technical interest.


The module is designed for a multi-discipline, international cohort and may be taught anywhere in the world. Learning materials and examples will be drawn from a range of disciplines, cultures and countries covering the whole range of subjects and disciplines taught in WMG. With real-life examples and case-studies drawn from across the globe used to teach specific core and threshold concepts.

Subject specific skills

SPA will provide students the opportunity to develop the skills needed to successfully undertake their studies and independent research. In recognising the variety in student backgrounds, students will be supported to develop a foundational to advanced level of skill capability depending on their needs. The study and analytical skills developed in SPA are supported by students' professional skills development (see transferable skills).

Transferable skills

The 'Professional Skills' strand will see a focus on transferable skills being embedded into study and analytical skills learning and teaching. Transferable skills which students will acquire on the module include, but are not limited to:

  • Communication & presentation, including academic writing, referencing, presentations, active listening
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Ethical conduct
  • Independent learning & study skills, including note-taking
  • Working in a group, including intercultural awareness
  • Professionalism, including self-management and time management

SPA will be aligned to the Warwick Core Skills.

Study time

Type Required Optional
Lectures 5 sessions of 1 hour (3%) 30 sessions of 1 hour
Seminars (0%) 5 sessions of 45 minutes
Tutorials (0%) 80 sessions of 1 hour
Practical classes (0%) 60 sessions of 1 hour
External visits (0%) 2 sessions of 3 hours
Online learning (scheduled sessions) 5 sessions of 1 hour (3%) 60 sessions of 1 hour
Online learning (independent) 10 sessions of 1 hour (7%)
Assessment 130 hours (87%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

No private study requirements defined for this module.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

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

Assessment group A
Weighting Study time
Study Skills Test 20% 5 hours

A timed online test which will examine students' understanding and application of key academic skills, including referencing, academic integrity, critical thinking, and academic writing.

Research protocol poster presentation 60% 30 hours

A group presentation of a research poster detailing a proposed research protocol. The research topic is designed by the students to investigate an area of student experience at WMG or University of Warwick that must be related to their degree subject.

For the research poster and presentation, the students will be asked to:
(1) identify a research question with appropriate research objectives
(2) identify and justify their research paradigm
(3) identify and justify their proposed sample and sampling technique
(4) select and justify their method(s) for data collection and analysis
(5) consider ethics and mitigation of risk

Student groups will be course specific.

Groups will have a choice of presenting their poster in person or recording it as a short video. The presentation will be no more than 7 minutes in length.

Continual assessment 20% 95 hours

Students will engage in various weekly learning activities ranging from individual reflective pieces to quizzes. Students will need to pass or complete these activities in order to achieve the full marks for continual assessment, or 20% of their overall module mark. To do this students will earn up to 20 badges during the SPA module.

Feedback on assessment

Students will be provided individual and group feedback-feed-forward for the assessment. In addition to written feedback, oral feedback will be recorded and made available to the whole cohort.

There is currently no information about the courses for which this module is core or optional.