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BIOL20000 Year 2 Tutorials

The School of Biological Sciences Tutorial Programme

Tutorials will provide you with knowledge and expertise related to your degree programme as well as transferable skills. The tutorial programme includes small group tutorials and plenary sessions. Year 2 tutorials also include preparation for the assignments in the Science Communication Skills Unit (BIOL21392; Figure 1).

Figure 1. Tutorials in Year 2 include small group and plenary sessions and are linked to the Science Communication Unit (BIOL21392). Your tutor will assist you with choosing the topic for your Extended Essay, which they will mark along with the other assessments that count towards the BIOL21392 unit mark.

Small group tutorials will take place with other students from your degree programme and your Academic Tutor. To some extent, the nature and content of small-group tutorials will depend on your degree programme and is at the discretion your Academic Tutor. As in year 1, the times of your small group tutorials will be arranged by your Tutor. and will NOT appear on your ‘myManchester’ timetable.

Plenary sessions will be delivered by specialists to larger groups of students from multiple degree programmes. This format ensures consistent delivery of information to students, and the plenary sessions cover topics that are relevant to all SBS students. Plenary sessions will show on your ‘myManchester’ timetable, but there are usually two sessions for each title, and you will be expected to attend a specific one of these. You must check the dates for plenary sessions on the tutorial Blackboard site (BIOL20000), where there will also be instructions on when and how to attend.

The tutorial programme builds year-on-year and focuses on four major strands of skills: communication (written and oral); professional skills; experimental reporting; and employability, as shown in Figure 2. Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) for the Level 2 tutorials are available here. These build on the skills you acquired in Year 1 and form the basis for Level 3.

Figure 2. Summary of the topics you can expect to cover in small group tutorials (top) and plenary sessions (bottom). Your Tutor and Programme Director may, at their discretion, alter the content of your tutorials. FSB = Focused Study in Biosciences.

Tutorial Assignment Deadlines

Table 1 shows the deadlines for tutorial assignments common to all degree programmes in Year 2. Your Academic Tutor will give you a deadline and instructions for submission for the programme-specific assignment. Note that, depending on your programme, you may have additional assignments with deadlines that will be set by your Academic Tutor. Late submission (i.e., after the deadline without an agreed extension) of tutorial assessments will be penalised by mark deduction every day (or part thereof, including weekends and holidays) beyond the deadline.

DASS-related automatic extensions, if applicable to you, can be used for tutorial assignments that count towards the tutorial mark (Abstract and CV), but may not apply to the Programme-Specific Assignment, depending on its nature  – e.g. group work or presentations don’t qualify for the extension.  Other tutorial assignments, which don’t count towards the BIOL2000 mark, do NOT qualify for DASS-related automatic extensions. 

The assignments that count towards BIOL21392, Science Communication, will also be marked by your tutor and are listed  here for information. You should check the BIOL21392 Blackboard site in Semester 4 for full descriptions of these assignments.

Table 1. Year 2 tutorial assignments.

Assignment Deadline  Mark allocation Submission
Research Paper Abstract 13/10/22; 16:00 45% of marks for BIOL20000 Assessments area BIOL20000 Bb
CV submission 27/10/22; 16:00 10% of marks for BIOL20000 Assessments area BIOL20000 Bb
Programme-Specific Assignment TBA with Academic Tutor 45% of marks for BIOL20000 TBA with Academic Tutor
1 page plan 2/2/23 0% of marks for BIOL21392 TBA with Academic Tutor
Oral presentation on extended essay TBA with Academic Tutor 15% of marks for BIOL21392 TBA with Academic Tutor
Extended Essay 23/03/2023; 16:00 80% of marks for BIOL21392 Assessments area BIOL21392 Bb
Peer Review 27/04/2023; 16:00 5% of marks for BIOL21392 Details available in Semester 4

Table 1. Year 2 tutorial assignments. Additional assignments may be specified by your tutor. Bb = Blackboard.  TBA = to be arranged. Tutors are not expected to give feedback on your CV but you can ask your Academic Advisor to comment on it . BIOL21392 assignments are shown for information. Please consult the BIOL21392 Blackboard site for further information on these assignments.


Your tutorial assignments are listed in Table 1. These will be marked by your Academic Tutor and returned to you with feedback that will allow you to improve your work for the next assignment. It is important that you download and view your feedback as soon as possible once it is available. Instructions for doing so are here. If you don’t understand some of the feedback you have been given you should ask your Academic Tutor about it.

Your overall tutorial mark will be based on the summative assignments over the course of the academic year and therefore, if you deliberately or accidentally skip an assignment, your mark will be brought down. There are two requirements in order to pass the Year 2 Tutorial Unit:

  1. You must have satisfactory attendance at small-group tutorial and plenary sessions.
  2. You have to obtain an overall mark of at least 40% in the BIOL20000 tutorial assignments listed at the top of Table 1.

Tutorials are an important part of the attendance requirements for your degree course and compensation for partial failure of unit examinations is available only to students who have passed their tutorial unit. In addition, students who fail their tutorial unit due to poor marks or absences are required to complete a tutorial essay during the summer vacation. For further details see the Second Level Handbook.

Failure of the Tutorial Unit

Level 2 students can fail the tutorial unit:

  1. by having more than one unexcused absence from small-group tutorials or plenary sessions, OR
  2. by getting an average mark below 40% in tutorial assignments.

Formatting of Tutorial Assignments

All written tutorial assessments, unless specified differently, should be formatted in the following way: Arial 10pt font, 2.5cm margins, 1.5 line spacing. Page limit and referencing style for each assignment, if applicable, will be specified by your Academic Tutor. Mark penalties will be applied where assignments are formatted incorrectly or exceed the specified page limit.

How to submit tutorial assignments.

Submission of tutorial assignments is via the Assessments area of the BIOL20000 Blackboard site or as specified by your Academic Tutor for the Programme-specific assignment. Assignments that count towards BIOL21392 will be submitted via the Assessments area of the BIOL21392 Blackboard site in Semester 4. See Table 1 for details.


Attendance at small group tutorials and plenary sessions is compulsory. More than one unexcused absence from either small-group tutorials or plenary sessions over the academic year will result in failure of the tutorial unit: exclusion from Four-Year degree programmes (language, MSci, Enterprise, and industrial placement); loss of compensation for exams; and a summer re-sit essay assignment. Additional unexcused absences from tutorials may lead to the issuing of a formal warning letter. Unexcused absences may have detrimental effects on decisions on progression to subsequent years of your degree programme, or even lead to exclusion from study in the Faculty. For further information on attendance and compensation rules, please read the relevant sections of the Second Level Handbook.

Small group tutorials

Attendance at small group tutorials will be monitored by your Academic Tutor. In the case of student-led tutorials, where students meet in the absence of their tutor, attendance is also compulsory and will be recorded by a person chosen in advance and passed on to the Academic Tutor.

If you are absent from a tutorial or unable to complete a tutorial assignment due to illness, make sure that you follow the guidelines on ill health set out in the Second Level Handbook. You must alert  your Academic Tutor before the start time of your tutorial session AND submit a self-certification form to the Student Support Office no later than the day of the tutorial session that you will miss. It is your responsibility to provide this information. If you are unable to attend for any other good reason, you must supply documentary evidence to your Academic Tutor strongly supporting your reasons for absence.

Plenary sessions

Attendance at all plenary titles (see Table 2) apart from the January Assessments Q&A is compulsory. Failure to attend a Plenary Session will count as a tutorial absence. Some plenary sessions have associated pre-session work, which should be completed in advance of your timetabled session.

Plenary session scheduling

Dates and times of plenary sessions are listed on the ‘Plenary Sessions’ Area on the BIOL20000 Blackboard site. Most plenary titles will have two identical sessions scheduled to accommodate all students. Both of these will show on your timetable but you only need to attend one session. However it MUST be the one specified for your degree programme or unit, as detailed on the BIOL20000 Blackboard site. If the session allocated to your degree programme clashes with a language or other unit, you may be permitted attend the other session but only by prior arrangement (at least one working day’s notice) with the student support office.

If you are ill on the day of a plenary session, you must contact the student support office prior to the start of the plenary session in order to obtain an excused absence. Contacting your Academic Tutor instead of the student support office will result in your absence being unexcused.

Table 2. Year 2 Plenary Sessions.

Plenary title Teaching Week Pre-session work Who must attend
Semester 3 (Teaching Week 1 begins September 26th, 2022)
Communicating Science: Assessment Literacy 2 YES All Year 2 students
Employability: Applying your Skills as a Scientist 4 No All Year 2 students
Communicating Science:Introduction to the Extended Essay 7


 No All Year 2 students
Year 2 January Assessments Q&A 9  No Attendance optional
Semester 4 (Teaching Week 1 begins January 30th, 2023)
Ethics TBC YES All Year 2 students

Table 2. Year 2 Plenary Sessions. TBC = To be confirmed. Some plenary sessions have associated pre-session work, which should be completed in advance of your timetabled session. You will find timetabling information, descriptions of the sessions, ILOs, and instructions for pre-session work in the relevant folder in the ‘Plenary Sessions’ area of the BIOL20000 Blackboard site. 

Small Group Tutorial Activities and Plenary Sessions

The content of small group tutorials will depend on your degree programme and your Academic Tutor, but you should expect to participate in most of the activities listed below.

Semester 3: Developing Scientific Literacy Skills

Introduction and Semester 3 Tutorial Schedule

In Semester 3 your small group tutorials and the tutorial plenary sessions work together to build your skills in reading primary research literature (important for a professional scientist) and writing about it (communication). Developing your scientific literacy skills will be immediately useful as your lecture units will increasingly refer you to original papers rather than textbooks as you progress on your course. Scientific literacy is also essential for the Extended Essay (BIOL21392), which will require you to refer to papers in scientific journals.

Activities and assignments that are linked to small group tutorials and/or plenaries are indicated by the appropriate logo, as per Figure 1. An outline schedule for Semester 3 is shown in Table 3. Tutorial activities and assignments, including plenaries, are often described by week number (e.g., Semester 3 week 3). These refer to teaching weeks, with week 1 of teaching starting on Monday September 26th 2022 for Semester 3 and on Monday 30th January 2022 for Semester 4.

Table 3. Semester 3 Suggested Tutorial Schedule.

Teaching Week Small-group Tutorials Plenary Sessions BIOL20000 Submission DEADLINES Related submission DEADLINES (not BIOL20000)
1  1 Tutor-led tutorial    
2  1 Tutor-led tutorial Communicating Science: Assessment Literacy    
3 1 Student-led tutorial Submit abstract. Thursday 16:00.  
4 1 Tutor-led tutorial to be held by week 5 Employability: Applying your Skills as a Scientist  
5 Submit CV.  Thursday 16:00.  
6 No tutorial: Reading week
7 1 Tutor-led tutorial Communicating Science: Introduction to the Extended Essay
8 2 Tutor-led and 1 student-led tutorials to be held by week 11
9 Year 2 January Assessments Q&A
12 No tutorial – EDM submission week. EDM report. 

Table 3. Semester 3 Suggested Tutorial Schedule. Teaching Week 1 begins September 26th, 2022. Your Tutor or Programme Director may provide an alternative schedule at their discretion. It is compulsory to attend each plenary title apart from the January Assessments Q&A. Where there is more than one session for a title please consult the BIOL20000 Blackboard site to see which session you should attend. More information about each plenary session, including details of pre-session work, will also be available on the BIOL20000 Blackboard site in advance of the plenary. 

Semester 3 Tutorial Activities and Plenary Sessions

Professional Skills and Communication

Communicating Science: Assessment Literacy Plenary

This plenary will focus on developing your scientific literacy skills. Instructions for completing the pre-session work is available in the ‘Communicating Science: Assessment Literacy’ Plenary folder within the Plenary Sessions Area of the BIOL20000 Blackboard site. You will need to read two scientific abstracts, mark them, and bring the marked versions along to the plenary session. The information and activities in this plenary will help you with the Research Paper Abstract writing assignment.

Research Paper Abstract Assignment

Your Academic Tutor will select a research paper related to your degree programme and ask you to write an abstract for this paper. An abstract is (usually) a single paragraph that summarises a research paper. The full assignment brief and marking scheme are available in the ‘Assessment Criteria’ folder in the ‘Assessments’ area on the BIOL20000 Blackboard site.

Programme-specific activity

Your Programme-specific activity will be specified by your Programme Director and may run in Semester 3 or Semester 4. Your Tutor will give you further instructions for this assignment. It may be a Group Based Learning (GBL) activity, which are generally organised as described in Appendix 1.

Communicating Science: Introduction to the Extended Essay Plenary

This plenary will outline the process of writing the Extended Essay for BIOL21392. You will get tips on how to effectively search the scientific literature. There is no pre-session work for this plenary.

Exam preparation

At the end of Semester 3 your exams will be mostly short answer and/or essay based. Your Tutor will help you to prepare for Semester 3 exams by running a tutorial activity that will help you to understand the exam essay marking scheme.

Experimental Reporting

Your tutorials will include activities focusing on experimental reporting. These will help you with writing reports such as those for Experimental Design module (EDM), Research Skills Module (RSM), or Field Course units.

EDM Report Assignment

If you are enrolled on one of the EDM units (BIOL21041/21051/21061) you will be required to write a report on one of the EDM practicals during Semester 3, which contributes 20% of the final EDM unit mark. Your Academic Tutor will confirm which practical you will need to write up, and all members of your tutorial group will write up the same practical. Further instructions and a resource entitled ‘How to write your EDM report’ will be available on the EDM Blackboard sites. Your Tutor will also run activities in small-group tutorials focused on experimental reporting skills.


What are Employability Skills?

Employability skills are the skills needed in working environments. Employability skills can be very specific and technical, like understanding HPLC or how to run a PCR; or they can be general, such as demonstrating effective communication skills.

Why are employability skills important in year 2?

Employability skills are always important, and you will already have developed a range of skills from year 1 and those experiences that led you to The University of Manchester. Year 2 is the best time to build on your employability skills as many of the advertised summer placements and work experiences are aimed ‘penultimate year’ students (that’s the summer before your final year). By building on your growing subject knowledge and developing independence you can make a real contribution through a summer internship and gain an insight into the sector or employer you are working for.

What skills will I get this year?

In year 2 the employability focus is about getting experience. The majority of advertised work experience, summer placements and industrial experience years are aimed at year 2 students. If you’re really keen right from Sept/Oct you can be looking for working opportunities after year 2.

We want to help you make the most of your time here, so we will be providing you with advice on how to find these opportunities, making applications and acing interviews. To help with this, there will be an Employability plenary session entitled “Applying your Skills as a Bioscientist” in Week 4. For a specific run-down of all the employability skills you can gain this year check out Appendix 2: Employability; your module descriptions also detail the skills you will have the chance to develop.

Keep a record of your employability skills

It’s worth thinking about how you can keep a record of the skills and new experiences you develop during this year. One way is to create a ‘living CV’ which acts like a list or summary of all the things you’ve done and what you’ve learnt. The benefit of this approach is when you come to write your CV to send out then you have all the evidence in one place. Typical headings would be education, jobs, volunteering, positions of responsibility and interests. More information on CVs can be found in the Careers Service CV guide (including a link to ‘CareerSet’, an online CV review tool you’ll find useful when working on the CV assignment below).

CV Assignment.

You are required to submit a CV via the Assessments area of the BIOL20000 Blackboard site in week 5. Your Academic Tutor will look at this but won’t give you feedback on it. You may want to forward your CV to your Academic Advisor as well. Your Academic Advisor will be able to use your CV if you ask them to write you a reference for a job or placement application and they can discuss your CV with you in one-to-one meetings if you ask them to.

Semester 4: Developing Programme-specific Skills

Introduction and Semester 4 Schedule

Tutorial activities in Semester 4 will help you to consolidate your knowledge within the area of your degree programme. You will complete the BIOL21392 Extended Essay and Oral Presentation on a topic related to your degree programme. You will also have the opportunity to compare your work to others on your programme through a Peer Review activity. Other tutorial activities will vary by degree programme but may include group-based activities, data handling problems, and discussing primary research papers. An outline of the suggested Semester 4 schedule, including the plenary sessions is shown in Table 4.

Table 4. Semester 4 Suggested Tutorial Schedule.

Teaching Week Small-group Tutorials Plenary Sessions BIOL21392 Submission DEADLINES  BIOL20000 Submission DEADLINES
1  1 Tutor-led tutorial Ethics (late RSM students/field course students to attend) TBC Submit Extended Essay plan Your Academic Tutor will set deadlines for other tutorial assignments
2 3 Tutor-led and 1 student-led tutorials to be held by week 7
5 Ethics (early RSM students attend) . TBC
6 Oral Presentation on  Extended Essay
8 No tutorial: Extended Essay submission week Submit Extended Essay. Thursday 16:00
9 2 Tutor-led and 1 student-led tutorials to be held by week 12

10 Submit Extended Essay peer reviews. Thursday 16:00

Table 4. Semester 4 Suggested Tutorial Schedule. Teaching Week 1 begins January 30th, 2022. TBC = to be confirmed. The week(s) for the Ethics Plenary Sessions will be confirmed before the start of Semester 4. Your Tutor or Programme Director may provide an alternative schedule at their discretion, which may include deadlines for other tutorial assignments. Consult the BIOL20000 Blackboard site for details of which plenary session to attend.

Semester 4 Tutorial Activities and Plenary Sessions


Extended Essay

You will prepare an outline plan of your Extended Essay in  week 1 of  Semester 4. Your tutor will give you feedback on this plan to help you finalise the content of your Extended Essay before submission in Semester 4 week 8.

Oral presentation on Extended Essay (BIOL21392)

You will be assessed on an individual 10-minute (including questions) oral presentation that you will deliver to your tutorial group on your Extended Essay topic. The My Learning Essentials website has some excellent resources to help with preparing and delivering oral presentations. You will receive a mark and feedback from your Academic Tutor to help you to improve your oral communication skills. This presentation, and the feedback you receive, should also help you with writing your Extended Essay.

Professional Skills

Ethics Plenary Session

A plenary session on Ethics will bring you up to date with some contemporary ethical issues relating to science and biomedicine. Instructions for completing the pre-session work will be available in the Plenary Sessions Folder of the BIOL20000 Blackboard site.

Data handling and problem solving (Programme-specific)

Your Tutor may assign exercise(s) to help you improve your skills in handling data, applying statistical tests and problem solving. This exercise will give you practice in the types of problems you may encounter on your final year Degree Programme-specific Problem Paper.

The Careers Service

The Careers Service offers support and advice throughout your time at The University of Manchester, to help you make the most of your time here and best prepare you for your future. Common queries from first year students include:

  • How can I get work experience or a part-time job?
  • How can I find out about career options?
  • I don’t like my course, what else can I do?
  • I don’t know what I want to do!

For full details of how the Careers Service can support you plus a wealth of help and information, visit the website. To find out about opportunities, events and other activities, visit CareerConnect. They have an information desk in the Atrium in University Place staffed from Monday to Thursday 10-4pm, Fridays 10-1pm.

They run events for first year students through to postgrads, advertise part-time jobs and internships, and bring alumni and employers on campus for you to talk to. They offer a personalised service with guidance appointments, applications advice as well as a programme of drop-ins, workshops and careers fairs.

The Biology, Medicine and Health Careers Consultants are: Suzanne Creeber and Elizabeth Wilkinson. They organise workshops and activities in collaboration with the school, alongside delivering the annual Employability Plenary. You can contact Suzanne and Elizabeth at, connect with them on LinkedIn and book individual guidance meetings using CareerConnect.

Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellows

The Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellows are professional, published authors whose role is to help you strengthen your writing.

Sign up for a one-to-one tutorial to help you:

  • Plan your study time.
  • Focus your reading for essay or report writing.
  • Express your ideas more clearly.
  • Answer grammar and punctuation questions.
  • Discover reading to improve your writing and editing skills.
  • Increase your writing skills with the aim of improving your grades.
  • Improve any academic writing – essays, reports, theses, dissertations, book chapters.

Further information about the writers’ expertise, and instructions for appointment booking are available on the BIOL20000 Blackboard site.

Help with English Language Skills

Should you need help with English language skills, you can contact the University Language Centre.

Student Feedback

In order to help us maximise the benefits that you gain from tutorials, we need feedback from you, both on the tutorial activities and on your Academic Tutor’s performance. For this purpose, you will be asked to complete unit surveys at the end of each semester. There will be a general survey for BIOL20000 to give feedback on the tutorial plenaries, and a separate survey run via Blackboard to give feedback on your small group tutorials.  It is important for us to have your opinion, as these surveys will be used to determine how plenaries and tutorials are conducted in future years. Details of how to access and complete the surveys will be emailed to you each semester.

Appendix 1: Group Based Learning (GBL) Tutorials

What happens in a GBL tutorial?

These are general guidelines for GBL tutorials, which may be modified at the discretion of your Academic Tutor. GBL tutorials are run by students and the Academic Tutor is the facilitator and does not take part, other than to provide guidance if needed. Further guidance on group work is available on the My Learning Essentials website.

A specific topic, short article from a journal or a research paper is chosen. In the first session students decide on the primary learning objectives of the topic and how they are going to go about researching these. This should be done using a wide variety of information resources focused on the primary literature.

At the second session (usually student-led; the Academic Tutor is not present) the group have a full detailed discussion of the topic, focusing on the primary learning objectives. During this session one of the students should act as chairperson. Students should also decide on how the material will be presented the following week to their Tutor. The final session is either a formal presentation of the topic to the Academic Tutor or a discussion of the topic between the Academic Tutor and students.

Attendance at all sessions is compulsory, as a primary aim of GBL is to develop an awareness of teamwork skills and increase the knowledge base of the whole group. Non-attendance jeopardises the learning of all other group members as individuals. For this reason, recordings of attendance and minutes of meetings in the absence of the Academic Tutor must be taken and be open to review by the Academic Tutor at any time.

Guidelines for the running of GBL tutorials

  • A chairperson must be appointed at the beginning of each GBL to control the running of the discussion. Attendance must also be recorded.
  • Another student is appointed as secretary and should record the agreed learning objectives and email these to all members of the group.
  • All students should make a record of the agreed topics to be researched.
  • Group communication is essential and everyone in the group should have input (this is strongly dependent on the chairperson).
  • The sessions should cover set one-hour time periods. This helps to focus the group and develops time and resource management.
  • The research information should come from a range of sources (for example, primary literature, textbooks, internet, reviews, personal experience etc.).

In GBL sessions based on a research paper the chairperson may want to split up the paper by figures and assign a figure or figures to one person to present the data.

Appendix 2: Employability

This table outlines some transferable skills that employers seek and ideas for developing these so that you can use them for job applications and interviews in the future.

What are employers looking for? What does that mean? How can you develop this skill?
Ability to articulate what you have to offer Reflect on the skills you have gained throughout your tutorials and other units.

Develop good communication skills so that you can talk about your skills and provide evidence that you have them to potential employers.

Reflection: keep updating your CV and keeping a record of new skills.

Communication Skills
Oral presentations (tutorials; some lecture units; lab meetings). Essays (tutorials; many lecture units). Debates (some tutorials; some lecture units).

Creativity & innovation Being able to come up with new ideas, approaches and solutions. Thinking ‘outside the box’ and being able to suggest new/improved ways of doing things. You will have the opportunity to be creative in terms of your approach to assignments – e.g., ideas for poster topics in tutorials. Your final year project will present opportunities to be innovative in overcoming obstacles.
Critical thinking Being able to analyse an idea or a piece of work objectively and weigh up its strengths and weaknesses. Recognise your own biases and be open to new ideas if evidence supports them. Essays and oral presentations will include structured presentations of a logical argument. You will read and critically analyse primary literature in tutorials, and build on these skills during your extended essay and literature review.
Cultural awareness & sensitivity Experience of interacting with individuals from a range of different backgrounds and ability to adapt your approach to suit the needs of the people you are working with. We have a diverse staff and student body so you are likely to interact with individuals from a range of backgrounds during your tutorials and project, or as an ambassador or PASS leader. The Manchester Leadership Programme (MLP) and any volunteering you undertake provide opportunities to work within the local community, which is also diverse.
Leadership skills Proven ability to lead a team effectively. You may have the opportunity to act as a leader in a tutorial assignment or project, or as a senior ambassador. You can also seek leadership opportunities in the MLP or as a PASS Leader.
Numeracy Being able to work with numbers is a key skill and may range from basic mental arithmetic to being able to analyse and interpret data. Data Handling modules, practicals, field courses and projects will help you develop your numerical skills and ability to use statistics. Numerical skills are required in practicals and experimental reporting to work out concentrations and dilutions, and to calculate whether results are statistically significant.
Presentation skills Proven ability to communicate your ideas both visually and orally. You will undertake presentations in tutorials, field courses and as part of your final year project. Becoming an ambassador, PASS leader or student rep representative gives you further opportunity to develop your presentation skills.
Project management Project management requires effective planning, and management of resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project objectives. Your final year project will be the main opportunity to develop this skill, but you may also manage smaller projects in some lecture units, within the MLP, or as a PASS leader or PASS co-ordinator.
Problem solving Grasp what needs to be done and reach a satisfactory solution to a problem. Tutorials will include practice of problem solving in preparation for data handling in practical write-ups and the final year programme specific problem paper.
Self-awareness Know what your skills, strengths and weaknesses are. Think of examples of how and when you have demonstrated these. When you have completed a task (e.g., formal presentation, essay, exam) reflect on your performance. Write examples and state what you intend to do differently next time.
Self-management (ability to manage learning) Effectively manage your time and complete work within deadlines. Most units will require you to manage your time and submit assignments to deadlines. Your final year project will hone this skill, and will need to fit around other demands on your time such as coursework essays and reading for lecture units.
Self-esteem & confidence Belief in your capabilities to achieve a goal or an outcome effectively. If you have a strong sense of self efficacy you are more likely to challenge yourself with difficult tasks and be intrinsically motivated. You will have the opportunity to rise to the challenges provided by completing independent work to deadlines (e.g., extended essay) and to learn from constructive criticism and feedback (e.g., peer review in tutorials; discussion groups and feedback from tutor or project supervisor).
Teamwork Proven ability to work well within a team AND an understanding of the role you take within a team. Most projects and tutorial activities involve some teamwork, as do some final year lecture units. Aim to take on different roles so that you experience as many as possible. Reflect on your strengths and development needs.
Research skills This may refer to researching literature, searching databases, identifying appropriate resources and extracting key information or may refer to practical scientific research. Research is also an important skill when looking for and applying for jobs. You should do extra reading around your lectures including reading recent primary literature and review articles. More extensive research will be required for essays, your extended essay and literature review. Your main opportunity for research will be during your final year project.
Written Communication Effectively organising your ideas and communicating these in a coherent manner. Being able to use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. Throughout your degree you will develop your written communication skills through your assignments such as essays, the Year 2 extended essay and project write ups.

For further help see The ‘Develop your skills’ section contains ideas on how to develop these skills beyond your degree (plus guidance on how recruiters assess for them).

The My Learning Essentials training programme offers careers advice through face–to-face workshops and online resources.