Personal Skills

First year module

Lecturer: Barbara Armstrong

Many of the skills required to successfully complete a university degree, such as being able to manage your own work, motivate yourself, pick up new ideas quickly, communicate effectively, or work as part of a group, are highly valued in the workplace. Indeed, one of the main reasons why employers want to employ graduates is that they believe that someone who has successfully completed a university course will have had to acquire many of these important personal skills. The motivation behind this course is to help students make the transition to university-level study and to assist them in improving some of these personal skills. The focus in this module is on developing the critical thinking and practical skills necessary for undergraduate study, (possible) work placement and graduate careers in the field of business and management.

The module will introduce students to the efficient use of the library and bibliographic sources (including CD-Rom packages and online databases); the importance of good referencing; the dangers of plagiarism as well as the principles of good essay writing. Students will be required to write a reflective essay, drawn from their research of the relevant academic and practitioner literature. They will reflect upon the transferable skills of time management, working with others, use of ICT and managing learning, and also the academic skills of identifying and using sources, critical reading, note taking and academic writing. A key outcome of the module is it will teach and encourage students to reflect on their own learning and to manage their own skills development.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Pursue independent study effectively and manage their own time
  • Write up and present the results of their independent study in an academic manner
  • Prepare and carry out effective research and data collection from various sources such as a library or the Web.
  • Identify and demonstrate ability to identify key gaps in their own skills portfolio, and develop a strategy to address key areas of weakness


  • This module will be assessed by one individually written reflective essay, 1500 words (100%)