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2017/18 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

COMP5991M Professional Development & Skills 2

15 creditsClass Size: 15

Module manager: Professor Peter Jimack

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

Pre-requisite qualifications

All students will have done an undergraduate degree in Engineering, or Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences or Environmental Science.

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The module will develop a range of generic skills covering core areas of communication skills (written, oral, visual), enterprise, knowledge transfer and commercial awareness, working in teams and public engagement that underpin successful achievement in a wide range of future careers. Undertaking up to a five day visit or multiple shorter visits up to five days in total, to industrial or non-academic collaborator(s) will be a compulsory element of this module. The options on this module consist of participation in generic skills courses provided by the central training providers (SDDU, ISS, Library), the Faculty of Engineering or outside bodies. The courses chosen must be at an appropriate level and be agreed between the student and his/her supervisors and module leader. The aim of the courses must be to strengthen or develop generic skills.Students will engage in critical self-reflection through personal development planning (PDP).


The objective of this module is to aid the student in developing and enhancing their research performance, employability, professionalism and engagement with society. The module will develop a range of generic skills that underpin successful achievement in a wide range of future careers, including skills obtained through working on a short industrial placement.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate the following:
- Understanding of relevant health and safety issues and demonstrate responsible working practices;
- Information management skills;
- Communication skills (oral, visual and written);
- Understanding of relevant ethical and legal issues connected with research;
- Application of effective project management through the setting of research goals, intermediate milestones and prioritisation of activities;
- Understanding and contributing to the success of formal and informal teams;
- Develop skills and understanding of industrial or research organisation research methodologies with emphasis on planning and implementing investigations with guidance from academic and organisation placement mentors.
- Develop the capacity for independent self-learning within the bounds of professional practice.
- Generic skills appropriate for PhD level and deemed relevant for the research project and development of the academic career of the student.
- Appreciation of the challenges, differences and similarities of undertaking Fluid Dynamics R&D working in an external (e.g. industrial) environment, as opposed to the University environment.

Skills outcomes
As part of this module the students will have the opportunity to learn a number of transferable skills including the following:
- Faculty/ DTC induction and Safety Certificate;
- Managing a PhD and project management;
- Effective written and oral communication;
- Intellectual property;
- Enterprise, knowledge transfer and commercial awareness;
- Research ethics;
- Develop skills and understanding of industrial or research organisation research methodologies;
- The capacity for independent self-learning within the bounds of professional practice;
- Short industrial placement within a specific industry relevant to Fluid Dynamics to broaden skill and knowledge set beyond the academic environment.


This module will focus more explicitly on supporting the students’ PhD projects, including: finding and managing information for their PhD; further training in research methods and project management, and; preparation for and participation in a public engagement activity. For the second half of this module students will undertake a short industrial placement to gain experience of, and reflect upon, the cultural differences between undertaking research in a University and R&D in a partner company (see letters of support).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning41.004.00
Independent online learning hours32.00
Private study hours37.00
Total Contact hours81.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Private study is required for follow up study of training seminars and arrangement/follow-up of placement.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Each student will follow their own tailored Training and Professional Development Plan (TPDP) and compile a Professional Development Portfolio (PDP).

Progress will be monitored at formal tutor/supervisory meetings by the student, personal tutor/supervisor and DTC Programme Leader.

The Professional Development Portfolio will be reviewed, and a reflective log and report by the student at the end of the year will be assessed. Half of this report will be a reflection on the industrial placement and the skills and knowledge generated as a result of the visit and the subsequent reflection and independent study.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Reflective logReflective log + spreadsheet of training attendance. Students may be asked to provide evidence e.g. hard copy certificates.50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 17/05/2017


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