Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

NATS2300 Interdisciplinary Skills for Natural Scientists

10 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Prof Paul Beales

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module enhances student awareness of interdisciplinary science and the skills and professional benefits from having interdisciplinary science training. Seminars on interdisciplinary research in Leeds will form the basis for skills training, including scientific literacy skills in literature searching, scientific writing for a general audience and scientific and professional ethics. Careers planning and professional development training will equip students with the ability to reflect on the skills gained and, with a focus on the flexibility and breadth of choice across disciplines within the Natural Sciences programme, plan next steps in the academic and professional careers.


This module aims to develop interdisciplinary, transferable and employability skills for Natural Sciences students. This will combine exposure to current interdisciplinary research, scientific literacy, scientific and professional ethics, personal development and planning skills.

Learning outcomes
1. Awareness and understanding of interdisciplinary topics in modern scientific research.
2. Ability to search scientific literature for relevant information and communicate scientific ideas and concepts to a general audience.
3. Identify and set personal objectives for academic and career development
4. Recognise, evaluate and reflect on the transferable and subject specific skills relevant to their next steps decisions.
5. Ability to work efficiently as part of a team.
6. Ability to understand and engage in arguments about ethical issues related to careers and research in the natural sciences.


- Seminars on current interdisciplinary topics in science;
- Searching the scientific literature;
- Scientific writing for a general audience;
- Introduction to ethics;
- Teamwork, trust and fairness;
- Ethics, science and objectivity;
- Scientific integrity, research ethics and risk;
- Responsible innovation;
- Ethics at work and corporate social responsibility;
- Career and life planning; skills audits;
- Labour market information, networking and resilience;
- Benefits of interdisciplinary training;
- Reflective writing and decision making.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours14.00
Private study hours60.00
Total Contact hours26.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

70h including 10h online study - making notes, additional reading

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The lecture sessions will be run as workshops with group discussion and interactions that will give opportunity for informal feedback from peers and instructors. Students will be given information on online tools that give feedback on CVs.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or DissertationPopular Science essay, 500 words33.30
Group ProjectEthics video; if not possible to do face-to-face digital tools will be required33.30
Reflective logPersonal Development Plan, 1000 words33.30
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)99.90

For the ethics group project, an alternative resit assessment would be for the student to write a 500 word essay to argue a position that the student chooses to take on a scientific ethical issue. Written guidance would be provided on how to structure the essay and what to include. The three assessments are weighted equally and a simple average is used to work out the module mark.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:52:18


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019