CP0138: Study Skills

School Cardiff School of Geography and Planning
Department Code GEOPL
Module Code CP0138
External Subject Code X220
Number of Credits 20
Level L4
Language of Delivery English
Module Leader
Academic Year null

How the module will be assessed



Engagement and Participation



Book review


1200 words




1600 words





The potential for reassessment in this module


Students are permitted to be reassessed in a module which they have failed, in line with the course regulations. The reassessment will usually take place during the summer.


How the module will be delivered

The module will be delivered through lectures and small group tutorial sessions. Lectures will provide a consistent base of information to all students in the class.  Tutorials will provide an opportunity for guided peer-to-peer discussions and support, and will be assessed via a deliberately broad range of student assignments, giving students an opportunity to develop a range of writing styles.

Outline Description of Module

The transition to undergraduate study can be extremely challenging as students are expected to acquire a considerable new skill set, whilst also studying demanding material. The Study Skills module aims to support students through this transition by introducing them to new skills (such as identifying and referencing literature and different writing styles) and major pitfalls (such as plagiarism) in a supportive environment. Study Skills is not delivered in abstract from the rest of the degree; assignments and discussions will relate directly to the modules studied during the first year. Moreover, Study Skills will provide a setting within which the common threads between different modules can be brought together.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

  • Illustrate key academic writing techniques by demonstrating an awareness of different sources of reference material, including books, academic journals, policy reports and newspapers through tutorial and written work;


  • Avoid major pitfalls in academic writing such as plagiarism by using the Harvard referencing style in their written work;


  • Explain similarities and differences between different writing styles, including; essays, reports, and book reviews through tutorial discussions;


  • Demonstrate an understanding of key academic writing techniques by critically evaluating the key impacts of a particular geographical idea or approach through an essay and book review;


  • Demonstrate an understanding of key presentation techniques by tutor review.

Skills that will be practised and developed

Group discussions and debating skills

Presentation skills

Essay-writing skills

Academic research skills such as: literature searches for different source materials, referencing, paraphrasing, annotation, note taking   avoiding plagiarism

Critically reviewing material and writing a book review

Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Written Assessment 45 An Essay (C 1,8600 Words) Of Key Texts Discussed In Your Tutorial Group N/A 1 N/A
Report 35 Book Review - A Book Review (C 1,4200 Words) Of A Key Text Discussed In Your Tutorial Group N/A 1 N/A
Presentation 20 Individual Presentation In Tutor Group N/A 1 N/A

Essential Reading and Resource List

Becker, L., (2010) 14 days to exam success, (Pocket Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan.


Copus, J (2009) Brilliant Writing Tips for Students (Pocket Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan.


Godfrey, J (2010) Reading and making notes (Pocket Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan


Godfrey, J., (2011) Writing for University (Pocket Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan.


Godwin, J (2009) Planning your Essay – (Pocket Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan.


Hartley, P. and Dawson, M., (2010) Success in Group work, (Pocket Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan.


Van Emden, J., & Becker, L., (2010) Presentation Skills for Students (Palgrave Study Skills) Palgrave Macmillan, 2nd Edition.


Williams, K, & Reid, M., (2011) Time management, (Pocket Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan.


Williams, K. (2009) Getting Critical (Pocket Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan.


Williams, K., and Carroll, J., (2009) Referencing and Understanding Plagiarism, (Pocket Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan.

Background Reading and Resource List

Syllabus content

The module will normally cover the following material:


The purpose of Study Skills tutorials; Introduction to the tutorial handbook (tutorial dates, subjects, assessment); Using library search engines to identify literature and information resources; Presentation skills - Conveying complex ideas through words and pictures; Exam Skills - revising and doing university exams; Plagiarism and Turnitin reports


Critical reading: what is the author saying?

Exercise: Making notes (Tutorial Group)

Critical reading: how does the author structure their argument?

Exercise: How to you use the notes that you’ve taken (Tutorial Group)

Critical reading: How do authors legitimate their arguments?

Exercise: Writing style, referencing and how to avoid plagiarism (Tutorial Group)

Critically summarising text: abstract and key words

Exercise: writing an abstract (Tutorial Group)

Critically summarising text: Book review

Exercise: effective and efficient reading (Tutorial Group)

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