Module Overview

Critical Skills Development

The aim of the module is to develop the necessary learning strategies and study skills to succeed at third- level. The module will focus, in particular, on the development of critical skills such as research skills, learning skills, the skills of academic writing and referencing, critical thinking, communication and interpersonal skills/teamwork. These skills are critical for successful learning and professional development, and are highly valued by employers. It is recognized that the skills described, though generic, are nuanced in each specific discipline area. Thus, delivery and the learning, teaching and assessment strategy adopted in each discipline will be tailored to that target audience drawing on exemplars and best practice relevant to that discipline.

Module Code

CSKD H1000

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change


Discipline-specific examples will be used throughout the module. Within each of the assessment categories, the lecturer has flexibility to determine the mix of assessments and the marks allocated.

Preparing for Effective Learning

Introduction to graduate attributes and rationale for Critical Skills Development module; Learning at third level (teaching methods/styles – lectures, labs, tutorials; learning outcomes, assessment approaches, GPA, ECTS, timetables, independent learning, extra-curricular activities); Responsibilities as a learner, personal learning/development planning (student learning agreement); Using technology to support learning (Moodle, IT skills, file storage, printing, email); Using the Library and other academic supports; Learning context (exploring the context and connectivity of learning and linking learning to college, work and life).

Learning Strategies

Understanding intelligence and learning (what is learning, learning preferences, multiple intelligences, thinking about your learning); Learning strategies (factors for effective learning; active learning; reflective learning, learning journals); Effective note-making (summarising material, mind-mapping, concept-mapping); Effective reading skills (planning your reading, active reading, skimming); Creative thinking, critical thinking, and problem-solving (what is it; why is it important; critical reading).

Groupwork and Collaborative Learning Approaches

Rationale for groupwork (skills gained and implications for further study, work and life); Groupwork techniques (guidelines for effective groupwork, organising study groups, completing group assignments, assigning roles and tasks, being an effective group member, dealing with difficulties in groupwork); Using intrapersonal and interpersonal skills in groupwork (talking and listening skills, negotiation, leadership, giving and receiving constructive feedback).

Communication Skills and Interpersonal Skills

Basic communication models; Listening skills; Skills for communicating with others (class conduct, professional communications); Presentation skills; Understanding and respecting diversity (perception, other cultures/backgrounds, disability); Visual communication skills (graphs, charts, images).

Self Management and Professional Development

Professional Development Planning (PDP): Recognising strengths and weaknesses; Setting goals; Time management and balancing college work and life; Building a career plan and portfolio; Organisation skills (planning, prioritising, procrastination).

Information Skills and Academic Writing

What are information skills and why are they Important?; Information sources and types; Finding information; Evaluating information; Using and communicating information; Referencing and plagiarism; Academic writing (writing styles, planning your work; starting to write; developing your writing)

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Other Assessment(s)100