Module Overview

Professional Development 1

This module and the subsequent Stage 2 module develop the skills and attributes required by students and graduates in mathematical sciences to enhance their employability and develop their research skills and ability to work in a professional, technical environment.  This module focusses on communication and develops writing and presentation skills.  The module also explores important elements of planning, time management, appropriate, informed communication and team working.

Module Code

PROF 1801

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Written communication

Introduction to the importance of written communication that is formal, clear and concise.


Use of MS Word.  Formatting fonts and paragraphs and using the clipboard, special characters and character sets.  Planning a document: how to use styles, tables of contents, headers/footers (page numbers and other document fields), pagination (page and section breaks) and margins, proof-reading tools including search/replace. Use of cross-referencing and footnotes. Reviewing a document: track changes and comments.  Creating a template.


Examples of formal writing: avoiding colloquialism, use of tone/voice, avoiding abbreviations, other forms of informality.  Formal letter writing and curriculum vitae.  Structure of a report: use of executive summary, abstracts, contents, bibliographies, references, appendices.


Using figures and tables appropriately.  Inclusion and manipulation of figures and tables in MS Word.  Captions, tables of figures and cross-referencing.


Typesetting equations and mathematical conventions for writing equations.  Using MS Word and Equation Editor.  Use of special symbols and character sets.   


Introduction to critically evaluating written documents, summarising and precis. 


Recognising and avoiding plagiarism and the consequences.



Importance of clear presentations: presentation style, appearance and professionalism, planning and realistic expectations, how to practice.


Use of MS Powerpoint. Planning a presentation, structure, creating a style and use of templates.  Master slides. 


Creating a presentation.  Assessing the appropriate tone and formality: considering the audience, slide content, the message, use of colour, transitions.  Embedding media.    


Making a presentation: timing, preparation, first impressions and the influence of the presenter, available facilities.


Project work and group working

Time management and planning.  Scoping.  Working as a group: allocation of roles, teamworking, resolving conflict, achieving and marking individual contributions and outcomes.

Lectures, tutorials and direct feedback.  Students will be required to produce documents and presentations, critique their own and the work of others and make presentations.  The module will have a strong element of peer-feedback and, as part of self-directed learning, self-appraisal and independent work.

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