SCI50030 Academic Writing for Science for Postgraduate students

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module is not suitable for students in the first trimester, of the first year of their programme, as their own work is used as a basis for learning.

The Academic Writing for Science Postgraduates module uses practice-based learning methods in order to introduce analytical frameworks that will show how writing and reading are interrelated and core to critical thinking. It focuses on the elements of article and thesis construction needed to produce an effective academic work based on sound scientific research practices. It also includes the evaluation of the incorporation of secondary material, citation styles, and academic integrity. Therefore, this module provides Postgraduate students in the Sciences with the foundation for cultivating their writing skills to better ensure success throughout the period of the degree and writing their dissertation. The module is designed around workshops and involves students producing their own pieces of writing, which will be critiqued in terms of writing style rather than for the accuracy of the scientific content.
A weekly practice-based workshop will be supported each week by a thematic lecture on a core writing skill. Throughout the module an emphasis will be placed on developing writing abilities in ways that adequately reflect and support your unique critical insights and capability as a researcher.
Students will be requested to bring a piece of work to the first lecture. More details on this will be provided when students have registered to the module.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the module, students will be able to
● Understand what constitutes coherent, structured academic writing.
● Gain knowledge of the elements of a science based thesis.
● Appreciate the relationship between reading and writing.
● Critically evaluate and analyse sources.
● Incorporate drafting and editing practices into the writing process and understand the value of these skills.
● Apply methodologies to research practices and academic writing practices
● Present a convincing and valid piece of academic writing.
● Improve academic phrasing, tone and style.
● Utilise tools developed in the Academic Writing for Science Postgraduates module to have confidence to write scientific articles.
● Understand Academic Integrity as it applies to thesis/articles.

Indicative Module Content:

The components of what constitutes stellar academic writing will be addressed to include academic language and phrasing, implicit vs explicit argument, analytical vs descriptive writing, academic integrity, editing and proofreading strategies, writing for publication and the mechanical structure of a PhD thesis in the Sciences

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Seminar (or Webinar)


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
active/task-based learning based on students own thesis topic; peer review work; seminars; 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: 300 word Abstract
1500 word Submission
Varies over the Trimester n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
Repeat Within Two Trimesters
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Detailed individual online feedback on each assessment. Individual face to face feedback as required

Name Role
Mr Matthew O'Brien Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Tues 10:00 - 11:50
Lecture Offering 2 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Thurs 14:00 - 15:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Tues 10:00 - 11:50
Lecture Offering 2 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 Thurs 14:00 - 15:50
Lecture Offering 2 Week(s) - 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Thurs 14:00 - 15:50
Lecture Offering 3 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Tues 14:00 - 15:50
Lecture Offering 4 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 32, 33 Thurs 10:00 - 11:50
Lecture Offering 4 Week(s) - 29, 30 Thurs 10:00 - 11:50
Lecture Offering 4 Week(s) - 31 Thurs 10:00 - 11:50