Natural Sciences

Academic and Transferable Skills Portfolio


All first year Natural Sciences students study the Academic and Transferable Skills Portfolio.

This module is designed to assist students in adapting to University-level study and provide them with the skills they need to be successful in their studies. It is taught as a series of workshops some of which are compulsory for all, some are compulsory for specific subjects and some are optional and students decide what to take based on their needs. 

Compulsory Workshops

  • Learning at University 1
  • Learning at University 2
  • How to Reference
  • Academic Communication: Talking about Evidence
  • Experimental Design and Analysis
  • Preparing for Exams
  • Using Feedback
  • Engaging with Peer Mentoring

Optional Workshops

  • Essay Writing
  • Report Writing
  • Mathematics for Scientists
  • Building Confidence
  • Resilience and Managing Expectations
  • Procrastination: How to get things done!
  • Study with Us Sessions
  • Academic Skills: Study Chats (range of topics)

Compulsory for Specific Subjects

  • Chemistry Lab Skills - Chemistry
  • Report Writing - Biology, Earth Science and Ecosystem and Environment
  • Essay Writing - Archaeology and Psychology
  • Chemistry for Biologists - Biology
  • Mathematics Study Group - Maths
  • Physics Study Group - Physics

Additional workshops run in later years on skills which students can use at those stages including: essay writing in exams and applying for placements and study abroad. These are optional and students can choose to attend or not.

Continuing Professional Development

Students can continue to develop their skill set during the second, third or fourth year by taking our Advantage Award module in Professional Skills for Scientists.

This module is designed to target the top skills employers are looking for and encourage students to reflect on skills they have developed and how these translate to the workplace as well as how they can demonstrate their skills to employers to get the job that they want. 

The compulsory workshops on this module are:

  • Professional Development and the Value of Skills
  • Personal Effectiveness
  • Communication in the Workplace
  • Working with Others
  • Creative Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Analytical and Critical Thinking
  • Decision Making and Negotiation
  • Marketing your Skills

Students also take part in four hours of careers focused activity from sessions run by the Careers and Employability Service including employability skills workshops. employer led events and sector insight events.

Natural Sciences

School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Nottingham
University Park

Tel: +44 (0) 115 823 2376
Fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3555