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The University and Colleges have identified a set of skills and attributes ("transferable skills") which all undergraduates can expect to acquire during their university career. These skills, as well as enhancing academic performance, can be used beyond university, and are sought after by employers. Students are encouraged to make use of the opportunities afforded to them to develop these skills which will stand them in good stead in later life.

This document sets out the way in which these transferable skills can be acquired through the teaching programme offered by the Department; it also identifies ways in which College based activities may contribute to these acquisition of these skills.

Intellectual skills

Department: Lectures, practicals and examinations

College: Supervisions (problem solving, discussion, critical analysis)


Communication skills


Department: Projects, practicals write-ups, scientific writing course

College: Supervisions (written explanations and essays)


Department: Presentations of project work, discussion of practical write-ups

College: Supervisions (oral explanations and discussion)

Non-verbal: (i.e. development of an argument using mathematical or symbolic language):

Department: Practicals write-ups

College: Supervisions (problem solving)

The Department will offer, with the assistance of Procter and Gamble, a one-day course on Communications Skills.


Organisational skills

Management of work and extracurricular activities

Department: Working in a group (practicals) or research team (projects)


Interpersonal skills

Department: Working with others for practicals or projects; regular discussion with members of staff and other leading scientists

College: Living, working and socialising in a diverse community; taking positions of responsibility


Research skills

Department: Use of library to supplement information given in lectures; literature projects (finding information, both in traditional and electronic forms; critical evaluation); designing experiments; fourth-year research project.



Department: Lectures (as part of NST); data handling in experiments and projects

College: Supervisions for NST Mathematics


Computer literacy

Department: Lectures (as part of NST); computer based experiments and exercises; use of electronic data bases and information (literature and research project); using equipment under computer control; use of computers to analyse data (practicals and projects); word processing (projects).

College: Computing resources for the above; EMAIL and Internet access.


Foreign language skills

Department: Third-year language option.

College: Support for self-access language teaching