Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024

Module FOUD02I8: Advanced Scholarship in HE (STEM)

Department: Foundation Year (Durham)

FOUD02I8: Advanced Scholarship in HE (STEM)

Type Open Level 0 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • Programme Aims:
  • Foundation students have 3 or 4 core components to their programme, depending on route. The CMT modules are designed to introduce students to concepts, methods and theories within the student’s chosen discipline, and provide a lens through which students engage with knowledge and knowledge creation in their chosen discipline. Meanwhile the Scholarship in Higher Education (SHE) module provides the tool-kit for their engagement and communication of knowledge; whereas the Advanced Scholarship in Higher Education module provides an iterative experience of bringing toolkit and lens together to provide students with the opportunity to actively engage in the process of knowledge generation and communication by completing a research project within the student’s chosen discipline. All students apart from Arts & Humanities also have a maths component. This module contributes to the overall aims of the Foundation Programme, which are aligned to FHEQ level four descriptors. By the end of the programme, students will have demonstrated
  • knowledge of the underlying concepts and principles associated with their area(s) of study, and an ability to evaluate and interpret these within the context of that area of study
  • an ability to present, evaluate and interpret qualitative and quantitative data, in order to develop lines of argument and make sound judgements in accordance with basic theories and concepts of their subject(s) of study.
  • evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems related to their area(s) of study and/or work
  • communicate the results of their study/work accurately and reliably, and with structured and coherent arguments
  • undertake further training and develop new skills within a structured and managed environment.
  • the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.
  • Module Aims:
  • This module also supports the overall Foundation Programme aims to enable students to have:
  • acquired the ability to work confidently with a range of academic materials and sources (as appropriate to progression pathway);
  • gained various skills for undergraduate study, including the ability to extract and summarise meaning from text, to read rapidly and accurately, to write and present clear and precise arguments using appropriate evidence;
  • gained skills in collecting, analysing and presenting data (as appropriate to progression pathway)
  • acquired a level of self-efficacy in relation to workload management, basic academic autonomy and a learner identity as an effective university student;
  • gained skills in using reference resources;


  • Approaches to study in Higher Education
  • Academic writing styles
  • Academic malpractice including scientific integrity
  • A range of academic referencing practices including what is common knowledge in the sciences (appropriate to progression pathway)
  • Academic information sources and the use of academic sources to support learning
  • Critical and reflective thinking styles
  • Structured communication
  • Practical laboratory skills (where relevant, appropriate to the progression pathway)

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will have demonstrated knowledge of:
  • 1. Theories of Research, articulated through the choice of an appropriate topic and methodological approach
  • 2. Their chosen topic area
  • 3. The structure and purpose of different means of communicating research (e.g. a research proposal, an abstract, a literature review, hypothesis, etc.) relevant to their progression pathway
  • 4. Research Ethics and Research Methods, appropriate to their discipline area, including laboratory research and its limitations (where relevant to their progression pathway)
  • 5. The structure and purpose of the different sections of a research report relevant to their chosen method and progression pathway
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will have demonstrated that they can: 
  • 1. Select, read, analyse and critically evaluate academic texts and data sets (where relevant to their progression pathway)
  • 2. Extract ideas and information from academic texts and data sets and synthesise them to construct and support an evidence-based, conclusion-driven research narrative presented in an appropriate academic format, relevant to their progression pathway
  • 3. Take an analytical rather than descriptive approach to their topic
  • 4. Understand specialist vocabulary from their discipline area and use it appropriately in academic communication
Key Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will have demonstrated that they can: 
  • 1. Use academic conventions for communicating and disseminating research, appropriate to their progression pathway
  • 2. Construct a coherent, logical, and persuasive research narrative, supported by evidence (including data from laboratory practicals, where relevant) to arrive at a meaningful conclusion
  • 3. Make accurate and appropriate use of grammar, specialist vocabulary, academic style, and academic conventions, including appropriate presentation formats (e.g. data tables and figures where relevant)
  • 4. Present quotations and references accurately and correctly, including the use of paraphrasing, demonstrating they can use an appropriate referencing system for their progression pathway, e.g. Harvard, as set out in Cite Them Right

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • This module will be delivered using a combination of whole group lectures and smaller group tutorials on a weekly basis throughout both Teaching Blocks, with additional practical laboratory sessions in Teaching Block Two for those completing lab-based research projects. Students will also have individual tutorials with their Academic Advisor and/or the Module Leader throughout the year to support their personal research journey.
  • Students will be taught research skills then challenged to apply them in their own sphere of research to specific tasks to achieve the module outcomes.
  • Lectures: Lectures are used to provide guided access to the module content and approximately 25 students attend the main module lecture each week throughout both Teaching Blocks. There is an interactive teaching/learning style which will encompass some lecture-style presentations by the teacher, teacher-led discussions and discussion in groups. Lectures are supported by reference materials, such as the module handbooks, laboratory guides, video guides and/or practical demonstrations, handouts, or notes posted on the VLE and are delivered by expert staff from within the DCAD team.
  • Lectures focus on developing Subject Specific Knowledge, Subject Specific Skills, and Key Skills.
  • Laboratory Practical: For STEM students studying on progression pathways involving practical science subjects (e.g. Biological Sciences with Foundation) there is a practical component associated with the ASHE (STEM) research project. To ensure such students develop practical laboratory skills, competency and confidence in a laboratory situation, there is an additional two-hour laboratory practical for those on relevant pathways. These two hours are taken from the SLAT time allocated to the module for preparation and orientation tasks, so students studying more theoretical or non-laboratory-based subjects e.g. Economics with Foundation, will not miss out on teaching and learning time allocated to the module as they will be involved in other learning activities, such as reading.
  • Group Tutorials: Tutorials are used to orient learning, develop the concept of a research group within STEM, support individual student needs, and to consolidate learning. Group tutorials are usually discipline-specific or composed of students on similar progression pathways. There are differences across disciplines in STEM and this ensures that most subject knowledge discussed in each tutorial is relevant to most students and enables appropriate contextualisation of the main ASHE (STEM) weekly lecture.
  • Tutorials enable students to consolidate their Subject Specific Knowledge and understanding by applying Subject Specific and Key Skills to discipline-specific problems within a research context.
  • Individual Tutorials: Individual tutorials focus on discussion and feedback between students and tutors (Academic Advisors) on a one-to-one basis in a more informal environment.
  • Individual Tutorials support all learning outcomes, enabling students to discuss, question and receive feedback on their progress, to enhance their own self-reflection, develop autonomy, and to encourage them to take responsibility for their own research journey.
  • Orientation Tasks and Self-Regulated learning: Orientation tasks support students toward self-regulated learning and support students to develop Subject Specific Knowledge and Skills, and Key Skills. Self-regulated learning encourages students to reflect on their own learning, identify strengths and weaknesses, and structure some of their own future learning through self-diagnostic exercises and completion of an extended research project.
  • Orientation tasks and self-regulated learning support all learning outcomes, enabling students to consolidate and expand on Subject Specific Knowledge gained through other learning methods and the CMT modules, and to develop Key Skills, which are applied in the production of formative and summative assignments.
  • Summative Assessment: Summative assessments within this module are designed to provide opportunities to engage in an iterative process to develop students’ epistemological maturity, self-regulation, and essential academic communication skills relevant to their progression pathway. Early assessments (e.g. research proposal) are used to provide detailed tutor and peer feedback on which later assessments build.
  • The primary function of the first summative assessment (research proposal) is as a mechanism to ensure that students are making progress with their chosen topic towards a realistic and manageable research project, which is grounded in current academic literature surrounding their topic area, and that students can communicate effectively in a written research proposal. The second assessment, the presentation, ensures that students have responded to feedback from their first assessment and developed a suitable method for collecting data for their research project. The main assessment, the project report, is worth sixty percent of the module mark and is due at the end of the term, accompanied by an academic poster which summarises key findings.
  • The four summative assignments allow students to demonstrate the range and sophistication of their understanding of the module’s content and subject-specific knowledge, how they can apply this within the context of study in Higher Education, with the secondary focus on effective academic communication through the medium of academic writing and data analysis (as they are likely to experience in their subsequent years of study).

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 Weekly 1x2 hours per week 40
Tutorials* Foundation Fellow (Academic Advisor) led tutorial sessions to contextualise content to students’ specific disciplines. 20 Weekly Up to 2 hours Tutorial time per week. The number of tutorials depends on the needs of the group/individual students 40
Laboratory Practical/Seminar* 20 Weekly Up to 2 hours Laboratory Practical/Seminar per week depending on progression route and the needs of the individual students. 40
Preparation, Reading, Orientation Tasks Total hours: 180 (220 depending on progression pathway) 180
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Assignment (Project Proposal) 1000 words 100% Yes
Component: Oral Presentation Component Weighting: 10%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Oral Presentation 5 minutes (including a short PowerPoint) 100% Yes
Component: Project Report Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Project Report 3000 words 100% Yes
Component: Academic Poster Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Academic Poster A1 size 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

A range of formative tasks are used to help students work towards module outcomes and to iteratively build competency towards each respective summative assessment. Formative Task 1: Journal (ongoing throughout the module) The formative journal is a space for students to record their weekly observations about their research journey. This will help them to develop ideas, consider texts for their literature review, note down comments on developing a suitable method, and, enable them to reflect on their experiences and the iterative nature of research.  The blog is not formally marked but the module tutors will provide comments and informal feedback on entries. Students are encouraged to write one entry per week as they work towards their proposal in TB1 and the final project report in TB2. Formative Task 2: Preparation for Project Proposal Form (due TB1 Week 5) This form will help students to organise their ideas and focus their reading, particularly if they are struggling to narrow down a topic and/or research question. The form is submitted by the end of Week 5 so that it can be discussed it with Academic Advisors in an individual tutorial in Week 6. Verbal and brief written feedback will be given to support the further development of the skills and knowledge needed for Summative Assignment 1: Research Proposal. Formative Task 3: Gantt Chart (due TB1 Week 6) Students are encouraged to consider what they need to achieve in order to complete (a) the research proposal (b) the complete research project. By creating a Gantt chart or a list of key milestones (with dates) for either (a) or (b) students will begin to develop self-efficacy in relation to workload management and skills necessary to be an effective university student. Feedback will be provided to support the further development of skills needed for Assignment 1: Research Proposal and/or Assignment 3: Project Report. Students are encouraged to create an additional Gantt chart at the start of TB2 to help them plan the remainder of their research. Formative Task 4: Short Presentation (due TB2 Week 5) The three-minute formative presentation (supported by a short PowerPoint) is aimed to prepare students for Assignment 2: Oral Presentation. Immediate verbal feedback will be given to students on completion of the formative in-person presentation in Week 5.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University