AD3001 - Social Sciences Portfolio: Skills for University

APPLY NOW BOOK AN OPEN DAY Add to My Courses Register your interest / Course PDF

What will I learn on this module?

Through this module, you will be supported to develop a range of skills which will be critical to succeeding with the foundation degree and your subsequent undergraduate programme. You will also be supported to gain a deeper understanding of how the key disciplines which comprise social sciences (criminology, sociology, politics and international development) help us to understand a number of real-world issues, the links between the disciplines and how an understanding of social sciences as a whole will contribute to a deeper understanding of your preferred discipline. Specifically, the module will cover: managing the transition to university life; key academic skills, such as referencing, research, communication and team-work; and how the social sciences inform our understanding of and responses to issues such as poverty, sex work, homelessness, desistance from crime and rehabilitation, policy-making and influencing and mass communication. Students will also undertake a group research project, present their findings at a small conference event and develop a portfolio, demonstrating and evidencing the broad range of academic, professional and personal skills which they have developed through the foundation degree.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn on the module through a stimulating and varied programme of workshops, seminars and a small conference event. Most of the sessions will last approximately 2 hours, but some will be longer sessions which include breaks. The workshops and seminars will be delivered by a small team of module tutors, who each specialise in one of the four key discipline areas. But, unique to this module, the workshops will also include a wide-range of guest speakers from a host of professions, such as the police, prisons, charities working in the areas of substance misuse, sex work, homelessness and offending), research institutes and think-tanks, MP offices and journalism. Students will be invited to feed in suggestions regarding the guest speaker programme. While preparatory work for most of the sessions will not be required, students will be expected to write reflective logs based on the sessions, to, undertaken written exercises which demonstrate the skills acquired through the sessions and to undertake a group research project which will require independent study (in the form of essential reading, research and the preparation of presentation materials). By attending the workshops and seminars and undertaking the subsequent tasks, students will be able to achieve the module learning outcomes.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module handbook provides details of sessions, recommended reading and assessment criteria. This will be available on the e-portal (Blackboard). All lecture PowerPoint slides will also be made available on the e-learning portal. The module tutors will be available in taught sessions, as well as during set office hours and will be available via email to discuss any questions or difficulties which students may have. Moreover, feedback on summative assessments submitted throughout the module will also serve as ‘feed forward’, giving guidance on how to improve during the module. In addition, all students will have a designated Personal Guidance Tutor throughout the entire duration of the programme. The academic side of the Personal Guidance Tutor’s role includes: monitoring ongoing academic e-progress; helping students to develop self-reflection skills necessary for continuous academic development; and directing students to further available services which can help them with their academic skills. Students are advised to see Personal Guidance Tutor at least twice each semester to review academic progress.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. ability to collect and evaluate evidence of personal achievement and development.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. essential academic skills of written prose, citation, oral presentation, and independent research.
3. transferable employability skills.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4. demonstrate the capacity for sustained independent work.

How will I be assessed?

Portfolio Review:
Each semester you will meet with the module tutor to review the progress of your portfolio, and discuss further development. (MLO 1-4)

Assessed group presentation (based on group research project) (30%)
Social Sciences Portfolio (70%)
You will produce a portfolio demonstrating the core academic, professional and transferable employability skills you have acquired. This should include evidence of written prose, argumentation, academic citation, independent research, oral presentation and team work. (MLO 1-4)





Module abstract

Students will be actively engaged in research rich learning in this module in several ways. The module encourages students to reflect on academic activities to think about the process of knowledge production and the methodologies of scholarship (research orientated learning). Furthermore, they will engage with research led study through the topics focused on in the development of your portfolio. Research tutored and enquiry based learning is embedded in the activities undertaken in the modules’ workshops and seminars, and in the reflective material in the portfolio. Finally, the workshops with guest speakers will reflect the research specialism of departmental staff and relevant research and research-informed knowledge will be discussed.

Course info

UCAS Code L3L4

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time followed by a further 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at

Admissions Terms and Conditions -
Fees and Funding -
Admissions Policy -
Admissions Complaints Policy -