The descriptions are for modules currently being taught. They should be viewed as an example of the modules we provide. All modules are subject to change for later academic years.

Skills, Knowledge & Independent Learning (SKIL) 2015/6

Workload - Private Study - Assessment - Description - Aims - Learning Outcomes - Content - Teaching Materials - Recommended Books

Module Code COM00008C
Lecturers Alan Frisch
Taken By CS 1, CS/Math 1, CSESE 1, CSYS 1, MEng CS 1, MEng CSAI 1, MEng CSESE 1, MEng CSYS 1, MMath 1
Number of Credits 5
Teaching Autumn 1-9, Spring 2-9
Open Assessments Essay [40%]
2nd Oct → 26th Nov
Feedback: 14th Jan
Blog Posts [60%]
11th Jan → 4th Mar
Feedback: 15th Apr
Reassessment [100%] Re-written blog entries Weds/Vac 5-8

Module Prerequisites

Prerequisite knowledge

No prerequisites.


Lectures: 9 hours
Tutorials: 7 hours
Private Study and Assessment: 34 hours


Open Assessments

Formative Feedback

Students will partake in four formative exercises: writing three blog posts and giving one presentation. In small group tutorials all of this work will be discussed and feedback will be given.

In two further tutorials the assessed work (summative assessment) of students will be discussed and feedback will be given.

Overall, students will receive feedback on their work in six small group tutorials.


SKIL aims to:

  • Assist students in honing the skills they need to succeed at university, especially independent learning.
  • Provide transferrable skills that are valuable in university and beyond, especially communication skills.
  • Consider the role that computing practitioners play in their profession and in society as well as their ethical and legal responsibilities.
  • Present the big picture of the field of computing, including its past and future.

Learning Outcomes

  • Be competent in essay writing, technical reporting, and public speaking.
  • Understand how to learn independently, think critically, harvest information, and manage time effectively.
  • Appreciate that the actions, behaviour and products of computing practitioners can have both subtle and dramatic effects on their profession and on society.
  • Be aware of some of the ethical and legal responsibilities that computing practitioners have and be familiar with at least one professional code of conduct. Be aware of the law relating to issues such as intellectual property, the patent process, and data protection.


The material is structured into five units:

1. Introduction
2. Succeeding at university
3. Communication skills and information resources
4. The future of computing
5. Legal, social, ethical and professional issues in computing.

Each unit comprises one or more plenary sessions in a lecture room and one or more small group tutorials led by the students' academic supervisor.

Teaching Materials

The module website -- -- provides links to all materials that students need.

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Last updated: 19th September 2016