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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

The course aims (a) to develop professional skills to enhance students’ standing within the industry, and (b) to prepare them for their independent project by inculcating research skills and promoting independent thinking. By the end of this course students will understand: the principles of effective communication and teamwork in a variety of settings; how the individual’s own professional ethics can influence company policy and the development of corporate social responsibility; how to analyse their own performance in a variety of settings; how to challenge received wisdom in a positive and respectful manner; how to plan and execute a research project.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor David Macdonald

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Geology And Petroleum Geology (GL) (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course consists of a series of online workshops with podcasts, formative exercises and two summative exercises:
  1. Public speaking - introductory podcast covering principles, then a series of exercises followed by student making a video of themselves delivering a talk. Formative exercise: analyse your own performance and write a critique.
  2. Use of PowerPoint - introductory material covering design and content principles. Formative exercise: edit and improve a colleague's PPT presentation (material from Course Coordinator)
  3. The role of outreach in science and industry - definition of outreach, importance of engaging in outreach for personal development and corporate responsibility. Summative exercise: video of student doing a 15-minute talk on a petrophysical topic for a lay audience. (25%)
  4. Ethics I - introductory podcast defining the field followed by a self guided analysis of a variety of ethical dilemmas in the oil industry;  podcast lecture on the UK Bribery Act 2010 and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (1977) and International Anti-Bribery Act (1998) followed by online formative test.
  5. Ethics II - video conference on ethical issues led by outside speaker. Summative assessment: prepare a report on a major lapse of ethical principles anywhere in the world and propose a remedy. (25%)
  6. The scientific method - introductory podcast on development of the scientific method (observation, induction, and empirical falsification; Poppler, Quine-Duhem, Kuhn and Lakatos).  Formative exercise: design a petrophysical experiment in outline.
  7. Scientific writing - the use of literature and avoidance of plagiarism, separation of fact and conclusion, preparation and use of diagrams, structure of a paper or essay (linear narrative vs storyboarding). Formative exercise on editing and improving some scientific prose.
  8. Research design and methods - introductory podcasts on framing a problem, date selection, methodology, the use of secondary date, and use of analogues. Summative exercise: write a five-page outline of a research project to be completed within three months (full-time) covering all of these headings. (50%)

Further Information & Notes

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown


More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: Continuous assessment (100%)

No resit - advanced masters programme

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.



Course Learning Outcomes


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