Personal and Group Skills

Module code: CO7210

Module co-ordinators: Thomas Erlebach, Professor Alexander Kurz

This module includes seminars especially commissioned from speakers selected for their presentation skills and state-of-the-art research, together with group discussions and collective essay writing on topics related to the seminars. Recent seminar topics have included: Scheduling for Electricity Cost in the Smart Grid; Formal Verification of Secure Hypervisors; Privacy in the Large; and Developing Interactive Systems for Different Cultures

There will also be a series of workshops on transferable skills and career planning run by the University’s Student Learning Centre, Library and Career Development Service. These cover job hunting, interviews and assessment centres, group working and presentation skills, literature and online searching skills, and writing development and avoiding plagiarism.

Examples of recent topics for group discussions and essays include machine ethics, Bitcoin, mobile sensing, and refactoring versus starting again.

Topics covered

  • Locating, organising and marshalling evidence
  • Reporting on findings, analysing complex ideas and constructing sophisticated critical arguments
  • How and when to draw on the knowledge and expertise of others
  • Contributing and commenting on ideas in syndicate groups
  • Reflecting upon and writing up results
  • Planning and presenting research clearly and effectively using appropriate IT resources
  • Delivering oral presentations to a professional standard
  • Responding to questions
  • Cogent and clear writing


  • 5 hours of workshops
  • 8 hours of seminars
  • 4 hours of moderated group discussions


  • Group essay (50%)
  • Group discussions (30%)
  • Individual presentation (20%)