NS2021: Methods and Techniques II


Credits: 10 credits

Length: Continuous throughout the year.


Module Synopsis:

This module in each year provides training in IT and relevant transferrable skills.


Transferrable Skills:

  • Research Seminars

As part of the Skills strand of Methods and Techniques there is a programme of Research Seminars. Each year a number of external speakers will visit to give a seminar on their interdisciplinary research. These seminars will consist of a ~45 minute presentation and a ~15 minute Q&A session. After this time refreshments will be provided and you will get an opportunity to talk informally to the speaker and other academics present.

These seminars will provide you with an insight into current cutting-edge research and allow you to converse with researchers in interdisciplinary areas.

After each Seminar you will be required to write a short account of the research in a particular style, as outlined below. This will increase in sophistication with each year, building up your communication skills. 

  • Skills workshops

For example, before you are required to do a major presentation you will discuss what makes a successful presentation and analyse a video of yourself giving a brief talk.

Skills Programme

  • Lifelong Learning II 1: Scientific Method and the Scientific Process
  • Information Handling II 1: Modelling and Dimensional Analysis
  • Communication II 1: Advanced Report Writing
  • Employability II 1: Articulating Skills in the Recruitment and Selection Process
  • Exam Technique II
  • Communication II 2: Academic Posters
  • Lifelong Learning II 2: Scientific Ethics
  • Employability II 2: Articulating Skills & CV Development



Computing is an ever-increasingly important component of scientific practice, as well as almost all careers. The Computing strand of the Methods and Techniques module is intended to ensure you have a solid base of competence in major IT packages, as well as to give you training in more specific scientific analysis and programming software.

We recognise that students will begin the course with widely differing levels of computing expertise; to accommodate this the Computing strand allows you the opportunity to complete the tasks set at your own pace. Once you have completed the entire computing programme, you are excused from all further Computing workshops that academic year.

Computing Programme

  • Introduction to Python
  • Advanced HTML and CSS Coding



Python is a great first programming language for a number of reasons. It is:

 Simple - Python is a simple and minimalistic language. Reading a good Python program feels almost like reading English, although very strict English! It allows you to concentrate on the solution to the problem rather than the language itself. This also makes Python one of the easiest programming languages to learn.

 Free - Python is an example of a FLOSS (Free/Libré and Open Source Software). In simple terms, you can freely distribute copies of this software, read its source code, make changes to it, and use pieces of it in new programs

 Popular - Python is widely used in both academia and industry. Everyone from Google to NASA use Python, making it a valuable language to know.

 Portable - Almost all Python programs will run on Windows, OSX, Linux or a whole host of other operating systems without requiring any changes to the code.

 Flexible - There are a huge number of Python libraries which allow you to write programs doing everything from complex statistical analysis, to creating video games.


This block is intended to introduce you to basic html and css coding that will enable you to construct functional and eye catching websites.

The first section will introduce you to the design process behind planning and designing individual pages as well as fully realised websites.

In the second section we will cover the basics of HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) coding. In the past virtually everything displayed on a webpage was hardcoded within that page’s code. However, such coding (using the old HTML 4.01 standard) has now been depreciated across all major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari, Opera) in favour of the new HTML5 standard.


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