BCI Professional and Academic Development

Professional and Academic Development
Module code: BUSN07052 Module name/title: BCI Professional and Academic Development 1
Assessment Number2
Assessment Type (and weighting)A 1500-word written portfolio with +/-10% (weighting 80% of final mark)
Assessment NamePersonal Development Portfolio
Assessment Submission DateSunday 23/07/2023 No later than 5 pm

No email submission.

Students can resubmit until the due date. 

The submitted work should be word-processed in Arial or Times New Roman font size 12. They should be double-spacing and each page should be numbered.

Your assessment must include the declaration provided in the module handbook. This declaration should be attached to the end of your work.

You can write in the first person (using ‘I’) in this assessment.

If you cannot meet the deadline due to exceptional circumstances, apply for Extenuating Circumstances (ECS). The guidance on ESC can be found on AULA under Journey/Materials.

Late submissions will be subjected to a 10-mark deduction.

All sections will be marked (introduction, main body, conclusion, references and appendices).


The title page should include:

  • Module code
  • Module name/title
  • Assessment name
  • Student number
  • Word count (excluding title page, references, figures, appendices and declaration)

Introduction (suggested word count: 150 – 250 words)

  • What is a Personal development plan (PDP)?
  • The value/benefits of a PDP for academic and professional purposes.
  • Outline the portfolio: what are you going to cover?

Main body

  • SWOT analysis: conduct academic SWOT and career SWOT(suggested word count: 200 words)
  • You must have more than one point for each element of the SWOT analysis.
  • You can use bullet points for the table and supplement them with explanations right below the table.
  • Elaborate/explain/give examples of how your strengths and weaknesses can affect your development. Similarly, identify and elaborate on opportunities and threats that affect your development.
  • Incorporate relevant PESTLE factors into the opportunities and threats. For example, if someone is working in the retail industry, can find information on how the recession can be a threat to them (needs reference). In terms of opportunity, if someone is working as a data analyst, they would be in high demand even during the recession (needs reference).
  • You should identify opportunities that can help you develop and overcome your weaknesses. For example, if someone has a limited work experience in digital marketing but wants to work in that field, the opportunity could be “the UK government’s landmark Lifetime Skills Guarantee” (reference). You then need to elaborate on how these free courses can help you gain additional skills etc.
  • Detailed action plan (approx. 300 words)

Set yourself THREE specific objectives/goals. These can be personal, educational/academic or career goals. They can be short-term, medium-term or long-term.

Covering the period from:  TO:  
Objectives/Goals Action Plan/How Resources Evidence of Success Target dates for review and completion 
1. What do I want /need to achieve?  e.g. Becoming course ambassador on my second year at the university. What will I do to achieve this?  e.g. Summiting application form and going through interview. What resources /support will I need?  e.g. I will need the support of my classmates and teachers.  What will my success criteria be?  e.g. Being invited to an interview and getting this position.      September 2023 

Note: Please remove the text in RED and write your own action plan.

  • Reflection: Reflect on this assessment (PDP) or assessment #1 (podcast).
  • Define and evaluate Gibb’s Reflective Cycle (suggested word count: 100-250 words).
  • Use Gibb’s Reflective Cycle (1988) for your reflection (suggested word count: 500 words):
Step 1 – Description (≈50 words)  This should be a brief description of the experience or event to set the scene and give context. 
Step 2 – Feelings (≈75 words)  Consider what you were thinking and how you felt before the experience. How did you feel during / after the experience? This is another short descriptive step, rather than being analytical. I felt…
Step 3 – Evaluation (≈75 words)  Evaluation looks objectively at both positive and negative aspects of the experience. Describe key elements that went particularly well. Was there anything that did not go well or did not work? Looking back…    
Step 4 – Analysis (≈150 words)  Analysis attempts to explain why the experience was positive or negative and should form the largest section of your reflection. Consider points made in the previous steps and identify any factors which helped you e.g. previous experiences, carrying out research or consulting with others. Consider your role in the experience and how you contributed to the success of this experience? If things did not go to plan, why do you think this was e.g. lack of preparation or external factors beyond your control? When I…  
Step 5 – Conclusion (≈75 words)  Focus on what you have learned. Are there any skills you developed because of the experience? If so, how would you apply them in future experiences or situations? Are there areas of knowledge or skills you now need to develop? Is there anything you would do differently in the future?  Overall… 
Step 6 – Action Plan (≈75 words)  What specific actions can you now take to build on your knowledge or skills? Include any training that would benefit you (formal or otherwise), as well as identify sources of information or support (people or resources). Therefore, I will…  

Note: remove the text in RED and write your own descriptions.

Conclusion (suggested word count:100 – 150 words)

Summarise what you have written. 

References (word count does not include this section)

Any sources you used. There is no limit on the number of references.

At least FIVE references are required. Make sure your in-text citations match your reference list.

All work should be fully academically referenced in CTR Harvard referencing style– see: https://uws-uk.libguides.com/referencing. 

UWS operates a very strict policy on plagiarism. All work must be the work of the individual student. Please note that when you submit your work to Aula, it will automatically be checked for matches against other electronic information.

Appendices (word count does not include this section)

Appendix A. My skills and attributes   

Knowledge & Understanding
IndicatorsAction Required
To have some fundamental knowledge of my subject/discipline and of its main theories, concepts and principles. 
To be able to understand and explain some of the core theories, concepts and principles of my subject/discipline. 
To be able to understand the ways in which my subject/discipline has developed and is developing. 
Applied Knowledge and Understanding
IndicatorsAction Required
To be able to keep up to date about new developments in my subject/discipline area. 
To be able to use some basic and routine skills and techniques relevant to my subject/discipline. 
To be able to undertake library and desk research on a subject or topic that I have been given. 
Generic Cognitive Skills
IndicatorsAction Required
To be able to select and read appropriate reference materials for my subject/discipline highlighting and explaining the relevant information from these as necessary. 
To be able to use a variety of reading techniques. 
To be able to explain the information or ideas obtained from references relevant to my subject/discipline avoiding plagiarism. 
To able able to develop or assess an argument relevant to my subject/discipline, reviewing the evidence before coming to a conclusion. 
To be able to use routine techniques to analyse data ideas and issues relevant to my subject discipline. 
To be able to evaluate the validity of different ideas, information and points of view. 
To be able to look at the whole picture in any situation and take a broad view of possible approaches/solutions to any issues arising 
Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills
IndicatorsAction Required
To be able to produce written material using correct grammar, punctuation and spelling. 
To be able to structure written information appropriately using appropriate and meaningful headings. 
To be able to verbally communicate ideas and thoughts to others in person and through electronic communication. 
To be able to use graphics prepared by others to convey an appropriate message to others. 
To be able to take accurate notes from what others have said. 
To be able to formulate and use questions to obtain information and clarify my understanding during a discussion, presentation or meeting 
To be able to record and manipulate numerical data for routine tasks using straightforward methods and check the results for accuracy using basic calculations and formulae. 
To be able to produce, edit and save documents using a computer. 
To be able to search for and find information from standard online sources. 
Autonomy, Accountability and Working with Others
IndicatorsAction Required
To be able to help to establish common aims and goals for a team.     
To be able to initiate decisive actions to deal with unforeseen circumstances. 
To be (more) responsive to the needs of others.          
To be aware of own strengths and weaknesses.    
To be able to systematically assess personal strengths and weaknesses, and identify areas for improvement. 
To be (more) confident in my own ability to complete tasks set by self or by others. 
To be able to work independently with little if any supervision. 
Personal Attributes
IndicatorsAction Required
To be flexible in dealing with study, personal and work requirements. 
To be aware of my rights and responsibilities in a given situation.        
To be able to define goals 
To be able to plan a course of action to meet a specific goal.            
To be able to organise my time in a manner which is consistent with commitments. 
To have a strong commitment to pursuing personal goals over an extended period of time. 
To not be easily distracted or dissuaded from what needs to be done to achieve my goals.     
To be patient and diligent when performing my own tasks.     

Appendix B. Weekly learning log.

  • Include week 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, 8,9 learning logs.
  • You can use learning logs to reflect on this module and other modules at UWS.
  • All questions from the learning log template must be answered.
  • Ensure that you clearly outline WHAT you have learnt each week, HOW this will be useful in moving forwards towards meeting your future study/career goals, WHAT you find difficult, HOW you address the difficulties and make further improvements, and HOW you have addressed the difficulties faced last week.
  • The weekly learning log must provide in-depth and meaningful reflections.
WEEK : Module code and module name:  
What have I learnt this week?     
How will this be useful in moving forwards towards meeting my future study and/or career goals?   
What did I find difficult?   
How can I address these difficulties and make further improvements? 
How have I addressed the difficulties faced last week?       


Declaration   I hereby declare that:   I have read and understood Regulations 3.49—3.55 of Chapter 3 of the Regulatory Framework of the University of the West of Scotland regarding cheating and plagiarism;   This assessment is the result of my own work, except for those parts that are
explicitly referenced, and contribution of others is clearly indicated;   No material presented in this assessment has been written, wholly or in parts, by any other person(s);   This assessment has not been submitted — partially or in full — in support of the completion of assessment(s) on any other module, regardless of previously or the current academic year (self-plagiarism).  

Assignment support/guidance:

In addition to this brief, assignment support is offered in the tutorials. You are expected to attend and engage in these sessions. You have ample opportunity to discuss ideas with tutors and ask specific questions in the tutorials and therefore individual feedback on drafts is not provided by the teaching team.

Marking criteria

Criteria Weighting
Knowledge and application    Understand and utilise templatesDefine, evaluate, and critically discuss relevant key theoretical concept(s) Use of literature/evidence of reading/ content and range of knowledge displayed  40%
SWOT analysis incorporating relevant PESTLE factors Detailed and realistic action plan My skills and attributes 09 in-depth and meaningful learning logs 40%
Presentation and organisation  Clarity of expression (incl. accuracy, spelling, grammar, punctuation) and focus of the work  Structure (Introduction, main body, conclusion)10%
Referencing and quality of sources used  10%
Meeting deadline and wordcount Marks are only deducted for late submission (a 10-mark deduction within one calendar week) and/or exceeding word count (+/-10% = -5 marks) 
Total mark out of 100/100% 

UWS standard marking and grading scheme will also apply

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