Academic Advice in MVLS

Students in MVLS can attend short classes, access slides and guides on Moodle, or make an appointment (bookings will open soon) with the Effective Learning Adviser for the College (or one of his Graduate Teaching Assistants) to talk about anything related to their academic work.

Common topics include:

  • academic writing (essays, lab reports, research proposals)
  • critical analysis
  • scientific presentations
  • time and project management
  • effective, evidence-based study and revision methods

Pre-recorded classes and online materials

Science Writing: Fundamentals

> Moodle page for this series -

Title Description
Planning and structuring an essay  A well structured essay will ensure that your writing is clear and concise with logical flow. In this class, we'll look at how to plan your essay and structure your argument.
Lab report writing  A lab report usually follows a standard format, with each section of the report fulfilling a unique job. We'll work through these sections and tell you what the expectations are for each.
Reflective writing In many science degrees (particularly in clinical subjects) you are required to reflect on your practice and communicate your learning. We'll look at how to write reflectively for an academic audience. 
Referencing and plagiarism This class will show you how to cite according to the University's requirements so that your writing is professional and credible.


Academic Development

> Moodle page for this series -

Title Description
Lectures, labs, and tutorials  We discuss how to approach your classes in a strategic way so that you get the most out this valuable time with your lecturers. 
Working in groups  Group work is an integral part of many degree courses. This class will show you how to get the most out of assessed and informal group work.
Exam revision strategies We will show you the best revision strategies, and how to combine them to the best effect in the weeks before an exam. 
Avoiding procrastination Procrastination is normal! But this class will help if you feel that it is getting in the way of your studies.


Dr Scott Ramsay

Scott has a PhD in Molecular & Cellular Biology from the University of Glasgow, where he taught extensively in undergraduate tutorials and labs at Glasgow from 2007 to 2012. Since then, he has worked variously as the Good Practice Adviser in learning and teaching for the University, and the Effective Learning Adviser for students in the College of MVLS since. He coordinates the credit-bearing modules 'Intro to Communicating Science', 'Rationality and Scientific Debate', and 'Contemporary Public Science Communications', as well as two modules on T2G, the transition course open to all incoming undergraduates: 'From Bread Mould to Big Data: Biotechnology Through the Decades', and 'Scientific Philosophy'. Scott is currently Secretary of ScotHELD, the professional network for Scottish Higher Education Learner Developers.

Teaching Requests

Scott currently lectures on every undergraduate degree and most postgraduate degrees across MVLS. To find out what teaching he can offer on your course, email him:

Let's Talk About [X] and [X]position

Scott is the co-founder of Glasgow's multidisciplinary undergraduate research conference, and co-editor-in-chief of the companion journal. Let's Talk About [X] takes place each year in February, and calls for presentations go out to all undergraduates in December. [X]position is published at the end of the second semester, and a call for papers is issued at the close of the conference. Watch previous years' talks and read the journal at


Scott is the co-author of Writing for Science Students (Palgrave): a handbook for undergraduates, as well as for international postgraduates who studied their first degrees in higher education systems that did not assess heavily by essays. Writing for Science Students won Book of the Year 2018, as voted by the Academic Booksellers' Association. 

A second book, Writing a Science PhD (MacMillan), is also available for postgraduate research students.