Teaching and Learning
The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.
You are taught through a combination of;
- Lectures that give an introduction and overview of topics studied as part of the content of each module.
- Seminars, often featuring small group work and/or round table discussion of published and/or audio-visual materials. These support, extend and develop your knowledge of the topics introduced by lecture.
- Workshops focusing on preparation for a range of different types of assignment. These develop your understanding and competence for assignment work.
- Tutorials are one-to-one work with module tutors, usually focusing on assignment preparation or assignment feedback.
- Assessed and non-assessed, individual and/or group classroom presentations. These help you to the build the skills and confidence for presenting ideas and information in a supportive public environment.
In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course.
You have an opportunity to gain and reflect upon a work-placement in your second year as part of a Work Project Module, supervised by the module tutor.
In a typical week you will have around 12 contact hours of teaching as a full time student studying four modules in a semester. The precise contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected and in the final year you will normally have slightly less contact time in order to do more independent study.
Typically class contact time will be structured around:
- Four one-hour lecturers or interactive large group sessions.
- Four two-hour seminar/workshop periods.
The three hours of contact for each module may be scheduled as a block, or with the lecture and seminar at different times.
In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 28 hours of personal self-study per week in teaching weeks and forty hours in the assessment weeks (when you are working on assignments at the end of the module).
Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.
You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes Dr Luke Devine, Dr Simon Hardy, Dr Mehreen Mirza, Lesley Spiers and Mike Webb.
Teaching is informed by the lecturing staff's research and consultancy work. Most of the team also have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.
The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or 'formative' assignments. Formative Assessment methods include class presentations, completion of assignment plans or drafts, tutorials, workshop discussions and exercises.
Each module has one or more 'summative' assessments that are graded and count towards the overall module grade. Assessment methods include a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, presentations and a final year independent studies project.
The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:
- Year 1: Book Reviews; short essays; reflective autobiography; group presentation.
- Year 2: Written portfolio; shorts essays; long essays; book reviews; oral presentations; research proposals; work place project reports.
- Year 3: Independent Research Project; long essays; written portfolio; poster presentations; literature review; oral presentation.
You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.
We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.