Your first year starts with two modules; the first one being Theories and Methods. In this module, you will be taught ideas about how underpinning theories and methodologies work. You will apply this knowledge by writing a reflection on your prior learning understanding and what methods you employed in that learning. Then, you will be formed into multi-disciplinary teams, devising and carrying out a project that connects with a real work situation. The project could be delivered at a school, business or setting like a care home. The module concludes with you documenting your learning and its application.
The second module, which will be delivered on the same day, will be specific to your subject area and really help you advance in your chosen path. This response to your subject sector may take the form of a piece of research, a written discussion about your work or a practical outcome.
Once these two modules have been completed, there is just one more module to undertake in the first year. In this final module, you will explore one or more aspects of your personal, professional and ethical work practices in depth. You will undertake a focused programme of work which will facilitate a critical reflection, both of dimensions of your professional practice and of the organisational context within which you practice.
You will be encouraged to think about the second year before you end the first year. In the last few days of the Theories and Methods module, you will be helped to make choices (through advice and guidance) as to whether to write a thesis (dissertation) or undertake a special work-based project. A thesis is an extended piece of writing of about 10-12,000 words, in which you present a supported argument. You will be given advice by specialist pathway tutors and staff who guide students in their dissertation writing. If that is your choice, by the end of the first year you will have your dissertation topic, have made a presentation about your plans and be in a position to undertake some research over the summer between the first and second year.
Your second year starts with a module called Globalisation from a Regional Perspective; this will be introduced and taught to you as a group. Within this module, you will understand the concepts and issues surrounding globalisation and consider its impact on our region. You will be helped with this understanding through looking at regional case studies, first broadly, then within your own subject sector. To conclude this module, you will be asked to produce outcomes that demonstrate a response to globalisation as it impacts on your subject sector.
As outlined, during the last two terms of the second year you have to make a choice between writing a dissertation (detailed above) or choosing another module called Work-based Applied Research Project. As implied in the title of this module, this is about you engaging with your subject sector, employing the new learning that you gained on the course. This is the third point on the course where you engage in real work situations. You will do this by undertaking an extended programme of work addressing an agreed theme or issue in your subject sector. To conclude this module, you will produce a body of work that reports on the outcome of this engagement with your subject sector. This final work may include reports and practical responses such as artwork, logs, blogs and diaries.
Essentially, the award is about developing (through reflection and action) your practice or career allied to new knowledge, experiences and learning.One of the brilliant points about this degree is that it is multi-disciplinary; right from the start you will be working alongside students from different pathways, developing a kinship outside your own subject sector. Sometimes, you will be working together to establish outcomes to the given briefs; at other times, you will be sharing ideas and connections with your fellow students, developing a form of university working that is highly relevant to the mixed economy of our region.