Do the Right Thing

In this section we tell you how to improve the presentation and the quality of your academic work. There are also some simple ‘rules and regs’ intended to ensure a more harmonious learning environment.

The modules on your programme

All HE programmes are composed of a number of different modules. Each time you begin a new module you will be issued with a detailed module delivery scheme. This gives a description of the module, a week-by-week breakdown of the topics covered, assessment information and details of the teaching team. The module delivery schemes are available on UCB Online, where you will also find the module reading lists.

Lectures

Lectures can take a variety of forms. They may explain some of the key theories and topics for a particular subject, or give a broad outline of a topic area. Obviously they are an important means whereby you are taught about the industry about which you are studying. However, it is important for you to appreciate that lectures form only a part of the strategy for you to learn and achieve the learning outcomes of a specified module. Achieving the learning outcomes is also dependent on reading, seminar contributions, assignment completion and, where necessary, attendance at workshops or the Academic Skills Centre. Directed reading is given with every lecture.

Don’t forget to take notes in your lectures!  Note-taking is an important skill which should be further developed over your years of study. Help on note-taking can be obtained from the Academic Skills Centre

Guest lectures

Throughout the year a range of guest lectures will take place. Guest lectures offer a very good opportunity to help contextualise a particular programme or subject or explore an issue in more depth. They can also often give an insight into the day-to-day operational issues which managers must deal with.

Guests may sometimes be brought in on a specific module to talk about a particular topic. Alternatively, a guest lecture may have as its subject a more general theme. This second type of guest lecture will be open to all students and will usually take place on a Wednesday afternoon.

Seminars

Seminars offer a further opportunity to clarify concepts and theories raised in lectures and your reading and give you the chance to ask questions and discuss issues in smaller groups.

Seminars will differ in style according to the module studied, or the level. They may be based on discussion, problem-solving or exercises to develop your understanding. You are often expected to take the lead in seminar discussions and can sometimes be assessed in them.

The nature of seminars means that they are often more interactive than lectures, being very dependant on the amount of preparation and work that you put in. Taking notes of the discussion, while sometimes difficult, is of critical importance, as many of the issues raised can later be useful for revision.

Team Work/Group Work

In order to develop the skills required to work effectively in a team UCB realises that students will need to learn and develop certain business ‘life’ skills throughout their academic progression on a particular programme. Therefore Level 4, Certificate level, (typically the first year of an undergraduate programme) will tend to develop the ‘how to’ tackle team work activities such as interacting with new colleagues, social and cultural understanding, managing planning activities, recording meetings and reflecting on one’s personal contribution.

As you progress to Level 5 Foundation Degree level studies (typically the second year of an undergraduate programme) will continue to develop the skills learned at Level 4. However at this level, expectations move up a gear. You will be encouraged to take more responsibility for an aspect of a project. Meetings should start to involve a free flow exchange of ideas to develop analytical content. Coming to UCB with its rich cultural diversity presents you with an ideal opportunity to explore differing perspectives and views beyond your own national domain, thus developing your outlook in a more cosmopolitan learning environment. Level 5 is an important stage as it starts to build your skills and confidence in developing and articulating ideas using supported research or well-reasoned supposition.

Level 6 Bachelors Degree with Honours study (typically the final year of an undergraduate programme) builds on Levels 4 and 5. At this point many students may be about to enter the world of work where in team activities you will be expected to recognise and support colleagues or be proactive in leadership, negotiating in a professional context and managing conflict. Negotiating a ‘win/win’ situation may provoke conflict, however the leadership, team skills, initiatives and tactics that are used to overcome emergent issues may be the attributes which set you apart from the other job applicants at your next interview.

Team work activities at Level 7 (Postgraduate Level) again build on Levels 4, 5 and 6. However, the nature of team activities may focus on more complex problems of a strategic nature set within an uncertain business world context involving decision dilemmas, risk and handling situations where incomplete information may require the team to debate issues. Teams will be expected to optimise team member expertise and talent and handle conflict with confidence. Whilst conflict can be seen as being negative, indicating a lack of harmony and cohesion, it can also have a positive effect. For example, it may encourage an organisational shake-up prompted by a looming deadline or help refocus direction, initiate open debate and analysis, or stretch individuals to achieve targets and discover unrealised potential.

Rules of conduct for lectures and seminars

Timekeeping

You are expected to arrive promptly for lectures and seminars and latecomers may not be allowed in. This is for the benefit of all students, as latecomers are disruptive for the group.

Attendance and missing lectures

All students’ attendance is monitored. The expectation is for you to attend all lectures and seminars as this will help ensure you will succeed and show your commitment to the programme. If you have a poor attendance record, which is not the result of extenuating circumstances, this could affect your progression if it coincides with poor assessment performance.

The fact that the vast majority of the modules you will be studying are semesterised means that the study period can be quite intensive, with topics often interlinked and following on from each other. Lecturers have an expectation that you will attempt to catch up on missed work. Any handouts can be collected from the relevant lecturer teaching the module or may be available on UCB Online. You will be expected to copy the missing notes from another student, with any queries or clarification given during a relevant workshop session.

Fitness to Practise

Some programmes are designated by the Academic Board as being subject to Fitness to Practise requirements. These support the promotion of the standards and ethics of relevant professional bodies and students on these programmes must sign the relevant code of professional conduct and fitness to practise. More information is provided within the General Student Regulations and details are available from the relevant programme team, the UCB Registry and the Codes of Professional Conduct which can be found on the UCB Policies and Regulations page.
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