Within your course, there are different ways in which content is delivered and different ways that you can explore ideas or concepts in depth in your own time through independent learning. Here, we give a brief outline of course structure, an overview of learning opportunities and some key points to note.
Course Structure - The Modules on your Course
All HE courses are composed of a number of different modules. Each time you begin a new module you will have access to the Definitive Document through Canvas, our Virtual Learning Environment. This document gives a module description, an overview of its content, the learning outcomes and assessment methods. Through Canvas you will also have access to your reading list. The document gives details of your teaching team, a week-by-week breakdown of the topics covered, and appropriate reading, with direct links to online materials.
Lectures will form a key part of module delivery. They may explain some of the key theories and topics for a particular subject, or give a broad outline of a topic area. They will include a mix of delivery from the lecturer and student engagement/activity. They are an important means whereby you are taught about the area of your study. Lectures will be delivered by the teaching team, or occasionally a guest lecturer who will give particular insight into an area of your study.
Achieving the learning outcomes is dependent on your reading, seminar contributions, assignment completion and, where necessary, attendance at workshops or the Centre for Academic Skills and English (CASE). Directed reading is given with every lecture.
We encourage you to take notes during lectures, using a method to suit you. This may be by hand, or using a laptop or tablet. 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 CASE.
Throughout the year a range of guest lectures will take place. Guest lectures offer a very good opportunity to help contextualise a particular course or subject or explore an issue in more depth. They can also often provide 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 usually take place on a Wednesday afternoon.
Seminars are a key opportunity for you to explore and clarify concepts and theories raised in lectures. They give you the chance to ask questions and discuss issues in smaller groups, whilst honing your own communication and debating skills.
Seminars 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 dependent 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 in seminars can later be useful for revision.
You will sometimes be expected to work in a team with your colleagues. Team work is essential for delivering on an event, for example, or in managing a client project or delivering restaurant service. Team work develops your skills around communication, time management and enquiry.
We recognise that at times, team work can be a challenge. Whilst recognising that team work can be a challenge, your assessment will not be negatively impacted. University College Birmingham's approach to team assessment is that you will be assessed individually.
Rules of conduct for lectures and seminars
You are expected to arrive promptly for lectures and seminars. This is for the benefit of all students, as latecomers can be disruptive for the group. If you are having any issues that affect your attednance, please speak to your tutor.
Attendance and Missing Lectures
All students’ attendance is monitored. The expectation is for you to attend all lectures and seminars as this will help to ensure you will succeed and demonstrated your commitment to the course. 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. If you have missed a number of lectures, speak to your tutor about any concerns or to ensure you are getting the right support to enable you to succeed.
Fitness to Practise
Some courses 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 courses 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 course team, the UCB Registry and the Codes of Professional Conduct which can be found on the University College Birmingham Policies and Regulations page.
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