What do the Faculty of Arts Categories mean?

The Faculty of Arts Curriculum Framework relates primarily to how students learn, rather than what it is they learn. It is designed to preserve our strong subject identity and research-led teaching in all areas but place this within a common educational structure that ensures all students are equipped with capabilities and experiences needed to succeed after graduation. The Framework is aligned with the University’s Education Strategy.

 In practice, the Faculty Framework is as series of common unit types which map six key groups of skills and experiences onto our programmes’ units. By asking that most programmes offer units covering each of these types in every year, we can be sure that students leave Bristol having developed several different skills. The six unit types are:

Category       Unit Type 
A. Discipline Specific These units are designed to emphasise the core elements of each discipline, and the core skills and practices which each student will need.
B. Academic Writing

These units are designed to develop skills in academic writing. This term is used relatively loosely, and will encompass quite different types of writing according to disciplinary difference. But at heart is a commitment to developing the high-level skills in written presentation which are expected of graduates in the Arts and Humanities.

C. Presenting These units often develop presentation skills, but they might also involve the presentation of academic material for non-academic audiences. For example, podcasts, blogs, videos, or exhibitions might be incorporated within the unit's design.
D. Discipline specific; Collaborative These units are designed to showcase elements which are core to the discipline, and to develop skills of collaborative working or other skills that will help students contribute in environments outside of academia. For example, they might include individual or group assessments designed around live project briefs or see students collaborate to organise a small event.
E. Independent E units foster independent approaches to learning. Typically, they culminate in the final year ‘capstone’, frequently a written dissertation.
F. Contextual These units are designed to offer students an opportunity to take a unit beyond their core discipline.

Each specific unit will meet its ‘type’ requirements in different ways, sometimes through formative assessment and sometimes through summative assessment. On some programmes, groups of units have been carefully designed to meet more than one type requirement so that students can choose between several units in a longer list rather than from two more restricted lists.