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Unit information: Individual Project in 2015/16

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Unit name Individual Project
Unit code ARTF00002
Credit points 20
Level of study QCA-3
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Pettigrew
Open unit status Not open




School/department Arts Faculty Office
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit aims to support students in their transition from directed study to independent study.

With the help of the Unit Director and the other teaching staff on the Foundation Year in Arts and Humanities, each student will choose a topic from one of the disciplines in the Faculty of Arts on which they will write a 3,000 word essay. They will then be assigned a supervisor from that discipline, normally a postgraduate research student, who will supervise this piece of independent study. The student would normally have up to three hours of meetings with this supervisor. The supervisor will suggest reading, answer questions about study techniques specific to the student’s topic, and give feedback on work in progress. The supervisor will be able to read one whole draft of the essay and provide feedback on the content and structure, but not to give detailed technical advice or detailed feedback on presentation at that stage.

As well as their contact with their supervisor, students will also be supported during the unit by a number of small-group sessions that will address some of the challenges and questions that arise during independent study. This will normally include an introductory overview session, in which students discuss their concerns about independent study and the goals they wish to achieve in their project; there will be a further troubleshooting session later in the term; and there will be two work-in-progress seminars, near the middle of the term, where students will give short presentations on their projects so far.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students successfully completing this unit will have been able to develop their own interest in and understanding of a particular discipline, building on the skills they have acquired in other units on the programme and acquiring a deeper understanding of one topic in that discipline.

They will also have developed the research and writing skills necessary to tackle an independent project of extended length that is appropriate for this stage of their studies and that will aid them in preparing for further study at undergraduate level.

Teaching Information

A mixture of small-group seminars, student-led work-in-progress seminars, and individual supervisions.

Assessment Information

Students will be required to submit an essay of 3,000 words for assessment; this will form 80% of the summative assessment for the unit. The other 20% will consist of a 5 minute presentation of a project proposal.

The presentation should give a clear outline of the proposed project, including research questions and sources. The essay should demonstrate the student’s developing interest in and understanding of a particular discipline; their understanding of the academic conventions required in that subject; and their preparedness for undergraduate study on a relevant programme.

Formative feedback comes in the form of discussion with the supervisor (and peers), feedback on the presentation, and comments provided on a single draft of the essay.

Reading and References

The subject-specific reading material for this course will be determined by the supervisor and the student during their meetings. However, it will also be useful for students to consider resources designed to help with essay planning and structure, e.g., in Philosophy, the following websites: