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Unit information: The Public Role of the Humanities in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name The Public Role of the Humanities
Unit code HUMS30001
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. David Leech
Open unit status Not open

Successful completion of the core units at levels 4/C and 5/I for the programmes in which this unit will be offered.



School/department School of Humanities
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit aims to help students to develop an awareness of theoretical, historical, theological and contemporary perspectives on the 'public role' of the humanities. Students will have an opportunity to contextualize their own discipline in light of these debates and to consider the implications of what they have learned during their degree for their life beyond it. As well as considering these issues within the seminar roo, students will be required to undertake some practical work in the community as part of the unit. This unit aims to help students to enhance their employability by providing opportunities to develop and to practise a range of practical skills that are immediately transferable to the workplace, such as: effective communication, presentation, negotiation, teamwork, and leadership.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will develop their awareness of the 'public role' of their disciple and the wider humanities by considering a range of relevant theoretical perspectives and through practical work undertaken in the community. Students will develop practical skills relevant to their studies that may be applied in their chosen career after graduation.

Teaching Information

Seminars plus tutorial hour each week with unit tutor and practical/project work undertaken throughout the term.

Assessment Information

Students will be assessed by a summative written assignment of 3,500 words. Students will be assessed on their ability to show awareness and understanding of the 'public role' of their discipline and the wider humanities. They may either write an essay responding primarily to the theoretical issues raised in the unit or they may write an assignment primarily reflecting on the work they have undertaken in the community. In the former case, students will still be required to show evidence of reflection on the project undertaken; in the latter, awareness of relevant theoretical issues should still be demonstrated. A range of possible essay/assignment titles/topics will be provided.

Reading and References

J. Bate (ed), The Public Value of the Humanities

S. Collini, What are Universities For?

J.H. Newman, The Idea of a University M. Nussbaum, Poetic Justice

G.C. Spivak, An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization

D. Watson, Managing Civic and Community Engagement