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PPR.389: Politics Employability and Engagement through Outreach


Department: Politics, Philosophy and Religion NCF Level: FHEQ/QCF/NQF6//RQF6
Study Level: Part II (yr 3) Credit Points: 15.0
Start Date: 08-10-2018 End Date: 14-12-2018
Available for Online Enrolment?: Y Enrolment Restriction: Fully available to all students
Module Convenor: Dr MT Johnson

Syllabus Rules and Pre-requisites

CMod description

  • This skills-based, employability-enhancing module enables Politics students to use their existing comprehension of politics to engage effectively with different lay audiences including, in particular, prospective employers and Sixth Form pupils participating in Lancaster University’s Politics/IR outreach, widening participation and recruitment programme. The practical nature of the sessions and the divergent nature of the assignments means that the module enhances the employability and CVs of students by providing unique and valuable experiences throughout the term. Students who produce exceptional presentations will have the opportunity to have their work included in Lancaster University’s Politics/IR online and outreach material, while authors of outstanding role play scenario outlines will have the opportunity to have their role plays used in our nationwide outreach programme, with a possibility of running the role play in schools themselves, interest and resources permitting.

Curriculum Design: Outline Syllabus

  • This skills-based, CV-enhancing module enables Politics/IR students to develop skills and knowledge that are highly valued in a range of professions, including, but not limited to, those associated with teaching and the public and charity sectors. The core activities are grounded in, and contribute to, the Politics/IR Outreach and Widening Participation programme which engages with A Level pupils in Sixth Forms in the North. Using communication, analytical, mentoring, feedback and writing skills, students will:

     

    1)                   Work with Careers staff to identify the transferrable skills and knowledge acquired during the course of the undergraduate studies and to communicate those skills to potential employers.

    2)                   (Assessment 1) Develop a four minute individual presentation filmed in the LUTV studios explaining Politics in lay terms to Sixth Form pupils, to take place in week 5 (20% of overall mark). Students will have four minutes in which to: a) define politics and discuss its scope, b) identify and describe a political issue that they regard as being important and/or interesting and, c) explain how that issue can be approached, researched and analysed. Selected presentations will, with student consent, appear in Outreach, Widening Participation and Recruitment materials and can be cited by students in CVs.

    3)                   Participate in a mentoring programme with Sixth Form pupils from Widening Participation backgrounds taking A Level Extended Project Qualifications (EPQs) in a local school. Students will receive mentoring training from Lancaster University’s UK Student Recruitment and Outreach (UKSRO) service, work one-on-one with pupils in two mentoring sessions and then produce (Assessment 2) one 1,000 word feedback report to be submitted in week 8 (40% of overall mark) on outline plans for their respective pupil’s project. The EPQ topics will broadly be within the field of Politics. Students will not need prior, detailed knowledge of the specific topic of the projects. They will be expected to acquaint themselves with the topic and provide comments on content and, potentially, research on that content, but their main focus will lie in providing feedback on the feasibility, research methods and structure of the plan and the clarity, cohesiveness and style of the writing sample.

    4)                   (Assessment 3) Develop a 2,000 word coursework role play/simulation outline to be submitted in week 10 (40% of overall mark). Role plays are practical means of students adopting and pursuing in an educational setting the roles, characteristics, motivations, aims and objectives of actors in political conflicts or processes. The role play outlines are intended for use by Sixth Form students as part of the Politics/IR outreach programme. The coursework will a) outline the relevant background and context to the crisis, b) set out the institutional and procedural structure within which actors work and through which the crisis is negotiated, c) describe the actors within the structure, outlining their characters, interests, agendas, powers and capacities, d) set out the ends to which the participants in the role must work, e) list any injunctions to be deployed to ensure that the scenario remains fluid, dynamic and interesting, f) include a series of online resources for participants to use in preparation for the event, and g) set out a timeline for events. Selected students will have their outlines added to an online bank of role play outlines for use by schools and will be offered the opportunity to run their role play in schools (interest from schools and logistical considerations permitting).

    5)                   Work with potential employers in the final session to consolidate and articulate skills and experiences accumulated throughout the module in CVs and personal statements. 

Curriculum Design: Single, Combined or Consortial Schemes to which the Module Contributes

  • This is an optional module for students on all single and combined UG Politics, Philosophy and Religious Studies schemes.

  • 80% Coursework
  • 20% Presentation (Assessed)

Assessment: Details of Assessment

  • This course is assessed by a combination of a presentation and two pieces of coursework:

     

    Assessment 1: a four minute individual presentation filmed in the LUTV studios explaining Politics in lay terms to Sixth Form pupils, to take place in week 5 (20% of overall mark). Students will have four minutes in which to: a) define politics and discuss its scope, b) identify and describe a political issue that they regard as being important and/or interesting and, c) explain how that issue can be approached, researched and analysed. Selected presentations will, with student consent, appear in Outreach, Widening Participation and Recruitment materials and can be cited by students in CVs. 

     

    Assessment 2: A 1,000 word feedback report to be submitted in week 8 (40% of overall mark) on outline plans for their respective pupil’s project. The EPQ topics will broadly be within the field of Politics. Students will not need prior, detailed knowledge of the specific topic of the projects. They will be expected to acquaint themselves with the topic and provide comments on content and, potentially, research on that content, but their main focus will lie in providing feedback on the feasibility, research methods and structure of the plan and the clarity, cohesiveness and style of the writing sample. 

     

    Assessment 3: A 2,500 word coursework role play/simulation outline to be submitted in week 10 (40% of overall mark). Role plays are practical means of students adopting and pursuing in an educational setting the roles, characteristics, motivations, aims and objectives of actors in political conflicts or processes. The role play outlines are intended for use by Sixth Form students as part of the Politics/IR outreach programme. The coursework will a) outline the relevant background and context to the crisis, b) set out the institutional and procedural structure within which actors work and through which the crisis is negotiated, c) describe the actors within the structure, outlining their characters, interests, agendas, powers and capacities, d) set out the ends to which the participants in the role must work, e) list any injunctions to be deployed to ensure that the scenario remains fluid, dynamic and interesting, f) include a series of online resources for participants to use in preparation for the event, and g) set out a timeline for events. Selected students will have their outlines added to an online bank of role play outlines for use by schools and will be offered the opportunity to run their role play in schools (interest from schools and logistical considerations permitting). 

Educational Aims: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • This module seeks to enable students to convey the knowledge they have gained throughout their studies to audiences without extensive knowledge of politics. The module is divided into four parts: i) understanding politics, ii) presenting politics, iii) writing politics, and iv) demonstrating politics.

    On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

    (a) consolidate knowledge of clear, concise definitions of core political concepts;

    (b) place political concepts, approaches and research methods within a comprehensible framework;

    (c) identify and understand key features in effective oral and visual presentation of political ideas;

    (d) present political concepts and ideas effectively;

    (e) understand the core qualities required to write effective Politics essays and reports;

    (f) provide constructive criticism of work in Politics;

    (g) understand alternative pedagogical methods and the place of simulations and role-plays in Politics;

    (h) develop knowledge of the background and context of their topic of choice for their simulation assessment;

    (i) understand the motivations of actors in their simulation;

    (j) appreciate the importance of audience background, interests and qualities in explaining politics to lay audiences;

    (k) appreciate the importance of innovation, engagement and enthusiasm in communicating with specific audiences,

    (l) help Sixth Form students develop an interest in Politics and the skills required to enter Higher Education.

Educational Aims: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

    (a) Understand the ways in which a degree in Politics is effective preparation for a range of related professions

    (b) Develop key transferable skills in communication, presenting, report writing and working in teams

    (c) Develop a deeper understanding of how political issues impact upon broader society, including the work of non-governmental organisations, charities and bodies in the public and private sector.

    (d) Apply skills of critical thinking, analysis, research and synthesis to solve problems facing practitioners within, and connected to, the political sphere

    (e) Clearly articulate the skills they have developed in a format that can be utilised in job applications and interviews

     

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • On successful completion of this module students will be able to demonstrate:

    a)                  knowledge of clear, concise definitions of core political concepts

    b)                  the relevance of political concepts, approaches and research methods

    c)                   effective oral and visual presentation of political ideas and concepts

    d)                  effective Politics essay and report writing skills

    e)                  constructive criticism of work in Politics

    f)                   the capacity to formulate knowledge of the background and context of topic of choice for simulation assessment

Learning Outcomes: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • On successful completion of this module students will be able to demonstrate:

    a)      presentational skills

    b)      essay, dissertation and report writing skills

    c)       the capacity to evaluate the key features of an argument

    d)      the capacity to provide constructive feedback on the work of others

    e)      the capacity to communicate in different forms (spoken, written) and different contexts with different groups

    f)       organisational skills by meeting assessment deadlines 

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