Teaching, learning and assessment strategies
These programmes are taught using academically rigorous and up-to-date learning materials and resources. A study guide, provided for each module studied, is intended to steer the student through a module as well as introduce the student to particular topics within the syllabus. They are written with distance learning principles in mind and complement the textbooks and key readings and articles which are provided for most modules. Most module study guides are now provided in electronic, CD-ROM format, as well as via the Online Study Centre.
Supplementary study materials, where appropriate, include items such as lectures on DVD that expand on important issues that have been raised in the module. Useful administrative information and suggestions on how to study by distance learning are provided online.
To help a student to organise their time, a Study Timetable is provided for each module. This sets out the timetable for coursework and assignment deadlines. Instead of a continuous sequence of modules, gaps are allowed so that students can catch up with other commitments. Modules are therefore run in five sessions throughout the year and each module is normally available at least twice in a twelve-month period.
The Online Study Centre gives instant access to current module materials and to electronic journals and other materials provided online by the University of London. There is a direct link to a named University of London tutor who marks and comments on assignments. The tutor is also available to answer any questions the student may have about the academic content of the programme. A member of the administrative staff is also available to answer questions about the administrative aspect of their studies. A technical team can help with any difficulties in accessing the Online Study Centre. There is also access to discussion forums with other students.
Each module, with the exception of the dissertation, has two marked assignments which will take the form of written work prepared in response to a task or tasks specified by the Programme Director. The assignments help students to know how well they are doing as well as being part of the formal assessment for the programmes.
It is University of London International Programmes policy that there should be a preponderance of unseen written examinations in the assessment of programmes. This is to ensure security and reduce the possibility of plagiarism. In these programmes each module, with the exception of the dissertation, is assessed by unseen written examination and by the marked written assignments. Examinations will consist of questions structured to allow students to demonstrate that they have acquired appropriate knowledge and understanding.
MSc students are able to choose to undertake a Dissertation that relates to theory and policy issues. The purpose of this is to enable the student to develop and demonstrate their capacity to carry out a substantial piece of independent academic work on a selected topic. Students will be assessed on their capacity to define a topic, to articulate a coherent scheme for examining the topic, to gather necessary information and to analyse and present this information in a way that satisfactorily assesses the topic that they have set themselves.
Assessment criteria for the programme will indicate the level at which skills have been achieved.